In the end, Ashley trusted her gut.
True, it was the same gut that almost led her to Bentley, but Ashley didn't let Jesse James' ex-fiancee Kat Von D -- er, her older sister, Chrystie -- stop her from marrying the man of her dreams. She chose the man most of us knew she was going to pick: J.P.
"I do not want to be with anyone else but you forever," she tells the hunky New Yorker as she awaits his inevitable proposal.
"You're the one, you're it," he responds. "Ashley, will you marry me?"
And of course, she says yes. But it wasn't so easy getting to that point.
At the family meeting in Fiji, it takes about 15 minutes for Ashley's sister to realize that J.P.'s not right for her.
"I think you're too much for him," she tells Ashley, making her little sis cry. "I think you're too young and too spunky and he's just a little bit older and a little bit more demure."
At 34, poor J.P. is being talked about like he's like Hugh Hefner, but OK.
Ashley confronts her sister and even busts out the b-word in a made-for-TV moment -- "You're being such a bitch!" -- but cheers up just in time for an erotic mud pit date with Ben.
And that brings us to Ben.
Poor, sweet Ben.
This is the guy who makes reality TV look real. Painfully real, to the point that he makes you recall your worst-ever break up, then imagine having the humiliation televised and broadcast in front of millions of people.
Viewers at home who were paying attention probably picked up on the fact that while Ashley could be really "goofy" with Ben (cue the puke-tastic doggie voices), her "passion" was for J.P.
But Ben clearly didn't see it coming. Not only does he declare his love to Ashley, ask her family for permission to marry her, and select a ring, he is "confident" that she'll say yes.
"Everything in life to me is clear -- this is it," he says in a heartbreaking speech. "I do believe Ashley is in love with me," he continues, describing Ashley as a "new addition to the family" after losing his father four and a half years ago.
Ashley tries to stop him -- sort of -- but he gets down on one knee and says what every girl longs to hear: "Will you marry me and make me the happiest man on Earth"?
In response, Ben hears the two words that every man dreads hearing -- "I'm sorry."
"This is the hardest thing that I've done here. I care about you so much," Ashley continues as he storms off.
Ben is furious at this point, and we don't blame him. While viewers could tell that she had more of a spark with J.P., at no point did she give Ben any clue that he wasn't going to be the winner. As he puts it, "There were no hints."
Is this really the cruelest show on TV masquerading as the most romantic?
Of course, Ashley is crying and feeling "awful" about hurting Ben's feelings, but she perks up right in time for J.P.'s proposal. As REO Speedwagon plays in the background, J.P and Ashley declare their love for each other. It's every junior high school girl's romantic fantasy come true.
Including the roller rink.
--Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman, PopNews Wire