> The Bachelorette final result: Emily Maynard picks a winner
We begin in the studio, with everyone getting excited about the later live After the Final Rose... especially when Chris Harrison reveals that there are some "shocking secrets" to reveal (yikes!) and some updates on Emily, Arie and Jef. He nicely pauses to pay tribute to the victims of the shooting in Aurora, before getting this season finale under way...
Emily's in Willemstad, Curacao, though she has no idea who she's going to pick - Arie or Jef? She reveals she has "fallen in love with two different guys" and has no idea what to do. Ricki's joined her, but Emily admits that she's not sure whether to introduce her to the guys yet - "I want to be sure that if I get engaged it'll be for real." To help her, her parents Suzy and Dave, brother Ernie, and future sister-in-law Bethany are in Curacao, too!
Jef meets the family
Jef's first up to meet the family - and he's worried that the "stakes are huge" because he's never loved anyone like he loves Emily. Aww. But Jef's always been good at being charming, and after giving the women flowers, it's clear almost straight away that everyone loves him. There's some general chat, of course, but it's not long before Suzy pulls Jef aside for a one-on-one; she's "very cautious" because of Emily's past romantic history with Brad.
But Jef wins her over pretty quickly as he speaks about how in love with Emily he is, and talks about Ricki, too. "Not a single ounce of me will leave her, ever," he adds. Suzy's pleased - Jef made her "heart happy"! But can he do the tough thing and win over the brother? Um, yes. Ernie is kind of terrifying and tough, but he soon melts after speaking with Jef, and later says he was "really impressed". So there's just the dad to go, now...
This is the big one for Jef, who's hoping to propose to Emily. In fact, he asks for Dave's blessing! This could be pretty awkward, but luckily Dave's also loving a bit of Jef and says he "certainly" has his permission - "You just make Emily extremely happy." So all round, it's been a pretty good day for Jef... and now he's just that much more ready to propose!
Arie meets the family
Emily's hoping her family will remain open-minded when it comes to Arie, considering that they loved Jef so much ("I'm not sure why we're going through seeing another guy today," Dave says, apparently with his mind made up). Arie's certainly super nervous, and when he gets nervous, he gets... talky. It's all a little awkward at first, but the minute he produces a box containing all of the roses Emily's given him? Yeah, that's when things start to warm up!
Suzy even says the gesture touched her heart, and after she has alone time with him she admits she's "blown away". She's not the only one - Ernie and Dave are also surprised by how much they like Arie and how much he seems to care for Emily. Dave gives him his blessing too, dependent on Emily's decision. So it was a good day for him, too, and Emily's still confused about who to pick. Why doesn't she ask her family?
Well, she does. But they're not much help - they're just as confused as she is! No matter how hard she pushes, they refuse to name one man over the other. "Now I'm even more confused," Emily sighs. "I don't know. That's what I needed their help for!" Yeah, she seems a little annoyed! But she takes some time with her mom, who suggests that the men meeting Ricki will help her decide (though Emily's reluctant to introduce them in case it doesn't work out).
Still, something else Suzy says sticks with Emily - she thinks she should wait to get engaged to see how things go with Ricki. That makes Emily question things, like if she still doesn't know who the guy for her is, maybe it's not either of them? There are a few tears as she sighs: "It's just been a long day." Oh, Emily!
Emily's feeling the pressure, since she needs a man who fits with Ricki... but at the same time, she doesn't want to introduce her to two different guys. But for his part, Jef - who is "crazy in love" with Emily - is keen to meet Ricki, since she's such a huge part of Emily's life. The couple head down to the beach for a chat, but the conversation soon turns to Ricki and how much Jef would like to meet her.
Emily's still reluctant - "It's a big decision" and she has a "guilty conscience" about introducing Ricki to Brad - but when Jef asks how she would feel if she fell completely in love with someone but hadn't met their daughter, she begins to change her mind. "Because I feel so confident in you and what we have I want you to see that side of me; I want you to see her," she decides - Jef's going to meet Ricki today!
Emily explains in private that she hopes she's making the right choice - she just has to follow her heart, and hey, Jef can't get a full picture of her life until he meets Ricki. Meanwhile, Jef's thrilled (if nervous), because it feels like the final piece of the puzzle. The meeting itself is all quite sweet, as the trio play in the pool and Ricki seems to accept Jef pretty quickly (obviously it's a little awkward at first, but Ricki doesn't seem too fazed by the whole thing). And both Emily and Jef are thrilled with how it goes, too. "It totally exceeded every expectation I had," Emily says.
After the pool fun, the trio sit together on the steps - Ricki on her mom's lap - and talk about stuffed animals and their trips around the world. Jef thinks that was the "best part", because it felt like "normal life". But they can't talk all night - Jef and Emily have to go to dinner (helpfully with the glow from the success of their meeting).
Of course, their evening is very romantic - Jef feels like all the pieces are in place now he's met Ricki. They have a toast, and Emily admits that Ricki asked if Jef could come back! But they also reminisce about their time together (and get kissy) before Jef gives Emily a present - a book about Curacao. Not the most romantic present, you say? Oh, but he's drawn stick people on the pages - him and Emily. It's kind of adorable, and she flicks through the pages to find them. "I feel more comfortable around Jef than I've felt around anybody in a really long time," she admits. As for Jef, he can imagine holding her hand until he's 110!
But that's it for the night - and Jef admits saying bye was the "hardest goodbye" he's ever said. Will Arie take Emily away from him? We'll have to wait and see...
Making some big decisions
After her date with Jef, Emily "had a sense of peace" about what she needs to do... but not any peace about doing it. So she meets up with Chris for a chat, and reveals that Jef meeting Ricki pushed her over the edge - she now knows he's everything she is looking for. Chris "could not be happier" that she's made a decision, but he has to ask - what about Arie? Just the mention of his name makes Emily tear up!
"I can't even be happy because I just feel so bad," she admits. She explains that she won't be able to go on a date with him knowing that she won't pick him - it could have been him last week, but not anymore. "I need to tell Arie that as much as I love him, I've fallen in love with someone else a little bit more," she says. But as she sobs that she doesn't even know how to start, it really feels genuine. She insists she did fall in love with Arie... and she doesn't want to hurt him. "My heart is broken," she confesses.
The big break-up
Arie obviously has no idea Emily's made up her mind, and it's kind of awful to see him mixing a love potion as he waits for Emily to arrive for their date, talking about how he's in love with her and getting engaged tomorrow and can't wait to hear her say she loves him back. Ouch. I mean, seriously, the show lays it on thick. As for Emily, she's crying before she's even said hello to Arie! It's obvious she's struggling, too, and soon she asks if they can talk.
She pretty much bursts into tears and Arie - who looks kind of horrified - is basically reduced to saying: "What's up? What's the matter?" Eventually, Emily manages to get out that though she has felt connected to him from their first date and beyond, it's not going to happen. (There's an awkward moment when Arie thinks it's because of her family, then realises that she made the decision thanks to her date with Jef.)
She apologises and insists that Arie is "everything" (there are lots of tears from both of them). Arie admits he's shocked, as Emily says she did mean everything she said. Arie kisses her and leaves, though Emily follows him - which kind of seems to irritate him a little, as he can't give her the goodbye she wants. But he does thank her for "sparing" him from the embarrassment of being turned down tomorrow, with the final rose. They hug (and their hearts on the microphones beat so fast) and then Arie gets into his car to be driven away (he slams the door, a little), leaving Emily sobbing.
In the car, a tearful Arie reveals that he feels confused, stupid and naive. "I had that dream for us," he says, bemoaning the fact that he gives so much and doesn't get it back. "I guess I just misjudged," he says. "It's just unreal that it's over." He even seems to groan a little bit as he says that Emily is still the love of his life. "Since the beginning this has just been about Emily and I can't believe that I'm here," he says. "It felt really good to fall in love."
As if that wasn't all devastating enough, we then see the stony faces of the live studio audience looking very grave indeed as Chris says that's one of the "most emotional scenes" he's ever seen. There's also time to speak with some Bachelorette vets, like Ashley, JP, Michael, DeAnna and Ashley S - all of whom basically agree that though they feel for Arie, Emily did the right thing. But how are things going to end up with Emily and Jef?
Will we get an engagement?
Though it was hard saying goodbye to Arie, Emily knows that she made the right decision - she feels so great that she's found the guy that could be with her forever. Though Jef has edge, like she wanted, he's also kind and thoughtful and sweet. "I do picture the perfect life and it's all because I really do see Jef in it," she says. Jef must feel the same, because he's picking out an engagement ring with Neil Lane! He does admit it's "scary" though - so much could still happen.
He wants to make sure she feels the same as he does before proposing, but even though Emily's chosen him (though he doesn't know it), she still might not say yes. Emily explains that she never thought she would break up with Brad - that relationship "put a lot of doubt" in her heart, and now she's worried about getting engaged too quickly. What's going to happen?
Emily takes her place and waits for Jef, still not sure whether she'd accept any proposal. Meanwhile, Jef arrives to discover his fate! He pauses - just a moment - before walking up to stand with Emily, and after a couple of pleasantries - you look nice, good suit - it's time to get down to business!
Emily says she can look back on every single moment of The Bachelorette and know it was worth it, because now she can stand there and tell him he is everything she has wanted for so long. "I really do feel like you're my soulmate - the perfect person for me and you get me better than anyone has, ever," she says, adding: "I love you so, so much."
She reveals that he's the only guy who met Ricki, and that Arie didn't even get a final date. He's not even there right now. "Our day is just me and you," she tells him, as Jef says it's the best thing he's ever heard. He says he feels like the "luckiest man in the world", talking about how much fun they have and how they seem to click so well. "I think it's so incredibly meant to be that you and I found each other like this here and I'm so grateful that we did," he says.
He adds that he's grateful she never gave up on love... because: "I found my everything." Gulp! He promises that if Emily lets him into her life and Ricki's life, she will "never feel lonely ever again". He adds: "What I'm about to ask you aren't just empty words... What I'm about to ask is a forever thing." You guessed it - he gets down on one knee and asks Emily to marry him. Emily pauses - will she do it? Yes! They kiss and we see their time together on the show, and then Emily presents Jef with the final rose, just before Ricki runs up to join them and the trio walk off together. "We did it!" Emily declares. And if you didn't shed a tear, you're a very tough human being...