This post contributed by CharlotteObserver.com online producer Deirdre McGruder.
I used to be a fan of the "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" franchise, but tired of the predictability, the cookie-cutter contestant "types" (the Drunk, the Crier, the Ho, the Psycho, the Needy One) and most of all, the manipulative editing. And, you know, the forcing of near-strangers to declare their love and enter into engagements that last 15 minutes.
Even though I no longer watch, I do still read episode recaps (including Television Without Pity's and Brooke Cain's with The Raleigh News & Observer). Also, before the seasons even start, I visit Reality Steve. I don't know who this dude's sources are, but the last few seasons he's gotten some reliable scoop on what's going to happen. This season of "The Bachelor," Steve broke it down episode by episode early on, and for the most part, what he's said would occur has.
This is where it gets interesting. All season long Steve has said Chantal O'Brien, the rich chick with the dad who used to play pro football, would be Brad's final choice. On Monday, though, he posted that his sources found out they were wrong, and that Brad actually chose Emily Maynard (pictured), the single mom from Charlotte who's very popular with the viewers. And that they're engaged. Steve wrote a mea culpa of sorts, in particular apologizing to Chantal for making folks think she was engaged when in fact Brad had chosen someone else. He also shared interesting little tidbits, like Emily's house in Charlotte is supposedly on the market. Yesterday he posted more info from the finale, including:
- Brad had Emily's dad fly to South Africa so he could ask permission to marry his daughter. Footage of this won't be part of the finale, however.
- There is a rose ceremony, unlike the first time, when Brad dumped both chicks because he wasn't into either one of them (the sanest act ever performed on this show, if you ask me).
- Ricki, Emily's 5-year-old daughter, won't be there in South Africa when Brad proposes and Emily says yes.
- Filming ended Friday, Nov. 19. Brad and Emily stayed in South Africa a few extra days, and Emily was back in Charlotte the day before Thanksgiving.
Now, Steve's sources have occasionally been wrong, most notably when they said Ali, the last "Bachelorette," wouldn't choose Roberto, the hottie from Charleston, S.C. (As far as I know they're still together, but God, I can't keep up.) So take the knowledge about Brad and Emily with as much skepticism as you'd like. We'll all know for sure when the finale airs March 14.