Yet another season has ended in love on The Bachelorette, be it lifelong or temporary, with Kaitlyn Bristowe choosing burly and manly Shawn over the slightly more dainty and deeper Nick.

It was a rejection that was tough on the gut, with the second-time bridesmaid (never the bride) basically arguing with Kaitlyn about whether or not she loved him. She insisted it was real and that she needed every moment they spent together to make her decision, with the only explanation she could offer being that her heart was with someone else.

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He did not take it well. And with good reason, because while it possibly came across as harsh, he was right in that if she loved him like she claimed to, then she would have picked him. So it was a bitter and ringless ride home for him, a trip during which he referred to himself as “the world’s biggest joke.”

So how is Nick doing now? And are Kaitlyn and Shawn still as blissfully happy as they were during the proposal? Are wedding plans in the works? And is he over the fact that she, you know, banged his archenemy? 

The live After the Final Rose show begins.

Here Comes the Bride

Chris Harrison welcomes Kaitlyn and Shawn to the stage, and they greet their adoring fans with a lifted embrace and a kiss, along with an excited scream from the Bachelorette. Shawn describes Kaitlyn’s revelation that he was “the one” as the best feeling he’s ever felt, and he defied the odds by being one of the few first-impression rose recipients to win the whole thing. 

Kaitlyn feels like a little kid on Christmas morning, and then the “Don’t worry, I’m coming for you” Snapchat warning love note is revealed. More on the happy couple later, but first, Nick gets his turn.

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Paging Dr. Nick

The twice-jilted runner-up joins Chris on stage as sad music plays, and Nick describes the moment as deja vu. He doesn’t regret letting his guard down, even though it ended in another broken heart. And given the opportunity, he’ll always choose to trust and hope despite the possible negative outcomes.

He details his and Kaitlyn’s previous relationship and his decision to give the show a second try, saying his biggest fear was that he’d show up and she’d be like, nice to see you but I’m not feeling it. So it was a risk, but one that he felt he needed to take. 

Chris asks why Shawn hates him so much, and he describes the conflict as silly and unfortunate. But in the end, he didn’t end up coming across much better, which is something he regrets. So he gives Kaitlyn credit for all she had to deal with. 

Nick and Shawn: Ding Ding Ding

Shawn comes out for one final showdown, which starts with a handshake before Nick formally introduces himself. They exchange pleasantries (Nick: “You look nice.” Shawn: “Thanks. I like your beard.”), and Shawn explains why he and Nick never clicked. It was based on things said in the house that he doesn’t want to get into, but he never had a good feeling and that’s all there is to it. 

Chris asks if they’re really that different, since Kaitlyn loved both of them, and Nick points out that they never got to know each other at all because Shawn based everything on Nick’s so-called reputation. And it was frustrating that Shawn wouldn’t give him the time of day, especially considering they’re both well aware of how editing can paint a picture that might not be accurate of someone’s character.

Then the conversation turns to jealousy, with Chris wanting to know if Shawn felt anything regarding Nick and Kaitlyn’s pre-show relationship, and his response proves he’s still unwilling to acknowledge Nick as being anywhere near his level. 

He says he never doubted his connection was the strongest, and if jealousy is getting upset seeing the woman you love go off with other guys (yep, that’s exactly what it is), then fine, he’s jealous. But he was never jealous of anyone in particular, and despite the fact that he rarely talked about Nick, all the times he did made it to air. 

Nick says that while he knew his appearance wasn’t going to be a popular move, he’s sorry about how they both acted. Shawn agrees, but for him, it was more about the editing. He is upset that the feud distracted from his relationship with Kaitlyn because they shared so many wonderful moments and all America saw was the conflict.

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Nick Struggles to Find Closure

You can hear a pin drop as Nick and Kaitlyn see each other for the first time since his abrupt dismissal, and the toughest part for him is the times they said “I love you” to each other and wondering what happened. Considering how close they got on the show, I’m rather surprised to see a coldness and contempt in her expression. But maybe that’s just how she does uncomfortable.

She replies that it’s never an easy question to answer and that she felt “in love” stuff with Ben too, and other guys as well. People get in situations, but at the end of the day, no love was as strong as the love she had for Shawn. I wonder if her feelings have been swayed by watching the show or by Shawn, because she does not seem receptive to him at all.

His main question is why she let him pick a ring, write a proposal and go through the whole spiel when she knew he wasn’t the one. He told her all season that the minute she knew it wasn’t him to send him home immediately and spare whatever dignity he’d have left afterwards, but instead she didn’t offer him that courtesy.

She says it was excruciating and that she struggled with how to break his heart, and in retrospect, she probably could have been more forthright. I doubt it’s the closure he was looking for, but it will have to do because there isn’t much time left. Still, he wishes her the best.

What’s Next for the Happy Couple?

Shawn and Kaitlyn aren’t very concerned with wedding plans just yet, as they are just happy they can go out for coffee together and resume living their lives. 

The biggest change for Shawn is that he can now stand up and defend Kaitlyn, who he calls the strongest woman he’s ever met in his life. There’s no slut-shaming or cyber bullying when Ryan Gosling is in your corner, and we know how much Kaitlyn loves a guy who fights for her. 

That’s a wrap for the 11th season of The Bachelorette, and time will tell if there are wedding bells in this couple’s future. All told, I think Nick came out looking much better than in his farewell to Andi. What did you think of his handling of the rejection, and did you feel the icy reception as well? Love him or hate him, you kind of have to feel sorry for him after this. 

As always, I thank each and every one of you for following along this season with me. It’s what makes writing worth doing, and I can only hope you’ll all be back for Bachelor in Paradise.

After all the emotions we’ve exhausted, we need a little trashy goodness in the sun to end the summer — along with the tears and wails and virgins and raccoons, not to mention the fact that Lacy and Marcus actually tied the knot. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to see moonshine Joe and JJ throw down?

Almost Paradise … we’re knocking on heaven’s door…

Bachelor in Paradise season 2 premieres Sunday, August 2 at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Bill King

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order