She single-handedly rescued the show's over-hyped finale, and maybe even the entire season. 

By Isabel Jones
Mar 11, 2020 @ 11:15 am

I’m not about to start a Bachelor Nation Fantasy League or anything, but I will say I’m a fan of the franchise — like, you will not find me out on a Monday night past 7:30 p.m. I will sprint to the subway if it gives me even an extra minute or two to watch a Pinot Grigio-chugging 23-year-old tell a camera she’s ready to find her husband.

That said, I’m not blind to this season’s issues. The drama was high, but the cast was sloppy (and annoying!). For every gloriously unhinged #Champagnegate, there was a mind-numbing “Peter Weber can’t stick to a decision” subplot.

Anyway, the season’s saving grace was the promise of a finale that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, Peter doesn’t even know how it ends! Blah, blah, blah. After two months of non-stop hype, including a ludicrous rumor involving one of the show’s producers, the actual finale was disappointing. Peter proposed to Hannah Ann (who was the only contestant left after Madison left the week before), broke off his engagement to Hannah Ann because he was still in love with Madison, and then kind of got back together with Madison. Where’s the intrigue? Where are the stakes? Something was missing, and Peter Weber’s mom, Barb, took it upon herself to single-handedly rescue the episode — and quite frankly the entire season.

ABC/John Fleenor

As we learned on Monday’s episode, Barb is not a fan of Madison. Strike one: Madison kept Barb, her husband Peter Sr., and younger son Jack waiting for three hours (!) in a foreign land (Australia) and did not apologize! Strike two: Madison told Barb that she was not “madly in love” with Peter and would not accept his proposal! Strike three: Madison’s not “angel on earth” Hannah Ann! Strike three-B: #FantasySuiteGate! Barb listed her many concerns during the show’s live finale, to Madison’s (often uncomfortably smiling) face.

The rebuke was harsh but felt (mostly) fair given the evidence Barb provided. Madison gave a democratic, if not somewhat irrelevant, response (“This isn’t just Peter choosing me — this is me choosing Peter”). But then, Barb unleashed the final crushing blow. When host Chris Harrison asked how she planned to move forward, Barbara Weber, Chaotic Goddess of Reality TV Clapbacks, said, “[Peter’s] going to have to fail to succeed,” nodding her head in the defiant way only the mother of a certified f–kboi can. Oh, but that wasn’t the last of Barb’s televised wisdom. “Everyone that knows [Peter] knows it’s not going to work,” she said, backed by a chorus of boos from the studio audience.

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Do not boo our lord and savior, Barb! Yes, she overstepped. If there’s a line between dispensing motherly advice and setting yourself up to get fully disowned by your son, she crossed it, with wild abandon. But while her methods are questionable, her message is dead-on. There are too many fundamental differences between Madison and Peter to build a healthy relationship — which is the (valid!) reason Madison broke up with him in the first place.

ABC/John Fleenor

The less vocal Weber parent, Peter Sr., reluctantly echoed his wife, telling the audience, “When you’re getting into a relationship, that beginning should be the brightest spot, and it was anything but.” It’s true! Madison and Peter swapped the honeymoon phase for a series of arguments about whose needs matter most (basically). And yes, fighting can be productive, but in this case, it was not.

But honestly, whether or not you agree with Barb and Peter Sr. about the fate of Peter and Madison’s relationship, you must admit that the Weber matriarch added quality drama to an otherwise blandly messy finale.

Even before the live show, Barb was bringing high entertainment value. Watch her sob!

Barb’s performance is yet another example of why the Bachelor’s senior edition is an incredible idea. Older people with baggage and unapologetic crying jags and conviction? That gets a final rose from me.

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