Recap: The Bachelorette Finale and After the Final Rose Special

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on the finale of The Bachelorette with Kaitlyn Bristowe (original air date: Monday, July 27, 2015).

We kick off the three-hour Bachelorette finale event live in Los Angeles with host Chris Harrison and an audience full of overly-smiling women with fresh highlights and probably spanking new outfits. Harrison promises the usual: “a dramatic and shocking season finale.” And so it begins.

Kaitlyn’s final two men – Nick and Shawn – are packing up their shit in Utah to join Kaitlyn in LA to meet her family and have their final dates before the big final rose/engagement deal.

In LA, Kaitlyn is hanging with her family and admits she’s falling in love with both men. She reveals that a man from a previous season (being Nick V) is still in the running and that him and the other man left despise eachother. Her sister Haley quickly susses out that the re-run dude is Nick, and she’s excited. Kaitlyn’s mom Leslie, on the other hand, is not the biggest Nick fan. Kaitlyn admits that she didn’t think she would be super physically attracted to Nick based on what she saw of him on Andi Dorfman’s season, but that she turned out to be super attracted to him. And we know this to be true because they have crazy chemistry and also banged on one of their dates earlier in the season. Kaitlyn insists that their attraction isn’t just physical, but that her feelings for both men go deeper than that and include strong communication and a mental connection.

Nick arrives to meet her family and Kaitlyn admits to him that her family is aware of their ‘intimate encounter’ in Dublin. Nick seems appropriately embarrassed about that. After being introduced to everyone, Kaitlyn’s sister asks Nick why he decided to go another round on The Bachelorette and join the show after it had already started filming. Nick conveys that him and Kaitlyn had been in contact before she was made the Bachelorette and he liked her so much that he didn’t want to risk her ending up with someone else and so he made the bold move of coming to New York to meet her. Over dinner, the grilling continues with Nick being asked what his true motivations were for coming on the show again (ie. another 15 minutes of fame?). Nick insists that it was all about Kaitlyn and he wouldn’t have come otherwise. Kaitlyn’s mom Leslie is the first to pull Nick aside for a private chat after dinner. She is anxious to speak to him because watching Nick on Andi’s season left her with a bad impression. As a reminder, Nick also made it to the final two on Andi’s season and it really seemed like they would end up together but when she ultimately picked Josh over Nick, he reacted poorly during the After the Final Rose taping and called Andi out for having sex with him if she wasn’t in love with him. So Leslie tells Nick her impression was that he came off possessive, jealous and arrogant. Nick insists that he didn’t join the season just for “a second chance on the show” and gushes that it’s hard for him to “get enough” of Kaitlyn and that he’s in love with her. Her mom gets emotional when Nick expresses his feelings for Kaitlyn and when he adds that he would want to ask Kaitlyn to marry him in the end. Nick also tears up, which mom loves. After their chat, Leslie says she was totally wrong about Nick and would be thrilled to have him as a son-in-law. While chatting with Kaitlyn’s father, Nick describes Kaitlyn as “bold and brave,” and says again that he’s very much in love with her. Dad gives his blessing too. Nick has clearly won over Kaitlyn’s family, and him and the Bachelorette say their goodbyes.

The next day is Shawn’s turn to meet her family, and their turn to meet his biceps. After Nick’s successful fam jam, Shawn has a lot of work to do. He arrives wearing the shit out of a button down shirt and jeans and has gifts for everyone (including sister Haley’s kids, which goes over super well). Haley is quickly on “Team Shawn.” Shawn tells the cute story about seeing Kaitlyn when she was on Chris Soules’ season and watching her be sent home. He snapped a pic of her and captioned it “Don’t worry Kaitlyn…I’m coming for you!” and sent it to his friends. His sisters encouraged him to watch the show because they thought that Kaitlyn was totally his type and he was already in the process of being considered for the next season and it was looking like Kaitlyn might be up for Bachelorette. Those sisters are fucking clairvoyant!

Over dinner Shawn cheers the family saying “I hope this is the first of many gatherings.” When mom Leslie speaks to Shawn alone, she indicates that she’s “concerned about jealousy” and asks how he would handle the jealousy that he’s exhibited in the “outside world” because “people are drawn to Kaitlyn.” She also brings up the fact that Kaitlyn slept with Nick (why?) and Shawn answers perfectly, saying that he understands that him and Kaitlyn were not in an exclusive relationship and that once they were official/engaged the jealousy wouldn’t be a factor. This is a more mature, confident side of Shawn and me likey. He adds that the experience of the show has made them stronger as a couple. Meanwhile, Kaitlyn’s sister Haley is telling her that the difference between Nick and Shawn that has her on Team Shawn now (besides the presents) is “the way that you are around him.” She adds that they already seem like a couple and are obviously both physically and emotionally drawn to each other. Shawn tells Kaitlyn’s dad he’d “be proud to have her as my girl, my wife potentially.” Shawn asks if he can get Kaitlyn’s mom out there too (her parents are divorced but remarried to other people who are both there and also remain good friends) and he asks them for their permission to get engaged. Both parents give Shawn their full support and blessing.

Back in the live studio audience, Chris Harrison takes a quick poll on Team Shawn v Team Nick. The audience seems to be split 50/50.

Time for the final dates!

First up is Nick. They cuddle on a boat and sip wine and talk about how much their families would gel. Kaitlyn’s voiceover states that “Nick brings out a side in me that nobody else really does.” Mostly they make out. During the evening portion of their date, Nick confesses to feeling different being one of the final two for Kaitlyn than how he felt in the same position with Andi. They talk about him showing up unannounced in New York and how despite having not met in person before that night they just totally “clicked,” and it was clear that their connection was meant to go beyond texting, tweets and phone calls. “I am really happy that you took that chance,” Kaitlyn tells him. Nick tells her “I got you a gift, it’s in my bedroom.” This is the first of two times that I will shout at the TV: “IS IT YOUR PENIS?” Kaitlyn thinks how I think, clearly, and assumes he’s kidding around. But it turns out there is a gift: a framed photo of the two of them on their date in Ireland along with a ‘poem’ he wrote. In my entire life I have never had a dude write me a poem, nor have I heard of this happening to a friend and yet at least one or two dudes on every season seems to be a poet (but with a six-pack ). I can’t tell if this bodes well or poorly for the American education system. Kaitlyn’s voiceover exclaims: “When I look at Nick, I know I’m in love.”

The next day it’s Shawn’s turn for his final date. He arrives in a fitted long-sleeved white t-shirt, causing panties to drop all over North America. Nick has what I refer to as a secret hot body. He looks great in clothes but it wasn’t until we saw him shirtless with Kaitlyn that we realize that he’s in amazing shape. Shawn on the other hand? Well, there’s nothing secret about Shawn’s hot body. It’s bonkers. Kaitlyn barely seems to notice and is obviously confused and anxious heading into this date, following such an amazing final date with Nick. At this point, it looks like Nick will be getting that final rose of the season. They sit down at a winery for a picnic and it’s super duper awkward. They can barely make conversation and Kaitlyn is having trouble making eye contact. This could also be because Shawn appears to have all the sunburns on his face. At one point Kaitlyn even asks him if he’s wearing sunscreen. Their conversation stalls and it’s weird. Finally Shawn brings it up and says he’s reacting to her awkwardness. “Nothing’s changed on my end,” he assures her. Shawn adds that he may be feeling a bit off because he knows there’s still another man left in play.

Going into the night portion of their date, we can only hope that Kaitlyn has gotten her shit together otherwise it’s going to be more weirdness. On his end, Shawn is “nervous” and “questioning everything.” With these two, it sometimes fells like every date they’re starting from scratch. Luckily, Shawn makes the effort to reduce the awkwardness and puts his heart on the line. “So I know today was a little awkward,” he says to breaks the ice. “I think it could be pretty amazing after this.” Kaitlyn asks if he’ll watch the show back after, and he says that he’ll likely laugh seeing her make out with Joe. This makes Kaitlyn laugh and her entire posture and attitude seem to change in an instant. They laugh so easily and seem so natural together. “It will never not be fun with you,” Shawn says when Kaitlyn wonders if their love would fade six or seven years down the road. “I’d be so proud to have you by my side,” he states, adding that he knew this the moment he stepped out of the limo. Shawn also has a gift for our Bachelorette (sadly, not his penis): a memory jar filled with trinkets from their past dates. The verdict? These two are back on track. Kaitlyn admits to feeling “so relieved” after their date. But tomorrow is the big day – the final rose. She doesn’t even get a day to think about it? Seems a bit cruel. I wonder if it’s because the production schedule got all fucked up when they switched the timing for hometown dates which many Bachelor/Bachelorette fans think was a punishment of sorts for Kaitlyn for sneaking off-camera time during which she apparently told Shawn he was “the one” and also some on-camera time where she slept with Nick which caused a bit of a ruckus. Whatever the reason, having less than 12 hours to make a decision like ‘who do I want to marry?’ seems overwhelming. Kaitlyn confesses that she is “in love with two men” and one of them is going to be “blindsided” the next day, which she hates. She cries talking about it.

The live studio audience looks stressed as fuck and they’re not the ones picking between two dudes.

Next, jeweller Neil Lane arrives with the box of bling at Shawn’s door. Shawn examines the ring options. Meanwhile, Nick is referring to himself as “an acquired taste” (funky spunk?) and is wandering about stressed out in a parade of handsome outfits. He’s just praying he gets a knock at the door from Neil Lane with a box of rings, and not our Bachelorette looking to dump him before he gets down on one knee. We’re reminded of the fact that this is what happened to Nick on Andi’s season – he was awaiting Neil and instead Andi knocked at his door to cut him loose before the final final rose. Nick breathes a huge sigh of relief to find the jeweller at his door. Neil pretends to admire Nick’s Claddagh ring (Kaitlyn has a matching one from their Ireland date).

Later that evening, both men are a bundle of nerves in suits while sitting in separate limos en route to see Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn is losing her shit and keeps crying and looks like she would rather vomit in her own purse than deal with this. “I really did need to take it this far to figure it out,” she wails.

With a few exceptions, the first person to get out of the limo is the one who gets dumped. When Nick exits first, my stomach clenches. And when we see Kaitlyn’s face on his approach, there’s no doubt that Nick is going to end up in second place. Again.

Nick stands before Kaitlyn saying “I look at you and I am thinking about how in love I am with you” and he starts to cry. After what seems like forever (but is probably only a minute of talking), Nick goes to propose and Kaitlyn stops him.

“No?” Nick stutters. Oh ouch. Ouch ouch ouch. Poor guy.

Kaitlyn can barely look him in the eye. “I did need every single second that we had together…the only explanation I have is just that my heart is with somebody else,” she says. Nick looks completely gutted and humiliated and nauseous. “I don’t think there’s anything you could say that could make me less confused,” Nick states. Kaitlyn responds with: “Everything that we’ve been through and done, it’s because that was real to me.”

Nick half begs her to stop telling him how she cared about him and how hard it was to decide, etc. etc.. He even gets a little angry, but isn’t at all a dick about it (sidenote: I would be a dick about it). “What I felt for you was more than just a moment,” Nick says. He tells Kaitlyn that clearly she doesn’t feel for him what he felt for her and she obviously wasn’t in love with him as she claimed to be because otherwise they would be engaged rightnow. Hemumbles that he doesn’t really have anything else to say and doesn’t want to continue talking because he doesn’t “want to say anything hurtful.” Someone learned their lesson after being eviscerated by Bachelorette fans on Andi’s season! Kaitlyn, on the other hand, does want to keep talking about it. She really seems to want to explain why but there’s nothing left to say and Nick says as much. It’s the most I have ever liked Nick. Kaitlyn walks him out, looping her arm through his. “I’m not trying to sugar-coat anything” she says and they hug goodbye. In the Reject Limo of Broken Hearts™, Nick tosses the ring box and tries to hold it together, saying “I am the world’s biggest joke.” We cut back to the studio audience where his family (seated in the front row) is crying, including his little sister.

Kaitlyn has regained her composure and is awaiting Shawn. It’s even more obvious now, seeing her face when Shawn arrives, that she was going to be saying goodbye to Nick. With Shawn, she doesn’t look like she just ate a bad egg salad sandwich. She looks exhilarated. Shawn tells Kaitlyn that “from the moment I stepped out of the limo that first night I knew nothing was ever going to be the same,” and adds that he “ would not change any of it because it led us here tonight.” Shawn tells Kaitlyn that he sees her as a best friend and “partner in crime” and that he’s already the happiest man in the world. Kaitlyn counters with “You light me up and make me laugh and most importantly you allow me to be myself.” “I never want you to question what we have ever again because I am completely yours‎.” She tells Shawn that she loves him and has never felt about anyone the way she feels about him and ends with “you are the one and you always will be.” I kind of love that she brings the “you are the one” into it given the controversy that surrounded her telling Shawn that off-camera earlier in the season. Shawn gets down on one knee and proposes and she says “no thanks.” Just kidding, obviously Kaitlyn accepts his proposal.

We return once again to the live studio audience to kick off the After the Final Rose special. Kaitlyn and Shawn join Chris Harrison on stage and they look super in love and happy. Shawn reiterates the story about the photo (and they flash it on screen) that said “Don’t worry Kaitlyn…I’m coming for you!” Shawn had taken the photo on the episode where Kaitlyn was sent him on Chris Soules season and he had captioned it and text it to some friends, proving that even things that are borderline creepy can come off super romantic if you have a face like Ryan Gosling and the body of a Greek God. It all worked out for these two! (so far)

The aforementioned Shawn photo and caption

The aforementioned Shawn photo and caption

They exit and Nick joins Chris Harrison on stage, confirming that he feels a “bad case of deja vu.” Oh man, twice rejected in the finale. That sucks. Ooh maybe they’ll make Nick the next Bachelor? But first I’m going to insist that he shave that beard he’s grown since being dumped. I’m not sure if he’s ‘liked enough’ by the powers that be (meaning humans with a vagina between the ages of 24-50 who love rosé and probably own every Twilight book). Chris asks Nick what made him “so confident” in his relationship with Kaitlyn. Nick touches upon their connection before he joined the show and Chris takes the opportunity to dig a little deeper on the extent of that relationship. Nick insists it was “a friendship” that started before Kaitlyn was up for Bachelorette and that his biggest fear in approaching Kaitlyn in New York was that their in-person connection would fall flat. Nick adds that when things got down to the final few men, him and Kaitlyn talked a lot about getting engaged, also contributing to his confidence. He also claims that the fact that their relationship got intimate early on wasn’t weird to them because they had that established emotional connection already. Chris asks Nick why he feels that Shawn hates him so much. Nick admits that they both let their immaturity come out and didn’t show the “best versions” of themselves, making things even more difficult for Kaitlyn.

Now, fans of the show may have read about or seen a ‘spoiler’ photo that circulated a few weeks back that eluded to the fact that Kaitlyn ended up with Shawn. I make a point of not reading spoilers but this one was hard to avoid. Kaitlyn accidentally snap-chatted a photo of her and Shawn together when the show was about 1/2 way through it’s run, essentially spoiling the ending. They addressed it on Jimmy Kimmel last night, if you’re interested. If you’re curious, Shawn is team Ben H. for Bachelor.

So back to After the Final Rose, Shawn comes out and joins Nick on a tiny couch, with Shawn joking “you guys couldn’t have found a bigger couch?” Nick does a cute thing where he ‘introduces’ himself to Shawn and he tells Shawn that he looks nice and Shawn says he likes the beard. DO NOT ENCOURAGE THE BEARD, SHAWN. When questioned about his dislike for Nick, Shawn admits he just had a “bad feeling” since Nick joined Kaitlyn’s man harem a few episodes in. He sort of cops to being a jealous dude, but claims he was never jealous “about anyone in particular.” Shawn says that he’s buddies with Ben H. who was final three and had a connection with Kaitlyn yet Shawn says he was never jealous about that; in fact, Shawn claims him and Ben H. chatted a ton about their respective relationships with Kaitlyn. Shawn kind of shits on the producers for playing up the ‘feud’ instead of showing more moments of their dates with Kaitlyn, and Chris Harrison cruises right past that and declares a somewhat “amicable” end to the Shawn-Nick situation.

Kaitlyn joins Nick on stage (Shawn is gone) and the audience is dead quiet. She indicates that her love for Shawn was simply stronger than what she felt for Nick (and Ben H.), and admits that she could probably have dumped him differently. “Did you really think that picking out a ring and going through a proposal speech was the best way?” Nick asks her, fairly. “No, I don’t,” Kaitlyn admits. Kaitlyn strived for “good breakups” but there really is no such thing, says relationship expert Chris Harrison. Nick is all “I know there were no bad intentions” but wishes that there was “maybe more consideration” for what they had together. He wishes Kaitlyn the best.

Lastly, Kaitlyn and Shawn are reunited and yes yes they’re very much in love. After a plug for the premier of Bachelor in Paradise next Sunday, it’s a wrap.

Thanks for reading and joining me on this crazy Bachelorette “journey”!




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