Talk about saving the best for last.
While The Bachelor’s toughest decision normally comes between the last beauties remaining, it was clear Ben Flajnik’s most difficult choice on Monday’s edition of The Bachelor and the post-show, After The Rose, was to keep the one he’d chosen.
In the two-hour episode, the 29-year-old winemaker soul searched with the breathtaking backdrop of the Swiss Alps over who to propose to: model Courtney Robertson or businesswoman Lindzi Cox.
After Ben chose the model, Lindzi told him, “When this doesn’t work, call me.”
But the best was yet to come, as viewers learned on After The Rose that Ben and Courtney’s relationship had crashed and burned since their high point in Switzerland, as Ben wasn’t thrilled with the behavior he saw out of Courtney on the show and called off the engagement.
Courtney said Ben “abandoned” her during a time she needed his support the most.
“I gave him space and was trying to be as understanding as possible,” she explained. “But I needed him … I know how I feel about him and that I love him. I’m not ready to just turn my back on him so I’m ready to try.”
Leave it to host Chris Harrison, the Ryan Seacrest of romance, to stir things up with a twist, pulling out the exquisite engagement ring and telling Ben to “do with it what he wishes.”
A romantically-overtaken Ben, sobbing about the media’s prying and the damage it had done to his relationship with Courtney, put the ring back on her finger to cheers from the studio audience.
“We love each other and that’s what’s gotten us again here to this point,” the California native said. “We know this is going to work. Everyone’s going to be a critic. The people we know support us and that’s what matters.”
He then told Courtney, “I can honestly say that I want to be with you: I love you. I’m not going to abandon you.”
Ben went on to tell Harrison he’s “still in love” with the brunette beauty.
“The woman I saw on TV isn’t the Courtney I know, and just the little things, like the skip from the rose ceremony. I wish in those moments she would have been more gracious,” he explained. “Those are the instances that led to Courtney and I not talking for a time while this show aired. We were essentially broken up. It became so much I just cracked. There were a few weeks there where I needed to take a step back and refresh and for me, that was the low of this experience.”