Let’s discuss: In The Bachelorette season finale, Rachel kept everyone guessing until the end, but it was Bryan who won Rachel’s heart, leaving America dazed and confused.
The finale of The Bachelorette Season 13 was Monday and ABC decided to change things up and for the first time in the history of the Bachelor or Bachelorette, Rachel watched the finale with Chris Harrison and the rest of the studio audience – live. The finale began with Peter and Bryan’s fantasy dates. Rachel and Peter did, in fact, stay in the fantasy suite and woke up the next morning drinking coffee and cooking eggs together. However, Rachel was still left confused about Peter not being ready to propose. Bryan’s fantasy suite date went fine as well but his had more…cheese. It was then time for the last rose ceremony and surprise or not, Eric went home but there seemed to be no bitterness after their breakup. He was brought out to talk to Rachel about it even before the finale concluded with the beard-equivalent to a post-breakup revenge-body.
After Eric was sent home it was time for one more date for each remaining guy. Bryan made Rachel a Spanish Dictionary with words you’d expect from him: spouse, husband, etc. Peter’s date is where things took a turn. They had their first fight…like an actual couple fight. Rachel came here for a proposal, not a boyfriend, so it was all waterworks when Peter said he can’t get there that soon. They kissed, hugged, and said goodbye with tears down their faces like any Nicholas Sparks rom-com ever. I don’t know about you guys but we all thought they’d see each other again before the proposals. Well, we were wrong. Rachel spoke with Chris Harrison saying that was the last time they have seen each other. After another commercial break, Peter came out on stage ruining the ending for everyone. And in the end, obviously, it was Bryan.
We’ve got a jammed packed Roundtable to talk about everything that just happened in the finale, let’s meet them:
Sophie (@svershbow) – Book Publicist, Writer, Reality TV Enthusiast
Jaci (@norasariah) – TV and Bachelorette newbie
Kathryn (@florencewelches) – Pop culture addict and makeup artist
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack) – Co-founder of Bach Bracket, an online fantasy league site for The Bachelor franchise
Erica (@ericaeff) – Reality TV enthusiast and live Tweeter
Kia (@clarity4kia) – TV fan, song lyric rememberer, and co-host of Two Dead Chicks podcast
1. In another first this season, Rachel sat next to Chris Harrison the entire episode and watched the finale unfold with the rest of Bachelor Nation instead of the typical 2-hour finale followed by the live After the Final Rose special. Peter and Eric were even brought out to talk about what happened to them before the proposal even happened. What did you think of the new setup?
Sophie (@svershbow): I am furious at ABC for the new finale setup. Forcing us to watch three whole hours of this fiasco was just mean, especially when there were enough awkward interactions to send me into a cold sweat. Three hours is too long for a movie, let alone ONE EPISODE of a reality dating show.
Jaci (@norasariah): I didn’t like how they combined AFR with the finale. I mean hello, they brought out Peter after the confusing breakup scene and spoiled the ending a whole hour early! Way to ruin everything, producers. I was not pleased at all.
Kathryn (@florencewelches): I thought it was really interesting and I think made things more on the spot, especially when Peter sat on the couch later. It was also neat to see her take throughout the episode!
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): I was zero percent a fan. Like, I’m all for trying new things to keep it exciting… but I feel like this completely ruined the anticipation and excitement that the finale usually brings. It was clear from the moment she came out who she was going to pick, so I felt like drawing it out for 3 hours just felt excessive.
Erica (@ericaeff): I liked it! It was pretty wild to see Rachel talking about the guys and catching their reactions backstage. It was nice to get their live reactions as the episode unfolded.
Kia (@clarity4kia): It’s sneaky! I definitely fade out quickly during ATFR, so good on ABC for trying to make me watch the full 3 hours. I went to clean my room after I found out that the Peter thing was for real, but they almost got me!
2. The finale picked up with the remainder of the fantasy suite dates. Peter was even shown laying down sipping coffee the next morning, shirtless obviously. What did you think of Peter and Bryan’s fantasy suites?
Sophie (@svershbow): Peter: Hours of passionate love making focused on Rachel’s pleasure.
Bryan: Jack-rabbit sex followed by a fist pump.
Need I say more?
Jaci (@norasariah): I couldn’t care less about Bryan’s date, Peter was the only one on my mind the entire episode. I honestly don’t even remember Bryan’s date or fantasy suite happening. I thought that Peter’s might have gone well over the night in the fantasy suite since they were so happy in the morning.
Kathryn (@florencewelches): I think Peter’s went well and then I think Bryan’s probably went exponentially well (clearly). Of course, it seemed things weren’t made clear enough with Peter, though. Sadly.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): Really glad you also picked up on the best thing that happened during that overnight date – Peter’s cute face sleepily lounging around shirtless. I read that Rachel didn’t sleep with everyone in the fantasy suite, so I’m guessing she & Peter did a lot of talking and crying and holding each other and lamenting the fact that they’re literally perfect for each other but were never going to be together… But I digress. If the fantasy suite was anything like their other dates, Bryan & Rachel probably ate face the whole time and had lots of steamy sex while maybe saying like 5 words to each other (3 in Spanish) the entire night.
Erica (@ericaeff): Well, you would think the fantasy suites provide a lot of clarity, but somehow they made Rachel more confused than she was before…
Kia (@clarity4kia): Better than Eric’s…
3. We learned around the one-hour mark of the finale that Eric was the first to go home. Were you surprised to see Eric not make it to the final two? And how do you think he handled the break-up?
Sophie (@svershbow): I wasn’t at all surprised to see Eric go home. He seems like a great guy, but he and Rachel felt more like good friends than a couple. Major kudos to him for handling the breakup with incredible grace. “I wish you all the happiness in the world” is always the way to go when your breakup is being filmed for national television.
Jaci (@norasariah): I wasn’t surprised that Eric was sent home. He’s a nice guy but I just couldn’t see him getting married to Rachel. He seemed very mature in the live segment though.
Kathryn (@florencewelches): I wasn’t surprised because I truly felt like Peter and Bryan were the front runners all along. Eric definitely handled being sent home with so much grace and respect, and zero animosity and confusion towards Rachel. He was so kind! Honestly such a class act.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): Let’s be real, Eric was never going to be in the top 2 – Bryan and Peter were destined from the start. That being said, I adore Eric. He grew on me so much over the season, and he was so poised and gracious after the breakup. He deserves someone really wonderful. Also DAMN he looks good with a beard.
Erica (@ericaeff): I’m not surprised that Eric didn’t make final 2. I was pretty certain ever since a couple episodes ago that she was going to pick Bryan in the end, so cutting Eric in favor of more Peter drama was a pretty obvious choice from a production standpoint. That said, I was sad for Eric! I think he was really into Rachel/the whole process by the end, so I hope we get to see more of his journey.
Kia (@clarity4kia): I was surprised that Eric made the final three and really, I got such a friend vibe from them (the same that I got from Dean), so this was not surprising in the least. Eric handled it beautifully, however, it seemed like he was resigned to his fate before he even knew it. Peter and Bryan were passionate, Eric was a little passive.
4. Peter’s final date did not go as well as we hoped it would have. He and Rachel fought over the fact that he did not feel comfortable proposing the next day but said he would have to not lose Rachel. Then we found out 30 minutes later that their goodbye was not just a goodbye-but a break-up. How surprised were you, and what did you think of Peter standing by his beliefs and not proposing when he was not ready to?
Sophie (@svershbow): Peter’s final date was utterly heartbreaking. I truly believe that Rachel and Peter could have made it in the real world, and I’m sad that they weren’t able to get on the same page.
Frankly, both of them are right and both of them are wrong. Peter has every right to be skeptical of getting engaged after 7 weeks (SEVEN WEEKS)! That being said, he knew what the deal was when he signed up for the show, and he let the girl of his dreams go out of fear.
I admire Rachel’s conviction to stand by her engagement-requirement, but cannot believe she let the guy she clearly cared about more go home. This is an example of two smart people letting their hangups and pride trump emotions.
Jaci (@norasariah): I was absolutely devastated. I was hoping during that last hour of the show that Peter would show up to where Rachel and Bryan were and profess his undying love and get down on one knee. I truly thought he and Rachel would end up together, I can’t see Rachel with Bryan whatsoever. When Peter said “what’s wrong with me?” that broke my heart into a million Peter-shaped pieces. I applaud Peter for standing by his beliefs of not proposing when you don’t feel like it’s right. This whole time Rachel has just wanted a ring, not love. A ring does not equal love. There’s millions of guys like Bryan but only one Peter.
Kathryn (@florencewelches): It didn’t surprise me, especially in the past few weeks, that Rachel and Peter ended like this. Peter stood by his beliefs and what he knew and felt in his heart. He wanted to be in a relationship with her but wasn’t ready to propose just yet, which is healthy and normal. But it wasn’t enough for her because she wanted that ring after two months. I’m glad Peter stood his ground, and I hope that he’ll find love with someone who’s on the same page as him in the future.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): Actually so grateful for these questions because I need a cathartic way to recover from the grief I experienced yesterday. Peter & Rachel’s breakup is like, the worst one I’ve ever had. But let me just say I was SO ANGRY during this conversation. I think Rachel was being completely unreasonable, and I don’t understand her argument at all. Can you even imagine dating the man of your dreams for 2 months and then breaking up with him if he won’t propose to on demand!? Like, that is not normal. God forbid he want to take things slow and build a life with someone before getting married – which, might I remind you IS EXACTLY what Rachel said she & Bryan wanted to do. Ugh. I was honestly shouting at my TV during their whole conversation.
Erica (@ericaeff): I think they both reached a stalemate that they weren’t able to work through, so I’m not surprised at the outcome of their final date at all. Rachel had been very clear from the start: she wanted to be engaged by the end of this process. It’s the goal of the show and Peter was unable to compromise, unfortunately.
Kia (@clarity4kia): I was super surprised. I was engrossed in their argument and I couldn’t believe it was “over” for them when she left. And I was convinced that something was going to happen during the live broadcast, Notebook style. I commend him for sticking to his beliefs, just like I commend her. She shouldn’t have to be the only Bachelorette to come out of this without a proposal. However, I do think it’s kinda twisted that she and Peter both wanted the time, opportunity and space to let their relationship to breathe after the conclusion of the show, but because she wanted with the title of fiancee, that’s it? I would hope there were deeper reasons for the breakup.
5. Do you think Rachel still would have chosen Bryan if Peter had decided to propose instead of walking out of the room, never to return until the finale? Should Rachel had given Peter another chance when he tried contacting her in the midst of walking past her eyelashes on the floor for two days?
Sophie (@svershbow): C’mon. We all know Rachel would have chosen Peter if he’d proposed. Wouldn’t you?!
She made her choice and she wanted to stick with it. Fair enough………….
BUT PETER OMG PETER COME BACK!!!!!
Jaci (@norasariah): I think Rachel still would have chosen Bryan, yes. The last few episodes seem like she’s more in the show for a ring and publicity than actual love. Hell, she showed more emotion during the breakup than the proposal. When Bryan showed her the ring and proposed, she just said ‘GIVE ME THE RING! GIVE IT TO ME!’ like she turned into Gollum. My precioussss!
Kathryn (@florencewelches): I think if Peter was on the same page as her and was ready to propose from the bottom of his heart, they could’ve worked and then I don’t know if she would’ve chosen Bryan still or not. But it was ring right away or nothing, and I think that was it for Rachel. She wouldn’t have gone back for him. He said he’d propose to her if that’s what she wanted, but she knew it wasn’t coming from his true self and it would’ve later probably created some resentment. She saw that outcome.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): I don’t even know because I was so annoyed by that scene. She was like, “If you don’t want to, then don’t. But if you really love me, then do. But like, don’t just do it for me…” WHAT DO YOU WANT, RACH!? Regardless of what happens with her & Bryan, I can’t imagine that proposal was very happy for her. No matter how exciting a proposal is, it’s hard to be on cloud 9 the day after a horrific breakup where you cry your eyelashes off over another man. But I do think if Peter had given in and proposed, it would have felt a bit tarnished and insincere. I honestly feel like she was in a really tough spot either way.
Erica (@ericaeff): Rachel was always picking Bryan and I can’t be convinced otherwise! I don’t think Rachel should’ve given Peter another chance because the damage was done. If he was gonna say, “Okay, I’ll propose to you” he would’ve been going against his intuition and it would’ve come off as insincere. And by that point it was pretty obvious that Rachel’s mind couldn’t be changed, so what’s the point? Also for the record, I understood that Peter tried contacting Rachel AFTER the final rose when the show was over 😂 I was like, that’s pretty bold to admit when you know she’s happily engaged.
Kia (@clarity4kia): You know, I kinda do. Hearing Rachel talk about the effect her last relationship had, it’s clear that she was bound and determined to not only walk out with a fiancee but one that wants her more than she wants him. Peter expressed a little too much doubt for her to be comfortable.
6. Who are your predictions for the next Bachelor? Do you think either Peter or Eric will be chosen as the next Bachelor or do you think it will be one of the other guys?
Sophie (@svershbow): The next Bachelor will be either Peter or Dean. I’m not totally sure that Peter will want to be The Bachelor, and we don’t know if Dean finds love in Paradise (not likely). Both are great choices!
Jaci (@norasariah): I hope Peter is the next Bachelor. I really do. He’s by far my favorite.
Kathryn (@florencewelches): I love Peter and he’s definitely my favorite from the season, but I don’t think being the next Bachelor is right for him. I’d be a little disappointed in him if he did decide to do it, to be honest. He needs more time, much more time. And that’s good. I’d really like to see Eric as the Bachelor! He’s someone that people remember, and like he said, someone we saw turn from a boy into a man. He’s a really genuine and down to earth person and I think he’d make a great Bach!
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): I really, really don’t know what they’ll do. If it was up to me, they would cast a rando we’ve never met – someone who has never been on TV before. I feel like this process makes you so jaded when you go through it, that it makes it difficult for you to really enjoy your second (or third, or fourth…) time through it. It would be nice to see a fresh face.
Erica (@ericaeff): My thought is that they’re going to wait and see who becomes the star of Bachelor in Paradise, and it seems like Dean would be the frontrunner in that case. I would be pretty pissed if they chose Peter, not gonna lie. He’s obviously not amenable to this process, as Rachel noted. I would be thrilled for Eric but I don’t think he has the fan support Peter and Dean have, sadly.
Kia (@clarity4kia): I know Dean said he’s not ready, but a lot can happen between now and the fall.
7. Overall, what did you think of the season as a whole? How do you think Rachel handled herself as the Bachelorette this season?
Sophie (@svershbow): Rachel was a phenomenal Bachelorette. She’s smart, honest, witty, beautiful, funny, and a delight to spend all these weeks with. I’m crushed by how the season ended (ugh, Bryan) but refuse to let that deter from how much I love Rachel. RACHEL FOR PRESIDENT!
Jaci (@norasariah): I think that Rachel appeared to be very genuine about finding love in the first month or two of the show, but after a while, it became clear that she was more in it for an engagement. No one can have a breakup like that with Peter and choose someone else the next morning. Bryan won by forfeit, not because of love. I was very disappointed with the finale.
Kathryn (@florencewelches): I think she was a great Bachelorette! She’s incredibly smart, classy, and real. I didn’t agree with her towards the end, with her ultimate choice, and her attitude towards Peter in after the final rose, but I really liked her! However, she was so stuck on absolutely having a ring by the end of it. If it wasn’t the right person (and I don’t believe she and Bryan will ultimately last), she wanted a ring. Because that’s absolutely how the process should end to her in her mind. I don’t wish her and Bryan to break up, I just don’t honestly believe that they’ll last.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): I just miss the days where I would watch The Bach & really love the relationship that was developing. When the dates were romantic and lighthearted and really made you smile. I remember crying when Shawn proposed to Kaitlyn, and SOBBING when Sean proposed to Catherine. We just didn’t get a lot of that this season. Peter & Dean brought it at the beginning of the season, then both of their story lines got sad. Thank god for Eric, his energy and joy literally held the end of this season together. I loved Rachel for almost every episode. I’m not a huge fan of the way she’s handling the Peter breakup with the media, but I know this was a huge, difficult role to fill and I thought she did it with grace, humor, and intelligence – (except, you know, when she picked Bryan…)
Erica (@ericaeff): Overall, I liked the season. My only regret is that they compromised Rachel’s storyline in favor of overly focusing on drama stemming from some unsavory characters (*cough* Lee). The producers gave Lee WAY too much metaphoric life. Meanwhile, Rachel had whole relationships with Adam and Matt that never made the final cut! That shouldn’t be happening, in my opinion. Also, I’d like to say that the backlash Rachel is getting is completely unwarranted. Peter was BLAND. They really didn’t vibe that much, so I don’t get the shock/outrage that she picked Bryan over him. She’s been head over heels for Bryan since week 1, so I don’t know where these woodworks bandwagon “fans” emerged from just to drag her on social media. Rachel, I’m happy for you. Go live your best life.
Kia (@clarity4kia): I loved this season! Rachel seems real in a way that I can relate to and she forced these men to step up for her. I appreciate it so much!
Final Verdict: Rachel and Bryan will live happily ever after until Bryan’s ego fades away.
Whether you liked Bryan or not, Rachel is clearly happy now and we hope they both remain happy together. We all knew she had a special bond with Bryan, but definitely did not expect things to end that way for Peter. When Chris Harrison brought him out on stage it was the first time they’ve seen each other since. Peter said he tried contacting her the day after but it was apparently done. Peter apologized for some of the things he said during their fight, including saying “I hope you find someone to have a mediocre life with.” Rachel was still upset with him and responded at the end with telling him her life isn’t mediocre. She’s living her best life. Fear not though! Dean and a few of the other guys will be in Paradise, so let’s hope their fate is better than Peter’s. Overall Rachel has showed grace and brains throughout the season and we hope she’s happy!
The Bachelorette will not return until 2018 but you can catch some of your favorites in ‘Paradise’ starting next Monday, August 14, at 8/7C!
Loved this season of The Bachelorette?
Read all of our Roundtables from this season and be sure to let us know what your favorite moments were!