More Culture:

July 31, 2019

In 'The Bachelorette' finale, the nice guy finishes first

Jed was kicked to the curb as Hannah ends engagement

Reality Television The Bachelorette
Chris Harrison and new The Bachelorette Hannah B Source/ABC

Hannah B is the new 'Bachelorette.'

Windmills, liars and cheats oh my! That pretty much sums up this season of "The Bachelorette."

Former Miss Alabama Hannah Brown, who America met as she competed for Colton Underwood’s heart on "The Bachelor," took the lead in her search for love. In arguably one of the wildest, roller coaster ride of a season that Bachelor Nation has ever seen, no topic was too taboo for Hannah and her suitors. And the drama certainly did not disappoint either.

Let’s start with Monday night’s live season finale. Hannah was down to two, vastly different gentleman. An All-American heartthrob named Tyler and a D-list country singer appropriately named Jed. While the entire country couldn’t contain their love (or lust, the jury is still out on that one) for Mr. Hallmark card Tyler, it was Jed who stole Hannah’s heart. In true "The Bachelorette" fashion, Hannah picked Jed and promptly got engaged (after knowing the fella for a total of roughly 72 hours). But then, this fairy tale ending took a sudden turn; leaving fans with an ending we have never seen before (no seriously).

People Magazine reported that Jed had a girlfriend while on the show. Not a recent ex, or a casual fling (like he told Hannah it was). He went on the show with a girlfriend who he told he was going on the show simply to promote his music career. Bold strategy.

The news of this mysterious girlfriend broke at the end of June. Haley Stevens (Jed’s girlfriend) went on a whirlwind media tour blasting Jed and even provided text messages, love letters, pictures, you name it. The list of incriminating evidence goes on. Well finally, we got our answers on Tuesday night’s finale episode.

After filming had wrapped, and Hannah and Jed were engaged, Jed came clean to Hannah. He told Hannah that he wasn’t officially dating Haley, despite saying I love you, going on trips together, her meeting his family and Jed texting her up until the very last minute of filming. If that’s not dating, then I don’t know what is.

Hannah stayed strong and did not give in to Jed’s pleading. She took off her engagement ring and placed it on the table, promptly ending their engagement.

On the Tuesday night finale, Hannah confirmed the two were no longer engaged let alone in a relationship. Hannah and Jed then talked face-to-face, in front of a live audience at the “After The Final Rose” segment of the episode, where Jed completely owned up to his actions. But Hannah was not having it. Despite Jed saying he was still, and always will be, in love with Hannah, Hannah informed him that she couldn’t be in a relationship that started off, and progressed to even more, lies. You go Hannah Brown.

But in an even crazier series of events, Hannah’s runner up came out to meet Hannah face-to-face for the first time since breaking up with him in Greece. Tyler, easily one of (if not the most) beloved contestants of all time, entered the hot seat to a roaring round of applause and screeches of enjoyment. Hannah then proceeded to ask Tyler if he wanted to “grab a drink” to which he responded yes. A true 2019 love story.

A season of firsts?

Aside from the Jed situation, this season also saw plenty of firsts from the ABC franchise. Let’s start with the abusive and manipulating man that is Luke Parker.

America met Luke a few months ago when Hannah was announced as the Bachelorette. He quickly became an early frontrunner. Then, the show aired.

Luke was physically violent with fellow cast members (he took a cheap shot in a Rugby game) he was also a two-faced liar to the other gentleman as well. But that wasn’t even the worst of his actions.

Hannah fell for Luke, hard. He was good looking, and appeared to be a southern gentleman. The two connected immediately, their shared faith being the main connector. But Luke started to appear to become abusive toward Hannah.

The term “slut-shaming” was a popular phrase among fans as Luke told Hannah that if she had sex with any of the other contestants, he would remove himself from the show. This was the final straw for Hannah as she finally came to her good senses.

When sending Luke home (he made it to the top three) Hannah told Luke that not only did she have sex (in a windmill… more on that later) but that she had sex and Jesus still loved her.

On the iconic Men Tell All episode, Hannah apologized to America for keeping Luke around so long. Luke sat (and sort of spoke) in the hot seat with host Chris Harrison for nearly two hours (edited down for the show). The other men of the show came at Luke for being a liar and manipulator. No one was on Luke’s side.

But this entire Luke situation shed light on a very serious topic in American culture; abusive men trying to control women. Many people spoke out that they were in a similar relationship, and thanked Hannah for shedding light on the topic. This kind of behavior from a contestant was the first this franchise has ever seen. Luke even went as far as creating a Twitter account, just to come at Hannah.

What’s with all that Windmill talk?

But there were some happier times this season too. Have you been wondering why you’ve been hearing a lot about windmills recently? Well you can thank Miss Alabama and a handsome pilot for that.

As Hannah was sending Luke home (for the second of three times this season) she told Luke that she had sex in a windmill… twice.

On her fantasy suite date with Peter, they stayed in a windmill in Greece. What America thought was only two times, actually ended up being four times. When Peter appeared on the live finale on Monday night, Hannah said that she lied to America and it was actually four times. Mic drop.

But how were the ratings?

The Monday night finale was highest rated episode of the season with 7.1 million viewers (600,000 more than any episode this season). The season premiere had just 4.67 million viewers. The show has never seen such an increase in ratings (so you can thank Luke P, Jed and the windmill for that).

To put it into perspective, last year’s finale saw 6.7 million viewers. That puts Monday night’s finale as the largest audience since the 2017 finale. A far cry from the record set in 2003 when Trista Sutter was the Bachelorette at 20 million viewers, but TV viewing habits have drastically change, so way to go Hannah.

What’s next?

Given the many story lines of the season, the ratings proved this was one of the most successful seasons of "The Bachelorette."

Hannah is also one of the most followed contestants on social media with 1.8 million Instagram followers (so get ready for those Fab Fit Fun and SugarBear Hair ads). That puts her in third place behind Jo Jo Fletcher and Colton Underwood (each in the 2 millions respectively).

We will see what is in store next for newly single Hannah Brown (or not single?). But don’t fret Bachelor Nation. One of the more popular spin-off shows airs August 5 in Bachelor in Paradise. So get your popcorn ready, because this drama-filled summer is only just beginning. Roll Tide.