But then came an extra little surprise: Blake had members of the live studio audience stand up and hold boomboxes over their heads, as Laine Hardy's "Memorize You" played and he pulled Katie into a slow dance. The "romantic" moment was a callback to their first date, when they were treated to Hardy's live performance of the song, and later in the season, when Blake stood under Katie's balcony, Say Anything-style, blasting the song again from a boombox. The quotes around "romantic" are there on purpose — it didn't feel like a grand gesture borne from Blake's heart, but rather ABC trying to once again forcibly inception Bachelor Nation to stream its little ol' country man's little ol' country song.
As longtime Bachelor franchise devotees well know, the reality dating show loves a surprise concert featuring some Joe Straw and the Sweet Tea Boys country act. But it's not just because the show's demographic is largely made up of the Southern country-loving variety — ABC has been deep in cahoots with the Country Music Association, and hosts the CMA Awards, as well as CMA broadcast specials CMA Fest and CMA Country Christmas. And then there's the added crossovers with other ABC shows, like Dancing With The Stars — prime example: Louisiana-born Hardy is the season 17 winner of American Idol, which (surprise!) airs on the network.
But it's no knock against Hardy or the song itself that's so antagonizing: It's the blatant season-long promo of it. During their first date, Katie made sure that everyone watching knew exactly what we were listening to.
"Today was just perfect, and tonight, Blake and I were just in our own little world — dancing, listening to Laine Hardy," she said in her talking head. "The song was called 'Memorize You,' and it was the perfect song to dance to with Blake. And it's so romantic."
Then again, Blake plays it for Katie during his little cute stunt. Yes, he's just playing their song, which is a thing couples do. But knowing that most Bachelor franchise "surprises" are seeded and organized by producers, it just feels like when Apple put that U2 album on everyone's iPod, or when every Bachelor contestant makes sure to over-pronounce their hotel's name and The rooms are so big and nice, it's a great place to stay with the whole family on your next vacation.
Because Katie unconventionally chose Blake as The One well before the proposal, the show's producers had to drum up a lot of drama and momentum to keep viewers on edge until the end. Blake had to be unsure that he was going to get down on one knee! Will he or won't he! And then when he finally did, and all that Greg drama was um, resolved (?) or at least, addressed on the "After The Final Rose" special, Blake's final "Memorize You" moment felt like an extra push to keep Bachelor Nation excited and satisfied. A carefully orchestrated rollercoaster of emotion, if you will.
But that segment could've been used, perhaps, to get us excited for Michelle Young's upcoming season? Maybe to even introduce us to her men? Refinery29 Senior TV Critic Ariana Romero pointed out that a few have likely been finalized already — what's the holdup? Maybe they listen to Laine Hardy, too!