This season's finale of The Bachelor had a lot of potential, because Charlie was making his final decision between Krisily and Sarah on live TV. Unfortunately, however, this is The Bachelor, so it should have come as no surprise that the producers took a concept with great potential, and found a way to make it one of the most boring TV shows ever. What should have been a two-hour show was stretched to three hours, only to leave less than 10 minutes at the very end for the final rose ceremony, the climax of the show.

Most people I know watched the final show of Everybody Loves Raymond and just tuned into the Bachelor finale during commercials. I couldn't do that because I had a recap to write, so I watched the Bachelor finale straight through, but played a video game while I was watching, to keep myself from screaming in frustration at the TV.

Because so many viewers didn't watch the entire Bachelor finale, I thought it was important that I recap the full show. But, it took every ounce of my self-control to buckle down to plowing through the show to write this recap.

The sad thing is that there were a lot of interesting moments in the finale. But, they were lost in endless reminders by Chris Harrison to stay tuned "for the most important decision of Charlie's life." For example, I enjoyed Charlie's visits to Montauk with the two women, and seeing more of his family and friends.

In this recap, I try to cover the interesting moments on the show, and gloss over the boring parts. So, there's a lot of detail on the first hour of the show (which contains the visit to Montauk and Charlie's dates with the women in New York), as well as the last half hour of the show (where Charlie sends Krisily home and gives the final rose to Sarah), but only brief summaries of the middle hour-and-a-half of the show.

As Usual, We're Sorry to See Chris

The first scene of the finale is Chris Harrison bounding out on stage to applause from a live audience. Immediately, I knew we were in for a long night. Usually, the first two hours of the Bachelor finale is filmed, with the live part of the show limited to the last hour. Not this time.

Instead, we are immediately treated to Chris Harrison at his robot host worst, "Tonight, for the first time ever, our bachelor, Charlie O'Connell will make his final decision live. He's in love, and he'll tell us who he's in love with right in front of this studio audience. It is a first in Bachelor history, as Charlie will decide between Krisily and Sarah. Who will he choose? Will he propose? And, if he does, will the woman of his dreams say 'Yes'?. Later tonight, you'll have a front row seat as he makes the decision of his life on this stage." If you watched the finale, you probably have that speech memorized, because Chris repeated it before every commercial, that is, about every five minutes.

However, it turns out that we only have to see Chris for a minute or two at this point, then the show moves mostly to filmed segments for the first hour.

Krisily Visits Montauk

Charlie meets Krisily on the beach in Montauk. I've never been to Long Island, but based on what we saw on the show, it's gorgeous, even in winter, with a long, wide, deserted beach...Charlie tells Krisily, "This is my town. I don't bring everyone to Montauk. And I couldn't be happier to bring you here."...After talking for a bit, Charlie and Krisily get on mopeds (and Charlie almost crashes into Krisily). They stop at a local bar, the Montauket, to meet Charlie's friends Steve, Frank, and Jack....I was surprised that Charlie's friends seemed like ordinary, regular guys. I expected him to have more affluent, fashionable friends. (On the other hand, Charlie has certainly been no fashion plate this season, so I probably shouldn't have been surprised.)......Krisily seems comfortable with Charlie's friends right away.....After awhile, Charlie goes off with Steve, so that Krisily can talk alone to Jack and Frank....Steve tells Charlie that he thinks Krisily would fit right in, and that "she's so down."

I suspect that Jack is the authority figure among Charlie's friends, the one Charlie that looks up to and respects the most. Jack runs the sailing school where Charlie teaches kids how to sail during the summer....Jack tells Krisily, "You know, (Charlie's) last relationship took a lot out of him. And also, it showed him that I think he wants to be in love, to have someone next to him all the time. I think Charlie is ready for that. But he can be hurt." Krisily promises Jack that she will not break Charlie's heart....After some more chatting with Charlie's friends, Charlie and Krisily head for his parents' house.

When Charlie and Krisily arrive at Charlie's parents' house, they immediately go upstairs and meet them outside on the balcony to look at the sunset. (The sunset is pretty, but everyone looks very cold.) When Charlie's dad meets Krisily, Charlie quips, "Don't cop a feel, Dad."....Charlie's parent's house is relatively small (it looks like it might be a townhouse), and is furnished in a modern, eclectic style, with lots of mementos around.....I'll give you Charlie's description of his parents. "My parents are a little offbeat. I have a dad who's British, who's 5'8". And my mom's six feet tall from Jersey City." (However, Charlie's mom doesn't sound like she's from Jersey City—she almost has a touch of an English accent—probably from living with Charlie's father.)....It looks like Charlie got his nose and his face from his father. He doesn't look much like his mother, except for her height. "Offbeat" is almost too strong a description for Charlie's parents. I'd describe them more as "slightly bohemian" or "artistic"....I liked Charlie's parents. They'd get along perfectly with my parents (who live on the opposite coast, in Northern California).

Charlie and Krisily and his parents go inside and talk on the couch.....Charlie's mother (Linda) is wearing a necklace made of bones that are about 2-3 inches long....Charlie kiddingly asks Linda, "Mom, why do you got the bones on?"...She replies, "I wore them for you." Charlie asks Krisily, "Does it (the bone necklace) intimidate you?" Krisily replies, "I think it adds character." (Perfect answer, Krisily.) Charlie then says to Krisily, "Well, you can't think it's normal." Krisily retorts, "Nothing normal about my family. So, there's nothing wrong with wearing bones." Charlie's dad says to Krisily, "Then you'll like this family, if there's nothing normal about your family."...After a little talk about what Krisily does for a living, the family sits down to dinner....Maybe it's just me, but Charlie seems awkward around his parents, or maybe just nervous.

Both Charlie's parents seem to like Krisily. Linda says to the camera, "I think Charlie and Krisily look great together. I felt very comfortable with her." Michael says, "My first impression of Krisily was that she looked very beautiful. When we started to talk, I realized that there was more than just beauty there."...Then Krisily says she's going to steal Linda away to talk about her son, and Charlie quips, "Jerry?"......Linda asks Krisily where she hopes this will go with Charlie....Krisily tells Linda, "I'm amazed at how much my feelings have progressed for Charlie. I've never met anyone like your son." Linda says, "He's a wacky cat." Krisily agrees, but goes on to say that Charlie has also been able to show her his emotional and sensitive side, and that she's never had a boyfriend who made her feel as special as Charlie does."....Linda's reaction here is interesting. Usually during the standard, "I love your son" scene, the mom gets emotional and maybe hugs the bachelorette. But, Linda is very quiet and just says, "I don't know what to say. It's not my decision."....However, Linda later tells the camera, "I can see Charlie having a family of his own someday. I think he'd be a great father. I think he'd be a great husband. I can see Charlie being with Krisily in the long run. I think they're a good couple.....After this, it's time for Krisily to leave. Charlie gives her a long kiss as she gets in the van. But, it's interesting—as Charlie walks away, he doesn't look excited or happy, he looks burdened. And, he tells the camera, "I can't take the turmoil of (figuring out what girl is right for me). I feel bad. I'm guilt-ridden with these two girls. And I'm just hoping that at the end of it, it's all worth it."

Sarah Visits Montauk

Charlie meets Sarah outside in a park. (Note: It's SO nice that we no longer have to call her Sarah B.)...As he did in Aruba, Charlie lights up when he first sees Sarah—and vice versa....The two of them drive to a bar to talk before they meet Charlie's family....Sarah tells Charlie that she's been thinking about location, and that if Charlie chose her in the end, she would definitely move. Charlie is visibly touched by this. Sarah goes on to say that she'd move because she if they were apart, their relationship wouldn't grow the way it would if they were together. Charlie assures Sarah that when he gets married, it's going to be forever, so he's not worried about rushing into it.

Charlie and Sarah drive to Charlie's' parents house. Charlie's friend Jack is also there....The group makes some idle chit chat about why Sarah lives in Texas, and then Jack takes Sarah downstairs to talk alone....Jack doesn't immediately hit it off with Sarah. He tells the camera, "First impression of Sarah--typical Southern belle. She was a little bit fake. Enough with the politeness. Give me some of what you really are. I want to see a little attitude, a little of New Yorker, 'cause Charlie was a New Yorker."....Jack asks Sarah about whether she "really wants this" and whether she's ready to "beat out Krisily." (Jack is obviously a competitive guy.)...Jack says to Sarah, "You're independent." Sarah replies, "I am independent. And, I'll be the first one to put you in your place. I'm not gonna take sh*t from anyone. I'm very organized. And I'm very punctual and...." Jack breaks in, "You're a bit controlling."....At this point, Charlie comes into the room and Sarah leaves, so Jack and Charlie can talk. Jack says to Charlie, "That one is a handful. Oh, you're gonna be in trouble with that one. She's got a controlling issue, dude. She has a little whips and chains. She's gonna tie you down. Sarah's independent and she is controlling. And she'll go out and get what she wants." Jack tells the camera, "I was like, 'Dude, Chuck, watch it, 'cause once you get in there, you're in there.'".....One thing I thought was interesting was that Jack didn't like it when Sarah was being a polite "Southern belle," but as soon as Sarah showed some moxie, Jack didn't like that, either.

Back at the dinner table, the talk is about whether Sarah likes to sail. She says that she has friends who have lake houses and boats near Dallas. Jack only half kiddingly says, "Guy friends?" and Sarah shoots back at Jack, "Whatever. Jack, no. I'm just laid-back." Charlie says to Sarah (who is cuddled next to him), "Jack didn't think you were laid-back." Sarah replies, "I know. He's like 'She's controlling.'"(with Sarah doing a cute Jack imitation as she says this). Jack says to Sarah, "You have a little bit of that in you." Sarah, not intimidated, replies, "I'm just motherly. I can't help it." Jack retorts, "That would be a very nice way to say controlling—'motherly.'''....Ah I see. Dr. Chi (the renowned armchair psychologist) suspects that Jack may have just a little problem with a controlling mother, doncha think?....Charlie says to the camera, "(Jack's) definitely out for my best interests. He saw Sarah being bossy. And, he called her on it. And, I'll keep my eye out for it."....After this conversation, it's time for Sarah to leave, and Charlie walks her out to the van....In contrast to his leave-taking with Krisily, Charlie is excited, not feeling guilty. He hugs Sarah and picks her up to kiss her, then continues to carry her back to the van. They both seem very sorry to have to say good-night.

Charlie goes back in the house, and asks his parents and Jack what they think, but they're not much help....They all agree that both women were very nice, but completely different....Linda said that both women seemed very comfortable with Charlie, and with herself and Charlie's dad, so she's at a standoff, and isn't leaning one way or another....Charlie's dad does get in a little dig at Charlie, "Actually, they both seem much more mature than you seem to me." Charlie's dad makes the remark as if it was a joke, but it takes Charlie a second to laugh, before he says back "That's not so hard to figure out." Then, Charlie's mother steps right in with, "But (both women) like (Charlie) for his honesty and his personality."....Then Charlie leaves, looking like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

Based on what we saw, it looked like Krisily's home visit went better than Sarah's. And, I found it frustrating that we saw almost nothing of Sarah with Charlie's parents. But, those of us who have watched past Bachelor seasons know to be very wary of the editing of the finale episode. In the finale, the producers go out of their way to mislead us as to which woman the bachelor will pick. So, normally, the woman who gets less air time and doesn't comes across as well turns out to be the one the bachelor picks.

Charlie Asks for More Time to Decide

We've seen the following sequence so many times now in previews, that it almost felt like I was watching a rerun, not a new show....First, we see Charlie sitting on a swing, and hear a voiceover about how he's exhausted and emotionally drained, and has no answers about what to decide....Next, as the women are packing to go home, they get an unexpected invitation under their door to meet Chris on the wooden walkway by the hotel. (It's a beautiful setting, right next to the beach.)....Sarah is wearing torn jeans, a sweatshirt, and a jacket with fur trim on the hood. Krisily is wearing a denim jacket and jeans. The two women meet and ask each other what's going on. Neither one has been told what to expect, and they're afraid they're going to have the final rose ceremony right there.

Then Chris shows up. (The theme from "Jaws" would have been perfect here, especially by the beach.) Charlie arrives soon after, and gives each woman a quick hug and kiss...Chris tells the women, "Traditionally, at this stage, the bachelor would have one final date, go shop for a ring, and then propose. But not this time. I told you guys the first day we met anything can happen. Well, it has. Charlie is absolutely struggling with this decision right now. He's asked for more time. So, we're going to give it to him. For the first time ever, before the final decision is made, you guys will get the chance to let your relationship grow, test it, in the real world. You're going to get to visit each other, go to dinner, the movies, call each other, whatever. Normal stuff."

Charlie tells the women, "Girls, I love you both. I think you're absolutely amazing. And you are completely different. And I know it's weird. I'm dating two girls. And it's not something that I would normally do. I'm emotionally drained. I'm physically drained from this whole thing. And if I'm going to make the right decision, I think it has to be outside of this environment. I'm not ready to make (a decision) yet, because at the end of this thing, I want to see if you really like me for me, without all this 'stuff'."....Chris tells the women that they will each have one final date with Charlie back in New York, then head home.....Charlie hugs both of the women good-bye, then says, "No more hugging together. This is weird."

Chris asks the women what they think. You can tell the women are upset, but they take the news pretty well.....Krisily says to Chris, "It's great, you know, to get to know someone outside of this (environment). But I don't think any of this (so far) wasn't real.....And Sarah says, "If (Charlie) wasn't really here for the right reasons, he wouldn't be doing this.".....However, in voiceovers, the women are a little less positive. Krisily tells the camera that she's bummed, "I hope in the end that we will be together. But for now, I have a lot more sleepless nights ahead of me. If he had proposed to me today, I definitely would have said yes.".....For her part, Sarah says to the camera, "If Charlie had to make his decision today, I feel pretty confident in that fact that he would pick me. And I do think it's kind of [bleep] that I have to continue this, knowing that he's with some other girl someplace else."

Krisily and Sarah's Final Dates With Charlie in New York

Krisily is the first one to get a final date with Charlie at his house in New York. Since she hasn't been there before, she exclaims over all the pictures of Charlie as a kid. (Even though they've described the house on the show as Charlie's house, it's obviously his parent's house, based on furnishings and all the family knickknacks around.)......Krisily and Charlie sit on the couch....Once more Krisily tells Charlie how hard it is for her, that she's opened herself up more to him than she's done with any other guy, but in the long run it will be worth it. And, once more Charlie tells her that this isn't easy for him because he's trying to make a decision that's right for him...Charlie tells the camera, "Right now, I know (Krisily and I) have serious talks to have. And I'm not a serious guy. I have serious feelings. But I don't like serious talks."....Then Charlie brings Krisily a large wrapped package....As Krisily unwraps it very carefully, without tearing the paper, she tells Charlie that when she was a kid, she used to unwrap her presents under the Christmas tree to see what they were, and then wrap them again. (I laughed when Krisily said this, because I used to do exactly the same thing. Apparently Krisily is as impatient—or curious—as I am.).....The present turns out to be a large, framed picture of Charlie and Krisily snuba diving in Aruba. Krisily laughs when she sees the picture, and says, "That's so cool. (Because otherwise) no one's ever gonna believe that I did that.

Then Charlie takes Krisily down to his room and they lie on his bed, with her head on his stomach. But, as he has all evening, Charlie seems kind of quiet and sad, although Krisily tells him that he seems less stressed than he has all night......Charlie tells Krisily he wouldn't be stressed if he didn't care so much, and Krisily assures him that she's not going anywhere....They share some kisses, but all their kisses during this date are short, smacking kisses, not passionate kisses.....Charlie tells the camera, "For Krisily to wear her heart on her sleeve, and tell me to take all the time (I need), it hurts. And it hurts that I do (need to take the time to decide)."

The mood of Charlie's final date with Sarah in New York is different. Charlie seems happier, and less stressed.....As they sit on the couch, Sarah says to Charlie, "Thinking about you with another girl is really hard for me. But I know that's the situation we're in. I respect you a lot for what you're going through and the decisions that you're going to have to make. I just want you to, in return, respect me."...Charlie assures Sarah that he will respect her, and continue to be honest with her....Then Sarah says to Charlie, "I feel that connection with you. Like, I can be with you for a really long time. Forever. I think that what we have is something special. I'm open to the possibility of getting engaged at the end of this."......Charlie tells the camera, "I was very nervous about starting dinner with (Sarah), because I was sure she was going to shout at me. But instead, she told me, 'I know you're dating two girls. And at the end, if you pick me, I'll be willing to move to LA And I'm willing to get engaged.' And that threw me for a huge loop.".....Charlie walks Sarah out to the van (in his socks) and then when he gets back to his door, gives a silly happy jump.

It was very interesting to watch Charlie during his final dates with Krisily and Sarah. Charlie's mood with Krisily was much more subdued, and when Krisily told Charlie how she was in love with him, he said he felt guilty. On the other hand, when Sarah told Charlie that she would be interested in getting engaged, Charlie broke into a big grin......After the dates, it was clear to me, at least, that Charlie's feelings for Sarah were stronger than those for Krisily. So why did Charlie ask for the extra two months to date on the outside? Although Charlie never says this, my guess is that he already knew at that point that it was Sarah he wanted to be with, but he asked for the extra time to make sure that Sarah felt as strongly for him as he did for her. Knowing that Sarah takes things slower, and is more cautious, I think Charlie may have been afraid that she would have felt pressured, and might have turned him down if he made his decision too soon.

Next, we see Charlie leave the New York house, suitcase in hand, along with a montage of scenes of Charlie with Sarah and with Krisily. While the scenes play, we hear comments from Charlie about what he likes about each of the women (to try to confuse us further about which one he is likely to pick).

On to the Live Show—Charlie, Krisily, and Sarah Backstage

The finale so far has been primarily filmed sequences, with introductions by Chris, and brief glimpses of Charlie, Sarah, and Krisily backstage at the live show....But, from this point on, the finale is primarily the live show....As I said earlier, the producers could have skipped the next hour of the show, and we wouldn't have missed much.

Chris Harrison reintroduces himself, and reminds us again that we're live from Hollywood....After briefly showing us Sarah and Krisily's families, who are sitting in the audience, Chris interviews Charlie, Krisily, and Sarah via video, while they wait backstage by themselves.

First, Chris interviews Charlie. Of the three, Charlie seems most nervous (or just isn't as good at hiding his nerves as the women are.) When Charlie is stressed, he runs his fingers through his hair, and, at this point, Charlie's hair is pointing in all directions....At interview school, they apparently taught Chris that if a question is worth asking once, it's worth asking several times. So Chris asks Charlie whether he's nervous, how nervous he is, and what's the thing he's most nervous about....Charlie just wants this whole thing to be over. He tells Chris he's dreading having to break up with a girl on live TV, and until that's over, he can't get excited about what's to follow....By the way, for the live finale Charlie is wearing a suit and looks very nice (well, except for his hair).

Next, Chris checks in with Krisily.....Krisily looks great. She's wearing a simple ivory satin sleeveless sheath dress, with her hair pulled back....And, guess what? Krisily tells Chris she's nervous. But, she's also in surprisingly good spirits considering that there is no clock, so she has no idea of how much time has passed. Krisily is even able to crack a few jokes with Chris...Chris once again shows that he believes that if a question is worth asking once, it's worth asking twice.....Soon after Krisily tells us how she is in love with Charlie, Chris asks her if Charlie is someone she could spend her life with....Not surprisingly, Krisily says Charlie absolutely is someone she could spend her life with.

Last, Chris talks to Sarah.....Sarah is wearing a sparkly black halter dress, and also looks great (except she seems to have used a little too much fake tanner and is just slightly orange).....Guess what? Sarah says she's nervous.....Chris varies his questions slightly and asks Sarah what she's hoping for tonight....Sarah replies, "I'm hoping that Charlie will tell me that he's in love with me. Because I am in love with him. And I do want to be with him. And I hope that he feels the same way."

A Brief Talk With Byron and Mary

After returning from a commercial, Chris introduces "one of the most beloved couples in Bachelor history," Byron and Mary (from Bachelor 6) who are sitting in the audience....Byron tells Chris that they have bought a house outside of Tampa, on a lake. He's been doing fishing tournaments and ESPN Bassmaster.....Then Chris asks Mary about their wedding plans. Mary says that Byron just finished fishing tournaments in April. They'd been thinking about getting married in September, but need more time, so they're thinking about getting married the first of next year.....Chris promises he'll be at the wedding.....After the reputation Chris has developed this season as a bearer of bad news, I'm not sure Chris' presence at the wedding is a good thing or not.

Charlie, Krisily, and Sarah Return Home From New York

Chris then introduces a segment of Charlie, Krisily, and Sarah as they return home from New York....First we see Charlie drive up to his condo in LA. (BTW—Charlie's condo is nothing special. Apparently Jerry O'Connell's condo was redecorated on Oprah—maybe Charlie can get Oprah to do the same for him.)....Brother Jerry comes in with his two dogs to greet "Uncle Charlie." Jerry asks Charlie how the show went. Charlie tells Jerry that their parents liked both women a lot, commenting, "If you can believe it, mom liked girls."...After they talk, Jerry gives Charlie a big hug—from what I can see, Jerry is very protective of Charlie.

Next we see Krisily come home. She isn't quite as positive when she greets her family as she was with Charlie...Krisily tells her family in a disappointed voice, "Charlie wasn't ready to make a decision yet. So, for the next two months, Charlie and I will be dating. And Charlie and Sarah B will also be dating."....This news is greeted with total silence. (I never thought I'd see Krisily's family at a loss for words.)....Krisily tells her family that Charlie has shown her that she deserves the best and he is the first guy who has made her feel beautiful. (How sad is that? Krisily was Miss Rhode Island USA and no guy has made her feel beautiful before.) But, Krisily says that (Charlie's decision) was like a slap in the face because she was 100% to make a commitment to him....Nana tries to lighten up the atmosphere by kidding Krisily, "Did you kiss a lot?"

Last, we see Sarah pull up to her house. She says it's very weird to be back home alone. But, she seems to be feeling more positive about the coming two months than Krisily is, and says, "I'll be able to see if he can fit into my life. And he'll be able to see if I can fit into his life."

Charlie Comes Out Onstage

Next, Chris brings Charlie out onstage to big cheers and applause from the audience. (But, why didn't somebody comb Charlie's hair?)....Charlie greets both Sarah and Krisily's families, and Chris kids, "Nana can't keep her hands off you."....Chris' interview with Charlie onstage is pretty much a repeat of his interview with Charlie backstage, except that, now that he is in front of an audience, Charlie is even more stressed and, although he tries to crack jokes, he's close to tears....Charlie repeats again several times that he feels so bad about having to send one of the women home that, until that's over, he won't be able to look beyond that to get excited about the final rose ceremony....On a question from Chris, Charlie says that he has found love and is ready to settle down, but that doesn't make having to reject one woman any easier.

Talking on the Phone

Back in the "real" world, Charlie apparently called both women almost every day. So, we're treated to a very fake sequence of Charlie talking to Sarah and Krisily (separately) on the phone....To give them the benefit of the doubt, it had to have been difficult to try to have a "natural" conversation with a camera right there. Let's just leave it that the conversations were less than scintillating, and I'm doing you a favor by not summarizing them.

Watching the Show With Friends and Family

Because Charlie dated Krisily and Sarah after the show, it also meant that, for the first time, the women got to see the show on TV before the bachelor made his final decision.....We are shown another contrived video, this time of Charlie, Krisily, and Sarah each watching one of the episodes of the show with their family and friends. The only saving grace is that the episode they watched together is the one where Sarah B went on her first one-on-one date horseback riding with Charlie, followed by Sarah W and Krisily's showdown in the nail salon, then the group date where Charlie took the women fencing—arguably the best episode of the season...The reactions of everyone's friends and family are predictable....Charlie's friends thoroughly enjoy the view of Kimberley in her very short shorts and low-cut top on the fencing date, while Krisily and Sarah's families have a quite different (and strong) reaction to Kim....But, everyone dislikes Sarah W. In fact, after watching Sarah W, one of Charlie's friends tells him it's time for her to go, then kids Charlie when he gives Sarah W a rose on the episode they're watching.

Interviews With Sarah and Krisily's Families

After watching the two families at the screen parties, Chris reintroduces them from the audience....Chris' questions, and the families' answers are very predictable....As usual, Chris tries to stir up some negative feelings, and says to the families, "It seems a little awkward to me that two wonderful families, their daughters' lives in the balance, are sitting five feet apart."....But, we learn here where Krisily got the class that she demonstrates later in the show....Krisily's mom Cheryl responds to Chris by saying, "You know, Sarah's beautiful. My daughter told me that Krisily loves Sarah out of all the girls in the house. And she said, Charlie's going to get a great girl if he picks (Sarah)."...In her turn, Sarah's sister Rachael says, "I think the last two are definitely the best."

There is one slip-up in the family interviews that Chris tries to correct later. At one point, Nana refers to Krisily as "the second runner-up." To try to cover this, Chris says to Nana, "(Krisily) is one of the two. You understand that she could be engaged by the end of tonight, right?"....Hmmm, interesting. This is one of several indications we get that, not only did Krisily know (or at least have a strong hunch) what was coming later, but that her family knew, as well.

Krisily in Loreto Bay, Mexico, Then Onstage With Chris

As we learned on the "Women Tell All" episode last week, Charlie took both Sarah and Krisily to Loreto Bay, Mexico....First we see Charlie and Krisily's visit to Loreto Bay.....Charlie looks more relaxed with Krisily than he did on his last date with her in New York.....They eat dinner outside, then we see them in bathrobes, sitting on lounge chairs talking. (Before we can wonder what happened before the bathrobes, we see that Charlie is wearing his swimsuit under his.)....Most of the conversation is pretty unmemorable....However, Charlie does tell Krisily that, because he is dating two women, he thinks it would be disrespectful to do more than kiss. (Thus, no spending the night together as they did in Aruba.)...Last, we see Charlie and Krisily get in the pool, which apparently is very cold, and then share a kiss.

After the Loreto Bay segment, Chris brings Krisily out on stage.....Chris asks her how she's doing, and no surprise, Krisily answers, "Nervous." Chris comments that, in fact, Krisily is shaking like a leaf....Not much of this interview is worth reporting, but one comment of Krisily's seems to give another clue about Charlie's final choice. At one point, Krisily says, "l haven't seen Charlie in a month. And, talking on the phone's getting a little more sparse," which she attributes to the fact that both she and Charlie have been very busy...Krisily also says that, on the Loreto Bay visit, she told Charlie that she would be willing to move to LA. In fact, Krisily tells Chris that her bags are packed—she hasn't unpacked since she got back from Aruba....Chris ends the interview with, "I think I can see it on your face. But just to be sure, you're in love?" Krisily assures Chris that she is, that she and Charlie are comfortable together, "like a pair of your old, favorite jeans that feel right."

Sarah in Loreto Bay, Mexico, Then Onstage With Chris

On Sarah's visit with Charlie in Loreto Bay, they take a ride on a large motorboat...Charlie is a little less animated with Sarah than he was on his date in New York, but he still beams with pleasure when Sarah says to him, "I have definitely fallen for you. And my day, when I wake up in the morning, I'm thinking about you. When I go to bed, I'm thinking about you. And you make me happy.".....Charlie tells the camera that he thinks that Sarah is starting to open up to him and realize that he does like her....When Charlie and Sarah kiss, they are still mostly short kisses, but both Charlie and Sarah look very happy. At least to me, it's apparent that Sarah's feelings for Charlie have grown.

Then it's Sarah's turn on stage, and, surprise, surprise, she says she's extremely nervous....Chris asks Sarah at what point she started to have feelings for Charlie....Sarah responds that on the hometown date was when she started to think she could have more than a friendship with Charlie, but she still had her guard up. Then, in Aruba, she realized she was falling in love with Charlie and she had to let her guard down if she wanted a chance at being with him.

Final Dates Back in LA

For his final dates with the two women, Charlie brought them to LA to visit some of his favorite places and meet friends....First, he brings Krisily to Malibu to meet his friends Dan and Matt....We don't see much of their visit, but Krisily seems very comfortable with Charlie's friends...Then Charlie and Krisily sit on a bench overlooking Malibu beach (a bench that looks suspiciously familiar from at least one of Byron's dates on Bachelor 6.)....It's hard to tell much about Charlie and Krisily's relationship from this short segment. Charlie is fairly subdued, and, at least to me, it appears that, when he kisses Krisily he is more restrained....Krisily tells Charlie that she feels bad that they're not going to see each other for awhile after this, so I guess these dates were about a month ago. (Krisily said earlier on the live show that she hadn't seen Charlie for a month.)

Charlie's final date with Sarah is to play miniature golf....Charlie tells the camera, "When I'm around Sarah, she makes me feel special. She makes me feel like a good boyfriend, like somebody that just wants to protect her or just make her feel special."...Sarah confesses to Charlie that, for the first time, she's starting to get jealous, and she tells him that if he decides that Krisily is better for him she will be heartbroken....Once again, as they say good-bye, Charlie looks happy, and Sarah beams at him as he closes the car door.

Last, we see a short scene of Charlie speaking to the camera. He says, "I came to this thing confused, not knowing if it could work out. But it has worked out. I've fallen in love with one of these two girls. And I can't wait to tell her. And I can't wait for it to be all over. And we can just be a couple. That's all I wanted out of this. And I got it."

Chris Rubs It In

As if the participants weren't nervous enough already, Chris rubs it in one more time....First he checks in with Sarah backstage, asking, "You've been back in your dressing room all evening. Have no idea what's been happening. What's it been like back there?"...Then Chris checks in with Krisily. ...And, finally, Chris brings Charlie on stage one last time. Charlie's hair is sticking out in all directions, even more than it was earlier....Charlie tries to lighten the mood, but Chris is determined to milk this for all it's worth. Personally, I admire all the participants for their self-control in not punching Chris out at this point...Chris tells the audience that Charlie has said that he doesn't feel comfortable breaking up with a woman on stage, so they're going to do it as privately as possible....Last, while guitar music plays, the cameras show Krisily and Sarah pacing, and Charlie sitting on stage, looking like he'd rather be anywhere else.

Charlie Says Good-Bye to Krisily

After returning from commercials, we see Chris and Charlie walking down the hall in the dressing room area. Chris wishes Charlie luck, then Charlie first acts like he's going to knock on one door (as he was obviously told to do by the producers), then moves on and hesitantly knocks on the next door. At this point, there is a split screen showing both Krisily and Sarah, so we see Krisily hear the knock, and run excitedly to the door.....Krisily gives Charlie a hug, but when she sees the expression on Charlie's face, she says, "Uh oh."...After telling Krisily she looks beautiful, Charlie gives his speech. Here's the gist of it, "I think you're a great person. And I think that we've had a great time together. And I know we started off as friends. And I'd love to be friends. Thanks for giving me the extra two months and being so understanding. And I'd really like you to look at this time as a special time in your life. And I hope you don't ever look at it as something negative."

"You're a wonderful person. I have fallen in love. But..." Krisily breaks in, "Not with me."....Krisily then says to Charlie, "It's been a journey. We both have taken it together. Don't feel bad. It's been hard. I have to thank you for--you have opened up my world to different feelings. Now (I know) that I do deserve something more than what I've had in the past. You gave me the outlook to see that there is someone out there for me that will make me feel the way you do."....Charlie assures Krisily, "I'm sure there definitely is."...Krisily tells Charlie, "I'm not mad." Charlie says, "I know. You're amazing."....Krisily then says, "And Sarah's a very lucky girl. Give her a big hug for me."....The conversation goes on in a similar way a little longer....Charlie tells Krisily that he asked to have this talk back in the dressing room because he thought it was a more gentlemanly thing to do, and this was as personal as they could do it....Charlie gives Krisily a diamond tennis bracelet as a remembrance (and his hands are shaking so hard, he can barely hold the box).

Chris then comes into the room, and says to Krisily, "I'm sorry. I will say you're an amazing woman the way you handled that. Amazing." Krisily replies, "I had to. (Charlie's) a good guy. And Sarah was my best friend in the house. So, it probably would be a little harder if I didn't know (Charlie was) getting a great girl."

Then Chris tells Krisily to get her shoes and to wait out in the hall. (How tacky is that? All I can figure is that the decision to talk to Krisily in her dressing room was a last-minute one, so the producers hadn't worked out the logistics.)...Even standing in the hall, Krisily never breaks down.

Back in the dressing room, Chris says again to Charlie, "What an amazing woman." Charlie replies, "I have not a bad thing to say about (Krisily). And, the way she handled that just took it so easy on me. You can see she's great. And I wish her all the best."....Then Chris says to Charlie, "Well, the good news--that's over. What's to come is a very special moment. We have a great girl waiting in the other room for you."....(I'd forgotten about Sarah for a moment. Since Sarah was apparently in the dressing room next door to Krisily's, she must have overhead something, if only the camera crews in the hall, and wondered what was going on. I would have been peeking out the door.)

Krisily isn't off the hook yet, because Chris walks her out on stage to huge applause. When Krisily sees her family, she finally starts to cry....Chris says to Krisily that he obviously didn't want to have this conversation with either her or Sarah tonight, but congratulates Krisily again on how she handled it. Then he asks what Krisily is thinking. She replies, "When (Charlie) came in the back room, I kind of knew something was up. It's hard. But he's an amazing guy. I needed to be strong for him. I needed him to see that strong side."....Chris tells Krisily that he knows she had problems with past boyfriends, and it was hard for her to put herself out there. Krisily replies, "Past boyfriends not only would not be there for me. But they weren't there for my family. And Charlie came into my house. And no one's ever taken to my grandmother and my family that way. I'm used to the boyfriends that sit at the table and don't really talk with anybody. And there (Charlie) was, dancing with my grandmother in the kitchen."

Krisily goes on, "(Charlie) showed me that I do deserve more. And that somewhere out there, there's someone for me, that will treat me the way that he did. I feel really bad for the next guy I date."....Krisily then says that it hasn't just been a roller coaster for her, but also for her family. Seeing them (sitting in the audience) is even tougher than it was facing (Charlie)....Chris asks Krisily's mom how she's feeling. Krisily's mom says that she's sad, because (with Charlie) she saw Krisily happier than she's been in a long time.

Chris asks Krisily a couple of times what's next for her. She says she doesn't know—but might even move out to LA anyway because she likes it......Chris asks a few more questions, as if he hasn't rubbed it in enough. "How long does it take to get over something like this?" Krisily says to Chris, "I don't know. Call me in a month and check in."....Then Chris says, "We all went through this amazing journey with you. When we were in Aruba, you were crying when you got off the plane because you had never been outside of the country. All these firsts for you, along the way, as well as falling in love. Everyone in America really fell in love with you and started rooting for you."....Krisily says that everyone has been very supportive, and strangers come up to her in the airport to wish her well.

Then Chris invites Krisily's mom and Nana to come sit with her on the stage.....Chris asks Nana, "How do you feel about Charlie now?" Nana says, "I still like Charlie. I still respect him. Krisily's not for him. And I wish him and Sarah all the luck in the world."....Chris' final words to Krisily are, "We fell in love with you, and the way you acted and handled yourself tonight just shows why."....Then Chris invites all of Krisily's family to go backstage to be with her (and so they are not there when Charlie gives Sarah the final rose).

Before we leave Krisily, I have to say, "What a class act." When you compare Krisily's reaction to being sent home by Charlie to the comments made by Sarah W in Aruba two episodes back, the contrast is evident. Although Krisily has admitted only that she suspected that Charlie wasn't going to pick her (because of things like the fact that he called less often), I wonder if Charlie didn't find some way to make his final decision clearer than that, to prepare Krisily. (That seems like the kind of thing Charlie would do.) But, whether Krisily knew about Charlie's decision ahead of time or not, she handled herself better than any rejected bachelorette on any previous season. Chris did everything he could to get Krisily to complain or say something negative about Charlie, but neither she nor her family gave in to the manipulation. It's very gratifying to see that, even on a show like The Bachelor (which would never be described as classy or subtle), true class shines through.

Charlie Gives Sarah The Final Rose

When we come back from commercials, the interview chairs have been taken away, a podium with the final rose has taken its place, and the traditional romantic "Final Rose Ceremony" music is playing. Charlie is standing by the podium smiling. As he looks over, doors open, and Sarah walks out and up to Charlie. Almost immediately Charlie gets emotional and teary-eyed, trying not to cry. Here is what Charlie said to Sarah, pretty much verbatim:

"It's so great to finally see you. And it is just us and nobody else. And I love you. And I just think you're the best person in the world. And I promise you that I will be the greatest boyfriend to you ever. I'll make you laugh. I can't wait. This is the greatest thing ever. I'm so lucky that you came on the show. Because I don't think there's another person for me, but you. And this is just the greatest. So, I got you a ring. And I know there's a lot of pressure. So, we're going to call it a promise ring now and see if we can work out, finally, with no cameras around, just me and you. And I promise you that I will be the best boyfriend ever. And we can finally just be me and you."...As Charlie says this, Sarah is starting to tear up, and a couple of times Charlie looks at her and says something like, "You're so cute."....Charlie finally stops his speech and half kiddingly says to Sarah, "Well, say something!"....Sarah gives Charlie a big hug and a kiss, and Charlie whispers, "I love you." Sarah whispers in reply, "I love you so much."....Charlie says, "I didn't think this day would come."....Sarah goes on. "I love you so much. I fell in love with you in Aruba. And I wanted to tell you for so long. And I haven't been able to. I love everything about you. And to me, you're perfect.....Charlie breaks in, laughing, "I'm not perfect."....But, Sarah kisses Charlie and says again, "You're perfect."...Charlie says, "This is going to be great." Then he gets out the ring, "Do you want this ring? It's really pretty." Sarah says, "It is gorgeous."...Charlie goes on, "I'd put it on you but I'm shaking. (Sarah puts the ring on her right ring finger.)...Then Charlie hands Sarah the final rose and says, "I guess you get the final rose." Sarah accepts it, but laughingly says, "I don't want any more roses though." Charlie agrees, "You don't want roses. Never any more roses." Then they hug and kiss again, and both say, "I love you."....It's cute because Sarah is so short that Charlie has to lift her off her feet to kiss her (even though she's wearing very high heels.)

And that's it. After waiting three hours, the final rose ceremony was about seven minutes, before the producers cut to commercials.

Rose ceremonies on previous seasons have been more overtly romantic, because the producers had more space to create a romantic setting and to edit the final scene. But, while Charlie's words won't win any poetry awards, they were more meaningful because they were spontaneous. I was very touched.

After the Final Rose

When we return from commercials, Chris Harrison is standing by the podium with Charlie and Sarah, and they all have glasses of champagne (as does everyone in the audience)....Chris congratulates Charlie and Sarah, and says, "I speak for everybody in America right now. What an unbelievable moment." Chris kids Charlie, " I didn't know you had that in you." Charlie quips back, "Yeah. I can't wait to get out of here. So, wrap it up, Chris." Chris laughs, and asks, "Why? What do you have to do?" Charlie says, "We've got a lot to do. We've got a lot to do in public. And it's not hiding." Sarah agrees and says she can't wait to tell everyone she loves Charlie.....Chris then says to Sarah, "So (that) begs the question. You moving to LA? Sarah replies "Yep" to cheers and applause....Chris looks over to Sarah's family and says, "Did y'all know about that?" and Sarah's family shakes their heads, "No."

Chris asks to see Sarah's ring, and congratulates Charlie, "Beautiful. Good work, my friend.".....Then Chris says to Sarah and Charlie, "I can't send you out of here empty-handed. I don't have a beautiful ring. But I do have a little going away gift for you. I'm going to send you back to the place you shared your first kiss. You guys are going back to Aruba." Chris laughs, "The best part (is that) I will not be there with any surprises.".....(Maybe it's just me, but if I were Charlie and Sarah, I'd try to exchange that ticket for plane fare and a Radisson on some other Caribbean island. Every time they see the Kukoo Kunuku bus on Aruba, they're going to be reminded of Sarah W. Not good.)...Then Chris proposes a toast, "To a happy life together. Bless you both."....As the final credits roll, Sarah's family comes up on stage to hug Charlie and Sarah.

Because the producers decided to wait until the very end of the show for the final rose ceremony, we didn't get to see much of Charlie and Sarah together. However, even if Chris had tried to sit Charlie and Sarah down for an interview, we probably wouldn't have gotten much. After the tension of waiting alone for hours, and the emotion of the final rose ceremony, all Charlie and Sarah wanted to do was leave, and I can't blame them.

Parting Thoughts

It's been an interesting and surprising season. For once, The Bachelor didn't take itself as seriously, and didn't set the expectation of true love, and yet, in the end, we got a very sweet romance, and a start to a long-term relationship. In fact, Sarah's "promise ring" turned out to be more romantic than the forced "engagements" of previous seasons.

Going into the finale, I still wasn't sure whether Krisily or Sarah was better for Charlie, but after seeing the show, I think Charlie picked the right woman. In some ways, Krisily and Charlie are too much alike. Inside they're "marshmallows"—not completely sure of themselves, and easily hurt, even though Charlie covers it up with humor, and Krisily with a tough exterior. Both Charlie and Krisily need someone who is going to adore them, but who will be the stronger, more stable one in the relationship (and they will repay that with loyalty and lots of affection). Sarah's "motherly" qualities that Charlie's friend Jack doesn't like may well be exactly what Charlie needs. To me, one test of whether someone is right for you is whether they bring out the best in you, and Sarah seems to do that for Charlie. She brings out a side of him that wants to be grown-up and protect her, and be the best person he can be for her. And, Sarah's focus may help Charlie find his niche in life, without the "high-maintenance" expectations that a "Hollywood glamour" girlfriend might have. From what we saw on the show, Charlie's friends are regular people, not Hollywood types, so Sarah will fit in just fine.

And, I hope that when Sarah told Charlie he was "perfect," what she really meant was "I love you just exactly as you are." No human being is perfect, and one comment Sarah made about her ex-fiancé was that he wasn't what she thought he was. Since Charlie lacks self-confidence at times, he needs someone who believes in him, and loves him for himself, and I hope that Sarah got to know Charlie well enough that she does love him for what he is, warts and all.

One concern I do have is that Charlie has a passionate (okay—sexual) side. Although we've seen a loving side of Sarah, we haven't ever seen her "let go" in terms of showing physical affection for Charlie. On the other hand, I know I'd find it very hard to show physical affection in front of cameras. Also, knowing there was another woman in the picture may have meant that Sarah didn't completely let down her guard.

In any case, romantic that I am, I wish Sarah and Charlie the best, and I hope their relationship lasts.

As for me, I was expecting this to be the last season of The Bachelor. But, ABC's official fall schedule shows The Bachelor on Monday nights, although an hour earlier. This development may have taken the Bachelor producers by surprise, too, since normally they announce the next bachelor on the finale of the previous show. (If there is going to be a Bachelor in the fall, they have to start filming soon.)

In the meantime, the new season of Big Brother starts July 7 on CBS, and I'll be writing a weekly op-ed article for Joker's after the live show each week. That gives me a few weeks off, but you'll see me around JokersUpdates in the meantime.

Until then!