In the aftermath of Arie Luyendyk’s stunning reversal, The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special was guaranteed to be literally unprecedented.
With the dust still settling from the most painful 40-minute scene in the history of reality TV, what could the ABC hit do for an encore?!
Having dispatched his first fiancee, Arie wasted no time trying to lock down a second on night two of this five-hour finale event.
Would Lauren Burnham, spurned on The Bachelor finale for Becca, go along with his grand switcheroo and grant him another chance?
Would The Bachelor spoilers, which accurately called Arie ending his engagement with Becca Kufrin, be proven correct once again?
Indeed, and indeed.
By 8:30, we’d seen Arie travel to Virginia Beach, hurriedly explain his dubious actions to Lauren, and have her take him back enthusiastically.
Oh, okay. Cool!
In need of some filler, Chris Harrison brought out Tia Booth, Caroline Lunny, Bekah Martinez and Kendall Long to gauge their reactions.
Suffice it to say, they weren’t fans.
Bekah thinks Arie is a tool and Lauren should run for the hills. Seinne thinks that Arie playing up the big “risk” he’s taking was nonsense.
All five of the guests seem to genuinely like Lauren, LOVE Becca, and loathe Arie for being a disingenuous, indecisive waffler.
Yup. Pretty much sums it up.
Then s–t got real. For the second consecutive night, Becca was kind (brave, strong) enough to face the music … and her former fiance.
Drum roll please …
Becca wasted no time putting the screws to her ex over the timetable of his now-infamous “reaching out” to Lauren during their engagement.
Arie’s explanation of “wanting to get his thoughts in order” before doing what he needed to do came across as marginal at best.
She also took him to task for so quickly closing the door on their relationship – their engagement – rather than trying to open it.
All valid points. He didn’t dispute them.
Luyendyk owned the fact that he proposed to her when his heart wasn’t in it, chalking that up to the enormous pressure of the moment.
An explanation is not an excuse, as she pointed out and he openly admitted, saying he’ll always regret what he put her through.
All is forgiven?
Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, a duo that certainly knows what Arie and Lauren are about to go through, sat down for more filler.
The highlight of which was Jason recommend that Arie get out of dodge for a few weeks, and Chris Harrison adding, “or a few years.”
Finally, after an hour and 15 minutes, Arie and Lauren took the stage together to tell us her side of the story – and where they stand.
Long story short: Totes together.
Did she see this coming? No, she says … but she hoped that it would just the same, and clearly, she embraced it 100 percent.
Lauren professed her love, praising Arie’s bravery, honesty and respectfulness, and saying she trusts him with her heart completely.
CRICKETS from the audience.
Haters gonna hate, as they say, but Arie says he’s gonna shake it off. So to speak. His paraphrasing of that was “it doesn’t matter.”
Not only are Arie and Lauren together, they seem remarkably content with that fact and the unconventional route they took to get there.
Still crickets from the gallery.
The tension in the air was so thick, you could cut it with a knife, but that would soon change thanks to the ultimate ice-breaker:
ARIE GOT DOWN ON ONE KNEE and proposed to her on live television. Lauren Elizabeth Burnham cried as she said yes.
It was actually dramatic!
Yeah. No one was entirely sure how to react to that, but there were no mixed emotions about the announcement of the next Bachelorette:
This was a no-brainer for the show, or anyone who knows Becca, and anyone who watches the show, and anyone with a pulse honestly.
The only variable was Becca herself; Kufrin would’ve been forgiven for going into a witness protection program after this winter.
Not the case, though. Her heart is on the mend, she has a lot of love to give (her words), and she’s ready to find the man of her dreams.
Form an orderly queue, gents. Like … now. Becca met some of the men from her season immediately after this announcement!
Gotta hand it to ABC.
After the drama of last night, absent more epic bombshells, the After the Final Rose denouement was bound to feel anticlimactic.
It was, but at the same time, it offered CLOSURE (drink!) and tied up loose ends while offering a number of feel-good moments.
A public apology, a surprise engagement and a beloved new Bachelorette. Good luck topping that in 2019, future Bachelor.