Ben Higgins made waves in Bachelor nation last week when he said the “L” word — “I love you” — to two women. The Chicago Tribune noted that the women, JoJo and Lauren, said it first; but the overflow of emotion is sure to set up a whole lot of drama during next week’s finale. Host Chris Harrison told Parade that Higgins’ conflicting feelings are evident when time comes for the final rose.
“[I]n the finale, obviously, you’ve seen how emotional Ben gets – he does pull at least a 3/4 Mesnick. He is that emotional. He really narrowed it down to two women that he loves and he is trying to make this decision. He knows that he’s going to hurt somebody and he knows that he’s going to lose somebody he cares about, so it is really moving. I think people are going to love it.”
As Bachelor viewers might remember, Jason Mesnick proposed to his season’s winner, Melissa Rycroft, only to dump her during the After the Final Rose special. As People reported in March 2009, Mesnick admitted he had feelings for his runner-up Molly Malaney. Jason and Molly eventually married.
Mesnick was even present at the start of this season’s Bachelor, along with Chris Soules and Sean Lowe, Jason gave Higgins advice before he met the women that would compete for his affections.
The fact that Higgins expressed love for two women came as a surprise to another prominent member of the Bachelor family, Kaitlyn Bristowe, who rejected Higgins in favor of Shawn Booth during the last season of The Bachelorette. Bristowe told The Vancouver Sun she hasn’t watched the show this year because it’s “too soon,” and she gets “anxiety for Ben.” As for using the “L” word more than once, Bristowe called it a “big no-no.”
When asked by Parade if the words “I love you” make rejection particularly devastating for whomever ends up in second place, Harrison said anyone who gets to the end has strong feelings, whether or not they are said explicitly.
“[I]f you see how heartbroken they are, they know they’re in love [even if the words haven’t been spoken]. They have a real good idea. Maybe they haven’t heard it per se, but they have an idea that the Bachelor/Bachelorette really cares for them. I don’t know if saying it makes it any more real or profound.”
The network hasn’t yet announced who will be the next Bachelorette, but E! reported that Caila Quinn, whom Higgins sent home last week, will get the job — if she’s up for it. She told the network during the taping of The Women Tell All she would consider taking the opportunity to choose among her own crop of suitors, after she’s had some “me time.”
That sentiment is reflected in the synopsis of the Women Tell All special posted by CarterMatt. Caila is seeking closure for the hurt she experienced after Ben’s rejection. As CarterMatt pointed out, Caila’s ability to move on is important if she is indeed chosen to seek love as the next Bachelorette.
The Bachelor: The Women Tell All airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. Next Monday, Ben Higgins will offer the final rose to either JoJo or Lauren. Viewers will have to tune in to see him pull a “3/4 Mesnick” during the finale or the After the Final Rose special.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]