Featured photo by Olivia Diaz
After roadblocks like secret boyfriends, leaving for LDS missions and just plain old loss of interest, Colin Ross was faced with his final two bachelorettes.
During a live viewing event hosted by Utah-based blog The Beehive on Monday, 300 fans and critics of “Provo’s Most Eligible” gathered at Drybar Comedy to find out which lucky lady ended up with a sweet but simple 20-year-old Provo boy.
The two finalists were Elena Deighton, a 19-year-old with a charming British accent who is described by other contestants as “the sweetest girl in the world,” and Annalee Ross — not to be confused with Annali Crandall, who stole a kiss from Colin Ross and then took herself out of the running almost immediately.
Annalee was in hot water in the last episode when Colin confronted her about another boy she was seeing, which was bold coming from a guy who had been dating seventeen other women only a month ago.
The viewing party audience was made up of enthusiastic fans, all eager to see which girl would walk away with a boyfriend. It was probably one of the most exciting stake firesides Provo has ever seen. The crowd went wild whenever anyone on the show said anything remotely cute or romantic, which confirms that the legal marriage age in Utah should be raised by a couple of years.
It was like watching a junior high play with the fifth-graders invited there on a field trip.
In the end, Colin chose Annalee. Judging by the gasps from the audience, this was unexpected. In an Instagram poll on the show’s official account asking fans who they wanted to see win, followers voted for Elena with a 40 percent lead over Annalee.
He sent Elena home with dozens of apologies and an assurance that she was a great girl. In a truly savage move, Elena responded, “I set my expectations low, so don’t even worry about it.”
I’m sure the Sweetest Girl in the World meant no harm, but the awkwardness of getting rejected on camera came out in an accidentally shady way.
Elena was in attendance at the event, sitting in the very back row under a balcony and generally looking embarrassed by it all.
When Colin and Annalee shared their first kiss, the echoes of the screams that followed were probably heard on Mt. Timpanogos. I didn’t anticipate the level of investment people had in this show. But in an environment where swiping through Mutual is as fruitless as searching for a parking spot at UVU, it feels good to see two people find puppy love.
After the episode, The Beehive’s Meg Walter and Eli McCann hosted a Q&A. When Colin was asked why he agreed to be on a filmed reality show if he was clearly so uncomfortable, Colin admitted that he hated being in front of the camera.
“After the first episode came out, I realized people would actually be watching this,” Colin said. “I gotta say good stuff. Which is hard, you know?”
Over the course of the show, Colin has said “good stuff” such as “do you think you have a chance at winning?” “I was hoping they would be loyal, but I guess we’re in Provo so I can’t really blame them,” and “I did wonder what could have been with Megan,” — the last one said as he sat next to his newly minted girlfriend. Someone in the audience yelled “don’t say that!” as Annalee laughed nervously.
Colin seems like a sweet kid, but he still has the conversational skills of someone who spent two years talking about a single topic.
Remington Butler, the show’s host and co-creator with Carson Brown, said they didn’t anticipate all of the mockings the show had garnered.
“We didn’t think anyone would watch it, let alone make fun of it so much,” Butler said. “Whether it’s good, bad, cringy or romantic, people are watching it.”
Walter then asked why Provo, of all places, needed “the least sexual reality dating show to ever exist.” And, in a remark that truly sums up this funny little show, Butler replied, “I don’t know if Provo needs to have it, but we’re doing it anyway.”
He later revealed that they would be taking the show in a different direction with season 2. Butler and Brown plan on creating their own format and distancing themselves from ABC’s “The Bachelor” even more. Next season, Butler said, they are going to help three women find love.
Over 700 girls have already applied to be one of the three bachelorettes. Clearly, whatever anyone thinks of this show’s legitimacy, people are eager to join in. Love it or loathe it, “Provo’s Most Eligible” is here to stay.
Read our previous review of “Provo’s Most Eligible” here.