The Bachelor Finale Recap: Who Did Zach Choose? (Plus, Vote in Our Poll!)
We’ve reached the end of another season of The Bachelor — but did we actually get a happy ending this time?
It’s been a rough few years for Bachelors: Clayton got rejected by Susie at his final rose ceremony (they later reunited and then broke up for good); Matt split up with Rachael after a firestorm of controversy linked to photos of her at an antebellum party, although they’re currently still dating; and Peter ditched Hannah Ann to try things with Madison, and that didn’t work out, either. And Colton? Well, let’s just pretend that never happened. So we were really kind of crossing our fingers that Zach Shallcross could set things right and get The Bachelor back on track. (“On track,” of course, being a relative term with this franchise.)
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“All I can promise is that tonight will be filled with shocking surprises, devastating heartbreak and many, many tears,” host Jesse Palmer told viewers atop Monday’s three-hour finale. And what do you know, he was absolutely right.
But even after introducing both Kaity Biggar and Gabi Elnicki to his family in the first hour, and after surviving a troublesome (but thankfully brief) audio outage on ABC, Zach still didn’t seem 100-percent certain which woman would be left standing with him in the end.
“To be completely honest … I’m so torn,” Zach admitted midway through the marathon event. “It’s the biggest decision of my life. And I don’t know where, like, fully I’m going to be in two days. But I feel so good that the right thing is going to happen. I truly do feel that.”
In the end, Zach did make a choice. But before he could get down on one knee with the meant he first had to deliver some bad news… to Gabi.
“What a journey you and I have been on,” Zach told Gabi on the beach. “We’ve had probably some of the wildest times together. … All of our moments have been life changing, and there’s so much I love and adore about you. Knowing you and falling in love with you has made me a better man. But…”
That’s where Gabi stopped him. She had a feeling the day was going to turn out this way, and she didn’t want or need to hear any more of what Zach had to say. Still, he continued: “As much as I’ve been falling in love with you, I’m sorry. You deserve a man that picks you first every day.”
At that point, Gabi was over it. Fighting back tears, she calmly excused herself from the traumatic ordeal. “I’ll find love somewhere, somehow,” she told Zach through tears, wishing him and Kaity all the happiness in the world.
She got much more candid when she was alone in the car. “That was f–ing humiliating!” Gabi said, sobbing uncontrollably. “I’ve been strung along this entire time now, for what? What really pisses me off is that I f–ing knew. I f–ing knew! When your gut speaks, you should listen to it. … I’m so unlovable for whatever f–ing reason. There’s something wrong with me. … Why am I so hard to love? Why am I always so misunderstood? I don’t know when someone’s going to choose me.”
After that devastating turn of events, Zach and Gabi came face to face on live television, where she explained that she felt violated by his decision to publicly reveal that they slept together.
“The way I handled things was completely wrong,” he replied. “My mind felt, which is wrong, that I needed to let everyone know that I went against my word. In reality, it hurt you. There’s nothing I can do to right that wrong, but I want you to know that the last thing I wanted to do was to hurt you like that. It was me purely trying to be honest, but that doesn’t matter, because it hurt you more. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”
Then came Zach’s big moment with Kaity, which probably would have been a lot more romantic had we not just sat through the world’s most uncomfortable relationship post mortem in recent memory.
“Zach, coming here, I didn’t think it could be me, that I could experience a big love, a love that you only read about in books, that you only see in movies. The truth is, I’ve never known what real love is. I’ve never experienced unconditional love. … I built my walls up so high that I couldn’t see past them, and then you stepped into my life. Zach, every moment I’ve spent with you, my walls came crumbling down. With every kiss, with every laugh and with every ‘hello, hello.’ I’m so in love with you, and so crazy in love with you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Honestly, if it’s not you, it’s not anyone.”
That was quite a gamble Kaity took there, but since we already knew that Zach had chosen her, it really didn’t stress us out too much.
“The love I feel for you is something I could never have imagined,” he said. “I love you so much. I love you with all my heart, and you’re the face I want to wake up to every morning. I want to go through life with you and only you. Kaity, I want to be with you forever.” Right on cue, Zach got down on one knee and proposed to the woman he called “my world, my best friend.” And she said yes!
And just like that, Zach’s search for love has come to an end. But you don’t get the summer off, Bachelor Nation: The Bachelorette, starring Zach’s ex Charity Lawson, premieres Monday, June 26 at 9/8c on ABC.
Alright, it’s your turn: Vote in our poll and tell us who Zach should’ve ended up with, and then hit the comments to share all of your post-finale thoughts.
Launch Gallery: <i>The Bachelor</i>: How Long Each Couple Lasted, From Shortest to Longest
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