That was the most dramatic question looming over the most dramatic season finale of The Bachelorette of all time ever in perpetuity for infinity (at least until next season, anyhow, mmmkay?).
For the uninitiated, last Monday’s two-hour weepstravaganza found Brooks — the bizarrely coiffed contestant who’d stolen Desiree’s heart — telling her he wasn’t in love and didn’t think time would strengthen his feelings. The blindside left Desiree reeling, sitting at the edge of an Antiguan pier and wondering if she wanted to continue her “journey.”
But hey…as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on. And so, as the start of Monday’s telecast, host Chris Harrison sat down with a shellshocked Des, ignored everything coming out of her mouth, gave her a meaningful stare and said, “So, what I’m hearing is you want to continue?”
And the good news is, Desiree couldn’t find the wherewithal to say, “I want to get the hell off this island!” Instead, she agreed to another set of one-on-one dates with her final two suitors: Drew and Chris. But was she merely holding out hope for a dramatic Brooks reappearance?
Soon after the start of a horseback-riding date with Drew, though, Des realized she wasn’t feelin’ it, and broke things off with the man who’s still in the running toward becoming America’s Next Top Ken Doll Template.
Despite her feelings for Brooks, Desiree decided to treat her relationship with Chris as a separate entity, and a catamaran date with the super sexy former baseball player awakened a groundswell of romantic feelings. Was it possible that our protagonist was merely skittish about falling for a man who would really and truly return her feelings with equal fervor? Or was it possible Brooks was going to regret his decision and make a last-minute plea for Des’ heart?
After getting her family’s stamp of approval for Chris, it was time for the final rose ceremony. Chris, not realizing that Drew had already been dismissed, skipped his standard poetry reading (thank goodness) and laid his feelings bare in what even my cynical heart must admit was pretty romantic fashion. “I want to be that rock that doesn’t break for you,” Chris said, adding that he no longer wanted to make decisions for himself, that he wanted to make decisions with Des for their combined future.
As Chris got down on one knee, though, Desiree stopped him, and explained that she’d been in love with Brooks, that she’d been blindsided by his exit, and that…”I couldn’t see the one thing I always needed was right in front of me.” Awww. “You never lost sight of what we could be,” Des added, “and for that I am so grateful.”
And with that, Chris whipped out a massive Neil Lane diamond and put a ring on it. Whether they’ll grow old together — or even survive the next three months of Us Weekly and InTouch covers remains to be seen. But check back Tuesday morning for a gallery of ridiculous screengrabs that will tell the whole sordid tale with all the cynicism you can handle!
Update: During an otherwise tame “After the Final Rose” special, Chris Harrison revealed the star of the ABC franchise’s next chapter. Desiree’s muy caliente castoff Juan Pablo (pictured), a former pro soccer player, will serve as the titular Bachelor when the show returns in January 2014. I’m predicting a 20 percent ratings rise based on the Venezuelan accent alone!
What did you think of Des’ choice? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments. And on a scale of Lorenzo to Travis, how hot is Juan Pablo?