It was the finale that wouldn’t end. ABC extended The Bachelor finale to a second night and another two hours of drama, with Arie Luyendyk reuniting with his former fiancee Becca Kufrin in a painfully awkward encounter.

Becca, whom Arie unceremoniously dumped a couple of months after proposing to her, understandably had questions for the race car driver who left her for the show’s runner up, Lauren Burnham. Why did you propose? When did you know you wanted to go back to Lauren? The questions tumbled out emotionally as Becca tried to gather her thoughts.

A downcast Arie tried desperately to answer each question with a somewhat hostile audience hanging on every word. He repeated that he was conflicted in his feelings and made a mistake by proposing. It was a pivotal phone call to Lauren that solidified his decision to leave Becca. Apologies were made and forgiveness given. Becca’s good nature and class in the face of humiliation was noteworthy, showing compassion towards a man who had wronged her so completely. She would never have that first proposal moment again. Arie robbed her of that. But yet, she forgave.

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Arie was then joined on stage by Lauren. She declared her love for him in the face of controversy and backlash. She was proud of him and said the experience had brought them closer. And then, as if on cue…another proposal. Arie got down on one knee with a sizable diamond rock and asked the Virgina Beach resident to marry him. A shell-shocked Lauren accepted. And off they went…

Host Chris Harrison then announced the next Bachelorette…Becca! The audience went wild, rooting for the Minnesota girl who deserved her own happy ending. The show started immediately, right there on stage, with handsome suitors stepping up one by one to introduce themselves to the brunette beauty.

The entire finale felt like a sordid ratings grab. It was exhausting, but left at the end of it all, was a small glimmer of hope for the one person who managed to maintain her dignity through it all – Becca.


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