On The Bachelorette‘s Season 18 finale, Michelle had to figure out what mattered more: what she wanted, or what her family wanted. And in the end, she chose what she wanted, and that was Nayte.
The drama began when Brandon and Nayte got to spend some quality time with Michelle’s parents, LaVonne and Ephraim, and her sister Angela. Michelle’s whole family fell in love with Brandon, whom they met earlier in the season. LaVonne and Ephraim said they could feel Brandon’s warmth and they could tell based on the look in his eyes that he really loved their daughter.
LaVonne seemed especially impressed that Brandon works remotely and could easily move to Minnesota, where Michelle lives and works as a teacher. And Ephraim appreciated the fact that Brandon said his mother is ambitious and strong, and women like that don’t intimidate him, they inspire him. Ephraim said he’d adopt Brandon as soon as Michelle gave the OK. Awwww!
Michelle’s parents also told her how much they liked Brandon, and later, when they met Nayte, they conveyed how little they liked Nayte in comparison. Natye must’ve felt that negativity because dude was stressed. He kept stumbling over his words, and at one point, he mistakenly told LaVonne he doesn’t take love seriously. Or was it a Freudian slip? Michelle’s mom sure thought so.
Suddenly, Michelle didn’t know how to feel. Nayte is hot and made her all flushed and excited, but Brandon was clearly more smitten with her and Michelle could feel that, too. Perhaps this is why, when she spent the day with Brandon jet-skiing and kicking it, she told Brandon she was in love with him, too. But did she mean that, or was that her parents talking in the back of her mind?
Brandon did give her the sweatshirt he wore on the first day he met her. It’s the same sweatshirt, apparently, that Brandon rocked when they shared a fantasy suite and had a food fight. He washed the fluffy white shirt to remove the stains, but Brandon’s thoughtfulness really moved Michelle.
In contrast, when Michelle spent the day with Nayte, she expressed her concern about loving him more than he loved her. But Nayte said he was scared, too, and he was madly in love with her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He also said he hoped he didn’t wait too late to share his vulnerable side with her.
That night, Nayte said it was amazing to have a final date with her and he didn’t want to be anywhere else. He said his awkward conversation with her mom had to happen to force him to better open up to Michelle. Nayte also added that as much as it scared him to get down on one knee and propose, he was more afraid of waking up and never seeing her again. The two kissed, and Michelle said she figured out what she wanted to do.
After her date with Nayte, Michelle got back to her room and found a heartfelt letter from Brandon saying that no matter what, he wanted her to follow her heart. This was when Michelle said figuring out which man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with would be the hardest decision of her life because she was in love with them both.
As Michelle tried to figure out what she wanted, Nayte and Brandon shopped for rings. Nayte selected a pear-shaped diamond, and Brandon chose a square cut. Sister girl strutted out in a beautiful and sparkly white dress and said she was finally going to put herself first so that she would never feel unseen again.
Then the proposal time came, and Brandon gave her the sweetest, most beautiful speech ever, but Michelle said she wasn’t feeling him like that, and poor Brandon’s face turned so red. She said her heart was with Nayte, and they both cried. Brandon said he didn’t regret giving Michelle his heart and he would always be there for her.
Michelle bawled when Brandon said she deserved to be happy because, she said, he deserved to be happy, too. Sniffle. A heartbroken, sweat-drenched Brandon slowly walked away and said he gave everything he had and now he was broken, and then the white SUV he was in crept away.
Now it was time to see what was up with Nayte. Michelle said her heart belonged with him and she wanted him to propose. He walked up, she hugged him tight and Nayte said he felt a connection with her the first night he met her.
Nayte said he wanted to run away with her and he would do everything in his power to make her feel seen. He said he loved her, and Michelle said their kinetic connection was something she felt from jump, too. She said she loved Nayte with her entire heart and she didn’t want to do life with anyone else other than him. He got down on one knee, said her full name and asked her to marry him, and it was awesome, y’all. It was awesome! The Bachelor franchise has its first Black couple.
Plus, on the “After the Final Rose” aftershow special, Michelle and Nayte got an early Christmas gift from the show: a down payment for their first house! Thank you, Santa… er, ABC!
What did you think of Nayte’s proposal to Michelle? Did she choose wisely, or is Nayte gonna break her lovesick heart? Grade the finale in our poll, and drop your thoughts in the comments.