So, I don’t know what it is that causes me to get emotional during the Bachelorette finale when I’ve sworn off any chance of caring about the outcome. I wasn’t a big Shawn fan. His haircut and macho / borderline controlling nature was a big turn off. I wasn’t really a Nick fan. Mostly his strange wooden bracelet beads and multiple rings just gave me a strange vibe. Kaitlyn’s made so many mistakes this season that it was hard to stay vested. But come that moment when the first limo drives up and Nick pops out, I’m glued to the TV and even a fire in my living room couldn’t peel me away. How can Kaitlyn explain to him that she’s in love with two people at the same time. Yes, she made love to him multiple times. She’s told him that she loves him. But guess what, it’s not enough. How does that make any sense? In the real world, it never will. But when has The Bachelorette ever been the real world? But in the end, we go back to the place it all began – the Malibu mansion. To the guy that got the first impression rose. I love the full circle nature of this season. Such poetic symmetry.
There were a few moments for me tonight when I just felt that Shawn was THE ONE:
1. When Kaitlyn’s sister said that Shawn had her vote. That was after meeting both of them and saying it was based on how Kaitlyn was around Shawn. Who knows Kaitlyn better than her sister?
2. The way that Kaitlyn looked at Shawn throughout their time together. She just gets giddy like a little kid in a candy store when he’s around. It’s completely different than the way she is with Nick.
3. When Shawn made the decision to pick out that ring and propose. I am SURE that whatever awkwardness that they had on their final date was followed by Kaitlyn confirming that Shawn was the ONE which is why he seems to have this quiet confidence about him again while chatting it up with Neil Lane.
4. I liked how Shawn took charge of the toasts and explaining to Kaitlyn’s mother why he wasn’t a jealous controlling freak. I really loved Kaitlyn’s mother and the tough questions she asked both guys. I also love that Kaitlyn was able to straight up tell her family that she slept with Nick and told Shawn – all in the interest of having them help her decide what to do.
There were a few moments when I wasn’t entire sure that Nick was NOT the One:
1. After Kaitlyn’s date with Nick (where she couldn’t keep her hands off him or stop kissing him on the boat), she said that she was in love with him and in that moment, he was her choice. So, that makes a lot of sense to Nick, right? I mean, he gave her a beautiful picture and a lovely poem and she can’t stop looking at it.
2. After it got REAL awkward on her date with Shawn. Obviously it’s because she’s still thinking about Nick. Is it awkward because she feels confusion still? Or because she’s worried she’s going to have dump Nick? She can’t focus on their current date because in the next 24 hours she’s supposed to get engaged and dump someone she’s kind of in love with (but only for a moment). I’m so confused.
3. When she let Nick go through picking out a ring and making a really emotional, heartfelt “forever love” speech and didn’t stop him, I was thinking -”Wait, are they tricking us? Is Nick really going to be our guy and she’s going to later dump Shawn? How f-ed up” But no – that’s not what was happening at all. It was a lot less obvious this season!
So she lets “the other guy” go and he’s rightfully upset, confused and somewhat short with Kaitlyn even though he states that he doesn’t mean to be short. He doesn’t want to hear any consoling words. I get it. He’s like a professional runner-up on this show. I mean don’t the contestants get some sort of a stipend? I felt really bad for him but we all know what’s coming.
Kaitlyn in her beautiful sparkly dress, tears gone. We see Shawn pull up and he looks handsome, for someone I don’t find handsome. Then the half smile that Kaitlyn gives him when she makes eye contact is brilliant. He thinks he knows what’s going down but he’s not 100% sure. Shawn’s speech was simple, honest and beautiful. How can someone not love to watch confessions of love happen before us? No matter whether you liked or didn’t like them, Kaitlyn and Shawn were so obviously in love with each other, that watching them finally be together and Kaitlyn declaring herself FAITHFUL forever seems like the most romantic thing she can say and it’s a tear jerker!
The After the Final Rose was pretty uneventful. I was glad to see Nick’s family in the audience to support him (and also to keep the Nick vs. Shawn reunion to an appropriate level). I think the producers set up that awkward meeting (did they have to sit them on the same love seat?) hoping for more than what it was. Nick was pretty mature about the whole thing by admitting that they were immature. Shawn sort of mumbled his way through stating that he wasn’t the jealous type and that he had a bad feeling about Nick. That’s all.
Something was different about Shawn on the ATFR – he definitely took a bit of the “poof” out of his side part. His teeth were whiter. Maybe he wanted to match Kaitlyn’s skimpy white dress. Or maybe it was all the tanner / makeup that both of them were wearing? I don’t know. I did like that Shawn is ready to help Kaitlyn battle the cyberbullies. She’s been through enough already – I hope she can now just enjoy her man.
Probably the most controversial point of the entire 3 hours is Nick pointing out that Kaitlyn should have told him sooner that he was not her guy. I get it, Nick. It is what he signed up for. I don’t think that Kaitlyn was our most articulate Bachelorette. Particularly when breaking up with someone. She’s not the best at describing her feelings and often bites her lip and nods or just says that her heart is beating out of her chest and she’s shaking. So I kind of agree that she could have told him early on. Like that knock from Nick Lane could have been Kaitlyn letting him go. But at least we got to see one more gorgeous Neil Lane ring!
It took 3 hours to learn that Shawn and Kaitlyn don’t seem to have any permanent plans other than going to a public coffee shop together. But they do seem very happy to be together and I hope they can figure out something that works long term. I don’t think we saw them have a single conversation about where they’ll live or what they’ll do for work if they move. Ahhh, Bachelorette love.
On that note, it’s been wonderful sharing this season of The Bachelorette with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts on tonight’s finale and the outcome overall. Were you surprised? Are you satisfied? What’s Nick going to do now?
Stay tuned for Bachelor in Paradise updates! I’ll chime in after the show each week and hope to hear from you!!