Two men start off in the Season 11 finale of “The Bachelorette” – but only one can win Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart. Viewers watched the 29-year-old Vancouver dance instructor go through a long (and sometimes painful) journey, but it all came to an end Monday night.
Meet The Parents: Nick Viall
Back in Los Angeles, Nick Viall has the first crack at meeting Kaitlyn’s family. And they are BEYOND surprised to learn that they’re meeting him. Kaitlyn’s mom and sister remember Nick from Andi Dorfman’s season of “The Bachelorette,” and they were not impressed with him then. To top off their opinion of him already, Kaitlyn spills the beans that they got P-H-Y-S-I-C-A-L.
An awkward move? Hands down … especially for Nick. As if he wasn’t nervous enough about meeting Kaitlyn’s family, she warns him that they already know about their hanky-panky in Ireland. Nick tells the cameras that he’s a “little taken back” by Kaitlyn’s confession, but unfortunately there is no running from meeting the parents.
Nick charms them with gifts and talk about his feelings for Kaitlyn (“I came here for Kaitlyn this time”). However, Kaitlyn’s sister Hayley tells the cameras that Nick is definitely not the “norm” for the Bachelorette. And her mom agrees … until she sits down and talks with him. She calls him out for being “possessive” and “jealous” last season.
“What does she see in you?” she grills him.
Nick sheds some tears and says all the right things that any mom wants to hear about her daughter. He wins her over and she tells the cameras that her judgment of him was “totally wrong.”
Fortunately Nick gets the family’s blessing to propose, which was a must for Kaitlyn. “If my mom doesn’t approve of a guy I can’t be with him,” she confesses.
But Nick still has one obstacle to overcome – Shawn Booth. He knows that things went well with Kaitlyn’s family, but he’s still worried about how strong Kaitlyn’s connection with Shawn is.
Meet The Parents: Shawn Booth
Shawn is up for Round 2 with Kaitlyn’s family. Just like with Nick, they’re a little cautious of him. After hearing Kaitlyn talk about Shawn’s hatred for Nick, her mom fears that Shawn is too jealous. But, she’s willing to give him a chance.
Right from the start Shawn wins over Hayley by bringing gifts for her two young kids. Kaitlyn’s parents also warm to Shawn after they hear him talk so fondly about their daughter. However, the real test is when Kaitlyn’s mom pulls him aside to grill him about the most awkward topic in the world – Kaitlyn’s intimacy with Nick. Shawn must have rehearsed his answer, because he tells her that Kaitlyn confessing her hookup only made their relationship “stronger.”
That’s exactly what momma bear needed to hear. When Shawn asks for their blessing to propose to Kaitlyn, both mom and dad approve.
Final Date: Nick Viall
Kaitlyn is on a boat off Marina Del Rey waiting for Nick for their final date before the rose ceremony. The two spend the afternoon soaking in the sun and looking into each other’s eyes while giggling. Later they move the party back to land for a romantic evening.
Speaking like a kid who used to get picked last for dodge ball, Nick thanks Kaitlyn for keeping him around and “sticking up” for him. He then tells her that he’s got “something” for her in the “bedroom.” While “Bachelorette” fans are quick to assume that Nick is just using a line on her to get P-H-Y-S-I-C-A-L again, he actually has something in his room for her – a picture of them from their first one-on-one date and a poem.
“There is magic in your eyes and when I look at you I see my future,” reads one line.
Kaitlyn loves the sappy gift, making her even more torn about her upcoming decision.
Final Date: Shawn Booth
Shawn and Kaitlyn’s final date is in a random field and Kaitlyn is super awkward and weird. They don’t say anything significant, and it gets so bad that Shawn actually begins to doubt proposing to her.
“I was excited to see her, but now after talking to her I don’t know anymore,” he admits to the cameras. He’s got a “pit in his stomach” and “worries she has doubts.”
Kaitlyn knows that she dropped the ball during their date, and the two get back to normal during their evening date. She feels bad because her “mind and heart are in two different places,” but Shawn eases her worries when he gifts her with a “memory jar.” The jar includes notes, pictures and little trinkets from all their dates. It’s exactly what Kaitlyn needs to reassure her feelings for Shawn. She leaves feeling good about their relationship, and Shawn is relieved to be back on track.
The Final Rose Ceremony
Both Shawn and Nick meet with Neil Lane to pick out an engagement ring for Kaitlyn before they return to where the journey started – “The Bachelorette” mansion.
Kaitlyn has one final cry before the first limo arrives ... and it’s Nick who exits. The poor guy doesn’t see the breakup coming. He gets out of the limo with a big smile on his face and a jump in his step before meeting Kaitlyn to deliver one last confession of his love.
After giving her a big speech about his feelings, he begins to propose. But Kaitlyn cuts him off.
“No?” Nick says, putting the box back in his pocket. “Alright.”
Kaitlyn starts to cry and immediately tells him she’s sorry. She continues that the “only explanation” she has for him is that “my heart is with somebody else.” As for why she couldn’t break things off with him prior to the final rose ceremony? She tells him that she needed every last second before making the decision.
“If you were in love with me we’d be having a different conversation,” Nick counters. But Kaitlyn says that’s not true. She says that she does share the same feelings, but Nick doesn’t want to hear it.
“I don’t need to keep hearing it,” he fires at her when she continues to try to explain how “real” their relationship was.
Kaitlyn walks him out and Nick throws a mini fit in the limo. He tosses the engagement ring that he got from Neil Lane before taking off the Claddagh ring that he bought with Kaitlyn in Ireland.
Kaitlyn’s emotional after Nick’s departure, but tells the cameras that she knows it’ll be worth it when she sees Shawn. And she truly looks happy with her decision when she sees him walking towards her.
He admits that they’ve had their ups and downs, but he wouldn’t “change any of it because it led us here.” After a sweet speech about her being his best friend, partner in crime, teammate, and “the love of my life,” he finally says those three words – “I love you.”
It's Kaitlyn's turn then to make her speech.
"Shawn, from the moment you stepped out of the limo I felt something with you I cannot describe," she tells him. "The truth is you light me up and you make me laugh. Most important you allow me to be myself, and I know that this has not been easy on you. Definitely had ups and downs and I made some mistakes ... A lot of mistakes. And I have to be honest with you, and tell you the truth. And the truth is that I never want you to question what we have ever again because I am completely yours. And I will always be faithful to you and I've been waiting so long to tell you how I feel because I love you with all my heart like I've never loved anybody before, and I cant wait to make a lifetime of memories with you and only you. Because you are the one and you always will be."
Shawn gets down on one knee to propose ... and Kaitlyn says "yes!"