Once again a power couple claimed the prize money from ‘Bachelor Pad,’ and the winners each took home $125,000 each, for a grand total of $250,000. The winners of this season of ‘Bachelor Pad2’ were couple Holly Durst & Michael Stagliano.
What made this season of BP2 so interesting to watch wasn’t so much the money at stake but the relationship dynamics in the house. The intrigue became more about the relationship triangle between Holly & the two men vying for her heart. Here’s the backstory: Holly, who was a contender during Matt Grant’s season of ‘Bachelor’, dated Michael Stagliano, who was a contender during Deanna Pappas’s ‘Bachelorette’ season. (Deanna is actually engaged to Michael’s twin bro now). Holly & Michael dated on and off for two years and even became engaged. Holly called off that engagement. She later regretted her decision and got back together with Michael. Michael took her back but then decided to break it off. This left Holly devastated and they didn’t communicate for months prior to the taping of ‘Bachelor Pad.’ Once cast on BP2 they decided to partner up for the game. Michael started to have feelings again for Holly but alas, it was too little too late. She had already fallen for another castmate of BP2, Blake Julian. Blake was freshly booted off the last season of ‘Bachelorette’ with Ashley Hebert. Blake & Holly flirted from day one and once they went on their one on one date per Blake’s choosing, their fate was sealed. Holly said it was the best date of her life. Blake was equally smitten. It was tough to watch Michael suffer in silence as we saw Holly quickly slipping away. In the end however, Holly did the right thing by her partner Michael. At the end of Episode 6, Holly had the deciding vote as to whether or not to keep Blake around or send him home. She decided to be loyal to Michael and rather than keep Blake around, she voted him off. This move is probably what helped her to win Michael’s trust and thus get the $125,000 in the end.
Strategy is what helped move people along in the process but relationships played an equal part as to who the final two couples would be. The last challenge of BP2 was in Las Vegas, where the couples had to perform an acrobatic act in the air while being harnessed and climbing up a wall. They were each trained by professionals of Cirque du Soleil’s “KA” which is also the theater where the challenge took place. They had 24 hours to learn a one minute piece. In the end, Michael & Holly won. They were then given the choice of which of the two last standing couples they wished to compete against. While they knew they’d win for sure had they chosen Vienna & Kasey. They went with who they considered to be their good friends even though it meant that in the end they might not win. That’s being Michelle & Graham. In the end, the former contestants of BP2 decided the fate of the winning couple. They wrote down who they thought was most deserving to make it to the end. The couple with the most votes being Holly & Michael. They not only strategized & played the game well, but they also won the house vote & were the most likeable. Interestingly when asked by host Chris Harrison why each was more deserving of the prize, no one thought they deserved it more than the next. They would deflect the question saying they were humbled by just being there in the first place it was a blessing just to be part of the game.
Much of what we see in reality TV is backstabbing, with mean spirited people bringing out the worst in others. BP2 couldn’t have been more opposite. Those who were in the final four Graham Bunn, Michelle Money, Holly Durst & Michael Stagliano all exemplified men & women of character & integrity. Michael especially showed this not only when choosing his opposing team to play against but also in the very end. The last couple standing was Holly & Michael. They then had to go up against each other & could opt to choose the “KEEP” the money card or choose the “SHARE” the money card.Though I’m sure each couple went over what they’d choose prior to the show, as this KEEP/SHARE was also part of the first season of “Bachelor Pad’, Michael could have easily changed his mind & chosen the KEEP card. Reason being, he not only had to endure the whole Holly/Blake relationship ignite in front of his eyes, he was made a fool of on National TV during BP 2! I thought this was horrible but during the live taped segment of BP2, we all saw a video of Blake & Holly taped prior to the taping. We learn on the show that Blake just bought a dental practice in South Carolina & that Holly is moving from LA to be with him & both were going to be driving cross country the following week. It also turns out that Blake proposed to Holly & it was all caught on tape. Noone bothered to tell Michael about this bit of information. He knew they were getting serious. He also knew they were planning on moving in together but didn’t know Blake got down on one knee, until the taping that is. It was awkward television for sure. My heart went out to Michael. This was very reminiscent of when Melissa Rycroft was blindsided by Jason Mesnick when on National TV during an ‘After The Final Rose’ he confessed that he’s no longer interested in Melissa & now wants to date runner up Molly. Jason & Molly are now living together in Seattle. So, Michael had every reason to be angry & not want to share the $. He took the high road however, and did indeed opt to share, as did Holly so they each split the quarter of a million dollar prize.
Another couple to watch is Graham & Michelle. They not only were paired up as a couple on the show, but real sparks have ignited between them. Unfortunately, Michelle’s father passed away a few weeks before the BP2 Finale, but we learn that Graham was with her every step of the way. These two seem to have the start of something good. Graham stated that “As someone who wants to be a man of integrity & character I was thrust into a position where I got to show who I want to be in life.” Saying that he met Michelle’s father and was able to tell him how “thankful he was because without him he wouldn’t have this amazing person in his life & that’s hard to come by. It’s rare & I’m grateful.” Michelle saying of Graham “This man is the most incredible man & I’m so blessed to have him in my life as a partner in this crazy experience & someone who is so good to my heart & has been so compassionate & understanding. He was there for me when I needed him he most. There’s just not a lot of guys like him anymore & I’m not letting him go.’ Either way they will remain great friends. Another couple who don’t seem like they’ll last is Vienna & Kasey. Kasey admitted that having watched the show, that’s not a healthy relationship & one he doesn’t want to be in. V & K fought throughout the entire show. Kasey said the game changed him & he was appalled that BP bought out the worst in him & that BP destroyed him & that he “continues to struggle to be happy again.” He also admitted that he has a speech impediment. This admission came after Justin ‘Rated R’ so meanly called him Kermit the Frog. In Vienna’s defense, she did state how unhealthy it is to have to review one’s fight on TV and then have all of America judge you. We learned that Ames & Jackie are no longer an item. Jackie seemed very confused as to what went wrong & Ames just said he realized she wasn’t the one. Jake Pavelka said mission accomplished as far as he was concerned. He explained that he came on BP2 to repair the damage that had been done on National TV with Vienna & to finally have closure. He admitted that he had a weak moment on TV & treated Vienna horribly and was here to try and make amends. Chris called out Jake and said it was a dumb move strategically as far as the game was concerned to give Vienna a rose during BP2, saying he screwed a lot of people over. Jake said that it was an act of kindness as a way to say he’s sorry. However, Vienna & Kasey were not nice in return. Kasey then made a public apology to Jake and said how sorry he was and now knows there are two sides to every story “I for one would like to formally apologize to you for saying some of the things I said.” Then they hugged it out
The next ‘Bachelor’ was also confirmed. Ben Flajnik has the honors & he was on the Finale to share his excitement saying “One would like to hope that you can find the love of your life at any time & if I can find it being the ‘Bachelor’ then I’m all for it. I know this experience can work & I’m looking forward to it. It’s gonna be a hell of a story. I’m open to this opportunity & I’m ready.” The next ‘Bachelor’ premieres on ABC on January 2, 2011.
To watch the exciting ‘Bachelor Pad 2’ Finale or the entire season, check out the link at: http://abc.go.com/shows/bachelor-pad