“The Bachelorette” season 18 had it’s live finale with a studio audience. The last hour was devoted to “After the Final Rose.” The show was short one host. Kaitlyn Bristowe did the Live Finale alone because her regular co-host Tayshia Adams was “exposed to Covid.”
The studio was decorated for Christmas with a Santa Claus there, called “PolyClaus.” Special Bachelor Nation guests were in the audience, Joe and Serena, and Becca and Thomas. Kaitlyn also revealed that the new ‘Bachelor Clayton Echard was waiting backstage to join them later on in the show after the finale episode.
With that, the final episode of “The Bachelorette” got underway with the burning questions posed – “does Michelle find love? With Nayte or Brandon?”
Last week’s “The Bachelorette” Fantasy Suites episode left some fans shocked when Michelle Young sent Joe home. Her bond between Nayte and Brandon grew stronger. The next stage was the two men had to meet Michelle’s parents.
Michelle said waking up the next morning after letting Joe go home wasn’t easy. But, the feelings that she has for Nayte and Brandon are stronger than that. She said with Nayte, she feels things that she’s never felt in a relationship before. And with Brandon, he’ll do anything for her.
Michelle sat down with her family who were: her parents, Ephraim and Levonne, and her sister Angela. She told them that they’d be meeting with Brandon again. Dad said Brandon reminded him of himself and “he treated me really well.” Ephraim said you can tell that Brandon would do anything for Michelle, and he likes that.
Brandon greeted Michelle with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He said he couldn’t wait to tell her family how he’s come to fall in love with their daughter. Brandon brought Ephraim a new pair of swim trunks since the last time he was there, he had borrowed Ephraim’s for the hot tub. Ephraim talked to Brandon in private about Michelle having ambition in finishing her Masters and wanting to be a Principal. Brandon said that doesn’t bother him at all. Ephraim said if Michelle picks him, they will gladly adopt him as a member of the family.
Michelle’s mom Levonne talked to Brandon next. He told her that his feelings for Michelle progressed a lot and found out that he’s in love with Michelle. The most incredible woman he’s ever met . He would love to move to Minnesota. She said she can see it in Brandon’s eyes that he really loves Michelle and they would welcome him into the family. She told him she would be so happy if Brandon was there at the end. “He’s so sweet” said Levonne. She told Michelle that she wants her to find someone as special as Ephraim. “I can really picture Brandon being her best friend,” and she knows he loves Michelle. She said she can “see it in his eyes.”
Michelle said she’s in love with Nayte and hopes her family sees that Nayte feels the same way about her. Nayte also arrived with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Michelle said Brandon makes her feel seen and he is someone she could enjoy life with. Michelle shared that after the hometown date, Nayte told her that he’s falling in love. Then Ephraim invited Nayte to talk in private. In Ephraim’s confessional, he said there was a different vibe with Brandon who was warm. Nayte told Ephraim that he definitely wants to get down on one knee. But, he didn’t know the logistics after that. Like where they would live…etc. Ephraim said this raised a concern. Then Angela asked Nayte about moving. He said “moving is easy.” He said he and Michelle have a long list of the adventures they want to go on.
Then Ephraim asked Michelle if Nayte said he wanted to get married right away? Michelle said Nayte said “yes.” Levonne asked Nayte, “you have not been in love before?” Nayte said he trusts himself that he feels that he’s falling in love with Michelle. He said “My mind and my heart are pointing directly at Michelle,” and he doesn’t take love for granted. LeVonne said she doesn’t feel that at the end of this he’s ready for an engagement and doesn’t feel that he’s 100% in. Then a great question was “how would you feel if she doesn’t choose you?” Nayte said “that wouldn’t be fun.”
Levonne said she wasn’t getting that feeling that Nayte is ready to propose to Michelle. She told Nayte that this would really be heart-breaking if this ended without a proposal. “That would be heart-breaking.”
Levonne talked to Michelle privately. Levonne said it was harder to connect with Nayte “with feeling with him” and “wasn’t feeling the warmth.” She asked Nayte is he would put Michelle as a priority. When Michelle asked if she thinks Nayte is ready for an engagement, she answered, “to be honest, no.” Michelle said maybe she’s more into Nayte because she’s more scared of losing him than he is of losing her.
After Nayte talked with Michelle’s parents, Michelle and Nayte talked alone. He told Michelle that he likes that Levonne is a “straight shooter.” She told Nayte that the big thing with her parents is that “you can say it, but you have to feel it.” Nayte told Michelle that “this is what I want..100%.” In his confessional he said that he hates that he’s letting himself go there – the heartbreak that may be around the corner.
Michelle said in her confessional that she doesn’t want to be in a relationship where the person may not stick around. After Nayte left, her parents told her that they support her whomever she decides to go with. Levonne said her greatest fear in all of this is that Michelle’s heart is going to get broken again.
Before the last act aired, Kaitlyn warned that it’s the most “emotional breakup in Bachelorette history. The toughest to watch.”
Michelle said she “is falling in love with Brandon.” But, she wants to go into an engagement “already IN LOVE.” She said she hoped to get there by the end of their last date. At the start of their last date, Brandon and Michelle went jet skiing in the ocean.
Michelle said she hopes after this date that she can see that she’s in love with Brandon. The first time she kissed Brandon, Michelle said she knew there was something really special. She said Brandon challenges her to stay in the moment, and always makes her feel taken care of and really safe. “I can see spending my life with him.” Brandon said his main focus is to get Michelle in the end.
Brandon said in his confessional that his heart is already there, in the end it’s her decision. That evening, Michelle asked Brandon what was his favorite moment out of the journey. He answered that it was meeting her parents at the hot tub.
Her favorite was when Brandon pulled her aside at the last Rose Ceremony to check-in on her. Then Brandon presented Michelle with a special gift. He gave her the hoodie that he wore when they woke up to a food fight. Michelle said she loves that Brandon takes little things to be sentimental. Michelle said now that’s her favorite moment.
Michelle told Brandon since he’s been so open about his feelings. She told him that she wanted to be honest that she isn’t “falling in love,” She’s “in love” with him. Brandon told Michelle that he’s never felt this way about anyone. Michelle said after she told Brandon that, she felt a massive weight lifted off of her chest. “Brandon loves so hard. I’ve never met anyone like that…passion and chemistry.” Brandon was confident that the next time he sees Michelle, he’s going to “marry this woman.”
Michelle said it’s a date that will “channel that inner vulnerability.” They went to a sacred place where they partook in a ritual to open-up to each other. The Shaman said he could see “a blockage” in Nayte’s brain. “You’re so emotional, but you pretend not.” The Shaman picked-up that Nayte wasn’t expressing his feelings, and told Nayte to “speak directly” and tell Michelle what he wants. Nayte had trouble opening-up to Michelle, and kept the walls up. Michelle said “that’s a deal-breaker. That’s a massive red flag.”
Michelle said she felt that her and Nayte were on the same page with their hearts. But, she needs Nayte to show it. She told Natye that in talking to her mom she “was uneasy.” Nayte said where his heart is at was that he wants to get to the real world with Michelle. If he lost her “it would suck.” He said he went on “The Bachelorette” with two suits because he didn’t think he’d make it to the end. But, he’s madly in love with her, and he could start the rest of his life with her, and he’s “scared as hell” because there’s a chance that, that could get ripped away from him at the end of the week. Michelle told Nayte that her fear was loving someone more than they love her.
Later that evening, they sat on a couch and talked. He said he was happy that Michelle’s mom and he had that conversation, because that led to this date. Michelle asked him “an engagement of a proposal. Do you have words?” Nayte responded that he’s never felt connected in a way that he feels with her now. He said to wake up and not see her, “that’s scary as hell,” and he wants this to be forever. What he holds onto is how he feels about Michelle.
Michelle said all she needed was that last piece from Nayte. She got it, the emotions from Nayte. Any fears or doubts “have been resolved” and “Nayte is ready for this.” She said she trusts her heart and her heart is telling her that this is her person.
Then, after Michelle walked Nayte out, she returned back to a letter at her door. It was from Brandon. Some of the quotes from the letter were: he told her that ever since she entered his life, he doesn’t see the world the same anymore. He loves deeply. “The kind of love where I will always place your happiness above mine… You’ll never have to ask for my love because I will love you forever.”
Michelle said she has two men and she’s in love with them both.
The morning of her last rose ceremony, Michelle said she felt confused and didn’t want her heart to be in two places. She was “emotionally torn” It’s the hardest decision she’s had to make in her life. Nayte was the first face, the first kiss, the first person she fell in love with. Michelle didn’t trust herself that she thought Nayte was ready. “I’ve been wrong before,” she said in her confessional.
Nayte was excited and said this could be the first day of their rest of their lives. He was getting emotional thinking of being a husband to Michelle. He said he wants a ring that shows Michelle everyday that he’s choosing her, he sees her. He sat down with Neil Lane to choose an engagement ring, which was pear shaped. He told Neil that he’s never felt more certain about somebody and Michelle has taught him to be more brave with his emotions.
Back to Michelle in her room: She said she’s in love with two people Brandon is the one who’s been all in from the beginning. He sees her for who she is. A life with Brandon will be a happy life and a fulfilling life.
Brandon said “today is going to be one of the biggest days of my life. I get to spend forever with Michelle.” He said since he found the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with, he’s not nervous. Just excitement and joy. Brandon told Neil that the first time he saw Michelle was when he knew she was the one. Brandon chose a perfect ring for Michelle.
Back to Michelle: She said she deserves to put herself first. And it’s something that she’s never done. “There’s one person that I would be devastated to live my life without.”
Michelle made her way to the shoreline to get proposed to by Brandon or Nayte. Michelle said as much as it’s her happy ending, it’s someone else’s heart break. “I genuinely, truly, deeply care about them.” But she knows what her heart is saying and she has to go with that.
The first man to arrive was Brandon. He was greeted by Tayshia and Kaitlyn. He said he was nervous and excited. They wished him luck. Brandon told her that the first time he laid eyes on her, he truly saw her. “I found something so unbelievably special with you, I don’t know I’ll ever find it again.” Brandon said he doesn’t want to spend another second without her.
The sound wasn’t the best with all the waves crashing against the rocks. Brandon spoke first. He told Michelle that he found something so unbelievably special he doesn’t think he’ll find it again. He didn’t want to spend another second without Michelle. As Michelle spoke to Brandon, she was solemn and told Brandon that she promised herself that she would continue to follow her heart. She loves Brandon, but her heart is pushing her in another direction. She told Brandon that he will always have a piece of her heart. Brandon said it was still worth it and this journey is something that he’ll never regret. “I’ll always be here for you.”
Brandon had a sad walk up the stairs of the beach for his exit. Brandon said he gave everything that he had and now he’s so “broken,” and “saw a future with her I never saw with anyone. The worst part is that there’s nothing truly left.” He said she followed her heart and at the end of the day, there’s nothing he can do about it. Michelle said it hurt that she couldn’t be that person for Brandon because her heart’s in a different spot.
Upon Nayte’s arrival, he was excited and said this could be the first day of the rest of their lives together. Then it was time for Nayte to open-up and pour his heart out. He said the first night they were together, he knew they had a connection. The second night, they talked about running away together. As he stood there, he had the same feelings that he wanted to run away with her.
“I know you felt unseen at times. I want you to know that I am completely prepared that you are always chosen first, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. I love you Michelle.” Michelle responded that from the moment she met him she felt there was a connection and was feeling things that she didn’t know was possible. Her fear was to love the person more than they love her. “I’m also not willing to face that fear of not walking away with you…I love you with my entire heart.” She said at the end she wanted to be standing in front of her soulmate, and “he is definitely standing in front of me.” Nayte asked her “will you marry me” and got down on one knee. She accepted, and Nayte accepted his final rose.
Nayte was the first person that got out of the limo, and he got the First Impression Rose. Then the mariachi band walked up the beach to serenade them.