Pappas subsequently presented her final rose to the 25-year-old professional snowboarder from Breckenridge, CO after rejecting the marriage proposal of Jason Mesnick, a 31-year-old account executive and single father from Kirkland, WA.
"I know she's the one," said Jesse just prior to his proposal. "I'm so in love with DeAnna -- I don't even know how to put it into words, how badly I want to be engaged to [DeAnna]. She's just that one person that I can't see myself without. I just want to start my life with her. I've never felt this way about anyone. I really think she's my soul mate."
The Bachelorette's fourth-season finale began with Jason and Jesse traveling to DeAnna's hometown of Newnan, GA to meet her dad Greg, her sister Crissy and her brother Thomas.
"Today is the most important day in this process," said DeAnna. "I am extremely close with my family, and it's very important to me if my family accepts them."
While DeAnna's family was very accepting when they met The Bachelor eleventh-season star Brad Womack, suffice it to say they were a slightly more protective this time around.
"We all thought Brad was going to choose my sister, and then in the end, it just completely crushed her," commented Crissy. "It completely crushed our family."
Jason was up first and he was "overcome with excitement" at the prospect of meeting DeAnna's family. He made a good first impression by arriving with flowers, which caused DeAnna to call him "sweet and thoughtful." Jason told DeAnna's family about how he's divorced and has a 3-year-old son from the marriage.
"I don't want to look at it as a pro or a con, but she moves immediately into a family," said Greg. "I'm not sure if she's ready for that right now."
Jason explained how important his son is to him, and DeAnna said that's how important she is to her father. Greg quickly said it would be tough for DeAnna to leave Georgia, and Jason said he could appease that by lots of visits.
"It would take an awful lot of visiting, replied Greg.
Crissy then spent some alone time with Jason and stressed how important it was for him to not break her sister's heart. DeAnna talked with her dad about what she liked in Jason, who then finally had some time to speak with Greg, and he quickly got to the point.
"I want you to know how serious I take marriage," said Jason. "I want to get your permission to propose to her."
"Nobody's ever had the guts to ask me that," replied Greg. "I would expect it... I appreciate your sincerity, and if she chooses you, you have my blessing."
Jason thanked Greg, who was impressed with the suitor.
"I think he's a great pick for my daughter," said Greg.
Jason said goodbye to DeAnna, who then spoke with her family about how their time with him was. Greg spilled the beans about Jason's question, and DeAnna was glad to hear Jason asked.
"It simply solidified my feelings about him," said DeAnna.
Jesse then had his turn to meet DeAnna's family, which he described as "nerve wracking."
"I knew he was nervous right off the bat," correctly guessed Tommy.
Greg knew Jesse was a guy DeAnna doesn't normally date and also knew meeting him would be different than Jason. Jesse immediately dug a hole for himself when he had no long-term employment plan beyond his snowboarding career.
Greg took Jesse outside and asked if he'd ever been in a serious relationship. Jesse answered he had, but then added they "grew apart." He continued to get grilled by Greg, who stressed the importance of "frequent visits" to Georgia if he's the chosen suitor.
Crissy asked DeAnna if she could honestly see herself settling down with him.
"I don't know if I know Jesse yet," Crissy told her.
Jesse knew the short amount of time he had with DeAnna's family didn't go well.
"I blew it," he opined as he left the house.
DeAnna met with her family and revealed she still didn't know which suitor she was going to choose.
"Jason is absolutely falling in love with you. There's no doubt about that," said Greg, "Jesse told me the same thing, but it's just the way he said it and the way Jason said it -- there was a difference there. I just felt it was more heartfelt from Jason than it was from Jesse."
"Did Jesse ask your permission?" quickly asked DeAnna
"Nope," replied Greg. "It's just that's the way he is, so that's the way he's going to be."
DeAnna was more confused then ever as the night came to close. The next morning, she awoke and welcomed her extended family to meet the guys.
"The guys can expect a big fat Greek party!" said DeAnna.
Jesse was the first to arrive, unaware of the twist that awaited him. But then the doorbell rang and in walked Jason.
"It was a little intense. It was like another competition almost," opined Jesse. "I know that I have to put myself out there 110% and if I don't there's not a shot in hell I have of being with her."
Jesse and Jason then flanked DeAnna on the couch, and the two exchanged playful jabs as she sat uncomfortably between them. Both professed why they were there and how much they care for her, and the situation became a bit more real for Jason.
"I know what I want, but to see and know and hear that she's got feelings for Jesse is really hard," said Jason. "It doesn't feel good inside at all."
After a Greek lunch, both Jesse and Jason spent some alone time with various family members. Jason was well-spoken in professing his love for DeAnna when speaking with her grandparents, and grandma Lilian was obviously smitten.
"You're the one for her," Lilian told him.
Jesse didn't have the same luck with Crissy and DeAnna's sister-in-law Crystal.
"We all want nothing but the best for DeAnna, and Jesse is just a hometown guy," said Crystal. "He just seems to be very grounded, it didn't seem like he was thinking very thoroughly about the questions we were asking him."
Realizing his chance was going down the tube, Jesse pulled Greg aside and asked the all-important question Jason popped the previous day.
"If she does choose me, I would like to get close to her," began Jesse. "I guess I'm asking your blessing and your permission that if DeAnna does feel that I am the guy for her than it would obviously mean the world to me to have your blessing to propose to her."
"Are you ready?" replied Greg.
Jesse then explained how he had been talking to his own dad about how he knew when his mom was the one, and the answer has always been "you'll know." After DeAnna visited Jesse's hometown, he said that his dad gave her the "stamp of approval."
"It meant the world to me, and it would mean the world to me to have your stamp of approval to pursue your daughter," he continued.
"I just want to make sure that she gets the very best and she's treated with the dignity and respect she deserves," said Greg. "I think you would do that, and I offer you both of you my blessing."
As the day came to a close the family invited Jason and Jesse for a shot of Ouzo before saying goodbye.
"It's hard to ay if my life would be better with Jesse versus Jason," said DeAnna. "I've been trying to figure that out all day long."
DeAnna retreated to her family for some input, and Crissy made it known that she felt Jason was the better choice because of their comfort level around each other and Jason's life experience. Crystal disagreed and thought DeAnna would be better suited with a fellow "free spirit" like Jesse.
"If you picked Jason, you'd be fast-forwarding your life five years," she told DeAnna, who was still confused about her decision.
"I don't know which guy's dreams are going to come true and which guy's heart's going to get broken," she said.
As it got down to crunch time, DeAnna returned to Grand Bahama Island in preparation for her last one-one-one dates with both Jason and Jesse. However...
"I'd rather be like Brad and run the other way and not have to deal with any of this. But I can't bring myself to do that because I know what that feeling feels like. I know what that confusion and that heartache and not understanding feels like. I couldn't bring myself to put Jeremy through that pain and that heartache I experienced. I hope and I pray that he leaves here with a better understanding and that he feels better about me sending him home."
Jeremy and DeAnna met that night and he was anxious to see her to tell her his true feelings. He received a hug upon his arrival before telling her how he felt.
"I really do feel like you're making a big mistake with me," he told her before expressing regret for not putting himself out there fully. "I'm terrified of getting hurt, that's the biggest reason why I'm so guarded."
DeAnna said she sympathized with how Jeremy felt.
"It's just not in my heart," she said through tears. "Right now I feel it for two other people."
"That hurts," answered Jeremy.
"I will not lead you on. I will not drag this out to the last day and promise you something that I cannot keep," she said. "Right now, I am not in love. I feel like at this moment, as much as we have shard and as big of a bond as we have, if we were meant to be my feelings would be stronger, but they're not... If you were to propose to me, I couldn't do it."
After rejecting Jeremy -- incredibly ironically for the second time -- DeAnna awoke the next morning to focus on Jesse and Jason.
First up was Jesse, who accompanied DeAnna on a seaplane to a deserted island, where they spent the afternoon walking the beach.
"I want her to know that I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her," said Jesse.
That night he gave her a "book of thoughts" and said he hoped to have the opportunity to continue to fill its pages with her.
"I just want you to know that I've never been so sure of something in my life," Jesse told her. "I'm ready to settle down and spend the rest of my life with you. I'm falling in love with you and I feel like I am that guy that will make you happy for the rest of your life."
"It felt really good to hear Jesse say, 'I love you,'" DeAnna explained to the cameras later. "It's exactly what I want to hear, but to say anything back, I don't want to do that because I was in that position and in the end, I was left alone. I want to make sure I'm being fair... I want to know that in the end I only look one of them in the eye and say, 'I love you' in return."
The next day DeAnna and Jason went scuba diving among tropical fish and sharks.
"I am in love with DeAnna and I want to spend the rest of my life with her," said Jason.
That night at dinner she said she had no unanswered questions about him before he presented her with a board game he created himself and had them completing tasks like reenacting their first kiss.
"The game really just helped me say a few things that I wanted to say," he said before using it to open up to her.
"You are perfect for me. I see us, I really do. I wouldn't be here if I didn't," he told her. "I love you DeAnna. I really do. There's not a doubt in my mind. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
"I melted. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world," said DeAnna in a confessional afterwards. "Jason showed me everything tonight He was this romantic guy, he was this thoughtful guy. He makes me feel like no one else does... I can see an amazing future with Jason. He has so much to offer to me, that's why I'm falling in love with him."
DeAnna then said goodnight to Jason and retreated to her room for the night.
"I do not know what I'm going to do tomorrow," she said. "It's not a question of being in love anymore. I'm in love with two totally different guys. I definitely don't know how I'm supposed to let one of them go home when I'm in love with both of them."
The next morning DeAnna arose for the big day and still said she could see herself spending her life with either Jason or Jesse.
"I've made tough choices all along and this is the toughest by far but I know who I'm going to pick," she said. "I can only hope that he feels the same way about me."
Jason and Jesse went out and picked out engagements ring for DeAnna, with both nervous about whether or not they'd be the one with the opportunity to give it to her. The reality of the situation was also sinking in for DeAnna.
"It's going to hurt to let someone go that I'm falling in love with," she said. "He's going to feel just as I felt the day Brad sent me home... I'm facing two moments right now -- one moment where I'm going to feel like the happiest woman in the world, and one moment where I'm going to b the saddest woman in the world. Even though I waited so long to make my final decision, I am 100% sure... I am expecting a proposal today. This evening, I will hopefully be engaged to a man who loves me as much as I love him."
The Bachelorette's final fourth-season Rose Ceremony then commenced, and Jason was the first suitor to exit the limousine -- sealing his fate.
"I can't wait to get down on my knee and propose," he said.
"No, I can't," she said as Jason got down.
"You have no idea how much I care about you," she said. "You're this amazing, perfect person that I've never had in my life before. I know that my life would always be good with you -- that I would always be safe and that I could depend on you. Even though I'm in love with you, I am in love with someone else."
"You're in love with somebody else?" he asked.
She nodded yes.
"I saw a million similarities," he said. "I thought you felt it to. I was wrong."
"No, please no!" she said. "I meant everything I ever said to you. I would be the luckiest woman in the world to ever be with you. I just can't because my heart is somewhere else."
"I understand you," he quietly replied. "I heard you say that. I really did fall in love with you."
The two shared an emotional embrace and DeAnna walked him out.
"I'm completely shocked. Why me?" said Jeremy as his limo pulled away.
"I feel like I'm a good enough guy who cares about people genuinely. I was so ready to be in love again. I was so ready to be there again. It hurts to be so close to somebody and for her them to say, 'You know, I do like you a lot, but I like him more.' She wanted something that I couldn't offer her. She wanted this alternative world, or she thinks she wants it. She wants safety and security and once you have safety and security you want to live on the edge, and then once you live on the edge you want to go back to your safety and security. The best person is both, the one who has them all. I thought I did. I think I do. God I want to fall in love. I've had this huge hole in my heart now for years... I just got hurt again. I've had up body armor since my wife left me. I thought it was coming down. Now it's up. The only for sure thing I have is my little boy."
As Jesse's limousine approached, DeAnna didn't waiver in her decision.
"I am extremely confident about the man I've chosen," said DeAnna. "I am sure he's the one... Today I am ending up with my soul mate. I have found the man of my dreams."
Jesse then approached DeAnna.
"When I first came into this, I would have never have thought that this process was real and that I could fall in love here," said Jesse to deAnna. "But I have fallen in love with you. The thought of not being with you kills me. When I look at you, the word that always pops up in my mind is forever. I ant to spend forever with you and I truly believe that you are my soul mate."
Jesse got on bended knee.
"DeAnna Marie Pappas, will you spend forever with me?" he asked.
"Yes!" she replied.The two embraced and kissed before Jesse slid the ring on her finger.
"I would not be okay if you weren't in my life, and I love you," said DeAnna. "I've waited so long to say that. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
"I want to spend the rest of my life with you," he replied.
"Jesse will you accept this rose?" she asked.
"I would love to!" he said. "I've waited forever to get this rose!"
During the After the Final Rose special that followed The Bachelorette's finale, DeAnna and Jesse revealed they've already set a wedding date: May 9, 2009.
"It's going to be a big wedding," Jesse told The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison.
"I think we're planning the Bahamas -- it's where we fell in love, it's where we got engaged," DeAnna explained.
(Photo credit ABC/Adam Larkey)
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