Season 16 of The Bachelorette finally came to an end on Tuesday — two leading ladies later!
Fans of the reality TV show saw Clare Crawley find her happily ever after when she left the show early with fiancé Dale Moss, but did replacement Tayshia Adams get the proposal she was looking for, too? Or did she leave Palm Spring’s La Quinta Resort absolutely heartbroken?
Buckle up, because we are going to break down (*Cue Chris Harrison voice*) the most dramatic finale… EVER! And, yes, there will be MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.
Ben Officially Comes Back
On Tuesday’s finale, we picked up right where we left off with Ben Smith’s surprise return (if you hadn’t seen, check it out (above)) and confession of love for our bachelorette. The couple had a long conversation about why the Midwestern native didn’t reveal his feelings sooner, and while Tayshia admitted to missing him, she was also afraid he’d “run away” again if things got too hard.
We guess that didn’t matter too much as she later invited him to the rose ceremony.
Before the two went their separate ways, though, the Orange County resident pulled the military vet into a lingering kiss. Instantly regretting it, she said in an interview:
“Why would I kiss him? Why would I do that?”
The Rose Ceremony
Remaining frontrunners Ivan Hall and Zac Clark were obviously not excited to see Ben at the rose ceremony, but before things could even get started, Tayshia pulled Ivan to the side and broke up with him.
Ouch! We weren’t expecting that!
While many fans were SHOOK, it didn’t seem as much of a surprise to the Texan. There apparently was a conversation, which never made it to air, between the two about their different views on religion. In the limo, he mentioned that it was their difference in beliefs that drove the final wedge between them.
He also later explained to confused fans on social media:
“She only wants to date a Christian and I’m not religious.”
And promised to talk more about it on Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s Off The Vine podcast.
Ben & Zac Meet The Adams Family
There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than meeting the family, and Ben was up first. Tayshia’s dad seemed skeptical at first, but after some quality one-on-one time, he warmed up to the military veteran. Ben also won over her mom after he revealed that he was “in love with your daughter.” Plus, they took a ride around the resort on a scooter, which might have helped. By the end of the day, Tayshia admitted she was “falling in love with him all over again.”
Not a bad sign, right??
Then, it was Zac’s turn. Obviously, he had a great first impression, as the Release Recovery co-founder told her family that he wanted a future with the leading lady. Unfortunately, Tayshia didn’t seem as sure. Mr. Adams asked Tay to rate her readiness to marry Zac, and she only gave it an 8.95. Her dad noticed this hesitation and later on in the episode warned Tayshia about not making “the biggest mistake of your life.”
Girl. You should be at a 10!!
Her mom did note their chemistry, so at least he had that going for him! The rest of the night was a casual family dinner, where they enjoyed some “New York” style pizza.
At this point, Tayshia was just a giant bundle of confusion about who she wanted.
Final One-On-One Dates
Zac’s and Tayshia’s final one-on-one date was next to play out, starting with a clumsy dance lesson. (We definitely don’t see Dancing with the Stars knocking on their door anytime soon. LOLz!) The couple later had a heartfelt talk about their concerns where he reassured her that he’s “not going anywhere.” They exchanged mutual “I love you”s which is technically a Bachelor/Bachelorette no-no.
We’ll let it slide because unfortunately for Ben, Tayshia’s mind was made up, letting him know her heart belonged to someone else. They didn’t even make it to their date before she decided to break up with him.
Damn, twice in one week.
At the final rose ceremony, Zac is the only one left. The couple met up in a beautiful desert set-up where they professed their love for each other again. Ughh, how romantic! She was clearly touched, responding with her own emotional message for him:
“There was one point in my life where I thought I would never get married because of all of the pain and the heartbreak that I’ve been through. I hit absolute rock bottom and I know that I told you that I love you but, sorry, it’s more than that. It’s this wild, wild love that I have tried to come up with so many reasons to not believe, and you have truly just made me believe that there doesn’t need to be flaws and that I deserve a love with a man that won’t run away.”
Was that a slight dig at Ben there? She continued:
“I’m truly looking at my heart and yes, it is real. And I want to make more traditions and jump into fountains all over the world with you. I’m ready to hail a taxi. And I’m ready to start a life with you. But also, I love you, Zac Clark, and I’ll do absolutely anything to keep that huge smile on your face, because you do everything to keep a huge smile on mine.”
At this point, they’re both sobbing (and so were we). Zac was clearly touched, responding with his own heartfelt speech, which started off with:
“From our first kiss to riding the Ferris wheel to meeting each other’s families, nothing has ever felt so right my entire life. You’ve helped me experience the love that I didn’t know existed and you’ve made me smile more than anyone has ever made me smile. I love you, Tayshia.”
The 36-year-old got down on one knee and proposed to Tayshia with an emerald cut ring from Neil Lane. To no surprise, she said YES. After the proposal, they climbed into a paper taxi and revealed they were headed to New York.
Watch it (below):
Bonus: Zac’s Ex-Wife Speaks Out
Before the couple’s love story came to a close, Zac’s ex-wife Jennifer Stanley-George spoke with Us Weekly about seeing her ex-husband on the show.
“I have watched the show for years. I’ve always watched every season — Bachelor in Paradise and everything — so I literally was scrolling through my Facebook feed in the middle of the summer when I saw his picture, and I was like ‘Oh, OK!’ It’s been a little shocking and a little hard to watch. I won’t lie. But, I’ve long since moved on with my life and I’m happily married now and I just had a baby so, I’ve been obviously distracted, but I have watched this season.”
The pair got married back in June 2009, but later divorced in February 2012. The recovered drug addict and now specialist actually opened up to Tayshia during the season about his failed marriage, revealing they split due to his addiction. Despite the messy divorce, Jennifer had nothing but kind words about her ex-hubby and his soon-to-be new wife, saying:
“I love Tayshia. I watched her on the other shows too and she seems so sweet. I’ve kept in touch a little bit with his sister… He was really close to his sister, and we actually kept in touch on social media and I know she just had a baby too. She’s the one who wrote him in for the show and I feel like he would never have done this on his own because he’s just not into that kind of stuff. He’s not looking for followers.”
It sounds like he was there for the “right reasons”!
Are U happy with Tayshia’s final pick? Or are U super disappointed because you thought she’d walk away without a man? What do U see for the happy couple’s future? Sound OFF on everything in the comments (below)!
[Image via Judy Eddy/WENN]