Looks like Desiree Hartsock is always a bridal stylist, and totally a bride!
After months of speculation and incorrect spoilers (yes, Reality Steve, we're looking at you!), Desiree Hartsock -- who was given 25 guys to fall in love with -- managed to get her heart crushed to pieces by the one guy who just couldn't commit. But in the end this star of "The Bachelorette" ended up back on her feet, with some Neil Lane bling to boot.
After last week's shocker in Antigua (in case you missed it, this season's frontrunner, Brooks, left the show after realizing he wasn't in love with the 27-year-old "Bachelorette" star), Desiree was back to square one. She even tearfully told nosy host Chris Harrison: "I just want to go home, to be honest."
But Harrison reminded her: "Drew and Chris are still here." So "The Bachelorette" put on a forced smile and reluctantly forged on. Nothing like torturous dream dates in the Caribbean. We feel for ya, hon.
After telling the remaining boys that Brooks jumped ship, Des made short work of Drew during a beach date. After he toasted to their future together, Des informed him he was toast: "I'd be so lucky to have you in my life," she said. "But I don't know if I see our futures together ... I feel like maybe there's something missing."
Next up on the chopping block was Chris, but by now Des was starting to see through the clouds that were once Brooks. "I've never felt like anyone has loved me as much as I loved them, and I think that's why it's hard to feel so loved because I don't know what it's like," she told the cameras. "Now I feel guilty, almost like, how could I not have loved him from the beginning?"
Talk about a turnaround! From dead man walking to actual fiance contender! In fact, Des decided she liked Chris so much that she wanted him to meet her family, which in this case we're not so sure is actually a privilege. (Do you remember how her brother Nate scared off Sean Lowe last season?)
But after meeting the parents (and a chatty, question-spewing Nate), Chris actually wrangled permission out of her dad to marry Des. Off to the final rose ceremony, where only one man will stand!
Of course, this being "The Bachelorette," there had to be a fake out. As Chris poured his heart out and began to get down on one knee, Des abruptly stopped him. Dang, we haven't seen something like this since DeAnna Pappas stopped Jason Mesnick mid-proposal, and that was seasons ago.
Turns out, Des just needed to get something off of her chest. "I need to say a few things," she told him. "I was torn apart by Brooks leaving. I loved him, and throughout the journey I was torn between the two of you … I hate it, but at the same time I feel like I was blindsided by my feelings for Brooks, that I couldn't see that the one thing I always needed was right in front of me … I thank you every day for never giving up, and you mean the absolute world to me, because I love you. I love you so much."
The spiel culminated with Chris's long-winded proposal and Des's happy (for ABC, at least) response: "Yes, a thousand times!"
But here's the thing: After last week's extended Brooks-breakup scene, Des was devastated. So much so, that she told Brooks she had no intention of sharing her heart with anyone but him, later announcing to the world: "It breaks my heart knowing I have two amazing, unreal guys who do want to love me, and who do love me. But I just can't love them as much as I know I have to give, and that's not what they deserve. Honestly, for me, it's over."
So did Des settle? Was she so hell-bent on getting a ring that she overlooked the matters of the heart and Chris's bad poetry?
During the live after-show, she didn't seem to mind breaking the news to Brooks: "So yeah, after you left, it actually was really good," she giggled awkwardly. "Um, so yeah, I'm engaged to Chris."
"Oh yeah," an unimpressed Brooks replied. "Congratulations ... I'm not entirely surprised. I saw the way that Des looked at Chris on group dates, rose ceremonies; it was very apparent."
After the show, Chris Harrison promptly took to his blog for Entertainment Weekly to remind viewers that Brooks was never a shoo-in: "Chris and Des were always great together," he wrote. "I remember our talk in Portugal when she told me she loved Brooks and everybody freaked out: 'How could they have possibly aired that?' Well, it was funny that nobody remembered in the next sentence she told me she was also in love with Chris. This just seemed to get lost in the noise. Luckily, Chris didn't get lost in the noise."
Next up: Des plans to shack up with Chris in Seattle and Juan Pablo is the next star of "The Bachelor." Life is good!
More from this contributor:
- Chris Harrison
- Desiree Hartsock