The former competitors also applaud the strategy Michael and Holly used to win

By Tenley Molzahn and Kiptyn Locke
Updated September 13, 2011 05:15 PM
Sara De Boer/Startraks

Another season of Bachelor Pad has come and gone, and this year was full of some major twists and turns.

Two couples found themselves in the finale – and one couple walked away with $250,000 – but to get there took strategy, clever negotiating and walking on the tight rope of maintaining integrity.

As the remaining four couples found themselves in Vegas for the final challenge, we wondered who would have to be the person to make the dreaded decision of sending two couples home that week to get down to the final two couples to go to the finale.

Thankfully, one of the new twists of the season brought past Bachelor franchise alumni (Trista, Jason, and Ali) back to judge the final challenge and do part of the dirty work.

Due to fear and not enough time to figure out how to run up a wall suspended from the ceiling, Ella and Kirk’s performance lacked the zest the other couples delivered, leaving the judges with one option – to send them packing.

Holly and Michael delivered a stellar performance, winning them a guaranteed spot in the finale but also giving them the power to pick that last couple that would join them.

We know that position all too well. A year ago we won our final challenge in the Dancing with the Stars competition foxtrot anyone? As incredible as it was to win and to know we had a chance to still compete for the money we came there for, we had to make a decision that could seal our fate, and for sure seal someone else’s by taking their opportunity away.

When Michael and Holly were left with this power, they wrestled with some very familiar feelings. It came down to what Michael and Holly described as the Selfish vs. Selfless choice. Do you take the couple you believe deserves to be there in the end with you because they earned the position? Or do you take the couple that you have a fair chance of beating?

Oh, the decisions were all too familiar. Do you honor your loyalty and true friendships (Michelle and Graham) at the risk of losing what you have fought for, or do you choose the sure and easy way to the money (Kasey and Vienna)?

Michael and Holly put loyalty in front of strategy as they made the decision to bring Graham and Michelle to the finale. When you have all the power is when true character is defined. Fortunately, when it came time to vote, the other cast members recognized the character and integrity it took for Michael and Holly to make what they felt was the right decision. While they collected enough votes for an exciting win, to claim the money, Holly and Michael had to make the keep/share decision.

Sadly, Michael found out some of the toughest news at the wrong time – his ex-fiancée and teammate was now engaged to cast member Blake.

For being the last to find out about this news, feeling as though he had been punched in the gut, wind knocked out of him, Michael carried himself with such grace. We can only imagine the shock, anger, and hurt that Michael must have been feeling. Was this enough reason to decide to keep the money for himself as Holly had found another prize? Again, Michael’s integrity and class stood strong as he stayed true to his word as Holly’s teammate choosing to share the winnings.

Congratulations to Holly and Michael working together as a team and earning their way to a quarter of a million dollars to share. Michelle and Graham were great competitors who will not ever be forgotten, especially by us as we welcome them into the “runners up” club.