'Bachelorette' Finale Recap
NEW YORK -- "The Bachelorette" Michelle Young handed out her final rose. But, before we reveal if she chose Brandon or Nayte, and if they are still together, let's break down the episode.
The show started with a live introduction from Kaitlyn Bristowe who explained that co-host Tayshia Adams was recently exposed to COVID so she was not able to be a part of the live show. New "Bachelor" Clayton Echard was also there to talk about some rumors swirling around in Bachelor Nation.
Brandon Meets Michelle's Family (again)
Michelle's mom LaVonne, dad Ephraim, and sister Angela were in Mexico and ready to meet her remaining men. They were excited to see Brandon again after previously meeting him during their one-on-one date in Minnesota. You could tell right away how excited Michelle's parents were to see Brandon again. He brought Michelle's dad a pair of new swim trunks since he wore her dad's when he visited their house. It was really funny. Ephraim, told Brandon that if Michelle were to pick him, they would gladly "adopt" him into the family. Brandon told LaVonne that he's in love with her daughter. He also said that he plans to move to Minnesota to be with Michelle because he has a remote position. "I want to be part of y'all's family so bad," Brandon said. LaVonne said that she would be "so happy" if he was there in the end.
Nayte Meets Michelle's Family
This was Nayte's first time meeting Michelle's parents and sister and he had a hard time putting his feelings into words. Then, Michelle and Nayte told the story of how they have shared their first feelings of love. Her mother looked immediately worried. Ephraim said there was a different vibe and that Brandon was initially warmer. Nayte said that he wants to propose to Michelle, but they haven't figured out the logistics of where they would live. Her dad clearly does not want Michelle to move away. Angela also asked him if he would move and Nayte said that he wouldn't mind moving, because he's done that many times in his life. He said that they have an adventurous spirit in their relationship. Michelle told her dad that she feels Nayte is ready for an engagement and her dad thinks that she's too optimistic. Her mother told Nayte that she doesn't think that he's in 100%. "I just hope you aren't going to hurt her and that you are going to show that same feeling back to her," LaVonne said.
Michelle's mom told her that it was harder to connect with Nayte than it was with Brandon. "I just wasn't feeling 'the one,'" she told Michelle. She said she didn't feel that he would put Michelle as a priority. She doesn't think that Nayte is ready to be engaged. You could see the tears well up in Michelle's eyes.
Michelle walked outside with Nayte and said that the conversation didn't go well and that her parents didn't feel great about it. "This is what I want," Nayte said, trying to reassure her.
Back with her parents, she cried as she realized how much effort and feeling her parents put into each visit to help her make the right decision. They all shared a Young Family hug as Michelle cried.
Brandon's Last Date
Michelle said that she was looking to see if by the end of the day she could be "in love" with Brandon. She said she's falling for him, but she's "right there," she's close but not yet in love. Michelle and Brandon went Jet Ski riding together, but it seemed a bit like a solo activity. You can't really talk very much while jet skiing. Later on the beach, Michelle told Brandon that her mom loved him and he revealed that her mom told him that she hopes it's him in the end. He talked about all the things he appreciated about her parents and it warmed her heart to see the love Brandon already has for them.
That evening, Brandon set the scene with candles and wine. Michelle arrived and told Brandon that their day earlier was one of her favorite days. Brandon said that meeting her parents for the first time was one of his favorite moments. She told him that it was very meaningful when he pulled her aside at the last rose ceremony to check in on her. Then, Brandon took her into the bedroom and gave Michelle a gift bag containing the sweatshirt that was his favorite and she spilled coffee and juice on it. That sweatshirt went through a food fight in the fantasy suite and Michelle said now "this" moment was her favorite. Brandon told Michelle that he loves her and then Michelle chose to tell him that she feels like she's "in love" with him. "This is the greatest love that I've ever had in my entire life," Brandon said.
Nayte's Last Date
Michelle took Nayte to a shaman named Raul to help them get in touch with their feelings. They waved smoke around each other and shared their hopes and dreams. It was kind of funny because Nayte's smoke kept going out and he said, "My bad." He struggled to let his feelings out and Michelle's face showed concern. You could tell that Nayte was feeling very awkward. Michelle said she didn't feel like she was getting enough from Nayte.
After their date, Michelle took Nayte to go have a conversation. They sat at a bench and talked about how Nayte struggled with sharing his feelings. Michelle told Nayte that her parents were "uneasy" around him and they don't know that he would be "right there" for her. Nayte told Michelle he only brought two suits to be on the show because he really didn't see himself making it to the end. He said he's scared as hell that the life he's imagined for them could be ripped away. "This is what I wanted," Michelle said of Nayte's revelation.
In the evening, Michelle visited Nayte's hotel room. Nayte told Michelle that he's happy that he could express himself to her during their date. "I've never been more certain," Nayte said. Regarding a proposal, Michelle asked him if he could find the words. "All I do is think about life with you," Nayte said. Then he told Michelle that he loved her and Michelle said, "I love you, too." Michelle has now told two men that she loves them. "I think my heart is telling me that this is my person," Michelle said of Nayte.
As she walked back to her hotel room, there was a letter waiting at her door. It was from Brandon. He talked about how a world without her is a world he fears to face. He wrote her a stunning love letter.
"I have two men, and I'm in love with them both," Michelle said. "They have given me everything that I've asked for and tomorrow is going to be the hardest decision that I've ever made."
The Men Pick Out an Engagement Ring
Neil Lane met with Nayte and Brandon separately to pick out an engagement ring for Michelle. Nayte picked the pear shaped diamond. Brandon also picked out a ring, but it was hard to tell which one he chose. They were all beautiful!
Michelle Makes Her Decision
On decision day, Michelle vowed to put herself first. Sadly, she knew that meant she would have to break someone's heart. First out of the limo was Brandon. He was full of excitement and nerves but he had no idea he was walking into a breakup. He launched into a beautiful speech about the love he has for her and Michelle looked like she was fighting back tears. Michelle told him that she meant what she said (anyone else having a hard time hearing with those waves on the beach?) BUT, she told him that she promised herself that she would follow her heart. She told him that her heart was leading her in a different direction. Brandon told her that he wished her nothing but happiness "even if its not with me." He cried as he told her that she was worth it every second and he didn't regret giving his heart to her. As they both cried, Michelle walked him out as he said it was okay and she said, "It's not okay." She felt awful for breaking his heart and her own was also clearly breaking. They said goodbye, he kissed her on the cheek and walked away. Poor Brandon had to walk up the longest staircase ever as he sobbed. I really don't think the producers thought this location through...you can't hear anything and the walk down to the beach was way too long. A clearly distraught Brandon tried to grapple with the fact that his future was not with Michelle. Can we please have him as a future "Bachelor?"
Michelle Picks Nayte
Nayte arrived a ball of nerves but said he was optimistic. He said he was ready to ask Michelle to marry him. Nayte told Michelle that he knew the first night that they had a connection he wanted to hold onto. He said that their second night together they mentioned running away together and he wants to run away with her forever. "I know that you've felt unseen at times but I want you to know that I am completely ready, aware and willing to make sure that you are seen" forever and for the rest of their lives and he added, "I love you, Michelle." It was the most eloquent he has ever been! Michelle told Nayte that they had a kinetic moment where she felt things she didn't even know it was possible to feel. She shared that she had feared that she loved him more than he loved her. She said it hasn't necessarily been a smooth ride, but I'm also not willing to face that fear of walking away from this without you. "I've never felt a love like this before," Michelle said, "I love you with my entire heart." Nayte took out ring and got down one knee and asked Michelle to marry him. "Yes, of course!" Michelle answered. They're engaged! "I'm the happiest guy in the world right now!" Nayte said. Michelle offered him the final rose, and of course he accepted. He said, "Everyday, yes, always!" Then the mariachi band, I believe the same one from their Fantasy Suite date, showed up to serenade the happily engaged couple as Tayshia and Kaitlyn joined them to celebrate.
After the Final Rose - Brandon
Brandon was out first on the "After the Final Rose" special and the crowd gave him a standing ovation. He's just the sweetest and I think we wish he could have found his happily ever after as well. He said he's grateful for his family, friends, and guys from the show for supporting him after his break up. He said that he was "sure" on the day of the proposal that it was going to be him, so it was shocking that it wasn't. He was completely caught off-guard. He really is grateful that she was able to find her "person." Kaitlyn showed a beautiful picture of Brandon reflecting on the beach after his and Michelle's breakup. Brandon said the beautiful sunset was God's way of telling him that everything would be okay.
Then Michelle came out to help give some closure to Brandon. He said that he didn't know what to say despite trying to prepare for the moment of seeing her, he said he just wanted to hear her side. Michelle told him that when she said that she loved him, she hadn't made her decision yet. She said she wouldn't have shared those feelings had she known then that it was Nayte. Then Brandon accidently swore, dropped an F bomb, when he said, "I do miss your parents a F-ing lot." Ha! Whoops! Then Brandon shared his confusion on how she had to push Nayte on his feelings but she never had to push him. Michelle wished him well and they ended their conversation amicably.
Nayte Reunites With Michelle
Nayte and Michelle shared a kiss on stage and then sat to talk about where their relationship stands now. Nayte screamed out, "Hey, hey! I got a fiancée!" They talked about how emotional the proposal was and everything they were feeling. Nayte said that he realized he was in deep after the basketball date where he realized he had never met anyone like Michelle before. He compared being with Michelle to find out that she was his favorite song. Nayte felt that he was witnessing himself falling in love. Michelle said that as for the conversations he had with her family, they showed him that Nayte was able to work through things. Michelle's parents said they are now "in love with Nayte" and Michelle has shared some of the sensitive texts he sent to her and they made LaVonne cry. Then, Nayte's mom, who was sitting next to LaVonne said that they are besties! They watch the show and then talk about it afterwards. It's especially great to see that their families get along so well.
Nayte Announces He's Moving to Minnesota
So what's next? Nayte said he's moving to Minnesota! He said that he will be moving within the next few months. "There's no reason to wait with Michelle," Nayte said. Minnesota to Winnipeg is a 7-hour drive so they are happy that Nayte's mom will still be within driving distance, even if it is a long drive. Then, they were given a gingerbread house with an check inside for a down payment for their first home together! "Wow!" That is a "Bachelorette" first! Michelle said, "It's $200,000!"
The Next "Bachelor" Clayton Talks about His Upcoming Season
Clayton was out on the stage next to talk about the mixed reaction to him being the next "Bachelor." Kaitlyn read some mean tweets and they were really funny and he was a great sport about it. Then the crowd cheered his name to boost his spirits. Kaitlyn said she knows America will fall in love with him once they start to watch his season. "I really do hope people give me a shot," he said. Clayton promised to be authentic and said his journey is worth watching. Clayton's season premieres on Monday, January 3!