(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Tuesday’s finale of “The Bachelorette.”)
Hannah Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette” came to an end on Tuesday night, revealing the long-awaited fallout of the revelation that one of her final two suitors was in a relationship with another woman until a day before he left for the show.
Host Chris Harrison introduced the episode teasing revelations about “the massive destructive forces of lies and betrayal” and a proposal, which “in retrospect can only be described as cringe-worthy.”
The comments were a less-than-subtle nod to a widely circulated tell-all from contestant Jed Wyatt’s ex-girlfriend Haley Stevens, who confessed that she was in a four-month relationship with with the aspiring musician prior to the show. Stevens said he told her he only participated to further his career.
However, back in Greece and still none the wiser, Brown’s choice between Wyatt and Tyler Cameron at the top of the episode caused her such a crisis of confidence that she took an accidental downhill tumble in the middle of a street.
But once she got up and dusted herself off, Brown finally made her choice and sent Cameron packing, letting Wyatt come through with his guitar to serenade her with a song and a tearful proposal. The couple then turned directly toward the camera to declare their love for each other and happily announce their engagement.
That happiness proved to be shortlived, with Wyatt having to, as Harrison put it, “face the music” regarding his relationship with Stevens.
Brown and Wyatt’s sit-down was filmed for the show, with Wyatt attempting to downplay the significance of the revelations, despite confessing to having told her he loved her. Brown, for her part, called him out for letting her find out about the extent of that relationship in People magazine. “This is obviously humiliating for me. My brother’s getting messages, my mom’s getting messages,” she said.
“It’s hurtful because I’m here,” Brown said. “I’ve been doing all the things to prepare for it. How would you ever be ready to be engaged? I’ve been doing all the freaking steps … You got to see all of my, but I didn’t get to see all of you.”
Telling him that she believed they had different ideas about what a relationship requires, Brown removed her ring and pointedly left it sitting on the table.
Later, back in front of the studio audience, Brown confessed to Harrison, “I am not with Jed anymore. The engagement is over; we are not together. That is not what I said yes to … a love that’s not built on a foundation of truth and honesty.”
Harrison then brought out Wyatt for what he repeatedly stated would be their first conversation since their breakup. Wyatt delivered a lengthy, stilted apology to Brown and her family, which she accepted with compassion.
“What you did was not good and not right, but I did fall in love with you,” she said. “I know that person’s in there and I hope that from this you’ll be honest and learn and grow into the man that I do believe you can be.”
“I never fathomed falling in love there, and I never fathomed it being on the level that it was,” Wyatt admitted. “To see myself with someone forever … I’ve never had that level of relationship, and that came with you so naturally.”
“I wish that I could change the past, but I can’t,” he said. “My love for you will never leave me.”
As is tradition, Brown’s runner-up Cameron was also brought out for his first conversation with her since she ended their relationship. To the delight of the studio audience, Brown took advantage of her newfound singledom to ask Cameron out on a date.
“I think we just need to try being normal people,” she explained to Harrison.