At this rate, there's not much that The Bachelor can shock us with, no matter how much Chris Harrison promises that each year will bring "the most dramatic season ever." But amidst the huge rumors spinning around the results of this week's Season 22 finale, there's more reason to believe that Arie Luydendyk's final rose decision will be historic in the franchise. We'll have to hold tight to our wine glasses, because Arie's Bachelor finale has unedited footage for the first time ever.
Entertainment Tonight reports that after 21 previous seasons, the March 5 Bachelor finale will included totally unedited scenes for the first time. Usually, the closest the franchise gets to unedited footage is when someone unexpectedly gets sick and runs off into the area of the Bachelor house the show likes to pretend doesn't exist. Why yes, viewers, these women just don't use the bathroom during weeks of filming!
A source spoke to ET about the untouched footage:
This is an unprecedented and extremely unusual move for the franchise. The show will include completely unedited scenes just as they were shot, with both cameras visible at all times to show every word and every moment of an incredibly emotional moment. It's nothing like you've seen on The Bachelor.
In the week leading up to the finale, the details of the major finale twist finally leaked to mainstream entertainment outlets. Mirroring Arie's constant worry that he would pick the wrong woman, sources revealed that he proposed to one contestant in the taped finale, broke up with her some time after, and is now dating the runner-up. In the franchise, the humiliating movie is fondly known as a "Mesnick," referring to Season 13 Bachelor Jason Mesnick.
In the 2009 season, single dad Jason initially proposed to contestant Melissa Rycroft. By the time the "After the Final Rose" special rolled around, he was doubting their relationship and expressed his wish to pursue his runner-up, Molly Malaney.
Their breakup was just as awful as it sounded, but seeing as Jason is now married to Molly and Melissa is also happily married, he escaped from Bachelor Nation relatively unscathed. He even scored himself an "After the Final Rose" taping without an audience to boo and jeer at him! The Bachelor franchise is a much bigger beast now, and it's safe to say that Arie won't have as quiet of an experience during his live "After the Final Rose."
Given that the "Mesnick" seems destined to happen for Arie, I'd bet that the unedited footage is of his breakup with his first pick and then the subsequent reunion with the runner-up. In an age of spoiler sites and live tweets, The Bachelor will definitely relish in the opportunity to draw out this drama as much as possible.
In another unusual move, the finale will play out over two nights, with three hours of pre-taped footage on Monday, March 5, and the live "After the Final Rose" on Tuesday, March 6. Who wants to wager how many times Arie will say, "I don't like that?" during these episodes?
In addition to finalists Becca K. and Lauren B. appearing with Arie at the "After the Final Rose," ET reports that Tia, Kendall, Seinne, Bekah M., and Caroline will also attend. The announcement of the new Bachelorette is also scheduled for Tuesday night, meaning that our next franchise lead is among this select group of women. This will also help us narrow down who's practically confirmed to star on Bachelor in Paradise this summer.
Arie spoke to E! News about his decision before the finale, clearly trying to prevent some damage ahead of time:
I think that people are going to understand me a lot more and understand the ending,. But this is my journey and this is about finding a lasting love and that road is not always the easiest. Hopefully people will understand more. It's all about the ending and finding that person for yourself and that's the important part. I'm very happy.
Well, see you on the other side, Arie.
The Bachelor returns on Monday, March 5, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Season 22 concludes with the two-hour "After the Final Rose" episode on Tuesday, March 6.