'The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose' Recap: True Love and the Next Bachelor
'The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose' Recap: True Love and the Next Bachelor
Bill King
Bill King
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Um, yeah. So if we've ever needed an immediate follow-up to a surprising love story on The Bachelorette, it's season 8 with Desiree Hartsock.

Des' quest for love ended with a rather abrupt engagement to Chris after love-of-her-life Brooks unceremoniously crushed her dreams and went home in part one of the finale. But then Chris said some nice stuff, I guess, picked up the shattered pieces of her heart and put them back together like Humpty Dumpty, forming a new woman whose motivations almost don't seem believable.

I just don't see how she was ready to accept a proposal from someone else so quickly, even if she claims Brooks blindsided her from seeing what was right in front of her all along. So ... let's find out what has transpired since that fateful day on a bluff in Antigua. 

Are they still together? Did they already get married? How did Chris feel when he saw how in love Desiree was with Brooks before settling for him? Is Drew okay? And is Juan Pablo the next Bachelor, or will we be wasting our time with Zak. Let's dive in.

The Bachelorette Finale Recap: Does Desiree Find Love? >>>

Here Comes the Bride

Chris Harrison asks if anyone can believe what they just saw, and I still cannot. Desiree is up first, solo for now, and she's still sporting that rock on her left hand. The first question is how the heck did she get over Brooks so quickly?

Her answer is that sometimes you have to go through heartbreak to see the beauty in love. Yeah, for most people, that doesn't happen in less than a week. Still, the Brooks fiasco put everything into perspective for her, and now she thinks Chris is the most amazing man she's ever met.

She claims she was more drawn to Brooks because of the thrill of the chase, because she was pining for something that wasn't visibly there, and she may have disregarded a red flag or two. The other guys' feelings were so transparent that it was slightly less enticing. But even before that last date with Chris, Des' feelings were real and growing for her eventual fiance. Still, she wasn't putting pressure on herself to have a certain result. 

Brooks on the Hot Seat

So while Brooks is in the house, they apparently didn't let him watch the finale and he has no idea how it went down or that Desiree is even engaged. Could've at least hooked up the guy with a TV, right? 

Des thinks that her openness and honesty when Brooks left helped her get closure, but she's nervous to see him again. He has since chopped off some of his locks, and the now slightly cleaner cut contestant looks lovingly at the woman he walked away from.

Watching how it all played out reminds Brooks just how invested he was in the relationship, the struggle he went through and how much he wanted it to work. He was exhausted at the end, and it's tough to re-live. 

She wants to know what specifically happened between the hometown date and the trip to Antigua that made him change his mind, and his response is that the away time kept his head and heart separate from the experience. When you feel it, you know it, and he just didn't feel it. 

As for the awkward, drawn-out break-up, he felt like he should stay until she dismissed him, which is why he stuck around without knowing what to say or do. We thank you for that, Brooks. After about 45 minutes of watching you try and comfort the woman you just dumped, I was literally screaming at the TV (and my girlfriend), "Okay, let's move on alreadyyyyyy!" 

Speaking of moving on, Desiree breaks the news of her pending nuptials by saying, "After you left, it actually was really good," which prompts a burst of laughter from the audience. Brooks looks a little startled, but congratulates her and says he saw the way she looked at Chris. 

Has Drew Gotten Over His Broken Heart?

My early pick and 1950s favorite Drew returns to the limelight, having just bested all the neighborhood kids in the annual town hall soap-box derby, even after pesky and entitled ginger bully Piedmont had his dad install paper mache rocket thrusters in his wooden vehicle, while Drew used manners and good intentions to power his cardboard go-kart to victory.

But is the double-stacked trophy enough to get Drew over the heartache of losing Desiree? Could he possibly rebound as quickly as she did? Is he hanging out with Mikey and James, banging rich chicks on boats in Chicago? 

Drew emerges looking as dapper as ever, but he has a flood of emotions seeing Des for the first time in three months. It's been a long recovery process, and he was moving towards a place of happiness before watching these last few episodes. He didn't see the heartbreak coming, so watching it all unfold was difficult.

He got his first warning sign seeing Desiree so broken up at the rose ceremony after Brooks was gone, and he thought her greeting with Chris was a bit warmer. Then on their last date, when he walked around the corner and didn't see her giddy to see him, he knew they "were heading down a street to Break-Up Town pretty quickly."

He wasn't angry and has no regrets or resentments. He has much to be thankful for, thinks Desiree is a great person and Chris is a lucky guy, and he can smile knowing that Des got what she was looking for in the whole experience. But he has some questions. 

First, could he have done anything differently? No. The audience didn't see when, on the beach, Drew asked Desiree when she knew it wasn't going to work out. But she couldn't give him a straight answer then. Can she now? No. Was he always a bit behind Brooks and Chris? No.

His questions are direct, emotional and insightful, and her answers are not. He truly fell in love with her, and while he's always in her corner and has nothing but love for her, he's no longer in love with her. He understands what happened now, and he wouldn't want anything less than reciprocated love. 

Whew! That was a lot. I would love it if Drew became the next Bachelor. That would be quite an emotional roller coaster, as he certainly would fall head over heels with at least six women. Was polygamy still legal in the 1950s?

The Dying Rose: Brooks and Drew's Journeys to The Bachelorette Heartbreak >>>

The Happy Couple Unveiled

Chris and Desiree appear in public for the first time and can't stop kissing, prompting Chris Harrison to separate them with a crowbar. He strokes her shoulder, and they genuinely look happy together. But what about Brooks? What about everything Chris has seen since?

They've built something great on the show and after, and he 100% believes and trusts in the relationship. For him, it started with the connection after dodgeball and the moment they shared on the roof. There are smiles and kisses as they watch their proposal for the first time, but no tears, at least not ones that fall.

So What's Next?

Desiree will be moving to Seattle after all -- this weekend -- even though I'm still not in love with how Chris brought up the subject basically as a necessity. But they got their own place, so it won't feel like she is living in his house and they can build a life together.

Chris apparently violated the confidentiality agreement by telling his family they were engaged, but I doubt he'll be facing any legal action as the winner. And since he missed his chance for this in the finale, as a parting gift for this reunion, Chris has written, and framed, a poem for Desiree. Yipee. 

"My Girl" is surrounded by a dozen dried roses, one from each of the ceremonies, and it goes a lil' something like this:

Eh-HEM! (clears throat)

I found the woman of my dreams
And she is now by my side every day
A love that is eternal and full of passion
Will keep us together and never go away

I get to hold you and hug you
I get to kiss you and love you
Like a drum, my heart never stops beating
And I will always be there for you

You're the one, you're the one for me
The only way I want this to continue
Is with you in my life every moment
Always meant to be

Fall forward with me forever

I love you!

Wow, that is truly horrific poetry. And he rips off Phillip Phillips' "Gone, Gone, Gone." And his rhyming patterns are all over the place, as usual. (He ends the lines of a stanza with you, you, beating and you. That sounds like the four words Drew says to his wife after she overcooks the chicken.) And he ends with an exclamation point. And there's no flow or rhythm whatsoever. AND this must hang in every place they live together for the rest of their lives. 

It takes a special person to be accepting of that. This is the kind of poem you hang on your fridge for a week, max, when your 11-year-old brings it home from school with a B- on it. And on day three, you're like, yeahhhh, that needs to come down soon.

So perhaps I judged too harshly. Maybe they have a chance after all. I just feel like Desiree finally picked the guy who loved her more than she loved him, after always falling desperately in love with the the guy who didn't return the same level of affection. And that works sometimes, as it's almost a direct quote from Sex and the City. It's why she couldn't end up with Drew, because he needs the love balance, too. But Chris will be just fine loving her more. 

And FYI, some insider information tells me that Chris HAS NOT watched either part of the finale, and he apparently has no plans to. So all he knows of Brooks' and Desiree's breakup is what Desiree told him. But he's happy not knowing the extent of it all. What do you think about that?


Who is ... the Next Bachelor?

Without further adieu, the next man looking for love on national television is ... JUAN PABLO. Our 32-year-old Venezuelan former professional soccer player moved to Miami and quit the sport when his four-year-old daughter was born on Valentine's Day. (She is four now, not when she was born.)

Women across America swooned when he just said she is forever his Valentine. He wants more kids, but it's difficult to be a single dad, which is why he took a chance on The Bachelorette. The whole experience was an eye-opening experience for him, and he's ready for love and wants to spend Christmas morning with his growing family. 

Juan Pablo salsas his way out on stage to a standing ovation of screaming women, and he's all smiles at the prospect of having 25 suitors drooling over him. He says it was a difficult decision for him to make, but he thinks it's a great opportunity to find the person who will complete his life. And in addition to this great news, it's also Juan Pablo's birthday. 

The Bachelor isn't on the fall schedule, so we've got some time before Juan Pablo's quest for love begins in January. Get out your claws, ladies, it's going to be a catfight for a spot in those limos. Saucer of milk, table two. Meow. 

Thanks to everyone who took this Bachelorette journey with me these last three months. I always appreciate every reader and every comment -- that's what makes doing these recaps worthwhile. Hopefully, you'll be back with BuddyTV to watch Juan Pablo take the plunge.

What did you think of Desiree Hartsock's season overall? Are she and Chris in it for the long haul? Do you feel like she was legitimately able to get over Brooks so quickly? And what do you expect from Juan Pablo on The Bachelor? Is he too much of a ladies' man to settle down so easily? Thanks again for a great season, and we'll see you again in January!

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(Image courtesy of ABC)