After riding the wave that is The Bachelorette for the entirety of the season – where in some cases we take the show a little too seriously, and in others, not seriously enough – a funny thing happens as we get to the very end.
That in watching – anticipating – a winner to be announced, we almost always forget that in order to reach the end, we must first bear witness to someone else falling apart on screen.
We must watch their rejection, heartbreak and tears and come to an uncomfortable question: Why is it I’m watching this for entertainment again?
Of course, engaging in the drama is all well and good. Engaging in the love story isn’t a hard hobby. But engaging with someone’s else’s total misfortune, and having to witness the evolution of unrequited love in real time? Not a particularly fun past time.
For Nikki Gogan and Lana Jeavons-Fellows, their heartbreak was fodder for national conversation; their tears making headlines. After coming runner-up in consecutive seasons of The Bachelor – Gogan on Richie Strahan’s 2016 season and Jeavons-Fellows on Sam Wood’s in 2015 – they know too well what it’s like being broken up with in front of an entire nation, and the subsequent difficulties that comes with having your grief made public.
Gogan tells Mamamia she did watch her own finale, and her own heartbreak, and found it compounded what was already a uniquely difficult experience.
“Certainly for the person it’s very, very real. In a show like this, you know what’s coming when you get into it, but when [it doesn’t actually work out], it’s a very blurred reality. If people have their heart broken in real life, or if their relationship ends and feelings aren’t reciprocated, then that’s it. You get on. But in this scenario, you live through it and then there’s this time period where there’s nothing. You go back to normal life and try to get over it. And then, you have to watch it. You see yourself fall in love, and it nearly happens all over again because you see yourself falling.