Why Arie Is the Worst Bachelor in History

I am what you can call a “casual big fan” of The Bachelor franchise. I may not remember every contestant ever, but I’ve watched many seasons of the show, as well as seasons of the spin-off shows such as The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. On March 5th, the two-part season finale of The Bachelor aired, sparking much controversy. This season starred previous The Bachelorette contestant and runner-up, Arie Luyendyk, Jr. A racecar driver and real estate agent, the world followed Arie on his journey to find “love.”

Before the show began airing, people, including myself, noticed that Arie kept emphasizing in interviews that he fell in love with not one, but TWO women. Suspicious? Perhaps. If I were his current fiancée, I definitely wouldn’t be happy that my future husband kept repeating that he fell in love with (presumably) the runner-up as well as me.

Arie’s season of The Bachelor was, for lack of a better adjective, underwhelming. Krystal was the best entertainment that the season had to offer, with her annoying tone that she used to talk to Arie and her drama with literally every girl in the house. However, once she was eliminated mid-season in Paris, the season went downhill. It seemed that Arie was only genuinely interested in two girls (cue the foreshadowing of Becca K. and Lauren B. as the final two contestants), since he couldn’t give many of them a good enough reason for sending them home.

It was obvious that Lauren B. and Arie really liked each other. Arie was definitely taken aback by how pretty she was, and they connected about… being previously engaged to crazy people? Not quite so sure, don’t quote me on that one. However, they seemed to have really deep, fulfilling conversations during their dates in Tuscany and Peru.

                                                                                                                   Courtesy of Blogspot

On the other hand, Becca and Arie had more of a stable, realistic relationship. Even Arie admitted that he could see a future with Becca early on (ha!). Becca had a great career, and she was mature and knew what she wanted. Not that Lauren wasn’t, but I never grasped anything about her life even though I watched her hometown date. Becca and Arie’s first date was also the first one-on-one date of the season, in which he casually bought her designer dresses and $1100 heels. Yes, definitely realistic.

During the first part of the season finale, Lauren and Becca met Arie’s entire family, with Lauren going first. The family loved both girls, but told Becca, “Yeah, we LOVED Lauren. But you know, you’re cool, too.” After meeting both women, the family suggested to Arie that Becca was a “better match for him”. So this should have been a clear indicator that Arie should go for Becca, right? Nope. The boy was more confused than ever.

However, Arie eventually decided that Becca was “the one” and proposed to her. She, of course, accepted, and the cameras panned to a shot of them embracing each other in the Peruvian sunset. The story should have ended there, as previous seasons have. But, after a couple of months after proposing to Becca, Arie calls off the engagement. In certain aspects, I can see where he was coming from. He fell in love with two girls, and had to only choose one in the end to marry. Lauren was cut off from his life, and it was hard to get rid of feelings for her. He just couldn’t stop thinking about her.

Here’s where Arie’s decisions become controversial. If he were so in love with Lauren still, while being engaged to Becca, why did he propose to Becca in the first place? As seen in Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor, a proposal, although ideal, does not have to happen. Arie could have made the decision to send Lauren home, still want to keep Becca around, but could have said that he just wasn’t ready to be engaged to her yet. Although that decision would have also been controversial, it would have been better publicly received than breaking up with your fiancée on recorded television for the world to see.

This brings me to my next point, the public breakup. The last hour of the first part of the finale is an excruciating, “unedited and raw” elongated scene of Arie blindsiding Becca into a breakup, her crying and repeatedly telling him to leave, and him following her around the house asking if she was okay. Arie attempted to defend himself, explaining that he wanted the breakup to be broadcasted to show that the breakup was “all on him,” and that message was crystal clear to the viewers. But breaking up with your fiancée on television is not the best look, for either party involved.

Finally, there’s the new, rekindled relationship between Lauren and Arie. On the “After the Final Rose” segment of the finale, Arie clearly stated that he confirmed Lauren would take him back before he broke things off with Becca. WHAT. A. MOVE. If Arie didn’t ruin his chances of the public liking him before the finale, he sure has now. And the award for Best Reality TV Jerk goes to...

From his outrageous end to the season to him being a knock-off, more salt-and-pepper-haired version of Peter, Arie has definitely become the new, best worst Bachelor in the history of the franchise. Hopefully, he learns his lesson from his mistakes and his relationship with Lauren actually lasts more than two months. Meanwhile, I’ll be (im)patiently waiting for Becca’s season of The Bachelorette to begin.