Spoilers ahead for the May 11 episode of The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart on ABC.
The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart only has one episode left before the end of its first season, and ABC hasn't made an announcement one way or the other about whether the latest Bachelor spinoff will get a Season 2. Up until the May 11 episode, I for one would have been perfectly fine with Listen to Your Heart as a one-and-done experiment that didn't really work. After the latest installment, however, I think Listen to Your Heart finally found its groove. But is it too late?
For most of the May 11 episode of Listen to Your Heart, it really felt like the show was making it clear that Rudi Gutierrez and Matt Ranaudo were going home without roses by the end of the two-hour block. Many of the clips used to tease what was going to happen focused on the rough patch in their relationship, and there were enough shots of Rudi crying while Matt looked guilty that I was pretty convinced and already kind of annoyed that Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart had killed all the suspense early on.
And then, Listen to Your Heart surprised me! When it came time to perform, Rudi and Matt rediscovered their chemistry, and they seemed to wow the judges more than any of the other couples. They were back on happy terms with each other by the end, with an exhilarated Matt saying he could see himself making music with Rudi forever. It came as no shock when they received roses.
What was somewhat shocking was that Natascha Bessez and Ryan Neal were the ones sent home. While I hadn't really been rooting for anybody in particular throughout the first four episodes of The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart, I had a soft spot for Natascha due to the amount of drama she generated to spice things up and make the show interesting, and I did feel that she had one of the strongest voices of any of the hopefuls on Listen to Your Heart.
Unfortunately for them, their experimental version of Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" (complete with Ryan trying to play guitar while holding a microphone) flopped, and they didn't receive roses this week.
Yes, The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart managed to pull a fast one by letting the performances really determine what would happen next. The show didn't spoil that Rudi and Matt were going to find their spark again on stage and blow the judges away, or that Natascha's glee at getting "Perfect" would end in devastation because her version with Ryan didn't work.
The show also managed to make me start rooting for Rudi and Matt to win, and they weren't exactly my favorites early on. Somehow, I now want Rudi and Matt to win, while I would be perfectly fine with Jamie Weintraub and Trevor Holmes coming in third. I do have a slight weakness for Bri Stauss and Chris Watson, who are by far the most solid couple with the healthiest relationship. If this wasn't a Bachelor show where melodrama is part of the appeal, I'd probably be Team Bri/Chris. Since this is a Bachelor show, however, considering me on Team Rudi/Matt! This fifth episode of The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart finally won me over.
It normally wouldn't be that big of a deal if a season in the Bachelor franchise didn't hit its stride until five episodes in, but The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart only received an order for six episodes, and Chris Harrison's suggestion that some extra episodes could be ordered if the fan response was positive seemingly hasn't come to anything.
I certainly haven't been Listen to Your Heart's biggest fan, and I still think the show took way too long with the Brandon Mills/Julia Rae twist. According to TV Series Finale, Listen to Your Heart is averaging only an 0.6 rating and 2.82 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic, which is a stark contrast to the most recent season of The Bachelor with its average rating of 1.82 and audience of 6.4 million.
Listen to Your Heart's disappointing numbers come despite production halts that mean less competition and Bachelor Nation fans soon to run out of new content. It may be too late for The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart to recover and earn itself a Season 2.
Still, there is always the finale to look forward to. The final episode of The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart airs Monday, May 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For some viewing options once Listen to Your Heart wraps for the season (and possibly series) and in lieu of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, be sure to check out our 2020 summer premiere schedule!