In arguably the “most dramatic ending in Bachelor history,” according to host Chris Harrison, season 22 of The Bachelor delivered an ending that came as a surprise to a number of fans. Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s journey came to a conclusion early this week, in a two-night event that stunned Bachelor Nation.
For weeks, fans took part in Arie’s journey to find love, through weekly, two-hour episodes on Monday nights that documented every step along the way. From week one, with more than twenty contestants, to the final night that left him with a choice between two women, fans continued to tune into ABC and watch Arie’s quest prevail.
“I am a dedicated Bachelor Nation member,” senior Gianna Jacobi said. “[I] am always on my couch at 8 o’clock every Monday night with my bowl of popcorn, ready for the next episode to start.”
Typically, each season of the show ends with the bachelor’s choice between the final two women. Audience members gasp as the first woman to exit the car receives a tearful goodbye, as a proposal waits for the winner. In Arie’s case, all seemed to go as planned on night one. Lauren Burnham was sent home, devastated, as Arie prepared to propose to Becca Kufrin. Of course, Kufrin accepted the proposal, and the two rejoiced together — until a bit of possible foreshadowing arrived, as Becca’s “final rose” broke off of its stem near the end of the episode.
The foreshadowing rang true in no time. Only moments later, viewers witnessed history: the first entirely unedited scene in the show’s history. Just weeks after their engagement, Arie decided to break up with Becca and pursue a relationship with Lauren–on camera.
“I think Arie was extremely cold with Becca while breaking up with her,” Jacobi said. “He didn’t express any emotion at all and was solely focused on getting back together with Lauren.”
A finale like this one had only been seen once in the show’s running. Back in season 12, bachelor Jason Mesnick broke up with his fiancée on camera to pursue the runner-up as well. However, as this switch was not received favorably by fans or the media, Arie’s lack of judgement received further questioning due to the example he could have taken into consideration.
In the end, Arie proposed to Lauren Tuesday night — on live television — and walked away with a new engagement. On the other hand, Becca began her journey as the bachelorette, where she will be given the chance to find love of her own. Premiering May 28, the next season of ABC’s The Bachelorette will follow Becca Kufrin on her journey to find love after Arie.