Every season of The Bachelor draws criticisms and wide-eyed stares from occasionally sympathetic audience members, but the Season 22 finale was arguably the most fan-enraging episode yet. Star Arie Luyendyk Jr. inspired a full-on fan meltdown on Twitter by dumping presumed winner Becca Kufrin and reconnecting with presumed runner-up Lauren Burnham. But even before Arie proposed to the latter on ABC's After the Final Rose special, some fans went very public with their distaste for him, going so far as to rent space on a sizable number of billboards specifically to crap all over the Bachelor star. Check it out!
All the billboards' seemingly identical messages say, "Arie...Not Okay, Just Leave." And it's pretty hard to misunderstand what the intention is here. As first reported byone Twitter user, the billboards got some further clarification by Amy Kaufman, author of the Bachelor tell-all book that's currently blowing fans' minds. Kaufman contacted the billboard's company Outfront Media, and confirmed that there are twelve of the billboards in Minnesota, where Becca Kufrin lives, and four of them in L.A. What's more, another one supposedly went up (or is set to go up) in Times Square. That's a lot of public shade for a reality TV star to go through, but these fans don't seem to be interested in Arie's feelings, either on city streets or online.
Fans of The Bachelor have not very passive at all in raking Arie Luyendyk over the coals for putting Becca through the last chunk of that humiliating finale, during which she got dumped under the pretext that she was heading out for a romantic weekend. Granted, that's more the work of the producers than Arie himself, but then he should have just been honest with Becca in the first place, instead of "confiding" in Chris Harrison. For that, fans apparently just want him to leave. But let's not forget about the months-long time in the limelight that current Bachelor couples get after each season. It'll take more than billboards, folks.
During the After the Final Rose special, Arie Luyendyk Jr. gave his reason for dropping Becca for Lauren, which wasn't exactly a groundbreaking crowd-pleaser. (Some of the studio audience's disgusted reaction shots were priceless.) Arie also had some complaints about the one-sidedness of social media discussions about The Bachelor's finale (if not the entire season, which has been noted for being one of the show's lowest-rated cycles). So we'd gather he also wouldn't be too pumped about people using billboards to dismiss him.
It's hard to tell whether it was an interesting thing or a horrible thing when it was announced that Becca would become the next Bachelorette star. On the one hand, she is getting a chance to redeem her TV persona with some turned tables. But on the other, she's basically setting herself up for a similar situation, just where she could end up being the monster.
The Bachelor will return to ABC at some point after The Bachelorette's next season comes to a close. Becca's Bachelorette will kick off on ABC on Monday, May 28, at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what else is coming to the small screen soon, head to our midseason premiere schedule.