Brad and Emily still engaged but are on the road to breaking up already

Brad Womack picked and proposed to Emily Maynard on The Bachelor‘s finale, rejecting Chantal O’Brien as revised spoilers predicted, but on After the Final Rose, they indicated that their relationship is in trouble, and the inevitable break-up now seems even more inevitable. The reunion was filmed last week, three months after the proposal, and it was more about their conflict and problems than their love.

The interesting thing is that the show itself was clearly responsible for their trouble. Emily seemed particularly annoyed at having watched the show and seeing Brad’s commitment to Chantal, which of course devastated Chantal. “There should have been some things that were saved for just me,” Emily said to Brad, suggesting that if he loved her from early on, he shouldn’t have led Chantal on. But of course, there is no show without one woman being strung along and treated as though she’s the one, even though she’ll be the one sobbing in the limo.

The producers and smarmy asshole Chris Harrison pulled out all the stops, bringing out three couples who met on the show and are now happy, but forgetting to mention that these are the only three couples who met on the show and are now still happy. They all earned whatever the producers spent to bring them there by standing up for the show and blaming relationship problems on the individuals, not the fact that it’s absurd to expect relationships formed via this process to work.

When asked if she’d marry Brad–who wanted to get married while the show was airing, and then during the reunion, both of which Emily rejected–Emily nearly talked around the question until she said, “I can’t see my everyday life without him; so yeah, I absolutely do see us getting married.” However, she made the audience of people who totally buy into the show’s ridiculous conceit gasp when she said, “Could I move to Austin today? No.”

Thankfully, the show had previously forced Emily to get over her issues with her dead fiance, so she’ll probably come around eventually. Emily also wasn’t wearing her engagement ring, but in a surprise twist, put it on at the end when Brad produced it, having had it sized correctly for her.

The finale itself provided many opportunities for great Bachelor poetry, and also included some dramatic moments, like when Brad said he wanted to be “that girl’s father–her real father,” and Emily basically rejected him, causing him to sweat and get mad, although he said, “I’m not mad.”

When Brad proposed, he told Emily, “you’re my once in a lifetime” and added, “please let me be your best friend, please let me protect you and your beautiful daughter, and please give me the opportunity to love you for the rest of your life.” Or until a magazine offers to tell our break-up story.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.