ABC 'Bachelor' Charlie O'Connell picks Sarah Brice, rejects Krisily Kennedy in seventh season finale
By Reality TV World staff, 05/17/2005
ABC's much ballyhooed "no rules" edition of its The Bachelor edition ended in a manner not all that different than the fading reality franchise's previous editions -- with bachelor Charlie O'Connell selecting Sarah Brice over Krisily Kennedy during an extremely bloated three-hour marathon finale, but -- similar to fellow recent bachelors Jesse Palmer (Bachelor 5) and Bob Guiney (Bachelor 4) -- failing to propose marriage, offering only a "promise ring" instead.
Despite having an unprecedented opportunity to continue dating both finalists during the two month period since The Bachelor's seventh edition finished filming in March, Charlie still found himself uncomfortable in proposing to Sarah, a once-engaged 24-year-old labor and delivery nurse who was currently residing in McKinney, TX.
The finale's first hour featured the broadcast of March footage of the two women's final dates with Charlie, which included a hometown visit with Charlie's family in friends in Montauk, NY, and ended with Charlie informing the two women that he wanted to continue dating both of them in the "real world" before making his decision. The decision set up the live The Bachelor: The Final Rose two-hour finale which included footage of the women explaining Charlie's decision to their families, the women continuing their relationships with him, live separate interviews with Charlie, Sarah, and Krisily, and finally -- in the show's final half-hour -- Charlie's live rejection of Krisily and promise ring proposal to Sarah.
With the live studio stage turned into a Final Rose Ceremony set complete with mood lighting and romantic music (although audience members remained eerily seated no more than fifteen feet away), Sarah came out from behind stage to learn of Charlie's decision.
"It's so great to finally see you and it just be us and nobody else. 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 you've ever [have], I'll make you laugh, I can't wait," Charlie, on the verge of tears, gushed as he began to tell Sarah of his decision.
"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 time -- look how cute you are -- and so I got you a ring," he continued. "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 -- you're so cute -- and I promise you that I will be the best boyfriend ever and we can finally be just me and you," he stated, concluding his proposal promise ring offer.
For her part, Sarah didn't seem to mind the lack of a proposal, with the previously engaged (and thus now gun shy) 24-year-old responding (after a moment of stunned silent) with a huge embrace. After the couple exchanged "I love you" comments, Sarah told Charlie that "I love you so much." "I fell in love with you in Aruba and I've wanted to tell you for so long and just haven't been able to and I love everything about you, and to me you're perfect."
Later, Sarah announced plans (apparently unknown to the Shreveport, LA native's family members who were sitting in the audience's front row) to relocate to Los Angeles and be closer to Charlie, where both Charlie and Sarah stated that they were looking forward to being able to appear in public together.
Prior to offering Sarah a promise ring, Charlie had to inform Krisily, a 25-year-old Warwick, RI salon coordinator and former Miss Rhode Island USA, of his decision. Concerned about rejecting Krisily on stage in front of a studio audience that included her family, Charlie asked the producers for permission to breakup with Krisily backstage -- where cameras would still record all the action, but spare her from gawking and gasping onlookers.
"I didn't think it was right to breakup with a girl out here in front of strangers and families," he explained to Bachelor host Chris Harrison. "I think it's something that is between the two of us. Obviously it's not [going to be] private, but it's going to be as private as it possibly can."
Entering her backstage waiting room, Charlie broke his decision to Krisily, who took the news surprisingly well, offering her congratulations to Sarah -- her closest friend among the show's bachelorettes -- and failing to exhibit any of the "why God why" type of tearful post-rejection breakdowns shown in the limousine ride footage of previous jilted Bachelor bachelorettes.
While obviously disappointed, Krisily kept herself together well (at least until the live show's broadcast ended), admitting to Chris that "I'm not going to say it doesn't hurt and it's not really hard" but also responding with "call me in a month" when Chris asked her how long it would take her to get over Charlie's decision. Krisily also thanked Charlie for raising her expectations of future relationships. "He showed me that I do deserve more," she explained. "The bar's up here now, it's not down here any more." "I can't be upset that he fell in love and it wasn't with me," she added. "I wish Charlie and Sarah the best, she was my closest friend in the house."