At the beginning of the Bachelor finale, host Chris Harrison promised viewers the most dramatic conclusion in the show’s history.
And of course, the studio audience watching the finale’s broadcast Monday night giggled… Because Harrison says this every single season.
But this time, he may have been correct. All of Bachelor Nation were on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who Ben was sending home after he told both of his final two girls, Lauren and JoJo, that he loved them.
Throughout the first half of the episode, Ben seemed torn. His parents flew to Jamaica to meet Lauren and JoJo, and Ben told them he was in love with both women. His mother called that disturbing.
Ben seemed to be hoping that his parents would steer him in the direction of one of the girls, but they loved both Lauren and JoJo. So that was no help.
During his final one-on-one time with Lauren, Ben said he was concerned because they hadn’t been through any tough times together. Um, doesn't dating a bunch of other women at the same time count as a challenge?
Meanwhile, during his one-on-one with JoJo, he confessed that he had said “I love you” to both her and Lauren, as JoJo sobbed on a bathroom floor. Interestingly, we never saw Ben admit the same thing on camera to Lauren—which makes me wonder exactly how she felt watching this whole season back.
The scene where Ben looked at engagement rings with jeweler Neil Lane was weird. At first, he said he still didn’t know whom to propose to. Then, he looked at one giant sparkler and decided instantly that he knew. What?
We knew he was rejecting JoJo when she arrived at the proposal scene first, wearing a stunning pink dress. (The first girl is always the one to get sent home.) She launched into a speech about how Ben was her best friend and she’d found love with him… and Ben said he loved her, too.
Except—there was someone else he loved more, he told her.
Obviously hurt and confused, JoJo said she felt blindsided. Can’t say I blame her. I think JoJo will be just fine, though—she was announced as the next Bachelorette on the After the Final Rose special.
Before Lauren arrived in a clingy royal blue dress, Ben called her father to ask for her hand in marriage. That phone call, played repeatedly during promos to hint at the possibility of Ben having second thoughts about his decision, ended up being a whole lot of nothing. He proposed to Lauren, she accepted, and they lived happily ever after.
During the live After the Final Rose show, which airs right after the Bachelor finale, JoJo got to see Ben for the first time since being dumped on national TV. She didn’t seem at all angry at Ben (we still don’t know how her overprotective brothers reacted, however), but then again, she’d just found out she’s the new Bachelorette. That’ll dull the pain considerably.
Side note: Rumors are circulating online that Caila Quinn, whom Ben sent home after the fantasy suite episode, was originally going to be the next Bachelorette. But the show picked fan favorite JoJo over her at the last minute.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) March 15, 2016
I was expecting some major drama on After the Final Rose, such as tears from Lauren over why Ben told another woman he loved her. But we saw none of that. The couple seems happy—for now.
And of course, Bachelor superfan Jimmy Kimmel made a quick cameo on After the Final Rose, mostly to promote Ben and Lauren’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after the finale.
Harrison teased a possible on-air wedding between Ben and Lauren, showing numerous shots of Ben’s pastor from Indiana, but the two said they wanted to date a little bit before they tie the knot. Most people do that before they get engaged, but I digress.
JoJo’s season of The Bachelorette begins airing May 23. Watch Mondays at 8 on ABC2. This blog will go on hiatus until then, but check back later this spring for my take on JoJo's journey!