(NEW YORK) — Monday night’s three-hour finale of The Bachelor saw Juan Pablo Galavis eliminate Clare Crawley in a surprise decision, then choose Nikki Ferrell — but refuse to propose to her. His choice led to a live After the Final Rose special in which both the assembled studio audience and host Chris Harrison became increasingly frustrated with the former soccer player.
The finale kicked off with Clare, then Nikki, meeting with Juan Pablo’s family in St. Lucia: his parents Saul and Nelly, his daughter Camila, and Juan Pablo’s cousin, brother, and sister appeared to approve of both women.
Clare met with Juan Pablo later for a romantic helicopter ride that turned out to be anything but — she revealed to the camera that when the cameras were off, he said something that was offensive to her. Additionally, Juan Pablo never convinced her that he really wanted her, she claimed. Her doubts built until she confronted him later on; he seemed to say all the right things when prompted, but admitted he still hadn’t made his decision.
Nikki and Juan Pablo hung out on the beach, and she shared some of the same concerns Clare did. Their romantic evening together ended with Juan Pablo reading a note Nikki gave him, sharing her favorite moments together. He read it aloud, later leaving Nikki’s room, and her in tears.
“I’m in love with this guy…and I don’t want to lose this,” she confessed to the camera.
Juan Pablo eventually made his decision and let Clare go — which she didn’t take well.
“I lost respect for you…What you just made me go through, I would never want my children to have a father like you,” she hissed.
The bachelor then told Nikki that he chose her, but he wouldn’t propose to her. He did give her his final rose, and she accepted.
During the live After the Rose special, Clare said she had no regrets and was glad Juan Pablo didn’t pick her. She refused to reveal what offensive comment he made to her in the helicopter, and also refused to speak with him in the studio. Instead, he sat down with Chris Harrison — and an apparently hostile crowd — to try to explain his side of the story.
When Nikki appeared, she said her relationship with Juan Pablo was still ongoing, but revealed he still hasn’t told her he loves her.
“It’s been a struggle…but he’s very honest, and if he wasn’t invested in this relationship, he wouldn’t be here,” she rationalized. “I’m not gonna force it.”
When Juan Pablo joined Nikki, the audience became increasingly icy towards him, as he became evasive. Trying to keep control of the interview, Chris Harrison insisted Juan Pablo told producers he had a “big surprise” to share with the audience — only to have him deny he’d said it.
Juan Pablo declared that he and Nikki were “done with this show,” and repeatedly refused Harrison’s pressure to say “I love you,” to Nikki.
As far as future plans go, Juan Pablo insisted, “We have our plans…but want to keep things private,” and hinted that “something happened” after the recent Women Tell All special that made them change whatever life plans they had. He wouldn’t elaborate.
Juan Pablo was scolded by former “Bachelor” Sean Lowe and his now wife Catherine about his behavior during the live finale, with Catherine even saying “Don’t slap the hand that fed you.” Harrison was clearly frustrated, calling the situation, “a Bachelor first.”
Harrison ended the finale on a happier note, revealing that Andi Dorfman, who quit The Bachelor this season, was going to be the next “Bachelorette.”
Apparently still miffed about Juan Pablo, Harrison said to the 26-year-old assistant district attorney from Atlanta, “You do know this is going to be on television?…If you fall in love, don’t be afraid to say that.”
The Bachelorette will premiere Monday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET before settling into its regular time slot, Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET starting May 26.
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