On tonight's Bachelorette
finale, Ali (to quote Chris Harrison) "broke the rules again" when, after introducing both final men to her family and going on a romantic Last Chance Date with Roberto, she let go of Chris before his final date and the Final Rose Ceremony. (Read the full Bachelorette
live recap for all my color commentary on tonight's two-hour finale.)
But for a woman who broke the rules, Ali came out smelling like roses, and got everything she wanted: the man of her dreams, a beautiful proposal
and no dumping (and therefore no tears) on the day of her engagement. She even managed to keep the love and respect of Chris, who thanked her for letting him go and sparing his feelings before the big day. That's called "breaking the rules"? Maybe Mike Fleiss and his Bachelor
minions should change
During tonight's The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose
, Chris Harrison spoke with Ali, her new fiance Roberto and Chris about those final days in Tahiti, and it was all smiles and hugs--even from Chris, who may not have "cemented those feelings" with Ali like he hoped in Bora Bora, but who certainly cemented his place as America's #1 choice for the next Bachelor
.Frank the No-Show
First, happily engaged Ali joined Chris to talk about tonight's finale. Before he could let her get to the good stuff, Chris Harrison had to ask Ali about Frank, the guy who flew to Tahiti only to immediately bolt for his not-so-ex-girlfriend back in Chicago. Chris Harrison said that Frank was originally supposed to appear on the After the Final Rose special but backed out at the last minute.
While Ali maintained that what Frank did was still "selfish," and that not showing up to give her closure was "even more selfish," she said she holds no hard feelings for him:
"I'm happy that he found love, and I'm even more happy that I've found love, so I can't be mad at him."
Even so, Ali admitted that she had deep feelings for Frank, and that if their date in Tahiti had gone well, she believed she would have given him a rose as one of her final two men.Chris Lambton, Always a Gentleman
Next, Chris Lambton joined Chris Harrison in the hot seat, and he looked better than ever, even as he watched footage of Ali revealing she was in love with someone else.
"If I could have been so lucky to end up with Ali, I would have led an amazing life," he said, but he understands why she did what she did.
"You can't control who you fall in love with and who you don't," said Chris. "As much as I wanted to be the one, it takes two. She didn't feel it, and you can't force it."
Chris admitted that "it takes a while to get over" any relationship, especially because he felt so strongly about Ali, but said he's already looking toward the future: "All you can hope is that you learn from it. I'm ready. I'm ready to go back. I'm ready to find my soul mate."
And if those aren't the words of a perfect next Bachelor
, I don't know what are. Chris L. Gets Closure with Ali
Ali came back out to see her two favorite Chrises, and talk about the day that she let go of Chris L. Despite their emotional parting, Ali and Chris had only kind words to say about each other, as both repeated how much respect they had for each other.
Chris thanked Ali again for sending him off early:
"I can't thank you enough for what you did. If we went through
that last date, I would have fallen for you even more. [...] My respect
for you and my love for you went through the roof when you did that. You
think of others, and that's one of your greatest qualities.
When it came down to it, Ali admitted, she and Chris shared "that fun side," while in her relationship with Roberto, "that romance was stronger." She said they planned to remain friends.
And she couldn't have picked a better friend than Chris, whose final words to the girl he once wanted to marry were entirely supportive.
"Thank you so much for taking me on this journey. I'm so happy you fell in love, because that's what you came here for, and you found an amazing guy. Congratulations."Ali and Roberto: Out in the Open
For the first time, Chris Harrison brought out Ali and Roberto as a couple, and they were gleaming with excitement to finally bring their engagement out in the open. Some of the highlights of their chat with Harrison:Ali on how she once thought Roberto was "too good to be true":
"I think my experience with guys like him, or even in movies, those really smooth guys, they're the players. But he's an unbelievable man."Roberto on when he realized he loved Ali:
"The first time that I really realized I could have a life with her, I think it was the third or fourth rose ceremony. She walked out, and everything else disappeared."Roberto on people's skepticism of The Bachelor process:
"I tell her all the time, I can't believe we met on a TV show. This is crazy. But it's people. It's just like anything else. You make a relationship work in your own right."Roberto on when he knew he was Ali's final one:
"I figured things looked good, because the first thing she did when she saw me, she just started smiling."Ali on their future plans:
"We got a place, an apartment we rented. We're going to be living in San Diego. Roberto's actually already living there. He was able to move his business there, and I'm going to find something for me to do. As long as we're together, that's all that matters."Ali on their wedding plans:
"We are happy, and sometimes we're like, 'Let's do this now.' We've talked about possibly next summer. He's cute and he's like, 'Sometimes I think the weather in the spring is a little bit better!'"
Chris Harrison then revealed that as a final parting gift to the happily engaged couple, the show was sending them for a romantic, all-expenses paid trip to Catalina Island. As the helicopter whisked them away on their final Bachelorette
-planned date together, Ali, who so frequently proclaimed throughout the season that she "gave up everything to be here," closed off the show with these final fitting words:
"I always said that I gave up everything to come here and be the Bachelorette, but I realized that I found my everything. I didn't even know what everything was until I met Roberto."Ali and Roberto sure seem like the real deal, but we all know The Bachelor track record doesn't always bode well. Do you see "happily ever after" in their future?
(Images courtesy of ABC)