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'The Bachelorette' finale recap: Desiree Hartsock chooses Chris Siegfried

 

Chris Siegfried, the baseball player turned mortgage broker who jokingly proposed to Desiree Hartsock on the first night, got down on one knee for real during an emotional “Bachelorette” finale in Antigua.

“I’m thankful that we were able to create all of those memories,” Chris told a teary-eyed Des. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to be that rock that doesn’t break for you.”

“You have been by my side from the very beginning—for that am I so grateful,” Des told him. “You mean the absolute world. Chris, I love you. I love you so much.”

And with that, Chris slid a gorgeous Neil Lane diamond onto Des’ finger as she stood on a breathtaking cliff overlooking the ocean in a pale pink gown. 

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however.

A good chunk of the episode was Des in tears over frontrunner Brooks Forester’s sudden departure last week. 

“I just want to go home, to be honest,” Des had told surprised host Chris Harrison, who later called the season “shocking” and “uncharted” territory. “I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do.”

Des decided to still have a rose ceremony and explain to a baffled Chris and Drew Kenney what went down.

“[Brooks leaving] turned my world upside down,” she told them. “It goes to show that love is unpredictable and it is a two-way street.  When I say your name and ask you if you would like to accept this rose, please let me know.”

Although Drew was offered and accepted one of the roses, Des sent him home shortly after, minutes into a horseback-riding date.

“I’m not feeling the way I thought I should be,” Des said. “I wanted to feel the excitement I feel when I love someone.”

“I’m so lucky to have you in my life, but I don’t know if I see our futures together.”

The tears began to fall again. (It was quite a trend this episode.) 

“I guess I have to thank you for being honest,” a clearly shocked Drew said shaking his head. “I hope you find your happiness.”

Walking away on the beach, Drew told cameras he was “crushed and confused.”

“I didn’t see myself coming out of this without her. I found the woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”

Two men down to one, but the end was nowhere in sight. Although Chris was the last one standing, Des still needed to sort out her feelings for Brooks.

Luckily, her second date went a lot better than her first.

“Seeing Chris walk up [on the beach] was different than Drew in a good way,” Des said (as she finally stopped crying.) “From day one, he has been by my side. I’m glad that I made the right decision to continue on and not give up on love.”

The pair hung out on the beach and later that night and Chris gave Des a journal with all of the poems he wrote for her throughout the season. A pleased Des told Chris she wanted him to meet her family. 

Enter scary brother Nate, who notoriously ripped apart Bachelor Sean Lowe, calling him a “playboy.”

Nate began to fire off questions to an obviously nervous Chris.

“Part of me is worried that my brother will keep digging,” Des said.

But in the end—phew!—Des got a rare seal of approval from her brother.

“If you choose him, I definitely think you’re making the right choice,” Nate said.

Chris also received Des’ father’s approval, and a good end to the “Bachelorette” fairytale seemed within sight.

But what about Brooks?

“Chris is the man I could love for my entire life, but at the same time, Chris doesn’t know how I felt about Brooks and he deserves to know everything,” Des said, later making the decision to pause Chris’s proposal with a disclaimer.

“I want to be perfectly honest with you and explain where my heart has been this entire journey and where it is today,” she said. “I was torn apart by Brooks leaving. I loved him. I feel like I was so blindsided by my feelings for Brooks that the one thing I always needed was right in front of me.”

Once the Brooks awkwardness was over and it was clear where Des’ heart was now, a thrilled Chris launched into his proposal.

“I want to be your first and I want to be your last,” Chris replied, opening the box to reveal a giant engagement ring. “Will you marry me?”

“Yes, a thousand times,” Des said beaming.

In a post-show “After the Final Rose” special, Des explained to a live audience how she was able to move on from Brooks.

“It was special to go through a heartbreak in order to see the beauty of love,” she said. “Chris was always there and I was always falling in love with him.”

Then—for the first time in public—Chris and Des were reunited. The giddy couple re-watched the proposal and dished on Des’ plan to move to Seattle into a new place with Chris.

Finally, in an highly anticipated announcement that was teased out for the show’s three-hour entirety, Chris Harrison told a thrilled, screaming audience that fan-favorite and former professional soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis will be the next Bachelor.  The next season of “The Bachelor” is set to begin in January. 

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