As we first broke the news last week, Emily didn’t even need a final date with Arie Luyendyk, Jr. to know Jef Holm was her choice, and the two had a fairy tale finale Sunday in the beautiful location of Curacao, complete with a proposal and engagement.
Emily’s family was there to help the sexy Southern belle come to her final decision, but it was admittedly confusing for all, as both Jef and Arie made excellent impressions with her kin.
“I thought that coming into today I would know who my guy was, but I don’t,” the beautiful Emily said. “I really have fallen in love with two different guys, and I have no idea what to do. I need an exceptional man who would be a great husband and a great guy.”
The tiebreaker, so to say, was Emily’s 7-year-old daughter Ricki, as Jef made it clear he understood his commitment would not only be to Emily.
“More than anything I want to be a good husband and a good father,” said Jef, who hit it off great with the tot during a swimming day with she and her mom.
So well, in fact, that Emily knew right then and there who she was picking, and told the show’s host Chris Harrison she didn’t think a date with Arie could change anything.
“I have been so worried that I would get to the final day and still go back and forth between these two perfect guys, but this just did it for me, it pushed me over the edge and I know Jef is everything I have been looking for.”
The only downside — breaking the news to Arie: “I can’t even be happy because I just feel so bad,” Emily said. “The hardest thing is saying the words to Arie.”
Her words proved prophetic: Telling Arie she had already chosen Jef before they even had their final date hit the race car driver hard.
“I never thought I would have to make a choice between you and anybody, I always thought it was going to be you and me, honestly, and then, you know,” Emily told Arie, who responded, “You don’t have to say anything else … I’m shocked, I completely felt we had something.”
Emily said she had “more confidence with Jef, ” at which point Arie told her “there’s nothing to say,” and left.
A heartbroken Arie said after his dismissal: “I was so sure. She always made me feel so secure. I still believe she is the love of my life, that’s what’s so painful.”
After Emily told Jef there wouldn’t be a need for a rose ceremony, he told her, “That’s amazing … that’s the best thing that I’ve ever heard … I’m so in love with you and I promise if you let me into your life and Ricki’s life you will never feel lonely again.”
Jef then dropped to one knee and asked Emily, “Will you marry me?”
On the show’s wrap-up episode, After the Final Rose, Arie said he was “completely taken by surprise” by the events in Curacao, but had pledged “to get over this and move on.”
Jef said he, Emily and Ricki have been living together, and “It’s been amazing.
“Ricki is Emily’s universe and she is very quickly becoming my own too. It’s way more than I expected and better. It’s so much fun. We just fit perfectly together, I love her.”
The couple said they have not yet chosen a wedding date.
As we previously reported, the 26-year-old was the first single mom in the show’s eight-season history. (Emily’s former fiancée, NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick, died in a 2004 plane crash while she was pregnant.)
She was formerly engaged to Brad Womack as his pick on last year’s edition of The Bachelor.