Recap of The Bachelor Season 15 Finale: Brad Womack Proposes to Emily Maynard (Now Don’t Screw It up, Man!)
FINAL DATE WITH CHANTAL Brad's family thinks Emily is The One, but Brad wants Chantal to show him that she's The One. When is the burden going to be on Brad to prove that he's The One for them?
During their date they see a huge shark in the water. That’s just Michelle Money keeping an eye on them. She had her ninjas and her monkeys; now she has sharks. Yep, Chantal is forced to do another deep-water dive, even though she’s afraid of it. Why are they making her do this?
Chantal: "After all this, you'd better be putting a f--king ring on my finger." Brad: "Easy, easy."
At least she manages to show off her ta-tas in her wetsuit.
That night, after their brush with Jaws, they sit down and talk. Or she talks and he gets interrupted. It's Jake and — hand chop! — Vienna all over again. She's a verbal steamroller.
She gives Brad a map she made of all the places they've been on the show. She's never traveled the world for any guy before, but that's just probably because she's never been on The Bachelor before. Duh. She also wrote him a soul-on-a-slab letter (addressed to "Bradley" from "Channy"), and Brad reads it out loud. It's painful, because Brad appears to be pulling away.
FINAL DATE WITH EMILY Brad misses Emily when he's not with her. She's happy to be feeling in love again, and she hopes this is her last date as a single girl. But everything she says is so reserved, it's hard to really read her — even now.
After their helicopter ride to someplace really windy, Emily asks Brad if he's really thought about what it means to have a kid. "It's not going to be cool Uncle Brad anymore," she says. It's not always perfect and fun. Brad gets all Ashley Hebert about it, clamming up. He has no specific response, it seems. When will they talk about this important issue?
Emily says she's "painfully insecure" — which does not bode well for the rest of the planet, since we're all much less gorgeous and adored than Emily. She's worried about sabotaging things, which means that's exactly what she's about to do.
That night, Brad says they they have to have their most important conversation. (Finally!)
Brad makes a sweet speech about how he would never want to replace Ricki's father, but he can guarantee that he would love her and Ricki more than they could imagine. Emily, bless her, wants specifics. Will he take care of Ricki when she's sick at 3 AM? Brad keeps it vague. He feels like he's on the spot. But she's asking very fair questions. Why is he getting upset? What is his problem?
For some reason, Brad interprets Emily's fair questions as her not being ready to open up. She blames herself for messing it up, when actually she's the one in the right here.
Brad calls himself "profoundly hurt" after his fatherhood speech. Man up! Just because she challenges your empty words doesn’t mean you’re "shot down." That was his cue to give her practical specifics about what their life would be like. Instead, he wallows in self-pity. Not cool, man.
THE DUMPING OF CHANTAL The first white limo arrives and out walks… Chantal.
We hear her preparing for her "fairy tale ending" as she walks toward Brad. Brad says she looks amazing and launches into his wind-up speech: He reveals that he has stronger feelings for someone else. Why do they always start out with such sweet words that make it sound like they're going to pick this person? Chantal starts tearing up.
Chantal says Brad is an amazing person and Emily is very lucky. Brad says she is amazing, too. But it's over.
Chantal wants someone who is so crazy about her, there's no question that she's the one. Good. That's what she should want. She's lucky that’s not Brad. After that parenting hissy fit, Emily is not as lucky as we thought.
Chantal sobs in the limo. They seem like genuine tears, but are they just "I want to be in love with someone" tears? She thought what they had was so special, and she feels stupid. This is the same heartfelt speech every single runner-up gives. There should be a special season cast with just Bachelor runners-up.
THE PROPOSAL TO EMILY Brad has a calm confidence he’s never had in 38 years. He knows Emily is the one, and he wants to stutter and stammer and get through his speech. Cute!
When he sees her, he tells her she looks stunning: "It's not the first time you've taken my breath away."
"I have come so far to get to where I'm standing today," he continues. "I have made so many mistakes and been through so many ups and downs."
He pauses for a "Whew" break. He's nervous. "All it took was coming here and finding you. You're so much more to me than a leap of faith. You’re the one, Em. You're it. you're my once in a lifetime. So what I'm asking is this, I'm asking for you to please give me your forever. Please let me be your best friend. Please let me protect you and your beautiful daughter. And please give me the opportunity to love you for the rest of your life. I love you, Emily. I am truly in love with you. So..."
He gets down on one knee. "Emily, please make me happier than I've ever been in my life and marry me," he says. She accepts!
Emily: "You just made me the happiest girl in the world." Brad: "You made me the happiest guy since the first time I met you."
So sweet! But will they last?
Screenshots from ABC video
CHANTAL MEETS BRAD'S FAMILY Brad's mom (Pam), two brothers (Wes and mega-hot twin Chad), and sisters-in-law (Dillon and Prima) fly from Austin, Texas, to Cape Town, South Africa, to watch him sob and give him advice. Brad says his family knows the type of woman he wants to be with, but how is that possible when he never seems to know himself?
As he's talking to his family, the doorbell rings. "Speak of the devil," Brad says. On cue, Chantal — the black hat to Emily's white hat — walks in.
Chantal does a lot of chattering to the family as Brad looks on stone-faced. Is that his poker face, or is he not that into Chantal? Wes thinks that Chantal is a lively, vibrant person who clicks with the family. He and Chad (*swoon*) speak to her… or listen to her continue to prattle on. Has her voice always been this shrill? Chantal says she's ready to get married on the spot, and the bros tell Brad that Chantal is in love with him.
Brad's mom, Pam, asks Chantal the million dollar question: How could she fall in love so quickly? Chantal reveals that she'd rather be alone than just be with someone, but that goes against her intro video in which she said she hates being single. Pam says she can see Chantal and Brad in the real world. Brad still seems very closed off as he talks about Chantal, but he tells his mom, "I'm just me" when it comes to Chantal.
The date ends with Brad saying he could see himself proposing to Chantal. "If everything works out, I will marry her." Say what? You tricksy, tricksy editors!
THE FINALE BUILD-UP Somewhere along the way Brad decides that there are no games with Chantal. Really? Is this the same Chantal who keeps giving ultimatums and bursting into tears at the idea of Brad kissing other women — even though that's his job on this show? Or is this just editing trying to make us believe Brad doesn't pick Emily?
At this point, Brad says he's fallen in love and he knows which lady he wants to spend his life with. With Neil Lane's help, Brad selects a beautiful ring that somehow reminds him of his chosen lady's "aura." He starts talking about how he didn't give anyone a ring last time. Neil is like, whatever man. I'm not your therapist.
In the battle between excitement and stability, Brad chose stability. At least, Emily is stable. Brad is a question mark at this point, since he flew off the handle at the very idea of giving specifics about family life. Emily asked valid questions in South Africa, and Brad gave vague, generic answers. Then he got upset when she called him on it.
But hey! Good luck, guys!
Meanwhile, passionate Chantal O'Brien has to settle for that amazing dark green dress. And her family's huge house outside Seattle. And Boca the dog. Sure, she was upset, but was she more upset about losing Brad or just losing in general? The new divorcee seemed to go on The Bachelor determined to leave with a relationship, true love or not. She said up front that she didn't like being single. She's already dating again, she got her way. Good luck to her.
It's been a long, strange trip, Bachelor fans — especially for Spoiler Nation. We spent most of this season convinced that Brad chose Chantal, until the South Africa dates when we not only got new spoilers that it was Emily, we also saw the spoilers play out on TV as Brad announced that he was falling in love with her.
Now the hard part begins for Brad and Emily. (And the new Bachelorette, but let's worry about her later.) Let's relive the last hours of Brad's journey to one knee — including his family's love for Emily and his own hissy fit when his (non-existent) parenting skills were questioned.
EMILY MEETS BRAD’S FAMILY Brad jumps up and beams when Emily rings the doorbell. He's worried, though, and wants her to just be herself with them. He's very protective of her. He's showing a lot more emotion, and he has his arm around her during the family talk.
Wes admits that he noticed right off the bat that Emily is more reserved than Chantal. By the way, Chad looks damn good in that blue shirt. And that buzz cut. He's like a cross between Brad and Jesse Beck of The Bachelorette Season 6 and Bachelor Pad.
Wes brings up the million dollar question for Emily: Will it be OK for Emily to move Ricki to Austin? Unfortunately, the way the question is phrased includes "Will Ricki's father be OK with it?" — which provides a segue into the plane crash story. We don't actually get to the answer to the Austin question. Are Emily and Ricki ready to move to Austin?
Chad and Wes, who is a father, talk to Brad about the fact that Emily means an instant family. No more hanging out on your own, putting yourself first.
Brad says he gets a warm-fuzzy feeling about being a father. He wants a family. Chad says Brad lights up when talking about Ricki, and he's never seen Brad do anything like that. Brad loves that Emily is "very much a lady." "It makes me want to be a better guy." Wes sees that his brother is ready to be a father, and he thinks he'll be a damn good one.
Emily talks to Mama Pam about her journey. They aren't laughing as much as Pam was laughing with Chantal. Everything with Emily ends up in The Serious Zone. Pam says her favorite thing that Emily said was that Brad is her angel, and she cries when she tells the camera about this. Pam Pickelsimer is fully on Team Emily.
THE FAMILY JOINS TEAM EMILY Wes says it's a choice between fun-loving and rooted-down — the classic battle between stability and passion. This is the story of almost all Bachelor and Bachelorette finales. The family says Emily is not shy, just poised. They're Team Emily, which makes sense since Chad married an Emily clone.