Decisions, decisions. On the season finale of The Bachelorette on Monday, August 7, Rachel Lindsay was down to the final three. The episode opened with Rachel joining host The episode opened with Rachel joining host Chris Harrison for a live viewing event (not awkward at all!).
The first footage picked up where things had left off two weeks back — with Rachel and Peter Kraus discussing their rift about getting engaged. Peter wasn't sure he was ready to get down on one knee and Rachel wasn’t sure she could move forward with a man who wasn’t definitely going to propose.
Ultimately, they decided to spend the night in the fantasy suite. “Maybe there will be clarity in the morning,” Rachel reasoned to the camera. The next morning, they woke up looking pretty happy to be together. “Peter just has me in my head,” Rachel said to the camera after he left.
Then came Bryan Abasolo. (She later admitted she almost didn’t offer Peter the chance to join her in the fantasy suite … but at this point, it was kind of moot.)
Bryan or Bust
Rachel and Bryan kicked off their romantic date with horseback riding and wine drinking. Still, Rachel seemed distant, admitting to the camera that Peter had gotten in her head. Bryan could sense something was up and called their date “awkward.”
Later, Bryan told Rachel that he could tell something was up. Rachel apologized and assured him it was nothing he had done. Indeed, things seemed to go well since they woke up in bed together the next morning and immediately began feeding each other strawberries. “Our chemistry is hotter than ever,” Bryan assured the camera. “Moving forward, I am more confident than ever, not only that I’m going to get this rose tonight, but that I’m going to get the final rose at the end of the day,” he added.
Final Rose Ceremony
Then came the rose ceremony – and Bryan was right. He was the first guy to get a rose. Rachel was torn because she desperately wanted a proposal at the end of it. In a voiceover, she insisted that she had to follow her heart … and she gave Peter the second (and final) rose. This meant Eric Bigger was going home.
Eric looked crushed. “It’s hard to say goodbye when I have such strong feelings for you. It’s just that I have stronger feelings for the other two guys that are here,” she said. “I do love you, it’s just that I’m not in love.” Eric encouraged Rachel to stay open in her life and thanked her for allowing him to get what he needed from the experience. “I’ll always love you,” he said. “It’s just the truth.”
Meanwhile, the fact that Rachel wanted a proposal wasn’t lost on Peter. “When she said that she wanted a proposal, she looked dead in my eyes,” he said to the camera. No pressure.
Rachel and Eric Catch Up on Live TV
Moments after watching herself send Eric home, Rachel had to see him for the first time since they stopped filming. Both of them seemed happy to see each other. Miraculously, Eric didn’t seem the least bit bitter, even though he reiterated to Harrison (and the rest of the world) that he had fully planned on proposing if Rachel had picked him. Eric was a gentleman about it and Rachel insisted things might have worked if they’d had more time.
Next up were Rachel’s final two dates of the season. Bryan was feeling good as they headed out on a romantic hot-air balloon ride. By the end of their date, he seemed extremely confident that he had this thing in the bag — but Rachel still had a date with Peter coming up.
Peter and Rachel headed to a church where they discussed being married some more. Peter said he wasn’t afraid of marriage, but the idea of “having multiple marriages” scared him. “I didn’t expect to find someone who I truly and deeply cared about,” he added. (Not sure what he was hoping would happen on the show, but … whatever.) He said he was nervous about having to figure out his future with Rachel in the next 24 hours. “It’s so sad and it’s so hard,” Rachel cried to the camera.
“I am in love with you,” Peter told her later. “But I don’t feel that I am ready to ask you to marry me, tomorrow. I don’t want to stop being with you.” Rachel said she was “confused.” Peter said he was totally in, but not yet. Rachel said she’d been there and done that with a man who wasn't ready for marriage. Peter then turned the tables and asked her if she knew right at that moment that he was the man that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. “I can’t answer that question,” she said. “So if I can’t, you walk away.”
Things got tense. “I want you to do it because you want to do it,” Rachel said. Peter then said he would propose so that he wouldn’t lose her and she told him not to bother. Game over.
Harrison then brought Peter on stage so Rachel could confront him. “There were other deep-rooted issues that I began to see,” Rachel said, explaining that her feeling of wanting to end their relationship wasn’t just because he didn’t want to propose. Peter insisted that he knew during their first date that she was a person he was “excited for.” He said hometowns were stressful and he had trouble getting out of his own head and relaxing.
He then revealed that he’d tried to reach out to Rachel after the fact and she said she wasn’t open to that. Rachel concluded by saying that she didn’t think the show was a fit for him, personality-wise.
He proposed on a windswept hill after picking out a gorgeous Neil Lane engagement ring.
"You are everything I could ever want in a woman, a wife, the mother of my children. I am completely head over heels, totally, absolutely in love with you," Bryan began. "I just hope you feel the same."
Rachel took his hands in hers and said that she had been "confused" this week and found herself trying to "find cracks" in what seemed like the perfect situation.
"This love has been so mature," she said. "It has tested me in ways that I couldn't even imagine and I've always said that I would know that the person I was supposed to be with was the person I couldn't picture my life without." She added that standing there with him, she saw her "forever" and her future. "I love you and I can't imagine spending my life with someone else."
Then they kissed until Bryan pushed her away to say that he had more to tell her. He went on to call her "easy and effortless to love" and said he wanted to love her for the rest of his life. Then he got down on his knee and asked her to be his wife. Spoiler alert: She said yes.
Cut to: the live finale. Bryan then joined Rachel on stage and asked her to marry him all over again for the live audience. (Insert eye roll here.) He slid the ring back on her finger again and told her he never wanted her to take it off.
Tell Us: Did Rachel pick the right man?
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