“It’s so weird, just that we’re all on TV.”
With that statement, Ashley S. might have done what we previously thought to be impossible on tonight’s Women Tell All edition of The Bachelor: she became relatable – nay, enviable. While we once wondered whether that oddball was even from this planet, we’ve changed our tune. This girl spent three fourths of a season doing whatever she pleased, crashing interviews, talking to cats, turning onions into pomegranates (and vice versa), imagining betting pools in the accounting department, and saying ridiculous s—t that would absolutely make it to air, because this is America, and in America we like to be entertained by things that look like idiots.
Yes, she stuck out amongst the 20-odd leaking buckets of tears that she was cooped up in a house with, but now, as we’re almost at the end, she might be the girl we’re rooting for the most. She never cried. She never whined about what other girls were saying about her, or obsessed over a sob story that really doesn’t matter in the present. She did whatever the heck she wanted, and she got to go on fun dates with a hot guy while living in a giant mansion. She kept the cool she wanted to keep, and that’s more than can be said for almost anyone else on this show.
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Would we want to date her? Or could we imagine a guy like Chris ever wanting to date her? No, probably not, but in the end, this show isn’t actually about dating. It’s about forcing people to compete with one another on an emotional level, to bring out the parts of people that would be embarrassing to unleash personally, but are fascinating to watch from afar.
After watching her this season, we would struggle very hard to take Britt seriously as a person in the real world. The audience seemed to be on her side, but we’ve always been on Carly’s: Britt seemed cool, until the fact that she was a “waitress” in “Hollywood” seemed to line up with how often she cried and how often her stories changed as she and Chris got closer and she got closer to “winning” the show. Anyone who can take a moment to pause their tears and politely thank the audience for their applause is a) very irritating and b) not really crying.
It was interesting, however, to watch Britt act most concerned over why Carly pretended to be her friend for so long before stabbing her in the back, while quietly whisper-crying to Chris Harrison when the cameras didn’t appear to be on her that she believed that if it weren’t for Carly, she would have ended up winning. We wish that Carly – who was treated as a sort of villain as opposed to a pointer-outer of potential truths – had gotten her own chance in the hot seat, but the fact that Carly also went home the same night as Britt is apparently irrelevant.
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Kelsey is another one we grew to despise, which she knew, though she didn’t quite understand why. She had a lot of theories – “I’m condescending and I use big words” should be her Tinder bio – but she really just didn’t get the fact that she appeared to be using her husband’s death to manipulate people. She literally said the words, “Isn’t my story amazing? It’s tragic but amazing. I love my story,” at one point. Once Chris and the other women finally got it into her head that that’s a totally weird thing to say about your dead husband, she mostly just continued to say it, just in a different way.
“I never meant to minimize a death,” she said in the same terrifying way she says everything, “What’s amazing is that at 19, I found what I thought would be the love of the rest of my life. That’s amazing. What’s amazing is that I had a husband who loved me and I loved him and we built a life together, and he died, and that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. What’s also amazing is the fact that I am healing, that I survived that. I thought I lost all hope, I thought I couldn’t move on after his death, but I did.”
And if she hadn’t tried to move on with a reality show on national TV with a horrible success rate, we might be able to believe her.
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We also heard from Jade, whose naked pictures and videos, in another time, would have made headlines. Today, it’s just boring. To Chris, Jade presented a demure, classic midwestern girl who would dream of being a princess at a ball that had to end at midnight, but then there was all of this proof of a woman who had much more of a wild side. If she was only giving him the princess, and refusing to even show him the side of Jade who would pose for Playboy, there just wasn’t hope for that relationship.
When Bachelor Chris got up there in the hotseat, Britt had apparently deemed herself the most important in all the land and took a moment to engage in the longest and most awkward hug ever before asking him the same question everyone else wanted to ask: why? And, would she have stayed if Carly hadn’t told him she was a liar?
Chris bumbled around for a bit. Obviously, he would never say yes at this time or in this way, but be basically mumbled some things about how he had looked back over their entire relationship and made the decision, and we hope this is the last we see of Britt for a while, unless she comes over to tell us how to achieve her hair and skin.
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Kaitlyn’s “Why?” was much more interesting. Andi had taken some time with Chris when she was eliminating him without making him go through the whole rose ceremony, and he had just taken some extra time with Becca, so why did Kaitlyn not get the same courtesy?
Chris couldn’t really give an answer, other than IDK.
“I really wasn’t trying to sugarcoat anything. The answer’s still like there’s really no explanation. At that point in the journey I was literally falling in love with three women,” he told her, “I made mistakes, don’t get me wrong. In the moment, I did the best I could.”
That was all fine and dramatic and tear-filled and all, but then there was Ashley S, whose segment should have been last, as it was the crowning moment of the night. Everything she said made no sense at all, and yet it made all the sense in the world.
The pomegranate? She was just amazed that a TV show would have real trees with real fruit on them, especially really awesome fruit, like pomegranates. Mesa Verde? She was just comparing the paintball course to the huts and tunnels at the Mesa Verde. The cats she was talking to? “They were not cats. There was one cat, and it didn’t reply.”
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Perhaps Ashley S. just never lost that sense of wonder and creativity we all had as children, which is why she was so quick to decide that the accounting department was actually a secret Bachelor betting pool. “I was so bored, honestly, and I was just like, I’m gonna go explore.” Finding a secret betting pool, even an imaginary one, is way more fun than finding some accounting, no matter how old you are.
Chris Harrison asked who – or what – the real Ashley was, and this was her answer:
“I like to ride bikes, and I mean, this is me. I think with the cameras around it’s really hard for me to not be silly, so while all of them were getting upset and crying, I was outside picking pomegranates…”
When Chris invited her to join the cast of Bachelor in Paradise, Ashley didn’t even give an answer. All she said was, “It’s so weird, just that we’re all on TV.”
Who are we to say that we wouldn’t get in front of those cameras and get excited about pomegranates just growing right there in the yard? Why can’t we act like children and lose our minds while playing zombie paintball? Why is all the crying and whining so much more valid than delightful, childlike insanity? It is weird that you’re all on TV. It’s weird that anyone’s on TV. And it shouldn’t be weird to act like it.
You go, Ashley S. Good luck with your onion farm, and we wish you all the happiness and pomegranates the world has to offer.
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