ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — “The Bachelorette,” Kaitlyn Bristowe, has found love with Shawn Booth.
She accepted a proposal from the 29-year-old personal trainer from Connecticut on the season finale of the ABC series on Monday night.
The romantic moment came after Kaitlyn spurned Nick Viall, now a runner-up on The Bachelorette for two consecutive seasons.
When Kaitlyn chose Shawn as the winner, she told him, “The truth is you light me up and make me laugh and, most importantly, you allow me to be myself.”
“The truth is I never want you to question what we have ever again because I am completely yours,” she added.
Shawn popped the question, Kaitlyn said yes, and they enjoyed a nice, long kiss. To make it really official, Kaitlyn awarded Shawn the final rose.
“I feel like the happiest guy in the world!” Shawn announced. “We’re in love,” Kaitlyn chimed in.
On the After the Final Rose special that followed the finale, Kaitlyn said she felt as if it was Christmas morning, because she could finally go public with her relationship with Shawn. Their immediate plans: just “living life” out in the open, together.
The proposal brightened Kaitlyn’s mood after a tense breakup with Nick, with whom she’d famously had sex in Dublin, Ireland. She said to him, “I want to find something that has gone wrong and the only explanation that I have is my heart is just with somebody else.”
Kaitlyn emphasized that she didn’t regret any of the moments they’d shared during the season, but Nick, a 34-year-old software sales executive from Chicago who joined the competition a few weeks in, wasn’t buying it. “You took things from me,” he declared.
Furthermore, he argued, “It’s not fair for you to tell me that what I feel, you feel the same. ‘Cause you don’t. If you did, you’d have a ring on your finger right now.”
As he departed in a limo, Nick dramatically put the engagement ring back into its box and tossed it aside. “I’m the world’s biggest joke,” he said to himself.
The whole scene called to mind last year’s After the Final Rose special, when Nick upset then-“Bachelorette”Andi Dorfman by asking her how she could sleep with him when she knew she wasn’t in love with him.
The season finale began with Kaitlyn, a 30-year-old dance instructor from Vancouver, introducing both men to her family in Los Angeles. Her mother, father, stepmother, stepfather and sister first met with Nick.
Kaitlyn told them beforehand that she’d slept with Nick in Dublin, which could have made the meeting incredibly awkward, but that turned out not to be the case.
Kaitlyn’s mom was surprised that Nick was in the picture, and she didn’t have a flattering opinion of him, based on his previous appearance on The Bachelorette. During a private moment with him, she said that he had come off as “possessive” and “jealous” during that season.
However, Nick won Mom over by explaining how he’d formed an emotional connection with Kaitlyn from the beginning, and was in love with her. Because he’d shown such emotion while expressing his feelings for Kaitlyn, her mom changed her mind about him and gave him her blessing — as did Kaitlyn’s dad in a later conversation.
Kaitlyn’s mom had Nick on the brain when it was Shawn’s turn to be grilled by the family. She was concerned with Shawn’s jealousy over Kaitlyn’s relationship with Nick, as well as the fact that Kaitlyn had told him about her night in Dublin with Nick.
Shawn replied that he had a solid relationship with Kaitlyn, one that would only strengthen if and when their romance becomes exclusive.
Kaitlyn’s mom and dad gave Shawn permission to propose to their daughter.
Following the meet-and-greets, Kaitlyn had her final one-on-one dates with the men. She enjoyed a romantic boat ride with Nick, after which he presented her with a gift: a framed photo of their first date, accompanied by a sweet message describing his feelings for her.
Kaitlyn’s date with Shawn was set at a winery. Both seemed to be uncomfortable around one another. “I just want to be normal with you, but….,” Kaitlyn said, eventually explaining that she had a lot to ponder, considering she would receive a proposal the next day.
Shawn’s insecurity emerged again, admitting he’d been wondering what she’d been up to with Nick on the other date.
“I wasn’t nervous at all coming into today. I was excited to see her. I knew 100 percent I was going to propose to her tomorrow,” Shawn told the cameras. “But now after talking to her I don’t know anymore because I’m starting to get a pit in my stomach and I don’t know if she’s having doubts about me.”
The conversation warmed up once they left the winery. When Kaitlyn asked him what he saw in their future if they were to get married, Shawn gushed, “It would be amazing…It will never not be fun with you.”
Like Nick, Shawn gave Kaitlyn a gift: a jar filled with notes and other memories of their romance.
The next day, Kaitlyn and Shawn got engaged, and Nick was sent on his way.
After the Final Rose served as a platform to unveil Kaitlyn and Shawn as an engaged couple. But it also featured Nick, giving Shawn and him an opportunity to discuss their differences. Shawn conceded that they didn’t “click at all,” because he “just had a bad feeling” about his rival.
Was Shawn jealous of Nick, though? Shawn didn’t seem to think so. He implied that he was just a man who wears his heart on his sleeve.
Kaitlyn spoke with Nick on After the Final Rose, too. She again tried to explain why she rejected him: “No love that I had was as strong as the one that I had for Shawn.”
Nick lamented the fact that he was eliminated only after he picked out a ring and worked on his proposal, though he didn’t think Kaitlyn intentionally hurt him by waiting so long to break the news to him.
Though The Bachelorette season has ended, it won’t be long before you’ll be able to get your fix of the dating franchise again: Bachelor in Paradise premieres next Sunday night on ABC. It features some of the guys who appeared on The Bachelorette this summer.
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