Bachelor no more! After two months on the air and 12 episodes spent narrowing down a pool of 30 women, The Bachelor's Chris Soules finally made his pick between Whitney Bischoff and Becca Tilley on the season 19 finale, which aired on Monday, March 9.
After saying an emotional goodbye to Kaitlyn Bristowe in Bali and facing the heat on last week's "Women Tell All" special, Soules, 33, found himself deciding between Bischoff and Tilley, the final two women. Here's how it goes down.
The Boy Is Back in Town
The so-called "Prince Farming" returns to his home state of Iowa to weigh the pros and cons of his last two ladies. Setting the scene with a water tower reading "Arlington" and shots of rolling fields, Soules pulls up to his family home in, of course, a truck.
"Their opinion is really important to me," the farmer says of his family, looking for input in what seems to be a near-impossible decision. Soules agonizes over his decision, showing little preference for either woman over the other. "I am dating two extremely awesome girls and I feel like I'm falling in love with both of them," he spills. "I've got an extremely tough decision to make… I have no idea what I'm going to do."
The reality star is soon joined at the Soules home in Iowa by fertility nurse Bischoff, who practically bursts with enthusiasm at the opportunity to meet his parents. "Today is huge because I am meeting the Soules family," she says, adding, "Stakes are high." Ever the perfect future-daughter-in-law, Bischoff arrives with a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers in hand.
Soules' family quickly, and predictably, falls in love with the blonde Chicago resident as she gives a tearful toast to the family and the man that they raised. "I honestly came here from the beginning for Chris," she gushes, eliciting a beam from Soules' mother. Hammering her point home, Bischoff repeatedly stresses how willing she is to start a life and a family with Soules in small-town Iowa.
Bischoff connects even further with Soules' parents by opening up about her own tough times. The nurse, who has lost both of her own parents, told her potential in-laws, "I can't wait to call someone mom and dad again."
"What more could a mother ask for?" Soules' mom questions, making no mistake that her vote is cast for Bischoff. She picks up on the tone from the family, commenting as she leaves, "I feel very confident that I am the future Mrs. Soules."
Becca's "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" Moment
Tilley is given a tough act to follow, arriving at the Soules home just one day after Bischoff blew the family members' winter socks off. The chiropractic assistant reunites with Soules as his relatives are shown gushing about Bischoff. They promise to give their new guest a fair chance, but admit "it's hard to meet a second girl."
The California resident, who is celebrated by the bachelor as charming, witty, and the object of some intense chemistry, stays confident, telling the cameras, "I think I could potentially be meeting my future in-laws." Her connection with the parents isn't immediate, however, as they resort to the riveting conversation topic of Iowa's cold weather.
Once Tilley breaks the ice inside of the home, she begins to open up, being honest with Soules and his family members about her hesitation to move to the tiny town of Arlington. "I'm not going to pick up my life and move anywhere until I'm sure that I'm sure… wherever it is," she explains, still refusing to tell Soules that she loves him. "I want to be with him and I want to see where it goes."
Soules' family comes around on Tilley, but questions whether she is worth the risk. One of his sisters suggests that Tilley would just be a girlfriend while Bischoff would be a wife.
Corn-y Final Dates
After weeks spent going on romantic, over-the-top dates across the globe, Bischoff and Tilley have their final dates with Soules. The Midwestern hunk meets Tilley at a hotel in bustling Dubuque, Iowa, wining and dining her as he interrogates the finalist about her intentions and analysis of their relationship.
"Can you see yourself with me; can you see a future with me; can you be a part of the small town?" Soules questions. Tilley responds, "I can't make any promises," explaining that she can't give Soules a timeline to move to Iowa and repeating "I don't know" over and over again. "All I know is that I want you," she adds. "That's the one thing I'm sure about. Everything else is cloudy and scary."
While Tilley doesn't give him the exact answers he wants, Soules is left exhausted and emotional, tearing up a bit as he laments the horror of dating "two of the most incredible women I've ever met." He perks up in time for his date with Bischoff, meeting her on one of his hundreds of acres of farmland.
Bischoff learns that she and Soules are going to be picking and harvesting corn and shows unfathomable levels of enthusiasm for the task, squealing and expressing just how awesome she finds the date.
The city girl asks questions about the process, learning from Soules and his father about the crop. The farmer admires Bischoff, saying he wants a woman who's excited to be a part of the life that he's worked hard for in Iowa. He brings her back to his house, which she says "does feel like home," adding, "[There is] no ounce of me that feels insecure."
Never Can Say Goodbye
In a shockingly civilized and romantic final ceremony, the two women put on their formal wear to head to a barn, of all places. After Soules chooses between one of the many massive engagement rings provided by diamond maven Neil Lane, he traipses over to the family barn for the last rose ceremony.
Donning a slinky red dress, Tilley steps out of the limo first — a sure sign in Bachelor Nation that she is getting the ax. Soules starts off sappy, gushing about the gorgeous woman and the relationship they shared, before he turns to the past tense and utters the phrase "You're not really ready."
"I have to go with my heart and my gut and I don't think its fair for either of us to take that leap at this point," he adds to Tilley, who has never been in love and struggled to commit to Soules. "I don't think I'm the guy thats going to be able to give you what you need."
Tilley, who admitted late in the season that she was still a virgin, takes the rejection well, tearing up ever-so-slightly as she understands what is happening. In an impressively classy moment, she thanks Soules for his honesty, and tells him he is going to be a great husband.
Tilley slips into the limo, sans full-on Bachelor breakdown, admitting that she's upset but explaining, "I think I'm in a state of shock or something. It doesn't feel good at all. It's such a final moment, I can't process it right now."
"I do want to be in love," she adds. "If it can't happen with someone like that, who's it gonna happen with?"
The ***Flawless Final Moment
And now, time for Soules' main squeeze: Wearing a dark-colored off-the-shoulder gown, a nervous, shaking Bischoff steps out of her limo, asserting, "I am sure that I want Chris to put a ring on my finger today."
Soules goes on to do just that. "From the moment you got out of that limo, I can still remember the time we spent together… probably one of the best days in my life when we got to crash a wedding together," he tells Bischoff, adding that he had a moment when he thought, "'Holy cow this woman is perfect for me.'"
Gazing into her eyes, Soules begins to get down on one knee and spills, "It's not work for us, it's natural… It feels so right, it feels so perfect and that's what I want for the rest of my life. I love you. Everything about this moment feels right and I want the world to know that I love you, Whitney Bischoff. Will you marry me?"
Choking up, Bischoff gasps, "Absolutely. Oh my god." Once the sparkling diamond ring is slipped onto her finger, the future Mrs. Soules gushes, "I love you so much. I'm the luckiest girl in the entire world."
In the classic move that every engaged couple goes through, Soules pauses to retrieve the final, single red rose, asking his future wife, "There's one more thing. Whitney, will you accept this rose?"
Tell Us: Did Soules make the right choice?
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