JoJo Fletcher chose between Robby Hayes and Jordan Rodgers in an emotional season conclusion
Bachelor Nation, the finish line is upon us.
First things first – Chris Harrison, don’t even try to tell us this finale was the most dramatic season finale ever, because it just wasn’t. Fulfilling our desire to watch a couple get engaged on television after only weeks of knowing each other? Yes. Shocking? Not at all. Predictable? Very much so.
Spoiler warning: If you haven’t seen Monday’s Bachelorette finale, stop reading now to avoid spoilers.
At this point, JoJo was left with two men: Robby and Jordan. The episode started with a dramatic introduction of JoJo and her predicament. She strolled up and down the beaches of Thailand to explain that when she’s with Robby, she thinks of Jordan, and vice versa – all over the course of approximately 12 outfit changes.
Then it was time for JoJo to meet up with her family, and everyone watching silently rejoiced because JoJo’s mom, Soraya, was finally back on TV. We’d been dreaming of this day ever since she took a bottle of champagne to the face during JoJo’s hometown date on Ben Higgins‘ season of The Bachelor.
JoJo: “I think I love both of them. I haven’t told either one of them that yet – neither of them know how I feel.”
Soraya: “Good for you!”
JoJo’s mom knows what’s up.
The first guy to meet JoJo’s family was Jordan, who was introduced to the legendary Soraya, dad Joseph, JoJo’s two brothers and her sister.
This whole meeting started off kind of how you might imagine it would be if you engineered a guy in a lab to create the ideal specimen to bring home to Mom and Dad. Jordan even brought everyone in the family a “silly hat” because one of his family traditions is to “embarrass each other” and then they all tried on the hats and had a grand old time.
Things got serious, however, when Soraya took Jordan aside. It was rather difficult to understand what she was trying to say most of the time but she basically made it clear she felt Jordan might be a playboy.
Soraya: “You’re an attention-catcher. You catch a lot of attention of a female.”
Jordan, for his part, held his own as best as he could – even when Soraya put him on the spot and commanded him to give his word that he would never break JoJo’s heart. Soraya is kind of like Cersei from Game of Thrones but really foreign, and it’s fantastic.
Then Jordan sat down with JoJo’s dad, Joseph. The two had a fairly decent chat – except Jordan made the huge mistake of not explicitly asking for Joseph’s blessing and his daughter’s hand in marriage. (A formality we learn JoJo made extremely clear was very important to her.)
Right off the bat it was obvious that JoJo’s entire family was vibing on Robby – perhaps more than they were with Jordan.
Robby had definitely been rehearsing for this meeting his entire life and pulled out all the stops. When confronted by Soraya with the same tough questions she had for Jordan, Robby went above and beyond to make it clear he was 100 percent ready to propose. There’s just no way he didn’t have that speech prepared for weeks.
Meanwhile Soraya kept talking about princesses and queens and how she wanted Robby to make JoJo a “queen of his heart.” The Cersei comparison never felt more appropriate.
Then Robby took Soraya and Joseph aside and formally asked them for JoJo’s hand in marriage by making Notebook-level declarations like “I want all that is Joelle Hannah Fletcher.”
Even though most of America shudders when Robby calls JoJo “Joelle,” JoJo’s parents were completely transfixed – to the point where they both actually cried. Robby, take a bow.
Anyway, then Robby left and JoJo was left alone with her family to discuss the two men, at which point they all basically admitted they were totally #TeamRobby.
JoJo was very distraught by this information – and when she found out that Jordan hadn’t asked for her parents’ blessing, she was shocked.
She eventually called them out for being so pro-Robby, at which point they all tried to backtrack, but it was still really obvious how they felt and JoJo cried a lot.
For their last day together before the final rose ceremony, JoJo and Robby went to the beach. JoJo and Robby made out on the beach, JoJo and Robby made out in the ocean, JoJo and Robby made out underwater – you get the picture.
Then they talked about what their future together would look like, and Robby launched into a creepy-detailed fantasy story, something about how they were in the living room with their dog and accidentally burned their meat loaf and the kids were upstairs etc. You lost us at “meat loaf,” Robby.
For the evening portion of their date, JoJo came over to Robby’s hotel room and Robby went on about how much he loved her, which appears to be their main topic of conversation.
Robby even brought out a bunch of pictures of the two of them and JoJo loved every second of this very public display of adoration. The man knows what he’s doing, we’ll give him that.
Next, JoJo spent the day with Jordan on a boat. They went kayaking through some grottos and then settled down on a beautiful, tucked away little beach because Jordan always gets the best dates.
Of course, JoJo was still reeling over the fact that Jordan hadn’t asked for her parents’ blessing – so she called him out about it and demanded to know why.
Jordan basically didn’t have an answer for her and after some fumbling over his words – and constant interruptions from a clearly irritated JoJo, he said it had to do with the fact he wasn’t sure if JoJo was going to pick him in the end.
“I don’t know if it’s me,” he told her. “There are two of us left.”
JoJo wasn’t having any of this and the more upset she got, the more flustered Jordan became – like, he kept saying the wrong things, forcing JoJo to wonder whether he was actually ready to commit.
The conversation carried on into the evening portion of their date, where JoJo jumped right back into the fact that she just couldn’t believe Jordan messed this one up so royally by not asking for her parents’ blessing.
Jordan said a few more of the wrong things (like using the word “if” when referring to himself getting down on one knee), but finally he seemed to manage to semi-reassure her that he was committed, 100 percent, and didn’t want to lose her.
Jordan: “I love you.”
JoJo: “I know you love me.”
The next day it was finally time for JoJo to make her decision – but first, each man had to pick out a Neil Lane engagement ring.
Robby went first and said a whole bunch of nauseating things (i.e. “My heart is exploding with love out of my chest”) and then he wrote her a long love letter because Robby just really wants to be Noah Calhoun from The Notebook.
Jordan also picked out a ring – but more importantly, he needed to do damage control for his major screw-up and call JoJo’s parents.
Soraya and Joseph both gave them their blessing to propose to JoJo, and Jordan wrote JoJo a note to let her know that he wasn’t a complete lost cause.
As she was getting ready, JoJo received the guys’ letters and she basically just lost it. Like, she could not stop crying.
“I don’t feel right. I don’t like that,” she said between sobs after reading Jordan’s letter. “It’s like, everything I want. I needed to hear this. I needed to know that my family was able to give their blessing. I believe in him.”
Then she read Robby’s note and started crying all over again.
“These are the things I want to hear before I get engaged to someone,” she said. “This is the kind of love that I want to have. I can’t keep going back and forth. I can’t keep doing this to myself. I feel like I’m like, having a panic attack.”
Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for arrived: JoJo stood on a gorgeous beach, waiting for her runner-up to arrive so she could break up with him … and out came Robby.
“This is crazy, it’s a good crazy,” Robby said, taking her hands. “It’s the kind of crazy that kept me searching for this forever love that I found in you. … My heart yearns for you, and I undoubtedly and wholeheartedly am in love with you. It’s a love that you only hear about in fairy tales and stories. I want to be with you forever. I will love you forever. … I promise to love you ’til the day I die.”
At this point, JoJo started tearing up and interrupted him.
“I can’t let you get down on one knee,” she said. “I can’t let you do that because I don’t want to take that moment from you.”
“What is it?” Robby asked. (HOW HAVE YOU NOT CAUGHT ON YET, ROBBY?)
“Robby, I woke up this morning wanting it to be you,” JoJo said. “Every day I’ve been wanting it to be you. I fell in love with you, but for some reason my heart is somewhere else. You have made me feel the type of love that I’ve always dreamt of feeling. The type of love that I honestly didn’t believe existed.”
“What’s missing?” he asked.
“I don’t know. It’s not the love, that’s the thing,” JoJo replied. “I know that you will love me until the day that you die, and you deserve the type of love that you have given me. Robby, I didn’t want this. You don’t get how badly I wanted it to be you.”
As for Robby’s reaction? For someone who had been telling JoJo how in love with her he was for the last 4 weeks, he seemed weirdly pretty chill with all of this.
“All I want is for you to be happy,” he said. “Hopefully in the end you are.”
She walked him back to the car and it was so awkward. Why were they still holding hands? JoJo could not stop crying. Robby basically didn’t shed a single tear, but he kept wiping his face with a handkerchief. It’s probably humid in Thailand.
Then Robby got in the car and gave his runner-up exit interview – only problem was he mumbled the whole thing into his damn handkerchief and we have no idea what he was saying.
After saying goodbye to Robby, JoJo said the only thing getting her through it was the thought of seeing Jordan.
He walked up to meet her on the beach – at the exact same spot she had dumped Robby just moments before – and the two embraced.
“I love you so much,” Jordan started. “I fell in love first with just us, the person I could be right away with you. How comfortable, and confident, and how you challenged me, continued to challenge me to be the best version of myself and I love that. You made me believe that love doesn’t need to have scripts, there’s not one way to draw it up. There are moments like this where I’m holding your hands and I’m looking in your eyes and I know.”
“I’m so unbelievably in love with you,” he continued. “You’re my best friend. You’re my soul mate. I’m going to keep you safe. I’m going to protect you. I’m going to wake up every morning and choose you over and over and over again ’til you tell me I can’t.”
At this point JoJo interrupted him – but only to finally say those three little words back for the very first time.
“Jordan, I love you so much,” she said. “I’ve been waiting to tell you that I love you. I love you so much. I didn’t want you to get down on one knee until I told you that.”
• For more on The Bachelorette, including exclusive photos and updates from JoJo Fletcher, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Then, finally, it happened: “I love you so much. I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” Jordan said, getting down on one knee. “Joelle Hannah Fletcher, will you marry me?”
JoJo said yes, and he placed the ring on finger, both of their hands shaking with emotion.
“This is the best day of my life,” JoJo told the cameras.
“Our life,” Jordan added. “It’s us now. Just you and me.”
Well, not to brag or anything, but we did call it.