Sorry, Chantal O'Brien: Brad Womack says his heart belongs to Emily Maynard!
He rejected finalists DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft on the finale of his first Bachelor stint in 2007, but the two-time Bachelor, 38, finally got down on bended knee to propose to single mom Maynard on Monday's finale.
"I've gone through so much to get to where I am today. I've made so many mistakes and had so many ups and downs. I always believed that when the time was right, I'd find the woman that I've been looking for for my entire life. I knew it would take opening up in ways I wasn't used to….All it took was coming here and finding you," a cool and collected Womack told Maynard, 24, as he presented her with a stunning Neil Lane sparkler in a garden outside the Ernie Els Wine Estate in Cape Town, South Africa.
"You're so much more to me than a leap of faith. You're the one. You're my once in a lifetime. I'm asking you to give me your forever. Please let me be your best friend, let me protect you and your beautiful daughter and please give me the opportunity to love you for the rest of your life," he continued as a tearful Maynard accepted his proposal.
"I'm confident that I chose the right woman," Womack says of his bride-to-be, who beat out O'Brien for the final rose. "I'm even more confident in our love and that it's very real. I mean it."
For Womack's final date with Maynard, the pair traveled via helicopter to South Africa's Cape Point. "There was lots of smiling and laughing when they got out," an insider tells UsMagazine.com. The pair then climbed a ridge to a secluded spot and sat for the next 90 minutes intimately talking and holding hands. Continues the insider, "They ended it with a kiss."
Prior to his jubilant proposal, Womack had to let fan favorite O'Brien down gently. "I don't know how else to say except I have strong feelings for someone else," Womack said as O'Brien burst into tears. "You're an amazing person, and Emily's very lucky. It just sucks because I felt so strongly," O'Brien replied.
Now that Womack and his fiancee — who have been squeezing in secret quality time in a show-supervised house in Agora Hills, Calif., — can finally go public, a Womack source anticipates a long engagement. "She'll have to relocate and they'll merge lives," the source tells Us of Maynard, who currently raises 5-year-old daughter, Ricki, in Charlotte, N.C. For now, says another pal, "they are very happy."
As for the big day, Womack hasn't ruled out a TV wedding. "It's a sacred day. I leave it up to her," he tells Us. "I've learned to never say never."
Tell Us: Are you happy Brad chose Emily?
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!