'The Bachelorette' Finale Recap: Emily Maynard Picks a Winner
After two months of drama, heartbreak and the most shocking. rose ceremonies. ever., Emily Maynard accepted a proposal from one of the two finalists on Sunday night's nail-biting finale of The Bachelorette.
Whom did she choose? Was it Jef, a 27-year-old entrepreneur from St. George, UT? Or did she fall for Arie, a 30-year-old race car driver from Den Bosch, Netherlands?
Find out after the jump!
Spoilers ahead if you haven't watched Sunday's The Bachelorette finale.
She picked Jef!
In one of the more surprising moments in Bachelorette history, Maynard, 26, made her decision about 15 minutes into the second hour of the finale, after she agreed to let Jef meet her seven-year-old daughter, Ricki. The meeting went so well, Maynard realized her feelings for Jef were on another level than her feelings for Arie.
So, after consulting with host Chris Harrison, Maynard decided to rip the band-aid off, instead of having Arie endure a full date that would have only ended with bad news.
"I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say," Maynard, through tears, told Arie at the top of their date. "You know how I feel about you, from our very first date. And even beyond that I felt like it was going to be me and you. And I don't know anymore."
"I want you to know, I'm sorry," she added.
"I'm shocked," Arie responded, before leaving, abruptly. "I completely thought we had something."
"I feel stupid, naive, that I had that dream for us," he added, in his exit interview. "I'm a loving person. I feel like I deserve that back."
With the bad news out of the way, the show was able to focus on the positive: Jef's much-anticipated proposal to Maynard.
Even though Maynard's feelings for Jef were solidified in the finale, she admitted during multiple interview segments that she wasn't sure if she was ready to commit to a proposal. Much was weighing on her decision, including the feelings she felt when she broke-up with Bachelor star Brad Womack, and how Ricki might feel if she were to say yes to another man.
However, all doubts were washed away when Jef showed up with a ring in his pocket.
"It's been a long road," Maynard said to Jef. "But one that I can look back on every single moment, even the lowest, and know that it was all worth it, because I can stand here and tell you, you really are everything that I've looked for for so long. I really feel like you're my soul mate ... I love you so, so much."
"I found my everything, and I'm so in love with you," Jef said, "And I promise you that if you let me into your life and Ricki's life you will never feel lonely again. I love you so much."
After a couple of more declarations of love, Jef finally got down on one knee and proposed to Emily. To which she said ...
Then, in true Bachelorette fashion, Jef, Emily and little Ricki walked off hand-in-hand, in a truly romantic (or corny, depending on your views on the show) moment.
What do you think? Did Maynard make the right choice in picking Jef? Should she have sent Arie home? And will Emily and Jef last as a couple? Sound off in the comments, below!
Following the two-hour finale, Maynard sat down for a live interview with Harrison to give fans an update on how she's doing and, more importantly, how she feels about her fiance, Jef.
"He really brings out something inside, which I think is really important ..." she said, gushing. "He makes me feel more confident in myself ... He inspires me to be better. And he's funny! He makes me laugh."
Of course, given that she also had to dump someone in the same episode in which she got engaged, the interview also addressed what went down with Arie. This included bringing the 30-year-old runner-up out for a live interview to explain his side of the story to Maynard.
"I feel like we had so many good conversations," he said. "And I felt that we had such a future planned, and I really felt that in my heart, in that moment. So on that day, it was really shocking to me."
"When I left and I got into the limo and got to the hotel, I was shocked and had so many questions ... More than anything, I wanted to know why. I felt like when I left there, I didn't know 100 percent. I didn't have that closure, and that was really tough for me."
Maynard ultimately apologized for leaving Arie hanging.
"I want you to know that I'm sorry. I'm still sorry ... In the end, I just had more confidence in what Jef and I had, and the way he made me feel."
Arie also revealed that, after the show ended, he booked a flight to Charlotte to meet with Maynard, without the show having any knowledge.
"I wanted closure or I wanted a beginning. I just didn't think our story was through."
Once he got there, thought, he realized that seeing her wasn't the best thing to do.
"I called her, and we talked and I just told her that I would leave my journal and she could read about my experience," he said.
Maynard said she did not read the journal, out of respect to Arie and especially Jef, and returned it to him during the After the Rose episode. Arie added that he has since come to terms with Maynard's decision, and has ultimately decided to move on from the experience.
Also making an appearance Sunday: the man of the hour, Jef, who naturally took time to gush about his bride-to-be.
"She is the most amazing girl in the world, and she's so perfect for me," Jef said. "It's weird that I met her the way that I met her, because we're so perfect for each other."
"She's so funny," he continued. "She's so witty, and caring, and smart, and happy and such a good mom. She's the most caring person ever. She's gorgeous; she's so beautiful. We just fit perfectly together. She's great."
Ah, happy endings!
More highlights from The Bachelorette finale below ...
Buzz Moments Rose's Turn: Attempting to win the approval of Maynard's family, Arie gave them a box as a present. Inside the box were all of the roses that Maynard had given Arie throughout the season.
Father Knows Best: After meeting both of Maynard's suitors, Maynard's father grilled his daughter on her feelings, claiming he didn't believe one person could be in love with two people at the same time.
Kidding Around: In one of the season's most adorable -- not to mention crucial -- moments, Jef was finally given permission from Emily to meet her daughter, Ricki. After a sweet introduction, Maynard, Ricki and Jef bonded in the pool, then played with Ricki's stuffed animals after they dried off. Insert your "Awww!" here.
Seal of Approval: Jef's introduction to Ricki went so well, Maynard later told him that Ricki asked if she could see him again.
Emily's Choice: Knowing her mind was made up, Maynard called for a meeting with host Chris Harrison to tell him she had fallen for Jef, not Arie. Harrison ultiamtely agreed that she had made the right decision in letting Arie go before he proposed.
Mixed Signals: Oblivious to Maynard's decision, Arie entered his final date with the utmost confidence, making her a love potion from scratch. "I'm more than ready to get down on one knee and ask Emily to marry me," he told cameras. Oops.
Out of Luck: Once he received the bad news, Arie was quick to walk away. "Good luck ..." he told Emily, clearly upset. "Thank you for saving me the embarrassment of tomorrow."
Past and Present: As Maynard geared up to propose to Jef, the show cut back to the live studio audience, where Harrison asked for input from some of the franchise's past contestants. Among the many: DeAnna Pappas, who said, "I felt really bad for Arie, but I commend Arie for not introrducing him to her child and sticking to her guns."
Worth the 'Fight': After Maynard said yes, the show played a montage of the couple's many moments on the show, set to Chicago's 'Fight For Your Hour.' Gag.