Whether you hate him or really hate him, Arie Luyendyk Jr. will go down in The Bachelor history books after this epic three-hour finale.
Who did he choose, Becca Kufrin or Lauren Burnham … and what happened after that? Were The Bachelor spoilers correct all along?
Before we could find out if said Bachelor spoilers were on point, the remaining two ladies got to meet Arie’s family, seeking their approval.
Lauren Burnham hit it off with the Luyendyks, while Becca Kufrin seemed more shaken by the high stakes as decision day drew near.
Yet Arie’s family eventually gravitated toward Becca as the woman they saw a future with for their son. And Luyendyk seemed to agree.
As both ladies prepared for their last dates of the season, he seemed like he had made up his mind, but this is Arie we’re talking about.
Lauren went from long shot to even money, overnight.
After she finally opened up to him and talked about a future together that he envisioned in much the same way, Lauren turned a corner.
Arie was clearly infatuated with the 25-year-old all season long, but wondered if she would truly become vulnerable and let him in.
It wasn’t until this date that she did, and it made him question everything. Finally, he could picture himself spending a lifetime with her.
BUT … then it was time for Becca’s final date, and well, she’s the same, pretty, funny, smart, authentic girl next door she’s always been.
She got the nod … and the final rose, and the ring.
Prior to his proposal to the 27-year-old Becca, of course, Arie had to break up with Lauren, who was expecting a proposal herself.
Suffice it to say, she did not receive this well.
Apparently, neither did he … because he remained obsessed with Lauren, around the clock. This was after his engagement to Becca.
As weeks went by after he popped the question, Arie’s thoughts turned to Lauren, not the girl he’d gotten down on one knee for.
Becca was absolutely over the moon at the final rose ceremony, and afterward. But his heart was elsewhere, and he knew it.
He made a mistake, he confessed, and as painful as it is to admit it, he decided to follow his heart and end the engagement.
So it was time to blindside Becca … on TV.
In a hilariously overhyped yet nevertheless gripping sequence, producers filmed the ensuing breakup and aired it, unedited.
Viewers watched, blow by blow, as Arie delivered the gut-wrenching news and Becca reacted in shock in split screen format.
The footage was as raw and uncut as The Bachelor – or any reality show – has ever aired, and Becca’s pain was devastating to witness.
Arie tried to let her down gently, but there was no chance of that. The f-bombs flew. The tears flowed. The awkward silences lingered.
Just leave. Just go. Just leave. I want you to go.
Long after Arie had taken everyone aback (her especially) and broken Becca’s heart into a million pieces, the cameras kept on rolling.
And rolling, and rolling, and rolling still.
She covered her face implored him to please go. He just sat there. She sobbed more and more uncontrollably. He eventually left.
Caroline Lunny’s comment on last week’s “Women Tell All” special that she “knows what Arie did” sure makes a lot more sense now.
So does the odd emphasis on Arie falling in love with two women, and ABC’s relentless promotion of this historic, unexpected event.
It was nothing short of savage. Brutal.
“I feel like I was lied to for so long,” Becca lamented in the studio, after a standing ovation from the audience. “I have a ton of questions.”
You’re not the only one, Becs.
Seeing this story play out in real time was unlike anything we can compare it to – Chris Harrison was right about that – and it didn’t end there.
There are two more hours to go, and we’ve yet to hear from the beautiful woman Arie couldn’t get out of his mind, Lauren herself.