Why Did Matt Pull That Devastating Listen To Your Heart Finale Move?

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
The Listen To Your Heart finale was supposed to feature three couples battling it out for the top spot, but one took themselves out of the running long before the performances started. Matt Ranaudo decided that he and Rudi (just Rudi) weren't on the same romantic level as the other two couples and he wanted to go home. Matt leaving Listen To Your Heart meant that Rudi also had to leave, and it was heartbreaking watching her professional and romantic dreams being shattered in that moment.
Matt and Rudi may not have been one of the strongest couples romantically, but they were one of the most talented on stage. They blew their performances out of the water as they tackled songs like Chris Stapleton's "Tennessee Whiskey" and "Shallow" from A Star is Born. Rudi gave Lady Gaga a run for her money and her chemistry onstage with Matt was undeniable. If this show were being judged solely on performances, they'd be a major threat to the other couples.
And while Matt was feeling it onstage, he got cold feet about the whole process thanks to Chris Harrison's expectations: He told the couples that they should be ready, right that moment, to spend the rest of their lives together. (Keep in mind that these couples have known each other for a few weeks — not that this has ever stopped Chris in Paradise.) With those words ringing in his ears, Chris compared his and Rudi's connection to the connections between the other two couples. He wasn't feeling like making a lifelong commitment just yet.
Rudi, however, seemed a bit further along with her feelings. She confessed she was falling for Matt last week, but he wasn't able to reciprocate. Unfortunately, when compared to couples like Chris Watson and Bri Stauss, who traded "I love yous" a few weeks ago, Matt and Rudi were way behind. Matt didn't want to have to go on stage and "fake a love connection" to win the show, which likely meant he felt that he'd have to pretend he knew, after a few short weeks, that he wanted to commit to Rudi for the long haul. In this strange competition, being the best performers isn't enough. Chris Harrison demands sweeping romantic declarations! By choosing to leave, Matt actually showed he was there for the right reasons — and all this from the guy who didn't know who Chris Harrison was a few weeks ago. When he didn't find love, he left instead of using screen time to grow his career. While it's not totally clear how much the "right reasons" really apply on a show that is a singing competition with a record deal and tour on the line, Matt seemed to feel pretty strongly that they mattered.
That meant, of course, that fans were robbed of hearing their magic on stage one last time — something that Matt also seemed to regret as his car drove him away from the competition. "Rudi is so talented, it's ridiculous. And she deserves for somebody to appreciate that, how good she is," he said, adding, "It bothers me that I took a little bit of that away from her, to go get to perform again and let people hear her sing."
It bothers us a little too because we could have at least seen them sing together once more, but at least Matt was smart enough to praise Rudi as one of the most engaging performers of the season. Though their romantic connection wasn't quite where the other duos' were, they both left the show stating that they cared for each other and Rudi has posted very cute, even flirty, Instagram captions about Matt:
They also both responded to prompts from the official Listen To Your Heart Twitter page with their favorite moments of the season — both moments they described involved each other, their connection, and performing.
Mudi may have robbed us of a showstopping finale performance, but seeing as these two are still pretty friendly, there's no reason they can't still deliver that in the real world someday. Just saying.
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