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Buffalo native wins ABC's 'The Proposal,' but no wedding bells are coming

Monday was a big reality TV night for Buffalo natives.

Abby Sullivan, the daughter of former Buffalo News sports columnist Jerry Sullivan and former Buffalo News copy editor Barbara Branning, won "The Proposal" on Monday night's episode of the ABC reality series.

The graduate of Holy Angels said "yes" to a proposal by Winston, a mystery entrepreneur and self-made millionaire. She was the winner among 10 eligible women vying for a marriage proposal from a man whose identity was concealed for an hour until the final two met him face-to-face.

The 10 women competed in four pageant-style rounds that included dressing in a swimsuit and answering questions about their family life.

In a text, Jerry Sullivan confirmed Abby, a Fredonia State College graduate who now is a dancer in Las Vegas, is no longer engaged. (The episode was produced several weeks ago.)

What a shocker.

"I'm lost for words," he wrote. "She stole the show and I was proud of her performance. Whether I'm proud of American culture is another question."

Branning also was proud of her daughter's performance.

"Abby was genuine and appealing on stage, and I was not surprised she was Winston’s choice," emailed Branning. "I have not yet met Winston, but I think Abby knows that true love doesn’t happen in one hour under studio lights.”

Full disclosure: I was not a fan of the first episode that aired.

Here is part of my June review of the program: "Here comes ABC's 'The Proposal," to set the progress of American women back to the 1950s.

"The reality series also sets back television four or five decades. The premise is that a man or a woman is able to pick a potential future spouse within a one-hour program, which is about 42 minutes of screen time. Heck, it even took Michael Scott (Steve Carell) nine dates before being inspired to propose to Carol (Nancy Carell) on a memorable episode of 'The Office.' "

"There is a big, unintentional laugh at the start of the premiere of 'The Proposal' at 10 p.m. June 18 on WKBW-TV (Channel 7) when host Jesse Palmer, the former NFL quarterback and former star of 'The Bachelor,' proclaims 'history will be made' by this program. If he means this could be the dumbest show in TV history, it certainly is part of the conversation.

"This is a show for all those viewers who have watched the Miss America of the past and immediately looked at the semifinalists or finalists and said: 'Hmm, I would marry her.' "

While we are on the subject of ABC reality shows, Jason Tartick also stole Monday's "The Men Tell All" episode of "The Bachelorette."

In a performance that will only help his chances to become the next "Bachelor," Tartick played to the audience, wished Becca well, directed another suitor to apologize to the Bachelorette (Becca Kufrin), noted that he looked up to his gay brother (who was on the hometown episode with his husband) and ended by telling Becca, "Give me a hug."

From reading social network comments about Jason, practically everyone in Bachelor Nation wants to hug him.

Host Chris Harrison also led Jason into a shoutout to his hometown by alluding to the episode in which Jason brought Becca to Buffalo.

"Hometowns are always great," Harrison told Jason. "There was something about Buffalo.”

"It is a great place and will always have a soft spot in my heart,” said Jason, who now is a corporate banker in Seattle.

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