Ali’s backflip ruins secret proposal
After weeks of telling us she has learnt from her past mistakes and insisting she's not going to settle for anything less than marriage, Ali Oetjen tosses aside a man who's about to propose marriage on The Bachelorette finale and instead chooses a man who admits he's "scared" of marriage.
"I've changed," Ali nodded to us for the past eight weeks, assuring us she wasn't going to choose the same flaky men she's been going for in the past. Her plan was to find a man who could offer stability and love. But, like Ali, plans turn on a dime.
It's embarrassing but she refuses to acknowledge she made such bold statements. Like when you sign up to HIIT classes and foolishly tell everyone in your office you're going to transform your body to look like Emily Ratatatatajksjksjksi but then you stop after one week and your body somehow looks worse and everyone just pretends like you never made such hilarious declarations.
On Thursday night's finale, Todd has a ring. Well, two rings. He's still insisting on wearing that nose ring and we're still insisting on not acknowledging it in the hope he takes it out. But he also has an engagement ring.
"I love the girl so much. I've never been so certain. Ali is my future wife and the future mother of my kids," Todd tells us repeatedly throughout the finale. As he prepares to meet Ali for the final decision, he tucks a small velvet box containing a diamond ring into his pocket. He's going to propose. Or at least, he was going to.
Channel 10 executives are particularly annoyed because they spent most of the show's budget on this ring which meant the finale had to be filmed locally in the Northern Territory and they hoped we'd all just think we were in Bali.
To be honest we are that stupid.
Ali's parents have come along to assess the new mess their daughter has found herself in.
Her dad goes by the name Hartmut and he's honestly just exasperated with Ali's antics.
"This is the one time in her life where hopefully everything goes well," he sighs.
Hartmut insists on calling his daughter Alison and his voice is soft and direct with undertones of concern - like Judi Dench in the James Bond movies.
"Are you sure you're making the right decision, Alison?" he warns. ""I have doubts, Alison."
He's sick of Alison bringing losers home and he's not impressed with the latest offering.
When Taite rolls up, Hartmut asks about his feelings for Ali.
"I looked her up before we met and thought, 'I'm attracted to you! Don't even know what you sound like!'," Taite says.
Judi Dench is not impressed with Taite or his dirty Google Image searches.
When Todd's wheeled out onto the patio, Hartmut sees a lot of red flags immediately. To be honest they're probably in regards to the nose ring. I don't know Hartmut but I feel certain in saying nostril embellishments on boys aren't really his thing.
Ali's final dates with the boys show a side of Bali we've never seen before. Expansive outback and ancient watering holes. A big red rock. It's the kind of stuff we just don't have in this country.
Todd's date sees him make the relatable statement "all the flavour comes from the bum" and, finally, this show is starting to make sense.
But it's only a moment of pure truth and then everything goes wayward again.
"I'm completely in it to spend the rest of my life with Ali," Todd tells us. "I can see her being the mother of my children."
In a watering hole, floating on old tyre tubes, Todd lays his heart out.
"I have no doubt in my mind about what I want: it's you," he says as we keep look out for crocodiles.
"I'm thinking about marriage and kids and I'm thinking about those things with you. I see you being the mother of my children. I would do anything to make you happy and give that to you."
These are the words Ali wants to hear. This is what she came for. But why go with perfection when instability comes with biceps.
On her date with Taite, Ali tries one final time to get the words out of him.
"It could break her heart when I say what I have to say," Taite tells us.
They wander over to a random pool and sit on the ledge. With legs dangling in the water, Taite tries to explain his feelings.
"Family is something I do want," Taite tells her.
"Yeah, with me?" she replies.
Taite looks at her. She knows what the answer is.
"I came here to fall in love but it feels like I'm here to be a husband, be a father and all I wanna do is fall in love," he says frantically. For weeks, he's been suffocated with Ali's demands and expectations. It's only now he's been able to come up for air.
"I know what I'm about to probably say may push you further away. I'm so scared because I know everything I see in you is what I want but the only thing that scares me is your timeline," he says. "I was looking to find love but all these other things I didn't think about - marriage and kids - I just feel like I can't commit to that."
Ali looks down into the chlorinated water of the motel swimming pool. Her mind is filled with thoughts - mainly about how she wishes she switched the date locations so Taite could be submerged in crocodile-infested waters.
She looks deep into the eyes of the man she loves.
"Do you love me?" she asks.
"I'm getting there," is the best he can offer.
Her decision is made. At least it should be. After all, she has changed. She's not after boys who can't commit.
As the men pull on suits in 40 degree heat, we're momentarily blinded by a piece of jewellery. Todd stands on the timber balcony of his cabin and stares out over the endless land before him. He then glances down at a ring.
Todd has bought a ring that doesn't go in his nose. This is huge.
He snaps shut the square velvet box and slips it in the pocket of his suit jacket.
"I've never been so sure. I want her to be the mother of my children. That's the person I want to marry," he tells us. A Bachelorette proposal is just moments away.
This is what Ali has been searching for. Or at least that's what she says. Like us, Ali lives for the drama. She's addicted to the loneliness. Love's great but have you ever felt the gut-wrenching pain of having your boyfriend leave you on "read" all Saturday? Todd's the easy option. And that's not what Ali craves.
"You're one of the kindest people I've ever met. I've learned from my mistakes," she tells Todd. But apparently she hasn't learned enough.
"I feel like we would have such a perfect life together. But something's missing for me. I can't explain what I'm feeling. The one thing I know now about love is it's not just ticking off a checklist it's about following my heart."
She doesn't say it's because of the nose ring but she also doesn't not say it. As Ali breaks down, Todd chokes back tears to give the perfect response.
"This has been … yeah. I'm so happy for you. You've found yourself a great guy," he whispers. "It's all right. I want you to be happy."
Ali collapses into Todd's arms. She doesn't realise she's just ruined her own proposal. He doesn't tell her what he planned. But we kinda wish he did because, as stated earlier, we live for the drama.
Tucked away inside his pocket, the square velvet ring remains hidden. And it won't be opened today.
Ali's the kind of person who needs to be more obsessed with her partner than her partner is with her. Which means Taite is the perfect guy.
"I know Taite isn't going to say, 'I love you'. And I'm OK with that. Because I can't wait to say how much I love him," she beams to us.
When Taite arrives in a Mitsubishi Pajero, ready to not propose or offer any commitment, Ali smiles.
"I came in here, not just looking for a boyfriend, but someone I can start a family with, someone who I can call a husband," she says, describing Todd and everything he offered.
"I'm willing to risk the hopes and dreams I came here with because I'm so in love with you."
They kiss like two straight people in their mid-20s who've met for the first time at the Coogee Pavilion on a Saturday night.
"I came into this journey looking to fall in love. And I can honestly say that I've found it with you," Taite eventually says. He's avoided saying these words for so long but he kind of has to say them now.
He then pulls a ring out. It's not like Todd's. This isn't an engagement ring. It's more of a trinket.
"I wanna make a commitment to you," he says. "Ali, this ring is a commitment to our life outside of this experience and I can't wait to start it with you."
Todd was willing to offer so much more. Slumped over a fallen tree trunk nearby, he, like his proposal, is ruined.
His only consolation? Jewellers are doing some really terrific things these days and can probably melt down the engagement ring and turn it into a classy nose ring.