After a pretty angry Bachelorette Season 7 finale, we’re ready to go through some emotional detox. Thankfully, on the After the Final Rose special, everyone is all kumbaya about everything.
Ben Flajnik is no longer mad that Ashley Hebert chose JP Rosenbaum, back during that May finale in Fiji. Ashley and JP are together out in the open now, thinking they have already weathered the worst in terms of fan outrage and tabloid drama. And Chrystie Corns, Ashley’s sister, has apologized for judging JP so harshly: “I feel like the biggest jerk ever and I can’t even apologize enough. As I’m watching the season, it is clear — it’s clear to me, ‘cause I know her so well, that you’re the one. It’s clear to everyone. Team Cupcake!”
Dang right! Since everyone has forgiven everyone else, we’re even ready to forgive Bentley Williams. Let him out of his cage, he’s suffered enough. We need to conserve our energy for Bachelor Pad Season 2. There will be plenty of people to attack starting next Monday.
Until then, read on for a full recap of the After the Final Rose special:
BEN COMES OUT
We see a replay of runner-up Ben’s whole “I don’t need you to sugar coat this” speech during the finale. He said it’s difficult to watch. There was real anger there. Chris Harrison said it was one of the most genuine exit speeches they’ve ever had.
Ben said the hardest part was having the strength to get back up when he was down on one knee. “I was in love with her. I was.” Past tense. He talks about being emotionally available after his father passed. Ashley opened him up to new experiences and find love again. His mind is still blown by the fact that he got down on one knee.
It was a long flight home from Fiji, he said, with multiple stops along the way. The whole time he was stewing in his head. He was also on the way to one of his best friend’s weddings. He showed up six hours before the wedding started. Ouch!
Where is he now? Is he over her?
Ben: “I think about Ashley. Obviously she impacted my life greatly. I’m a more complete person because of her and this whole journey. And I won’t ever take that away.”
When Ashley comes out, he really wants to know what JP had that he didn’t and when Ashley made the decision to pick JP over him.
ASHLEY COMES OUT
Her hair is another new color. She must dye it every week. It’s darker and straight. Very silky.
Chris said Ben hasn’t seen her since Fiji, anything he wants to say?
Ben: “Nice ring?” For some reason the audience “oohs” at that like it was a diss. It was a joke.
Ben asks Ashley, at one point did you know? She said at one point there was a time she thought Ben might be the one, but in the end she realized she had to follow her heart and JP was the one. So that’s a non-answer. He probably wanted something like “in Hong Kong” or “the second week.”
Chris has the impression that Ben is still angry. He just seems coiled. He said he left with some dignity. He has no regrets now. Now that time has passed, he thinks their “friend” thing can still be there. They started as friends and he thinks they can get back to that point.
Chris asks if Ben is ready to move on and find love. Time will tell, he says. Oh just ask him, “Are you single? Do you want to be the next Bachelor?”
CHRIS TALKS TO ASHLEY
Ashley said she knew Ben would be a gentlemen when he came out just then. But she didn’t expect anger to be one of the emotions that came out at the final rose ceremony.
She wants to look back on this and be happy about it, so she tried to separate what happened with Ben from what was going to happen with JP.
Ashley is beaming as she talks about how great JP is and how he’s such a great kisser. Stop rubbing it in!
JP COMES OUT
Ashley is excited to be able to enjoy every moment she has with JP — out in the public and everything. JP says he’s been living a double life for months because he couldn’t be open about being with Ashley.
What does he love about Ashley?
JP: “When I’m with her, nothing else matters. I am just so, so in love with this girl. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
What does she love about JP?
Ashley: “To be honest, he’s just — and even throughout all of this — he’s been there for me. When I have really low moments, he’s the one picking me up. We are just a team. And we’re always on each other’s side.”
Ashley says it’s not just JP, it’s them together. This is the strongest relationship she’s ever had.
How tough has it been for JP to sit on the sidelines as Ashley goes through tabloid reports and faces all the scrutiny?
JP: “That is the hardest part of all this, is seeing just — I mean, people can get mean, really, really mean. And they only know what they see. And to not know the whole story and to judge someone just based on that, and just rip into her, it breaks your heart. It absolutely broke my heart. I have to sit there, can’t say anything. The only thing I have to do is be there for her and I have done everything in my power to do that. But that’s the hardest part, ‘cause you see her getting hurt and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Chris says this moment right there is when you don’t have to care about it anymore.
For the first time, Ashley and JP watch the big proposal in Fiji. They haven’t seen it until now. So … JP probably hasn’t seen Ashley rubbing Ben with mud. It’s so cute to see them put their heads together at the After the Final Rose as they watch.
JP is a sports fan, so Chris asks for a grade. “I think I, I pretty much nailed it.” Ashley agrees that he nailed it.
ASHLEY’S SISTER APOLOGIZES
Chris talks about how Chrystie didn’t exactly give JP a ringing endorsement. Even now, looking back, he still doesn’t get it. But JP says his own brother’s opinion means a lot to him so he can understand how it would affect Ashley.
Chrystie comes up to the hot seat.
What was it about JP that rubbed her the wrong way? Chrystie says she and Ashley are ridiculously close and she wanted to protect Ashley. But what in particular about JP stopped her? Chrystie said Ben seems like he had the lifestyle that Ashley wanted. She didn’t want Ashley to get so caught up in the process that she forgot about what she had said she wanted.
Chrystie: “But clearly I will tell you, I feel like the biggest jerk ever and I can’t even apologize enough. As I’m watching the season, it is clear — it’s clear to me, ‘cause I know her so well, that you’re the one. It’s clear to everyone. Team Cupcake!”
Chrystie: “Shame on me. Shame on me for being so quick to judge.”
Props to her for apologizing and owning up to it. Forgiven!
JP said it’s all water under the bridge. Maybe it wasn’t the right way to go about it, but it was the right thing to be doing and he’d want to do the same for his brother.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ASHLEY AND JP?
Ashley should be done with dental school in a month and she’s moving to New York City, where he lives now. “We’re getting a place together.”
They’ve talked about a wedding but nothing is set in stone. It’s actually good that they are going to be in New York. He’s been shot by the paps for months now and NYC is such a populous city with so many stars, it’s not like they are the biggest things in town. In fact, Entertainment Tonight Canada claims they already caught Ash and JP in NYC during the season and the world didn’t end. This feels like it has more potential than Brad and Em.
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