Up to Speed: "The Bachelor," Season 17

Disclaimer: It would be possible to write an entire novel about the moral and practical dilemmas posed by a show like The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette). It is impossible, however, to sit down and enjoy the show (or read about it, for that matter) without putting the negative criticism aside and temporarily accepting the show for what it is: entertainment. (A.k.a. the chance to drool over a certified dreamboat and openly judge the contestants.)

The star of the 17th season of The Bachelor, Sean Lowe, is an insurance agent from Dallas, TX. Fans of the show remember the shocking moment when Emily Maynard let Sean go on the second-to-last episode of The Bachelorette last year. This decision blindsighted the 28-year-old, who had admitted to falling in love with Emily on the show. Now Sean has his chance to pick and choose from 26 women in an effort to find his best friend and life partner. "He wants to propose once, be married once and live a faithful family life, like his parents, who have had a loving 35-year union," according to Sean’s Bachelor Bio on ABC.com.

After weeks of handing out red roses to the women he wants to move on to the next round, Sean visited the families of the final four women in their hometowns across the country. In the most shocking decision of the season, Sean sent Desiree home after he had an awkward encounter with her brother. It is hard to imagine any other reasoning for the decision, as the couple seemed to have one of the strongest connections out of all the women.

Sean then spent a week in Thailand going on individual dates with the remaining three women before denying a rose to AshLee, a decision that he says was the hardest one yet. AshLee, a 32-year-old with abandonment issues due to an early childhood spent in multiple foster care homes, was devastated to the point of speechlessness after her dismissal. She poured out her heart to Sean throughout the show, at one point sharing that he had "literally healed my broken heart." (She even swam in a scary, dark cave with him!)

A happy ending (or engagement, at least) is now in sight for Sean, who has narrowed his selection down to the final two, Lindsey and Catherine.


Lindsey, a 24-year-old substitute teacher from Fort Bragg, NC, almost did not make it through the first night of the show. Sean was unsure about the woman who stepped out of the limo in a wedding dress and pronounced "You may now kiss the bride." There is a chance she was right after all.

Sean also had his doubts about Catherine, a 26-year-old graphic designer. In her hometown of Seattle, WA, Catherine’s sisters shared their doubts with Sean about her readiness to settle down and get married. The night he chose Catherine over Desiree, Sean told the cameras that he needed to keep the woman who he would miss the most. Ultimately, Sean cannot seem to resist Catherine’s happy-go-lucky personality.

"We've never had a season where a girl almost went home night one and made it to the final two, and then Catherine was on the chopping block during hometowns, and makes it to the final two. It's been wild! Up until the final, I would have never picked those two," The Bachelor Host Chris Harrison said.

Watch Sean propose on the season finale next Monday, March 11. (Or not propose… There are no official rules for him on The Bachelor.)

 

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