This season, The Bachelorette took an exciting turn – it included a live audience! Obviously, the final dates and decision were taped long ago but this three-hour episode included a live ‘After The Final Rose’ special coming straight to us from L.A.! Wow. We’ve come so far, collegiettes!
Jef Meets The Family
So, after the live introduction we were back in Curacao with Emily…and her parents! ABC was down to business and before we knew it, Jef was walking up to meet Emily’s family. Emily’s family could be summed up in three ways: thick southern accents, dignified, and concerned. Right away, Jef and Emily’s mom got some one-on-one time. He seemed to successfully break the ice with her mom and “it made (her) heart happy” to see them together.
Emily’s brother was a tough cookie. He told Jef that Emily’s late fiancée, Ricky, was the perfect man and that every guy since hasn’t been able to make Emily feel the same way. Emily’s father was the ‘strong silent’ type and you had to be nervous for Jef as he asked for his permission to propose to Emily. Did he win over her brother? Did her father give Jef his approval? You bet he did. ABC set it up to look like it was maybe going to go sour, but in the end Jef pulled through and he left Emily/her family with a positive impression.
Arie Meets The Family
Next up, Arie. Who, according to Emily’s dad, “had his work cut out for him.” Poor Arie is a nervous talker. Conversation was awkward at first, but Arie gave her family a box with every rose that Emily had given him throughout the season. This warmed her family to Team Arie and by the end of his discussion with her mom she couldn’t decide whom she liked more between the two of them. The same goes for Emily’s brother. He was “at a total loss for what (he) should tell (his) sister to do.”
Arie got her father’s blessing to marry her as well. We are two for two on possible marriage proposals now! Unfortunately, this left Emily and her family in a state of confusion. Emily wanted a black and white answer from her family regarding who they liked better. The best she got was her father telling her that he didn’t believe she could be in love with more than one person. This didn’t satisfy Emily – she truly felt that she was in love with both. Her mother felt that she should wait on any kind of engagement since she still couldn’t make up her mind. This only confused Emily more: “In that split second it made me question everything.”
Guess that’s what happens when two different guys ask your dad for permission to propose to you within 24 hours of each other…
Jef’s Final Date
Cut back to the live studio audience. Who were they more in favor of? Clearly Jef. Cut back to Curacao. Jef and Emily began their time together with some sittin’ and chattin.’ Jef shared with Emily that he’s concerned that he hasn’t met Ricki even though they’ve come so far in their relationship. He definitely hoped that Emily would let him meet Ricki, but Emily was concerned that it would confuse her. They deliberated on this quite a bit. Emily did some thinking and decided that she wanted Jef to meet Ricki because she felt so confident in their relationship. This. Was. Huge. Big deal. If this went badly, Emily said that it would “be the end of her relationship with him. No questions.”
They met up with Ricki as she was swimming in the pool. Both Ricki and Jef seemed a little nervous at first but within a few minutes they were pals. All three played in the pool and had some beach-time. Ricki even introduced Jef to ‘Monkey,’ her stuffed animal that travels with her everywhere. Jef said, “It just feels like there’s a little bit of real life and normal life in this whole situation… It couldn’t have gone better.” It was a success, folks. But of course, they had to have some ‘Emily and Jef alone time’, too.
When they met back up for dinner, they recounted the first time they met and talked about how far they’ve come together. “Emily makes me feel like there’s someone who gets me perfectly… I’ve never been in love like this.”
And then Jef gave Emily a book about Curacao to signify this milestone in their relationship… But he drew in stick figures in the pages of them doing things around the island that they had done on their dates. How cute! Alas, Emily had to say her final goodbye to Jef. They kissed and Jef warned her not to do too much thinking. He said it was the hardest goodbye ever because it was the best feeling in the world and the scariest feeling in the world – after all, tomorrow she’d be going on her final date with Arie.
Arie’s Final Date… Or is it?
Cut back to the live audience, who praised the fact that Jef was emotionally mature but young at heart. Another audience member said that she hoped that Emily would pick Arie so that the rest of America could have Jef. Oh, the suspense.
And then there was a huge twist.
Emily apparently needed to have a pow-wow with Chris Harrison before her date with Arie. Why? Because Jef meeting Ricki pushed him over the edge and she decided that she knew that Jef was everything she’d been looking for. She said that she couldn’t have a date with Arie without tearing up because she knew that he wasn’t her choice. Emily began to cry because she didn’t even know how to start the conversation with Arie. Chris Harrison advised her to be as honest with Arie as she was with him.
The Break Up
Poor Arie was clueless. Before Emily arrived, he shared that by tomorrow, he’d be engaged. He could “see in her eyes” that she loved him too. The fact that she was late to their date didn’t even register.
It was super awkward at first. Emily asked Arie to sit down and talk for a second and then promptly began bawling. She clearly didn’t have much of a game plan going into this. It didn’t take long for Arie to catch on because his face slowly looked more and more crushed. Emily told him that she always thought it would be them in the end but things changed. Arie was pretty quiet and looked like he was trying to hold it together. He eventually managed to get out that he was shocked. Then, he was over the situation and wanted to get out of there: “I don’t think you’re going to get the goodbye that you wanted… Thank you for sparing me the embarrassment tomorrow.” Emily asked to walk him out but they didn’t talk at all, as Arie was reaching the ‘Anger’ stage quickly.
After he left, Emily cried some more. Arie said that he was (expletive) confused and that he deserved the love he gave back. He said that he misjudged the situation and took some deep breaths. “I still believe she’s the love of my life and that’s what’s so painful.” Cut back to the live audience, who was somberly silent. ABC brought back some Bachelor/ette veterans who all said that they were feeling for Emily because what she just went through seemed so difficult (they were bummed for Arie, too).
But never fear, collegiettes. There’s always darkness before the dawn!
The Final Rose
Emily was glad with her decision! We were taken through a video montage of all of Emily and Jef’s cutest moments. Meanwhile, Jef was picking out Emily’s engagement ring. Talk about bling! He settled on a ginormous emerald cut diamond ring with smaller diamonds around the band. He was excited, but nervous (he didn’t know yet that Arie was gone). Emily was definitely ready to be with Jef at the end but whether she’d accept a proposal was still up in the air.
Emily walked up to the ‘final podium’ in a gorgeous, flowing pink dress. Will Jef propose to Emily? Will she accept?! Let’s see… Jef walked up to the podium and they were both all-smiles. Emily told him that she felt like he was her soul mate and perfect for her. She told him that Arie was gone and he was the only one to meet Ricki. It was impossible not to smile when you saw how happy Jef was at hearing all of this. He told her that he was grateful that everything happened the way it did and that she didn’t give up on love: “What I’m about to ask you is a ‘forever’ thing…” And then he got down on one knee and proposed! And… Emily accepted! Cue another romantic/musical video montage of their TV moments together. Of course, Emily had to ask him if he accepted the final rose, too and obviously, he said yes. The cutest moment of the entire night? Ricki coming out and joining them and saying, “We did it!”
After the Final Rose
Chris Harrison brought Emily out, who is still very much in love and she showed off the hand weight that is her engagement ring. But before we could bask in love, we had to talk about Arie. Emily was nervous to see him and said that she cared about him, but she picked Jef. Arie came out and said that he was glad Emily was happy but that it was tough in the moment. He said, “That day was shocking.” He pointed out that Emily didn’t properly express her feelings for Jef so that he couldn’t understand why she let him go. Emily acknowledged this and said she should’ve been more direct but was afraid of hurting him more.
We also learned that after the show was done taping, Arie flew to Charlotte to get closure from Emily. However, he never went to speak to Emily because he had respect for Jef (who was one of his best friends in the house). Instead, he called her and left a journal that he kept throughout the season about his feelings. Emily magically procured this journal from behind the couch they sat at. She said didn’t read it because she felt that it wouldn’t help anything and that she wanted to respect Jef. Emily gave him “his memories” back. It was sort of awkward because Arie had given it to her to convince her to change her mind, but he realized that now she was happy with Jef. What ultimately gave Arie closure? Ironically, he called Jef and talking to him about their (Jef and Emily’s) relationship made him feel better about how everything ended. Arie ended his time on the show admirably.
After all that, we got an Emily/Jef reunion! Chris Harrison asked Jef to tell the audience about his love for Emily. Jef had no problem giving a mini-speech about Emily’s awesome-ness. We also got to see pictures of Emily, Ricki, and Jef hanging out together while the show was airing. What a sweet little family!
Emily said that she didn’t regret accepting a proposal despite her initial hesitation. ABC was kind enough to replay their proposal so they could watch it together for the first time. They cuddled together and re-watched it happily, getting some chuckles from the audience as Emily paused before giving her answer. Chris Harrison called her out on her hesitation and she reiterated that she was initially nervous to accept a proposal, but realized in the moment that she was ready to go for it.
So what’s next for Jef and Emily? They are going on a mission trip to Africa with Jef’s company People Water, which is something that Emily told Jef she wanted to do the first night they met. After that? Jef is moving to Charlotte because he is able to work from any location. They are going to live separately at first and then slowly combine their lives. Wedding-wise, they’d like to get married in Charlotte and Emily was coy about a date but said, “she’d like a spring wedding.” Ah, a happily ever after.
What did you think of the finale, collegiettes? Are you happy about Emily’s choice? Who would you like to see the next ‘Bachelor’? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!