Brad Womack gave his final rose and an engagement ring to Emily Maynard and said a painful goodbye to runner-up Chantal O'Brien on the season finale of ABC's "The Bachelor." Fans of the dating reality show don't have to wait long for a new season. Ashley Hebert will be the next "Bachelorette." Her season begins in May. The 26-year-old Philadelphia dental student was Brad's second runner-up.
Successful "Bachelor" couples Molly and Jason Mesnick (married 1 year), Ryan and Trista Sutter (married 7 years), and Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez (engaged) appeared on "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" to give advice to Emily and Brad who are still engaged but not yet ready to walk down the aisle.
Emily asked the other couples how they went from the seclusion of the show to real life. Roberto encouraged the couple to focus on themselves. Stay "in a bubble and keep what you have sacred," Roberto said. Molly said the hardest part was watching the shows air on Monday night. She congratulated Brad and Emily on making it through that experience. Ryan said he and Trista formed a stronger bond after the show when they could be together all the time.
At the beginning of "After the Final Rose," Chantal and Brad faced each other. Chantal said she's meet someone else and is happy but that didn't stop her from accusing Brad of "discounting" what they had together.
When Emily appeared, she and Brad hugged. They haven't seen each other in a month. "It's certainly not all roses... I'm very confident about how I feel about him... I really do love him," Emily said. But Emily said watching the show each Monday was really hard. Brad would call her Monday night and say he loved her but Emily would still be mad. When host Chris Harrison asked if Emily considered herself engaged, she said "I do." But she continued... "We need to figure things out." "Could I move to Austin (Brad's home) today? No." Brad said, "That stings."
What has to happen to keep this couple together? "He has a bit of a temper," Emily said. She added that watching the show made her "feel like a dime a dozen." She's excited to see where their relationship will go now that the show is over. "I want to see us in real life... We're going to have a fresh start," Emily said. "I know that he has put up with me in my worst of worst... I do absolutely see us getting married," Emily said.
Emily didn't like the way she looked on the show. She thought she came across as an uptight girl and said if she was given better dates she'd have been more fun, too. Chris accused Emily of sabotaging her engagement. She said she was guarding her heart because she didn't want to experience heartbreak again. "You're not losing my love," Brad told her.
Before Emily appeared on the show, Brad told Chris, "I'm more in love with that woman than I ever have been in my entire life... I've finally found my girl," Brad said. "I'd marry her right now." Chris Harrison revealed that at one point, Brad and Emily were going to get married on "After the Final Rose." Then, Chris confessed that he knew Emily and Brad had broken up while the show was airing. Brad said watching the show and reading the tabloids was difficult but that they'd made it through. "Sweet little Emily can be tough," Brad said. "This is a real relationship. We're not in a fairytale," Brad said. "I'm not letting her go," Brad said.
"It's not the first time you've taken my breath away," Brad told Emily. "Oh Emily. Where do I begin?.. You're the one, Em. You're it. You're my once in a life time so what I'm asking you is this, I'm asking for you to please give me your forever, please let me be your best friend. Please let me protect you and your beautiful daughter. And please give me the opportunity to love you for the rest of your life. I love you Emily." Emily said, "I love you, too." Brad got on one knee and proposed. Emily accepted and Brad put an engagement ring on Emily's finger. "It's perfect," Emily said about the ring. "I love you, baby," Brad said. "I love you, too, you just made me the happiest girl in the world," Emily said. Brad said, "I've wanted to tell you I've loved you for so long. I mean this, Em, I want to spend my life with you," Brad said. "We did it," Emily said.
"There's a very calm confidence that I've never had," Brad said before Emily stepped out of the limo to the final rose ceremony where Brad planned to propose. "I'm scared to death but I'm ready," Emily told host Chris Harrison as he walked her toward Brad.
Brad's goodbye to Chantal
"The very first time I laid eyes on you I felt a connection... You're someone that I really have looked for, for a long, long time... I don't know how else to say this, I have stronger feelings for someone else... I'm so sorry." Chantal started crying and Brad hugged her. He struggled through the rest of his speech. "I've remembered every single word you've said. The letters you've written and taken them to heart. I mean it. It's simply a matter of me having stronger feelings for somebody else." He assured her that her feelings were real. Chantal said, "You're an amazing person and Emily's very lucky." Brad walked Chantal to the limo and said he cared deeply for her. "It doesn't make sense. I really felt like Brad and I had that thing... My heart just really hurts right now," Chantal said. "I just feel really stupid," she said. "I was so convinced that he was THE ONE and he didn't even love me."
Final interviews before the last rose ceremony
"I've fallen madly in love," Brad said before he picked out an engagement ring. "I just know that this feeling is right... I'm ready to spend my entire life with this woman."
Emily said, "When I think about leaving here without Brad, my heart just breaks. I feel like I've changed a lot and I've become closer to the person that I want to be. I've already pictured what my life in Austin would be like with him and with Ricki."
Chantal said, "I fell in love and now I am here fighting for the man I want to spend my life with. I just hope in the end my instincts are right."
Brad said, "I became the bachelor for a second time hoping to find the feeling that I have right now...I'm ready to marry this woman."
Emily's last date
Before her last date with Brad, Emily said "I'm really hoping today is my last and final day as a single girl." Brad and Emily took a helicopter ride to Cape Point. "I just love being with Brad no matter where we are," Emily said. "Sitting here with Brad, I know with all of my heart that I'm absolutely in love with him. Unfortunately, I am painfully insecure."
When Emily and Brad got together that night, Brad said he was ready to be Emily's daughter Ricki's father. "I guarantee I can love you and your daughter more than you can imagine. If you just give me the chance," Brad said. Emily tested him. She told him it's not always fun and asked him if he was willing to get up at 3 a.m. to take care of a sick child. Brad said he was but he started getting mad at Emily's persistence. "I feel like you're questioning me," Brad said. Emily apologized but kept grilling him. "Are you ready to let somebody in your life?" Brad asked. "Not somebody. I just want you," Emily said. Brad said he was sincere about being Ricki's father.
After their date, Emily said, "I messed it up big time... My head sabotages my heart." Brad was upset when he left. "I was slapped in the face. To be knocked down makes me profoundly hurt and upset," he said. "I'm completely defeated. This particular date is making me question everything."
Chantal's last date
During their final night together before the last rose ceremony, Chantal gave Brad a map she made of their relationship. It had all the places that they'd visited together, and Chantal's commentary about each place. Chantal also wrote Brad a love letter. She told him that she loved him and was ready to have a life and family with him. "Chantal is perfect," Brad said.
On their one-on-one date, Chantal and Brad boarded a yacht. They saw several sharks swimming around the boat when Brad told Chantal that they would be going underwater in a shark-proof cage to see the beasts up close. "With Chantal, I can do anything," Brad said."Today was all about death-defying adventure," Brad said. Chantal said Brad owed her a lot of kisses. "I love the chemistry that Chantal I have. When I look at Chantal, I see a life full of excitement and I love it... What a perfect date. What a perfect girl. What a perfect experience."
Meeting the family
After meeting Emily and Chantal, Brad's family told Brad that Emily was "perfect" for him. Brad's brothers' wives liked that Emily is a mom and said they would have an instant relationship with her. "They have made it very clear that Emily is the woman for me," Brad said. "I just need to figure out who I think is right for me."
Brad's family members shed some tears when they heard Emily's story. The 24-year-old hospital event planner from Charlotte, NC., has a 5-year-old daughter, Ricki. Emily was engaged to race car driver Ricky Hendrick, who died in a place crash in 2004. Hendrick was the son of Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon's NASCAR team owner. Brad's two brothers grilled him about whether he was ready to be a father. He assured them that he was and that he felt an instant connection to Ricki. "Not only is he ready to be a husband, but he's ready to be a full-blown father as well and I believe he'd be damn good at it," brother Wes said. Mom got emotional when she heard Emily describe Brad as her "angel."
At the beginning of the finale, Brad's family arrived in South Africa to meet Emily and Chantal. Brad's mother, twin brother and younger brother were introduced to Chantal first. Chantal O'Brien, a 28-year-old divorced executive assistant from Seattle, said Brad is her ideal match. Chantal slapped Brad "for every woman in America" when she met him on the week-one episode. Brad said he appreciated her "aggressiveness." Chantal's mom asked Chantal how she could fall in love so fast. Chantal said it was because she got to know herself really well after her divorce when she was alone. She learned what she wanted and how to spot it when she fell in love with Brad. "I can see you fitting in," Brad's mom told Chantal. Brads brothers loved Chantal's eagerness to marry Brad immediately. After her visit, Brad said Chantal "completely won them over... My family can actually see me with Chantal... If everything works out I will marry her."
Brad is the first repeat "Bachelor" in the show's history. In 2007, he dumped both his final ladies on the last episode of the season. He said he wasn't ready for marriage then, but insists that he's ready now.
This season Brad narrowed his field of bachelorettes from 30 to two.
Here are the other women who appeared on the show this season.
Eliminated week nine:
Ashley H: a 26-year-old dental student in Philadelphia, who's from a small town in Maine. Before he started the week-nine rose ceremony, Brad asked to speak privately with Ashley. "You and I both know that our date didn't go well at all. Not at all... I am so sorry. I'm completely shocked that a relationship I felt so strongly about has gone in a different direction." Brad apologized for asking tough questions on their date. Ashley said she wanted him to ask those questions. "I'm sitting here very brokenhearted, but I still have questions," Brad said. "I'm just frustrated, I guess," Ashley said. "I need to tell you goodbye. I don't want you to stand through the rose ceremony and look at you and not give you some rose." Ashley stood up and said O.K. When Brad seemed surprised at her attitude, Ashley said, "I'm not going to beg you to change your mind... Very surprising. I thought this was it," Ashley said. Brad walked her out.
"I wish I could have smiled and hugged him and been myself... Brad's a great guy and I think we had a really great thing. And when we were together, it was honestly magic for me but sometimes that spark isn't enough," Ashley said in the limo that drove her away from Brad.
Eliminated on the week-eight episode after hometown visits:
Shawntel, the 25-year-old funeral director from Chico, Calif. "Your family's so great," Brad told Shawntel. He said he just didn't feel the way a man should feel when Shawntel said she was falling in love with him. "You've set the bar for me," Shawntel said. "I have, like, just so much respect for you and I just wish you, like, the most happiness in the world. You're just so great." Shawntel said as Brad walked her to the limo that would take her to the airport. In her limo ride, she said, "I saw myself marrying Brad... I definitely didn't see this coming. I think he's so perfect." She said Brad treated her like a princess and she hoped she'd meet someone just like him.
Eliminated during week seven:
Michelle, the 30-year-old mom of one from Salt Lake City, refused to talk to Brad when he eliminated her. "I have an intense physical attraction to her but that would have worn off and her intensity and the way we kept butting heads that would have become a volatile relationship," Brad said. Michelle didn't say anything on her limo ride to the airport.
Britt, the skinny 25-year-old food writer from Washington, was sent home early during their first one-on-one date when Brad realized that he didn't have romantic feelings for Britt.
Eliminated during week six:
Alli: a 24-year-old apparel merchant from Columbus, Ohio. In her limo ride away from Brad, Alli said: "I feel really dumb that I'm crying right now. It's just weird to think about this coming to an end so abruptly... I can honestly tell you that I had, like, feelings for him." Brad sent Alli home during their one-on-one date because he couldn't see him and Alli being more than friends.
Jackie: a 27-year-old artist from New York. "This was a very, very tough decision for me," Brad said. "I think you're one in a million, I really do," he said. Jackie was sad. "Brad's a great guy. I just feel like I fell short... I feel like I constantly, like, put up a wall and, like, try to make sure that nobody can get through it," she said.
Eliminated week five:
Ashley S.: a 26-year-old nanny from New York. She got the first impression rose during week one for telling Brad that she wanted to be his friend. "I feel like they always say the same thing. 'You're going to be such a great wife. You're just not the one for me.'"
Lisa M.: a 24-year-old marketing coordinator from Ottawa, Kan. "I wanted to find love... It's hard to start liking a guy and not have time to express yourself... it just sucks."
Marissa: a 26-year-old sports publicist from Kissimmee, Fla. "It hurts to have to leave feeling like I was rejected. I put myself out there time and time again and it wasn't right. I didn't fit. I left behind a lot to come here."
Eliminated week four:
Lindsay: a 25-year-old first grade teacher from Plano, Texas. "It's disappointing that I'm going home tonight but I'm just not the girl for Brad. Rejection is always hard. But I think I was true to myself and I think my dad is going to be so proud of me for being the daughter that he and my mom both raised me to be."
Meghan: a 30-year-old fashion marketer from New York. "I'm totally bummed out... it's a blow to the ego... maybe my walls are too high." She and Brad had a conversation earlier in the episode where Brad said he admired Meghan's independence but felt like he wasn't getting to know her very well.
Stacey: a 26-year-old bartender from Boston. "I want to be in love with somebody. I don't know when I'm going to find the right guy. Hopefully soon. I'm sick of dating."
Eliminated week three:
Madison: the 25-year-old model from Brooklyn, who wore fake Vampire fangs in the first two episodes, walked away during the elimination rose ceremony. Madison said: "I came here because it sounded fabulous... but it's not so easy as just walking into a fairy tale and walking out with Prince Charming... Things may have worked out very differently if I'd come in and shown all my cards and been the real me from the very beginning... There's every chance I'll wake up tomorrow and wonder what the heck I just did... I just let a great man walk into the arms of some other girl."
Sarah P: a 27-year-old real estate broker from Denver, had a test for Brad during week one. Sarah asked Brad to get down on one knee and repeat after her. She said "Will you Marry Me," which Brad repeated. Sarah said "yes" and Brad admitted that wasn't so hard. "Everybody wants to come here and find love. It doesn't happen for everybody. I have so much happiness and love to offer. When you put yourself out there, you hope for something to come back but sometimes it doesn't. Not being chosen, that really hurts. Rejection sucks."
Kimberly: a 27-year-old marketing coordinator from Charlotte, NC. "I have no regrets. I wouldn't have done a thing differently. There just wasn't that connection. I think he was intimated by me. I'm talented, smart, successful. Some guys find me attractive. The list could go on. I could turn around tomorrow and start dating someone else and be fine with it. (Expletive deleted) Brad! His loss."
Eliminated week two of season 15:
Raichel: This 29-year-old manscaper from Fullerton, Calif. waxed Brad's wrist on the week-one episode. He said it hurt. A lot. About being eliminated, Raichel said: "I don't feel like I should be sitting here upset... I came here to fall in love. I didn't come here to get so upset by another girl." She and Melissa had several arguments during the two episodes.
Keltie: The 28-year-old Radio City Rockette from Hollywood showed Brad how to do high kicks during week one. "If they gave out an Oscar for worst dater ever, it would go to this girl. I'm the worst. I'm just so awkward. Honestly, I don't know if love is in the cards for me."
Melissa: The 32-year-old waitress from Lake Worth, Fla. was still complaining about Raichel in her exit interview. "I think there are several girls who targeted me... I had a really hard time in this house."
Eliminated week one of season 15:
Renee: a 28-year-old nanny from Palos Hills, Ill.
Cristy: a 30-year-old attorney from Ft. Lauderdale.
Lacey: a 27-year-old insurance agent from Tampa, Fla.
Lauren: a 26-year-old high school teacher from Arlington Va.
Lisa P: a 27-year-old sales consultant from New York.
Britnee: a 25-year-old paralegal from Holland, Pa.
Jill: a 28-year-old sales director from Frisco, Texas.
Rebecca: a 30-year-old esthetician from Mission Valejo, Calif.
J: a 26-year-old operations manager from Seattle. The filming of week one's episode was her birthday.
Sarah L: a 25-year-old musical theater performer from Saginaw, Mich.
Click here for bios and photos on all thirty bachelorettes.