Bachelor Ben Finale Recap: And the future Mrs. Higgins is…

We’ve walked through 20 seasons of The Bachelor. We’ve been together every step of the way on Peter Brady Bachelor Ben’s amazing journey to find love. Most of us figured (according to the poll from the previous post) that Lauren was going to walk away with the final rose. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t mesmerized by a season full of crazy women and one chicken vying for the affection of Mr. Higgins — the quintessential face on the Mt. Rushmore of previous bachelors.

It was Lauren B. who busted through all the name confusion as the Lauren of all Laurens to beat. And it was JoJo who busted through most of her swimwear as the other one to beat. In the end, they were both winners.

Lauren got the bachelor guy. JoJo got the bachelorette gig. Congratulations to them both!

I have to admit that Mike Fleiss finagled some pretty impressive editing which had me waffling a few times during the two-hour ordeal. Ben dropping love-bombs every chance he got certainly made his final days as a single dude confusing to say the least. I appreciate both Lauren and JoJo’s concern for my well-being, though. Both tried to make me feel comfortable and safe by wearing a pair of denim panties as they enumerated the characteristics they found favorable in their suitor, as well as the exact moment when they knew he had fallen in love with them.

Ben is full of emotion too. He writes a prose that could win awards in UIL Oral Reading, detailing how he used to be unlovable, but now he drowning in affection and good luck. The problem is…he can’t marry them both.

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Ben seeks counsel from his parents. Guess what, Mom? I’m 100-percent in love with two different women! His facial expressions easily uncover that Ben is suffering from just enough insomnia to not understand why his mother is disturbed by this news. Oh look! Here comes Lauren! LoLo wears a slinky black skirt and a tank top tied like she’s trying to bring back the ‘80s, except with muted, khaki colors. Everyone cries. Mainly because they are all overtired and stressed out and a little bit because of the outfit.

She hands over some flowers and a bottle of wine and leads with the embarrassing story about how she told Ben early on that she would love to meet his parents. Everyone cried again. Ben reminds his parents that Lauren has wanted this for a long time. Three whole weeks!

Ben’s dad thinks Lauren puts a twinkle in his son’s eye. He listens as Lauren sings Ben’s praises. She tells him that she’s in love. Then she bids Dave adieu, which is weird because his name is Mike.

Just kidding. His name is David. Not only does she slide into first-name territory, but she shortens it too. I wonder how Carol/Amy feels about this?

Apparently she’s fine with it. By the end of their conversation, Lauren and Amy are holding hands as if they are old friends. Or trying to help each other cling to reality. Whatever the case, Amy makes sure Lauren knows that Ben is his own worst critic and oh by the way, he’s not so perfect. Lauren asks a very smart question, “How do I help him through that?”

Amy and Davie are impressed with Lauren. They use the words “polished” and “at ease.” Amy wants to know if Ben has told the girls that he’s in love with both of them. When he turns green and almost pukes, Amy gives him some solid motherly advice: “That conversation is going to be a struggle.”

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Lauren tells Ben that she’s only going to get engaged once. She’s ready to marry him now. And she wants to be in the Higgins family. She tosses another L-Bomb, drops the mic and kisses him good-bye.

The next day, JoJo shows up bearing gifts too — a conch full of flowers that screams Sandals Beach Resort Gift Shop. She did tuck the ladies in to meet the family, which was appropriate, but the legs were on full display in a shorty romper. Immediately the family is laughing at JoJo’s nerves. She giggles as Ben tells his parents that they flew over the Hoover Dam but chose to make out instead of staring in wonder at the architectural marvel of it all.

JoJo takes control of both parent interviews. She admits that she’s in love. She gets very emotional, which Davie Boy appreciates. She uses the word “safe” with Amy, which makes Amy pause because Ben used the exact same word to describe her. She’s happy with Ben and there are zero doubts that he is the one.

JoJo leaves and Ben sits down with Damy to assess the last 48 hours. Ben insists that JoJo and Lauren are the same and that’s why he’s so torn about which one he loves more. Amy begs to differ. Lauren is a great gal, but JoJo considers him to be a bestie. Doesn’t that say something?

Apparently that says, “Welcome to the Friend Zone!” in Ben’s book.

Then Amy tells the camera that she’s afraid of this huge decision. She doesn’t know who he will plant his stake with. Nine sexual innuendos come to mind, but I’m too much of a lady to write any of them down here. You’re welcome, Mama.

Ben has one more special date with the remaining women. Both are full of awkward moments that are covered up by insane amounts of making out and sweet nothings whispered on couches. He takes Lauren on a catamaran. She can immediately tell he’s not right and insists on asking him various versions of, “What’s the matter?”

Oh, I don’t know. He’s on a dating show and is in love with two women and at this precise moment he’s trying to figure out who he’s going to keep and whose heart he’s going to break and still come out smelling like a rose on national television.

Instead, he leads with, “You’re beautiful.”

Ever the sleuth, Lauren confesses to the camera that, “I can tell his heart is heavy. Something’s going on. I don’t know what. It’s making me nervous.”

Bless her.

Since there were no more sea turtles to rescue, Ben is forced to tell Lauren that’s she’s practically perfect in every way and even though that’s technically not a bad thing, he often wonders if she’s too good to be true. He’s worried that their three-week relationship hasn’t been tested like the one he has with JoJo.

Hey Chad! Hey JoJo’s brothers!

That night, Ben shows up to Lauren’s place feeling like a complete jack wagon for wearing a hoodie while she’s wearing a little black dress with a slit up to there. Lauren admits that she’s terrified, but she trusts Ben. She doesn’t have any fear, even though the word “terrified” is a synonym for fear. She whips up a few tears to show that she can be emotional like JoJo and tells him, again, that she’s ready to spend her life with him.

Ben launches into a speech. “No matter what happens, you’ve made me a better person.” Lauren’s eyes widen. That sentence was ominous. I think she’s both terrified and fearful at this point that her boy is about to break up with her tomorrow.

The next day, Ben greets JoJo with one of the most celebratory and passionate kisses on the show. They go to a Jamaican version of the same Mexican swimming hole they visited a few weeks ago. They sit on a wet rock while discussing life, love and other mysteries. This is unfortunate timing. I bet her last yeast infection just cleared up. Thank goodness she’s not wearing the yarn bikini. She brings up the small fact that he will be living in Denver, while she’s in Dallas. But she will do whatever it takes to be with him. Even if it means asking her daddy to buy her a place in Cherry Creek. She trusts him! She loves him! She has faith in him!

Then she notices him and her face falls. Something is not right. She asks him if he’s “feeling good” and he doesn’t stick his tongue in her mouth. Whoopsie. Because he didn’t say, “I love you JoJo,” she is suspicious. She wants him to be honest. He responds, “It’s exactly what you think it is.” She demands that HE SAY IT.

JoJo: There are two people here and you are confused?
Ben: Yes.
Lincee: Why is no one using Lauren’s name?

JoJo feels that the best reaction to this revelation is to make out with him while pushing her boobs into his bare chest. It’s a solid plan. She tells the camera that she’s confused and hopes that she doesn’t look like a fool. Upon hearing the word “hope,” the ABC Intern shares the link to where she can buy her own version of Ben’s HOPE bracelet.

JoJo chooses a LBD for her time with Ben, but her chest is so dominate that her side boob has to be blurred. The Black Modesty Box is sooooooo last season. JoJo kisses Ben when he arrives and begins the night by listing off her anxieties one-by-one. She’s nervous, she’s confused, she’s sad, she’s worried and the fact that he’s struggling makes her want to drink Pepto from the bottle.

Ben wants Joje to know that he cares about her. His feelings are deep. She receives this adoration as a sign that she’s the one. When she begins rubbing her fingers through his hair, Ben pulls back and tells her that there is a struggle. And the struggle is real. Like Lauren, he can’t technically find anything wrong with her. Sure she has a stalkerish ex-boyfriend and two brothers that will probably be reasons he will be in Witness Protection soon, not to mention the fact that there’s no way he’s moving to Dallas, but that’s neither here nor there.

JoJo demands a sign. He pulls her into the bathroom so we can’t see the conversation, but we can still hear it. This is when we get a shot of his floral underwear. He praises her for being his friend and loves the passion they have. JoJo begs him to give her something.

JoJo: You are in love with her too. Am I right?
Ben: Yes.
JoJo: You said that to her?
Ben: Yes.

We hear JoJo crying in the microphone about how she’s sooooooo tired of competing for the affection of the men in her life. So she decided to go on a reality show. To compete for love. And when that didn’t work out, she agreed to go on the show again to be on the receiving end. Makes perfect sense.

Ben cried right along with her. I do appreciate that he answered her honestly. This will be the conversation he points to when he wants to remind JoJo that she will always be in his Friend Zone.

Ben leaves JoJo and laments about how lost he is in life. He’s emotionally lost. In terms of what to do, he’s lost. He’s physically lost. The ABC Intern fetches Harrison for the first two problems and then helps Ben to his suite after their big talk.

Lo and behold, when Ben meets Uncle Neil the next day to reminisce about his journey while picking out a stellar engagement ring for his lady love, he’s got it all figured out. Harrison helped him process all the feels. He didn’t even need Caila’s feeling stick. Hare is a GENIUS!

Moments later, the camera catches a glimpse of Ben’s junk in royal blue boxer briefs as he’s getting ready to propose. The suit is grey, the tie is purple, the pocket square is houndstooth and the pants are a little short. Let’s do this.

Lauren slips into a dress that is the EXACT SAME BLUE AS BEN’S UNDERWEAR. I knew she was the one! JoJo chooses a bedazzled pink number from the Spring 1996 Jessica McClintock collection. Vintage is everything. Both hop into a helicopter so they can be delivered to a castoff physical challenge set from Survivor. Ben is literally standing at the end of a trail of planks floating on a creek bed of water.

JoJo is the first to step out of her chopper. Harrison plasters on a blank face and carries her to the end of a bridge. Five minutes later, she arrives in front of Ben and walks him down their own personal Memory Lane for another five minutes. She refuses to read his facial cues and does not wrap it up around the 10-second mark. It was painful. Ben tells her that what they had WAS real and he did find love with her — he just found it with someone else more.


JoJo handles herself graciously. She uses the word “blindesided” enough times for it to become the new “amazing journey” of the episode. She calls him out for telling her he loved her before wishing him well and hugging him good-bye.

Ben takes off his jacket and I’m convinced he’s gearing up to pull some sort of Mesnick. I was so disappointed when he didn’t. He mourns JoJo for a few minutes before calling Lauren’s dad to ask his permission to marry his daughter. Then he gives a jaunty “WOO HOO” because he’s so excited about what he’s about to do.

Lauren takes the long journey down the random planks and finally ends up in front of Ben. She keeps it simple by reminding Ben that he’s her lobster person. Ben doesn’t waste time. He tells Lauren that he never wants to say good-bye to her. He wants to wake up every morning and kiss her face. He wants to commit, love, make out and spend his life with her. He gets down on one knee and by A MIRACLE, his tight pants do not split. He asks her to marry him and she says YES.


I think we can all agree that the After the Final Rose was a bit of a hot mess. Here’s what we can take away from that hour we will never get back:

  1. Even though Ben respectfully declined Our Host Chris Harrison’s suggestion that Ben and Lauren get married right there on live TV, the good news is that Pastor Denny scored a free trip to Los Angeles.
  2. Ben claims to be a better man after this year-long journey. PS: He’s super excited it’s over.
  3. Watching the show made his stomach hurt.
  4. Harrison was the one who talked him through which girl to pick by asking, “Which one can you not picture you life without?”
  5. He wants JoJo to know his feelings WERE real, but that’s in the past now.
  6. “Blindesided” made an appearance in the ATFR.
  7. JoJo’s boobs made a peekaboo appearance in the ATFR.
  8. Watching the show helped JoJo move on.
  9. She understands now why he picked Lauren. (I assume the whiskey bar had a lot to do with it.)
  10. JoJo is the new bachelorette. I wonder if Caila is mad?
  11. Chad the Ex-Boyfriend is definitely mad.
  12. Lauren and Ben will be getting married soon.
  13. She’s moving to Denver in a few weeks.
  14. Ricky Schroeder was in the audience.
  15. Jimmy Kimmel brought naked Barbies to the audience.
  16. Ben re-proposes to Lauren and it was awkward as all get out.
  17. Lauren’s brothers are ADORABLE and you can tell that Ben loves them already.
  18. Ben’s family and Lauren’s family stormed the stage at Harrison’s request. We clearly had a lot of time to kill this hour.

And there you have it! Season 20 is behind us and now we can look forward to the parade of chaches that ABC is going to uncover for JoJo. I simply can’t wait!

What did you think of the episode? Are you glad JoJo is the next bachelorette? Will Caila be on Paradise now? Are Ben and Lauren MFEO? Did you love this season as much as I did? Sound off in the comments section!

The fun’s not over either. Join me every Monday for Dancing with the Stars recaps! My girl Edyta is back!!! To quote Ben, “WOO HOO!”

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