It’s the day after the Season 9 Finale, and hours after After the Final Rose and everyone’s got an opinion on Desiree Hartsock’s “fairytale” ending — especially the members of Bachelor Nation. With so many questions on everyone’s minds — Did Des make the right decision, is she really in love, should she have picked no one, and will her relationship with Chris Siegfried last? — we turned to a few of our favorite alumni from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for their take on the truly controversial finale:
Molly Mesnick (Bachelor, Season 13): I thought FOR SURE we would see Brooks [Forester] again! I was even thinking it was still going to happen near the end of the show! Honestly, it wasn't until she accepted Chris's proposal that I realized, "OK...Brooks really isn't coming back." If [Des and Chris] truly love each other, and they can emotionally get past what happened on the show, then that's all that matters. Now is the time for the two of them to move on from their "Bachelor relationship" and start working on their REAL relationship. [For more of Molly’s thoughts on the episode, check out our full interview with the Season 13 winner]
Ben Scott (Bachelorette, Season 9): I think Des and Chris are a good Match. Chris is a great guy, he really is. I just don’t think Brooks is ready for that type of commitment. I do think it was a little weird that she accepted a proposal a week later (after being dumped).
Courtney Robertson (Bachelor, Season 16): I think the show did a great job of throwing fans off! I know Desiree is taking some heat right now, but I think they’re going to last.
James Case (Bachelorette, Season 9): I think Desiree picked second best. It seemed she really liked Brooks. He went home and she went with her second choice. I think they’ll stay together for the publicity, but I don’t see it lasting. Her first choice wasn’t Chris.
Jaclyn Swartz (Bachelor, Season 16): GOOD. FOR. DES. Des did last night what most girls (ahem) have difficulty doing. Letting go of the ‘infatuation’ and the chase of the ‘bad boy’ and embracing her love for the ‘nice guy.’ I honestly don’t feel like I got to know Chris that well this season, seeing as he only speaks in poetry, but they both seem like genuine people who are going to be happy together.
Michael Garofola (Bachelorette, Season 9): I’m really happy for Desiree and Chris. In the end, I’m glad it all worked out for the two of them. It would not have had Brooks not had the courage to be as honest and genuine as he was. Finally, I am hopeful that Drew [Kenney] will heal and find a woman who deserves his heart.
Arie Luyendyk, Jr. (Bachelorette, Season 8): I feel like her breakup with Drew, he saw it coming. I think he knew he didn't have the same connection with her that Chris did. Chris did a great job with the proposal — he was very articulate and expressed himself really well. It's hard to tell if they're going to last but I feel like they might because they're the best fit on paper. Sure, there was passion between Des and Brooks, but she and Chris have a lot more in common. I think they'll be more of a stable, consistent couple. She said it herself, he's the rock. And that's maybe better in the long run.
Natalie Getz (Bachelor, Season 13): I didn’t like Brooks for Des anyway. I was annoyed when I thought Brooks won because he didn’t seem as sincere as Chris. If I were Chris, I’d have a hard time staying with Des after all that. I give it six months tops.
Jonathan Vollinger (Bachelorette, Season 9): I was totally shocked when Brooks didn't come back. I’m not completely sold on the new couple after the Brooks fiasco, but I wish them the best.
Tony Pieper (Bachelorette, Season 8): I don’t know if she was just so heartbroken that Chris was just a rebound for her. Chris has been there for her the entire season so maybe she went with him hoping he would mend her heart. Chris seems deeply in love with her. But I don’t think she has that same passion for him that she had for Brooks. I think they could last, but it’s going to take time. I can’t say for sure though.
Rachel Truehart (Bachelor, Season 16): I was shocked Brooks didn't come back! I really thought she wasn't going to be able to move on from that heartbreak but I am happy for her that she was able to and realize the love she did have for Chris. Although, I can't help but wonder if Brooks did come back and tell her he loved her, would she still have chosen Chris? I guess we will never know!
Mikey Tenerelli (Bachelorette, Season 9): I was shocked Brooks didn't come back. I thought they were in love from Day One. I was surprised Des and Chris got engaged because of her reaction to Brooks when he left.