NEW YORK -- The highly anticipated season finale of "The Bachelor" certainly packed drama as promised. But to find out the full story, we'll have to watch Tuesday night as well. Jesse Palmer promised a finale like none other and of course, we finally got to see "The Rose Ceremony From Hell."
We picked back up in Iceland with a shattered Clayton after he sent Susie home after their dramatic breakup. He was sitting alone in a church, with a choir singing just for him...why? No one knows, but he's "The Bachelor," he's messed up (his words) and he's searching his heart for answers. "I'm so broken," he cried. Jesse Palmer met him outside to chat on a park bench and he said to Clayton, "That was crazy." Clayton talked about how shattered he was and how he was left brokenhearted by Susie. Can Jesse talk some sense into this man? He laid it all out to Clayton and told him that Gabby and Rachel are expecting a proposal and to meet his parents. Clayton said he plans to tell the two of them everything and be honest to see if they feel the same as Susie. Jesse had him play it out both ways, they might leave, they might stay. "I think you got some stuff to think about," Jesse said. That's putting it mildly.
Rose Ceremony From Hell
Poor Gabby and Rachel. They were already nervous about the rose ceremony and had no clue what they were walking into. "I hope he's figured out exactly what he wants and that it's me," Gabby said as she headed in. Sorry Gabby, this is not what you are hoping for. As Gabby and Rachel stood there waiting for Clayton, they realized Susie wasn't there. They were hoping they were the final two, and they kind of are, but there's an elephant in the room. Clayton tells them that Susie is gone and that he's shattered to pieces. He explained what Susie said to him and how it made him feel. Clayton announces that he loves all three of them and he slept with both of them. Rachel looked around angrily in disbelief as Gabby immediately broke into tears. Clayton told them that he believes his wife is one of the two of them, but he doesn't know yet, and he's not looking to string either of them along. He told them they could ask him questions and do what they want to do, and Rachel requested to take a second and walked off.
Rachel sat down outside on the steps and her cries echoed throughout the hall. Gabby also walked off down a hallway, cried, and said she doesn't want to make it to the end if it's going to be like this. Clayton just stood there alone as their cries continued to billow through the building. It was really awful.
Rachel said she couldn't breathe and unbuttoned the neck of her dress. Gabby said she didn't know what to do, "Maybe it's easier just to go." Jesse talked to Clayton as the women cried in the background. "It kills me to see them like this," Clayton said. "It's because I opened up and became vulnerable that this happened." "They're hurt right now," Jesse said.
Gabby walked over to Clayton first and said, "This is like, so much." Clayton tried to reassure her that his feelings were real and he was just scared because of what happened with Susie. She asked him to explain everything again and waved off some of the parts she didn't care to hear again. Gabby said that she didn't think his "exploring relationships" should have involved definitive love. She couldn't understand how he could say he loves all of them and then send her home possibly. He said that whoever he picks he "loves the most." "Why wouldn't you just save it?" Gabby said. Clayton said that he just wanted to express how he truly felt. Gabby said a curse and walked off. "I don't think he's being fair right now," she said. "Love isn't measured, you can't measure it." "I don't want to be loved the most, I just want to be loved for who I am," Gabby added.
Rachel said she felt heartbroken because it's like his words meant nothing. She went to find Clayton and they sat to talk about how his words affected her. He tried to explain that the love he feels for each of them is different. "I feel like my heart is breaking," she said as she sobbed into him. She never thought in the worst-case scenario that she felt he could feel for three people. "I feel like this is worth fighting for. I love you I do," Clayton said. He told Rachel that his family is there and he wants her to meet them. She hugged him and walked off, still not knowing what she wanted to do.
Rose Ceremony Continues
Oh wait, somehow the producers convinced the women to stand there for this "Rose Ceremony from hell." Clayton apologized to them both again and reminded them that they can choose to not accept the rose if they feel they aren't able to. He called Rachel's name first and offered her the rose, and she said, "I will." Gabby stood there unhappily as Clayton then called out her name. Gabby said, "I can't, I'm sorry." He said, "OK." Then she asked him if he wanted to walk her out. Rachel gasped silently, wondering if he ended up with her by default or if she's really the one for him. "I'm not in the business of competing with anyone for love," she said. But she does realize that's what this show is right? But, she's right in how she feels. Clayton made one last plea for her and said he was speaking from his heart. Gabby begged him to just say he was sorry. He tried to convince her to stay, but wouldn't give her any assurances. Shockingly, she walked back into the room with Rachel and then Clayton offered her the rose again! She accepted the rose, "Yeah." Gabby and Rachel's eyes were so puffy from crying! "I'm fighting because I care," Clayton said.
Bachelor Nation Commentary
On the live show, Jesse brought Clare, Nick, and Michelle down to talk about Clayton's situation. Nick noted that Clayton left out the most important detail, "He never told them that he told Susie that he loved her the most." Clare thought that Clayton didn't handle it well. Michelle said that being vulnerable is a very strong thing, but in a relationship, you have to "handle with care" and both sides have to put in the same effort.
Clayton's Family Arrives in Iceland
The next day, Clayton's brothers and parents were in Iceland and very excited to see him and hear all about his journey. Boy, were they in for a shock. He told his family all the dirty details. He talked about Susie leaving and Clayton's dad said, "Sounds reasonable." "They have a right to be upset with you," he added. His dad chuckled hearing about everything and said, "You screwed the pooch in my opinion." Clayton asked his parents to ask them the tough questions but to take it easy on them at the same time because they've been through a lot. His mother said it was hard to talk to Gabby because it was like she was a consolation prize, and Clayton said that neither Gabby nor Rachel are a consolation prize and either one could end up being their daughter-in-law.
Gabby Meets Clayton's Parents
Gabby was so gracious coming in, brought gifts, and thanked them so much for traveling halfway around the world to meet her (and of course Rachel too). His mom tried to reassure Gabby that her son is a great guy and "a gem." She told his mother that she just wants to see the relationship through. Clayton's dad asked her how she was doing and when Gabby said she was good, he said, "Are you?" His dad told her how much he respects her and all the decisions she's made so far. He seems like such a nice dad! Gabby said that she didn't want his parents to think less of him. How sweet is she?! Gabby ended the day by telling Clayton that she really loves him.
Rachel Meets Clayton's Parents
Rachel was next up to meet Clayton's family. She told his mother that the rose ceremony was really tough, yet she's still in love with Clayton. Rachel said she stayed because she didn't want to have any regrets in the future and she wanted to give their relationship her all. Rachel even said that if Clayton proposed to her she would accept it. His mother really connected with her. She liked that Rachel has always been willing to see the relationship through. Clayton's dad laughed and told Rachel that if he were her, he would have smacked him. His dad was really taken with how in love Rachel was with his son.
Clayton's Still Stuck on Susie
Clayton still has no clue who he wants to pick. He said that despite Gabby and Rachel meeting his family, he can't stop thinking about Susie. This is just so unfair to Gabby and Rachel, they stayed, they stuck it out, they met his family, and Clayton is still thinking about the woman he "loves the most." His parents were frustrated with him when he told them that. "I stopped listening with Susie," Clayton said. "You are grasping at straws," his father said, "She made the choice." "But I opened the door and told her to go," Clayton said. His brothers asked, "Why didn't you ask Susie to stay?" His family urged him to pick between Rachel and Gabby because Susie left. Clayton said that he was willing to put everything on the line for Susie. Jesse walked in and asked him what he wanted to do and Clayton said that he wants to see if there is something still there with Susie. Jesse said that Susie is still in Iceland.
Bachelor Nation Commentary
Kaitlyn, Rodney, and Cassie from "Bachelor Nation" then took to the live stage. Kaitlyn said that at this point he has to go and take the risk with Susie. Cassie thinks that Susie should follow her intuition and try not to feel pressured. Rodney just wants Clayton to think before he speaks.
Jesse Palmer teased that we would find out the conclusion of Clayton's journey Tuesday night, and we will also find out the identity of our new "Bachelorette!"
"The Bachelor" two-night finale concludes Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.