As the self-declared co-captains of Team Money Bunns (we’re willing to share, Natalie Getz), we’re disappointed that Michelle Money and Graham Bunn did not win Bachelor Pad Season 2. Blame it on the editing, the lack of time — even with three hours — or just bias, but it doesn’t make sense that they lost. Did everyone just feel that Michael Stagliano played the strongest competitive game? Did Holly Durst’s bubbly social game help them win … or was it really 90 percent Stag? It would be nice to hear voting explanations from each contestant.
And it would be even nicer to have a separate vote between the two — Holly and Michael. The time of a couple winning should be over. Yes, it’s Bachelor Pad, not Survivor, but when one person dominates they should get the credit. And that “share” or “keep” twist is no longer a twist. Dump it. Everyone already agrees on “share” before they get there. Maybe Justin Rego would be the only one to pick “keep,” even if the others just picked “share” to keep a good reputation with the public. (After The Jake Pavelka/Kasey Kahl/Vienna Girardi Show, we know how important public opinion can be to the Padawans.) The show already blindsided Stag with Holly’s latest engagement to Blake Julian. It was her turn to be blindsided. But it didn’t happen.
It would’ve been great to segue from Stag’s win to announcing him as the Season 16 Bachelor, but it’s cool that winemaker Ben Flajnik is the guy. Maybe Stag can find someone quicker than Ben does, and with less drama. He deserves a drama-free ride.
Read on for a full recap of the three-hour finale.
VEGAS, BABY! THE FINAL CHALLENGE
At the start of the show, Holly admits she and Stag aren’t on the best of terms because he saw how hard it was for her to say goodbye to Blake. She hopes he can still trust her. But whatever, ‘cause it’s time to go to Vegas for the final challenge!
Kasey is proud of Kasey because everything Kasey predicted has come true. He got his alliance to the end. Or close to the end, anyway. They enter a theater and a huge wall pops up. And then Chris Harrison appears! Away from a Bachelor mansion! They have to hang suspended from a wall 100 feet in the air for a Cirque du Soleil routine.
Chris says the judges will be grading the couples on...
• Technical ability
• Chemistry as a couple
The couple judged to be the worst will be sent home. It’s a 60-second routine; 50 seconds is choreographed and then it’s 10 seconds of freestyling.
Vienna gets snippy about Kasey’s heart idea (what a shock!) and Holly and Stag appear to be barely on speaking terms. However, Stag is a serious athlete and he takes to this like … Holly to Blake! (Sorry.) Graham has a height phobia and informs us he’s literally pissing down his leg, which makes him just a wee bit less attractive. Michelle is also nauseous, which just proves that even pretty people have ugly feelings. Vienna and Kasey both inform us they are being strong for each other because the other one would be lost without them. No one has asked, but we’ll be JUST FINE without them. Ella is also sweating and freaking out. Childbirth was easier than this, she says.
They all look like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their “Ka” costumes.
The judges appear: Original Bachelorette Trista Sutter, Bachelor 13 Jason Mesnick and Bachelorette 6 Ali Fedotowsky, who is carted to the stage by Hottie Dimples himself, Roberto Martinez. Why is Ali always injured? And why can’t Roberto be the fourth judge?
First up: Graham and Michelle — Their strategy is to play up their chemistry, since they don’t think they have anything else going for them. Trista is adorable but she has a classic Wicked Witch of the West cackle when she laughs. The music is intense. The routine goes fast, even though Kirk says it’s in slow motion.
Second to perform: Ella and Kirk — Ella is thinking about everything that can go wrong, but she doesn’t want to let Kirk or her son down. Unfortunately, she is the weak link up there. They do a fun little thing where they release confetti.
Third: Kasey and Vienna — They have a much more ambitious routine than the other two. Ella calls it “pro level.” They kiss at the end.
Last up: Holly and Michael — Holly is worried because she thinks their routine isn’t as good as Kasey and Vienna’s. They have some nice synchronicity. Ali likes their mock fall. Stag does some funky twists and flips and he lifts Holly in the end.
Judges declare the winners: Holly and Mike
Losers going home: Ella and Kirk
Devastating. Ella bursts into tears. It’s tough. She keeps apologizing to Kirk. Poor Ella. He knows she tried her best, but he’s disappointed. Hey, they couldn’t know what the final challenge would be. Why does she leave in her own limo, without him? Why couldn’t they carpool? It’s a shame she has to make this sad speech while still wearing that ridiculous outfit. It takes away from the pathos a bit.
WHO GOES TO THE FINALS WITH STAG AND HOLLY?
They have to make a hard decision. They talk it out. K&V make their pitch to be in the final four. Kasey can be pretty intense, Vienna says, and Holly doesn’t like that. She tells him to tone it down. That didn’t work for Ali when she told him to tone it down on The Bachelorette.
Kasey goes full throttle, as he should. V can say what she wants, but she hasn’t gotten them that far — he has. Holly recognizes that K&V have done the dirty work. K&V sell the argument that they are playing for second place. They realize they can’t win. That’s what they say, anyway. But can you take that risk? What if you get them to the end and they WIN? After the pitch, Vienna nags Kasey about his rambling to Michael. He walks away and who can blame him? He doesn’t want to hear her negative attitude. She’s basically blaming him in advance for talking too much. But what has she done this entire time?
Stag and Holly then talk to Graham and Michelle. They listen to Stag. Stag says he and Holly feel if K&V were in the finals, they — Stag and Holly — would win. However, Stag and Holly believe Graham and Michelle would beat them in the finale. (Yes! So … why didn’t they?) They admit they are thinking of keeping K&V. Graham is upset because he and Mike have been like family. He expects something like what Kiptyn and Tenley did last season; they won the final challenge and saved Dave and Natalie. But that just handed Dave and Natalie the money. Why would anyone do that twice, if that’s what they expect to happen? But Graham is upset. “I am physically mad right now,” he tells Michelle. Uh oh! Graham hulks out when he gets mad. There’s a drink in his hand. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol?
FINAL ROSE CEREMONY
Holly and Michael have to hand out their final two roses.
Michelle feels weak because she was trusting Graham’s relationship with Mike and now she’s not sure what will happen. So Graham had strong alliances with both Michael and Kasey. How is that not a great strategy? Graham also had that great strategy in The Nearly-wed Game. And Michelle was the house mama, helping everyone through their problems. Why don’t they win?
Holly says it comes down to selflessness vs. selfishness. But does it really? Holly thinks they are handing Team Money Bunns the money. Stag repeats that this is a game. “With that, Kasey and Vienna, we are not going to take you guys to the finals.”
Michelle basically falls to the ground when she realizes she’s going to the finals. The Stag + Bunn romance is alive and well! Stag calls it the definition of brotherhood.
But hey! That means it’s finally time for Kasey and Vienna to kick rocks. He literally carries Vienna to the car. He says Graham and Michelle had it easy and don’t deserve to be in the final four. That’s not fair. V cries in the car that her perfect rose record was just ruined. They were all there in the end because of what Kasey did. They lick their own wounds the whole way out.
THE FINALE! ELIMINATED CONTESTANTS TELL ALL
Everyone returns. Gia has new bangs. She’s still gorgeous. Very shiny lips. Justin has a lot of new hair. Scary villain hair. Are we sure the hair didn’t “attack” him? Erica brought her crystal gavel!
Ames + Jackie = Lingering Confusion: Ames immediately gets “awws” when talking about being captivated by Jackie. This isn’t as sweet knowing that it only lasted a couple of weeks and HE ended it. Jackie admits she spent a lot of time this summer being confused and sad. She thought she did something wrong. She had no closure. Ames says, at the end of the day, they are just two different people and it’s better to say that sooner than later. Ames is adept at saying pretty things that have little meaning. Jackie is still confused. “Saying that I was sad, Ames, is an understatement. Like, I didn’t get out of bed for a week.” Ames insists he really wanted it to work and he would’ve given anything for it to work.
Why didn’t anyone dump the “power couples”: Gia says Kasey is extremely smart. No one got rid of the power couples. It drove Justin crazy. William points out that K&V were “the most in love” couple and said they could win anything, but they never won a single competition. He points out how every week someone was stabbed in the back for $250K. William doesn’t think anyone in the final four stabbed anyone like K&V did.
Jake vs. Vienna Part 1: Jake had a different mission, beyond winning the cash. He wanted to have a conversation with Vienna and get closure. Vienna is acting like they both got closure. Chris calls BS and says she wanted to shove that olive branch up Jake’s Pavelka. Did she just pretend she wasn’t mean to Jake? Erica defends Jake and wants to know why V worked so hard to get rid of him. V claims she didn’t try to poison everyone against Jake. She told everyone to make their own decisions? That doesn’t sound right. Kirk says if a relationship fails, it takes more than one person and it would’ve been nice to hear a second side instead of just Vienna’s side, blaming Jake.
Jake in the hot seat: They replay the whole Jake journey, starting with how much K&V trashed him every chance they got. Chris asks Jake about his first meeting with Kasey and Vienna in the house. He calls it “cold as ice.” What does he think of the repetition that he’s “not a good person.” He takes great offense to that. Vienna says they didn’t get to see everything. She and Jake played charades and he fell off a chair. She cracks herself up over that. Gia calls the Jake bashing hurtful. Vienna is still defending herself, saying there’s so much we didn’t see. “The majority of the time we were all drinking and hanging out and having fun.” There were just “key points” and hot spots. Erica judges the situation “hostile.” V is ticked. She says Jake had a year to apologize. Jake said he tried to contact her. Vienna said he shut her phone off and she got a new phone. But he did call three days ahead of time. Jake said the breakup was very profitable for Vienna and her accepting his olive branch might’ve changed the course of her career. TRUE. It’s a he said/she said on who contacted who. William challenges Jake on giving V a rose just to spend more time with her. Even Chris calls it one of the dumbest moves. Jake says he was disappointed in K&V watching the show back.
Jake to Kasey: “You want to punch me for America? Really? You really think that that's the appropriate thing to say?”
Kasey to Jake: “I for one would like to formally apologize to you for saying some of the things I did say. That's not the way that I act and I get to look at that now and, like, ‘Wow, I made a fool of myself.’”
They shake on it. These guys probably would be friends — or at least friendly — in real life. Vienna glowers from her seat. She is the problem. Red flag. Kasey is not a fake guy. He probably wouldn’t say all that if he didn’t mean it.
Kasey in the hot seat: Watching the show back, he sees that he made some ripples. It’s uncomfortable to watch his clips back as he watches them too, with his face looking down at the ground. Poor Kasey. He’s a good guy. He was led down a bad road. And he has a speech impediment. So if Justin doesn’t want to be made fun of for rescuing cats, he shouldn’t make fun of Kasey’s voice. Kasey chokes up in the hot seat. He talks about how emotional Vienna is and how he loves how honest she is, but it can be hurtful to deal with. Chris asks about their relationship right now. “Watching that, that’s not a healthy relationship and that’s not a relationship I want.” The show keeps breaking him down and it’s like he can’t get back to being happy. Poor Kasey. Just walk away from this and walk away from that cold woman looking at you with disdain right now. You are the new Jake and you deserve better. However, Erica said she’s spent a lot of time with K&V and she saw a different side of them. She thinks they are good for each other and will make it work. Kasey once again tries to explain their relationship with “Vienna’s Vienna.” Bless his heart, Chris calls him on it. What does that mean? It means you live on eggshells from one minute to the next.
Blake in the hot seat: Blake admits he was at the center of every storm cloud. And, yes, he brushes his teeth for a full two minutes. Chris asks Blake to define his “relationship” or “partnership” with Melissa. Was Blake using her or did he feel the things he said? He disagreed with the idea that he used her, saying something about how this is an interesting science experiment. Talk about cold. Melissa said Blake told her he didn’t want to kiss on camera. Then he kissed her on camera. So that led her to believe he felt stronger for her than he originally planned. Melissa argues that she would’ve been fine having a totally platonic relationship with Blake, she just felt blindsided when Bake decided to save another man’s partner over her. She doesn’t understand how Blake can call their relationship serendipitous and also say he’s whoring himself out to be with her — and then still consider himself a good person. Fair question.
Blake and Holly are engaged: On the topic of Holly, Blake says he feels like a better person around her. She is uplifting. “I am madly in love with her.” Blake and Holly never go a day without speaking. It’s the most serious relationship he’s had. Blake says Michael knows about his relationship with Holly. Blake said he and Holly are driving cross-country to South Carolina so they can live together. He can’t move to her since he just started his dental practice. We see a Blake + Holly video package where he proposes. “Today is the biggest day of my life,” he says. He pulls out a Neil Lane ring. She accepts the engagement. Why does no one in the audience have a problem with this fast relationship done right after she ended her romance with Stag? It’s awkward.
THE FINAL FOUR COME OUT
Graham is wearing a cute little bow tie. Michelle looks hawt!
Stag has his arm around Holly. Holly says he doesn’t know the news about Holly and Blake. He knew that they were moving in together. Are we sure he didn’t know? Holly tells him “We got engaged.” There’s silence. “Like here?” he asks. “I’m sorry that’s super awkward. I didn’t know until I got here.” He makes a speech about wishing someone had called him or sent an e-mail. Blake said it just happened on the previous Sunday.
Chris says Stag and Holly handled their relationship very well through the house. But, really, Stag handled it well and Holly and Blake just focused on Holly and Blake, except when Holly needed to use Stag to win. That’s all there is to it. Holly needed Michael to win. Blake wouldn’t have got her there.
Michelle says when the show ended Graham was there for her in a hard part of her life, with her father dying. She chokes up when talking about her father’s death from colon cancer. “This man has been there for me.” Graham kisses her as she talks. Graham said with Michelle he showed the kind of person he wants to be, a man of integrity. They compliment each other over and over again. Does Gia buy this idea of Graham being so wonderful? She still sounded bitter after her exit.
PADAWANS ASK FINAL QUESTIONS
Justin — Justin wants to know what Holly did in the partnership. Stag answers for her, which says it all. He says he never had to doubt her because she was a trusting partner. So she said nothing in her own defense? It’d be nice if Holly guarded and protected herself for even a minute.
Erica — She loves what Michelle and Graham want to do with the money, but Stag was the best competitor. Michelle says she does not want a pity vote. No one should feel obligated to vote for her. Michelle says Stag won a lot of competitions but Team Money Bunns had a strategy to avoid drama and that’s why they were standing there.
Blake — He questions whether leaving the room and staying out of the drama earned them a vote. Graham is open that he’s not a big fan of Blake’s. He knows where Blake’s vote is going.
Kasey — He asks “What makes you think you deserve the money more than the others?” No one wants to make an argument that they “deserve” the money more. They are all “blessed” and “grateful.”
Is that all? We don’t even get to see everyone ask a question. Just from what we saw, Michelle and Graham made the best arguments. We don’t see Justin telling Graham he never said one word to him in the house. That seemed to be in the previews, but never addressed on air.
VOTES TO WIN
Jake — Holly & Mike
Vienna — Michelle & Graham
Kasey — Michelle & Graham
Blake — Holly & Mike
Erica — Michael & Holly (but really just Mike)
Melissa — Michelle & Graham
William — Michelle & Graham
Jackie — Michael & Holly
Ames — Holly & Michael
Justin — Holly & Michael
Ella — Holly & Michael
Holly & Michael just need one more vote.
Gia — Holly & Michael (So she didn’t back her good friend Graham)
THERE’S A FINAL TWIST … EXCEPT THERE ISN’T
Chris says there can only be one winner. But that’s not true. They have to do the same “keep” and “share” thing they did last season. So it’s no different. They are going to split the $250,000. Since it’s the same as last season, everyone has probably already had a conversation about what they’d do. And of course they’ll “share.” It’s always “share.” What a waste of time.
Holly — Share
Michael — Share
Same as Dave Good and Natalie Getz last season. They get $125,000 each. Zero suspense. Wish Stag had picked “Keep” since he did deserve it more than her. Please don’t do it this way next season, ABC.
BEN IS THE NEXT BACHELOR
Which, of course, we knew since ABC announced it last week. And spoilers announced it a long time ago.
Ben has short hair in his video package but it’s long again for his talk with Chris. He needs to go to Michelle Money for a better hairstyle. Ben says he’s most nervous for that first night as The Bachelor. Loved seeing him work the crowd after the show. They sprayed his hair!