Stargazing

Two 'Bachelorettes' coming in May, plus full 'Bachelor' finale recap

Iowa farmer Chris Soules with some of the bachelorettes vying for his attention in “The Bachelor.”
Iowa farmer Chris Soules with some of the bachelorettes vying for his attention in “The Bachelor.” ABC

So “The Bachelor” Chris Soules got down on one knee and proposed to either Becca Tilley or Whitney Bischoff tonight. We won’t spoil it here. Read on.

9:52: “Who will be the lucky woman who gets to date 25 of the most eligible men in America?” Bachelor Nation and the staff were split on the topic, says Harrison in announcing the cast for the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette.”

Should it be Britt, he asked? A smattering of applause from the live audience.

Or Kaitlyn? Overwhelming applause.

We actually decided ... not to decide, says Harrison. For the first time in “Bachelorette” history there will be two bachelorettes. Britt and Kaitlyn. The 25 men on the first night are going to have the ultimate say on who they think will make the best wife, says Harrison.

OK, we’ll give it to Harrison. That’s dramatic.

Don’t hate us. Team Britt here. Shiny hair. Good teeth.

9:43: Jimmy Kimmel! Yay, a shot of fun to a boring show. He teases Whitney that months from now she’s going to eventually watch the show and jump Chris because “you had your tongue down Britt’s throat!” Money quote from Kimmel to Chris: “Bottom line: Becca wasn’t into you.”

And holy cow!!! Kimmel brings out a cow for the couple. “I wanted to get something for you to use at that horrible farm you’re moving to,” Kimmel tells Whitney. This cow’s name is Juan Pablo. He doesn’t speak any English.” He makes Chris giggle like a little girl. Jimmy Kimmel for President!!!!!!

9:37: Ashley S. heading to “Bachelor in Paradise.” That’s the dramatic moment? Didn’t we already know this?

9:37: No one in the audience is laughing at Whitney’s “making babies” jokes anymore. Over her already?

9:35: Nice moment with Chris’ parents, especially mama who says she’s looking forward to grandchildren living right down the road.

9:34: Whitney doesn’t want to commit to moving to Iowa. They just want to date in the open now.

9:33: Whitney’s not worried that it was hard for him to choose her over Becca. But she seems uncomfortable, a little defensive, answering these Becca questions. Hmmm.

9:32: Whitney didn’t watch the show because she didn’t want to watch Chris make out with other women. She keeps saying “I knew what I signed up for.”

9:26: “It was such a relief. That’s what I signed up for,” Whitney says in describing how it felt to have Chris get down on one knee and propose. Like signing up for intramural volleyball.

9:22: Chris says he has no regrets after seeing Becca. Good answer, Harrison tells him, because here comes Whitney wearing a mini dress and her maxi diamond ring. Why did you propose, Harrison asks? “First of all, look at her,” says Chris. (Wrong answer.) Then he gets icky saying that Whitney was the closest kind of woman to his sisters that he could find.

9:10: We want Becca! We want Becca! Here she is. Chris gives her a huge hug after checking out her legs. Ha ha. Sitting next to her, face-to-face, Chris still seems like he’s crushing on her. Cut to a woman in the audience with a sad look on her face as she watches them together on the stage. Harrison asks Becca why it was so hard for her to express love. “After watching the show and going through it ... I almost wonder if I was ridiculous for coming on the show having never been in love. I think that was a lot of people’s question. What is she doing here?” she says. Harrison says he doesn’t know if he’s ever met anyone on the show like that, suggesting that maybe winning Becca’s heart was a lost cause from the start. The audience laughs but Chris disagrees with the assessment. How sad to hear Becca say that now, after all this, she’s ready to fall in love. Too late for poor Chris, who clearly loved her.

9:01: Finally, the best part. “After The Final Rose,” live from Los Angeles. Chris says Whitney is the perfect person for me. So where’s the “drama” that we were promised? We’ve been punked!

Harrison cuts to the chase: Were you in love with Becca? “I was falling in love with Becca. In love, falling in love. I don’t know,” Chris admits. Harrison notes that it seemed like Chris was always looking for something from Becca that he wasn’t getting from her. “She was constantly slow to catch up to what my feelings were for her,” says Chris, who is 33 and notes that he was ready to find a wife and have a family. Maybe their problem was an age difference, he suggests. He is wise in telling Harrison that he doesn’t want to “look back” anymore on the whole Becca question. He reveals that Whitney has only been watching the episodes about herself.

Becca is coming back after the break.

9:00: “Holy cow,” Whitney gushes again, looking at her new huge diamond ring.

8:57: It’s not work for us, he says. So charming. “It feels so right, it feels so perfect. And that’s what I want for the rest of my life. I love you,” he tells her. “Oh my God. I’ve been waiting so long to hear that,” she says. Chris gets down on one knee and opens the box to show her the honkin’ huge Neil Lane rock. She’s thinking, “Yay, I won the game!”

8:55: Poor Whitney looks like she’s about to pass out. It must be cold in that drafty old barn. “I came here with an idea of who you were and I’ve never been disappointed,” says Whitney, the stalker, er, bachelorette.

8:54: Did Whitney just say “holy cow”? Twice? Is that some kind of farming slur?

8:53: With all this hype of “will there be a proposal” there had better NOT be. We don’t like having our chain yanked, Chris Harrison.

8:50: Any way to just skip past the rose ceremony right to the “dramatic twist” of the after-the-rose show?

8:45: “Saying good-bye to Becca was one of the most painful decisions I had to make,” says Chris. In the limo ride away from the barn Becca is quiet at first. When she finally speaks, Becca says she thinks she’s in a state of shock. “Such a final moment. I can’t like process it right now. Part of me thinks that Chris is in love with me. I was falling in love with him. And I could have seen him as someone I could be with ... I just wasn’t there yet.” That, boys and girls, makes us sad.

“I hope I don’t wake up and have this moment ... that I’ve been in love with him this whole time but I just didn’t say it,” she says.

And next, the consolation prize?

8:39: Becca is first to arrive in a stunning red velvet dress. “I love the way I feel with Becca. She makes me happy.” I hope I’m making the right call,” he says.

“From the moment that I met you you gave me this level of comfort that made me feel good,” he tells her. Tells her he could see a future with her. Never had any doubts about her. “And I know that I could see you as being my wife,” he says. Deep breath. “And you’re not really ready. I just have to go with my heart and my gut. And I don’t think it’s fair for either of us to take that leap at this point.”

“You’re going to make somebody incredibly lucky. I don’t think I’m going to be the guy whose going to give you what you need.”

She doesn’t seem all that stunned, does she? “This whole experience was the way it was for me because of you,” she tells him. Is that relief behind her few tears?

Who wins here? Chris’ pushy sisters?

8:33: Says Chris: “I’m standing in a barn where I raised my first pig, where I used to play.” So don’t muck it up, dude. If you’re not ready to propose, keep that Neil Lane sparkler in your suit pocket.

8:32: First rose ceremony to take place in a barn? Don’t those glamorous evening gowns look a little out of place here?

8:31: Jeweler-to-the-star Neil Lane seems a bit peeved to be in Iowa. It’s not L.A., is it?

8:30: Gratuitous shots of Chris without a shirt on. And poor Whitney and Becca that they have to take those dramatic, last-minute walks in cold, cold Iowa.

8:23: “As confident as I feel and as good as I feel about the connection, this entire process is out of my control. So honestly I feel like I have taken my heart out of my chest and put it in his hands,” says Whitney after her last conversation with Chris. “I mean, I hope this is just the beginning. But the fact that I do have such love for him, there is such a fear that it could be taken away from me.” Oh the drama!!!

8:23: He says that he is excited about Whitney and where they are in their relationship. But why does he look so sad when he says it? That. Creeps. Us. Out. Too.

8:20: Whitney is doing her best to convince Chris that she is ready to be a farmer’s life. “I feel there’s so much about the simple life,” she says, laying it on thick. “I love being domestic.” Is she going to sleep with him? And is it just us or does it sound like she has been stalking him from afar ever since she watched him lose on “The Bachelorette.” She knows what he’s thinking! Creep. Us. Out.

8:19: Chris knocks on Whitney’s hotel room door looking for that “aha moment.” Is that code?

8:15: Chris’ sisters and father are clearly Team Whitney. Mom sees love in Becca’s eyes. Were all those spoilers we read months ago right?

8:10: They pull up to his “bachelor style” home. Of course, Whitney loves it. “It feels 100 percent right,” she gushes, because she does nothing but gush. It’s a beautiful home with a sun-filled dining room and a wood-burning fireplace. The Bachelor has good taste. Whitney makes her last stand over wine in front of a cozy, roaring fire. How much longer until that darn rose ceremony?

8:05: Chris is spent by the time he meets one last time with Whitney. They’re going to harvest corn on a cold Iowa December day. They climb aboard a giant green combine - is that you call them? She sees that Chris “is in his happy place.” To think that “for our children,” this is something that he wants to pass on, she says. “This could be our future for a long, long time.” She’s not afraid to count her chickens, is she?

8:00: He finally gets her to admit that getting to Arlington and later wondering if she’s made a mistake is her fear. He looks sad. Did Becca just lose this game?

“The answers I got weren’t necessarily the answers I wanted, but I know Becca wants me,” says Chris. He feels “pretty awesome.” So why is he crying? He’s going to make a bad decision, isn’t he?

7:53: The big conversation between Chris and Becca turns into a verbal confrontation of sorts. “I want everything that you can give me, from your heart that you can give,” says Becca, who says once again that she is falling in love with him but isn’t there yet. Chris asks, again, if she can really see yourself with him and being a part of the small-town life he has. But she is clear that she can’t make any promises on when she could pick up her life and move. He is clearly and painfully confused. She doesn’t want to commit to where she wants to be in five years. Then just asks, “why don’t you feel you’re in love with me?” “I don’t know,” she says, “and I want so badly to be able to answer that question.” THIS IS SO TIRESOME.

He just wants her to say “I believe in us.” She says, “I want to make it work.” Yada yada yada yada yada.

7:51: Anyone else feeling sorry for Chris at this point? He clearly adores, ADORES, Becca. Choose her, dude.

7:50: Stop talking about “the shocking twist,” Chris Harrison!

7:40: Mom wants to know from Becca what would make her turn the tide with Chris, since she can’t say openly that she’s in love. Notice that mom is holding Becca’s hand, much more affection than she showed Whitney. Mom counsels Becca to “take a chance.” “I think Becca cares a lot more about Chris than she even knows. I don’t think she recognizes that what she’s feeling for Chris is love.” says mom.

7:27: Becca arrives with cookies and is nervous as all get out. Is it just us or do the sisters give her the stink eye when she walks in? Wow. Just wow. Have to give Becca points, though, for being honest about her feelings toward small Arlington.

In her one-on-one with the sisters they make it clear that they don’t like the fact that she hasn’t been able to out and out declare her love. “I can get that she’s a great girl. But it scares me that she’s not as into him as Whitney,” says Lori. “We’ve seen a California girl not want to come to Iowa anymore.” These sisters are a tough crowd.

7:17: Whitney tries to charm the pants off Mama Linda, who wants to know “why do you think you’re in love with my son?” Whitney is uber-confident in saying, “I don’t think I’m in love with him, I know that I am.” Again, playing the game very well, she tells mama that “you have raised an amazing, amazing man.” But is it just us? Mom simply says she prays that Christopher makes the right decision.

Later with his dad and brothers-in-law, Chris cautions the men of the family to hold their thoughts until they meet Becca.

Brother-in-law Jason warns Chris that hard-to-pin-down Becca might be the girl at the bar who won’t talk to you and that’s what makes her highly attractive.

7:13: Chris debriefing his sisters after their chat with Whitney sounds extremely defensive about his feelings for her. He insists he has a certain chemistry with Becca “that is hard to find.” He likes that she’s athletic, grounded and seems genuinely troubled that his sisters aren’t as onboard with the idea of Becca as he clearly is. Says Lori, who sees his defensiveness as a red flag: “You came here to find a wife. You didn’t come here to find a girlfriend.”

7:10: She tells his sisters that she’s ready to be a wife and a mother and how much she wants to have someone to call mom and dad again. She feels she has the sisters on her side. She’s right.

7:09 p.m.: Whitney is nothing if not confident, bringing Chris’ dad to tears when she talks about how much she loves his son. She knows how to play the game, for sure. Chris’ sister, Lori, doesn’t seem as sold.

7:05: Why make Whitney walk down a long icy sidewalk in a miniskirt? Girl is here to play the game, showing up with wine and flowers and kissing him before they even get into the house.

7:04: Ah! Cute kids and cute dog alert! Chris’ family looks like a lot of fun. Mom Linda is clear on her goal for her son: “I would love to have Chris proposin’ and be sure of his future. But I’m not sure Chris knows what he wants right now.” And he says it himself: “I am in trouble.”

7:02: Isn’t every season the “wildest season” in “Bachelor” season, Chris Harrison? And no, the entire country won’t be talking about the outcome tomorrow morning. Sorry.

7 p.m.: Here we go. Tears already. Hold onto your hankies.

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