Sometimes the rose wilts sooner than you’d expect.
Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson can join the ranks of Bachelor couples (or almost-couples) who gave us a not-so-happy ending to their fairytale at the "After the Final Rose" special (despite the ring being put back on her finger at the end). It reminded us of Brad Womack and Emily Maynard Bachelor Season 15 “After the Final Rose” special where they revealed that they had split at least once during the show's airing, which was almost as awkward and painful as Brad’s Season 11 ATFR with DeAnna Pappas — one of the two final women he rejected. But were either of these as painful as Jason Mesnick’s dumping of his Chosen One Melissa Rycroft — and subsequent dating of the woman he initially sent home, Molly Malaney — in The Bachelor Season 13’s ATFR? How about Jen Schefft rejecting Jerry Ferris in The Bachelorette Season 3 ATFR after he tried once again to offer her the ring she refused in the finale?
We know that a gleeful ATFR doesn’t always mean smooth-sailing ahead — see: Season 12 Bachelor couple Matt Grant and Shayne Lamas’s cutesy reunion before it all fell apart; or Season 14 Bachelor Jake Pavelka and his betrothed Vienna Girardi’s ATFR lovey dovey-ness turning into the “hand chop!” seen around the world. But going from the highs of the finale directly into a less-than-blissful ATFR can be quite traumatic for fans.
Scroll down to watch some of the most cringe-worthy reunions, and then sound off in our poll!
Brad & DeAnna on The Bachelor Season 11
Brad does not have an easy time during these “After the Final Rose” specials. During this 9-minute clip from Season 11, DeAnna — a total spitfire — really lays into Brad. She came into this with questions and left with even more questions. Why can't Brad ever give women the closure they want? And will he ever stop tugging at his collar?
Brad & Emily on The Bachelor Season 15
It’s deja vu with a nervous Brad back in the ATFR hot seat. But here he’s at least affectionate and loving with fiance Emily. The shocker is that she is as reserved and guarded as ever. Where it will go from here is anyone’s guess...
Jason & Melissa on The Bachelor Season 11
Oh boy. Here’s a portion of Jason Mesnick’s “After the Final Rose” Part II, also known as The Public Dumping of Melissa Rycroft. Also known as The Best Thing That Could’ve Happened to Melissa Rycroft, since she went from here to almost winning Dancing With the Stars, marrying a hometown hottie, hosting Bachelor Pad, and giving birth to a baby girl. She’s fine. Although Bachelor fans booed Jason for immediately reuniting with and hitting on Molly, they’re now happily married.
Jen & Jerry on The Bachelorette Season 3
Jen had already been engaged to Andrew Firestone, who picked her at the end of The Bachelor Season 3. She returned to be the Bachelorette, but she pulled a half-Womack by not accepting Jerry’s proposal in the end. However, she didn’t reject her Chosen One… until the “After the Final Rose.” During the finale she told him to hold onto the engagement ring and give it back to her if he felt the same way about her down the road. Fast-forward to the ATFR and a second proposal. Her response? “I think that you know I was so committed to this — hope that you know that — and I really tried to make it work but I think we talked a lot and we saw each other and I think that we both came to the realization that we were better as friends.” In a word: ouch!
Reid's talk with Jillian on The Bachelorette Season 5
Just for good measure we’re throwing in one of our favorite “After the Final Rose” moments — the one between Reid Rosenthal and Jillian Harris on The Bachelorette Season 5. Reid made a surprise return on the finale to ask for another chance with Jillian. She said no and picked Ed Swiderski. Jillian and Reid reunited on the ATFR, and their chat veered from the usual, slightly awkward “Where Did It Go Wrong?” talk into bizarre — but fun — territory. Watch and enjoy.
Ben and Courtney on The Bachelor Season 16
Since The Bachelor Season 16 finale probably surprised a total of no one, all eyes and ears were on the “After the Final Rose” special so viewers could hear directly from Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson on how they’d been dealing with the train wreck of the season’s reception. While Courtney was vilified on the show, Ben came out the loser as Courtney revealed that he had essentially abandoned her when the public backlash towards her (and even him) was at its worse. He didn’t even send her flowers on Valentine’s Day! But they both insisted that there was love there. The ring that Ben had given Courtney that day in Switzerland wasn’t on her finger... but Chris gave him the option to put it back on. He said he wanted her to have it and so... the engagement was back on. But did he think there’d be a wedding? Ben said, “I do. When? Who knows.” Oy.