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'The Bachelor' finale recap: Arie Luyendyk Jr. gets engaged to Becca Kufrin, but dumps her weeks later for Lauren Burnham

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/06/2018 

The Bachelor star Arie Luyendyk Jr. proposed marriage to Becca Kufrin but dumped her only weeks later during the first part of the show's two-night finale event Monday on ABC.

Arie and Becca got engaged in Cusco, Peru, after Arie dumped an utterly-devastated Lauren Burnham during the final Rose Ceremony.

But after a few "happy couple" visits with Becca post-filming, Arie realized he was still in love with his runner-up and had "made a mistake." Arie wanted Lauren back and therefore decided to call off his engagement to Becca and break up with her once and for all.

"Sometimes when I'm doing these little getaways with Becca, I think, 'How would this be with Lauren?' And it just kills me because I have a great woman right next to me. I go to bed and I think about Lauren, and I wake up, and I think about Lauren," Arie explained in a confessional.

"I know Becca sees my struggle. She sees the fact that my mind is somewhere else. She knows that I think about Lauren... I was in love with Lauren and it's difficult to separate those feelings of loss. I thought, 'Okay, the feelings of this breakup will go away just like any other breakup,' but they didn't."

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison kicked off the two-night event by preparing viewers for a finale like they've never seen before.


"Whether he knows it or not, Arie is about to become the most controversial Bachelor in history. But in fairness, every one of his scandalous actions was done in the name of finding true love and following his heart," Chris told everyone watching.

"Tonight, it's all going to play out in a way you've never seen before on this or any other TV show. For the first time in history, we'll be showing you this season's climactic scene completely unedited, and trust me, you won't believe your eyes... It's going to be a wild night."

Pre-taped footage of The Bachelor finale began with Arie getting ready to introduce Lauren and Becca to his family separately. He loved both women and already told them both that he loved them.

Arie said Becca was funny, goofy, sexy, and had great family values. He had no worries about what life would be like with her after the show.

But with Lauren, there was more risk involved because she had been reserved and guarded throughout the whole process. Arie, however, said he had "intense" feelings for Lauren since the start of the show that he couldn't really explain.

Arie introduced Lauren to his relatives first, and she was very nervous. Arie hoped Lauren could relax enough to be herself, but her quiet nature made it difficult for the family to discern whether she was "the one."

Lauren told Arie's father that she had been engaged before and so she was afraid an engagement with the pro racing driver wouldn't work out.

Lauren then told Arie's mom Mieke that she loved Arie and her "biggest fear" was "losing him." Lauren broke down into tears when expressing her feelings, and she couldn't believe how open she was with the family.


Meanwhile, Arie's relatives questioned whether he could have deep conversations with Lauren and talk about things all night long, and he confessed that was a concern he had about her.

But the family thought Lauren was "genuine" and "cool" and that she definitely had chemistry with Arie.

The next day, Becca met Arie's family. But first, Arie repeated to the bachelorette that he loved her. She felt very confident in their relationship and just hoped she wouldn't get inside her head during this date.

Arie's family found her "welcoming, outgoing and easy to talk to." Becca told Mieke that she could see Arie being her husband and the father of her children. She never doubted Arie or his integrity or his words for one second.

"People say, 'When you know, you know.' When I met him and started to get to know him, I thought, 'Okay, that's what people mean,'" Becca told Arie's mother.

But during Becca's visit with the family, she found that everyone kept talking about Lauren. Becca didn't feel like she was the only girl in Arie's life, and it really bothered her and began to weigh on her shoulders.

"Lauren and I are so different. It's like trying to compare an apple to a starfish, and I don't want to be compared to her in any way because she's still a huge threat to me," Becca told the cameras with tears in her eyes.

"His whole family brought up the fact they met Lauren yesterday. It's not a good feeling, and every time, it's like a dagger to the heart. I think if I have to hear Lauren's name one more time, I'm going to be sick. It makes me want to puke thinking about them together. I hate talking about Lauren."

Once Arie's family met both girls, he sat down with them and discussed how Becca would be someone he could support but also rally behind, as she's "a force in her own way." Arie said "it makes more sense" with Becca but there's "an undeniable love" with Lauren.

Mieke really liked both women and said her son totally had "a tough decision" to make, but she decided to give an opinion.

"As a mom, seeing your future, I just love Lauren. But I think Becca would be better for your future. Why? Because I think you have to assure Lauren all the time about your love, and Becca stands on her own," Mieke said.

And Arie's father said Becca was "more suitable" for his personality and "firm," which the pro racing driver's sister agreed. Arie's dad added that sometimes he needs "a kick in the ass," and Becca would be able to provide that.


Since Arie was in love with both women, he was hanging on their every word, hoping to receive some clarity.

The finale then switched over to the live stage with Chris Harrison and previously-eliminated contestant, Caroline Lunny, who had tears in her eyes and said it was difficult to watch him "toy" with her friends on the show. She found Arie's final decisions "not fair" and "unforgivable."

Arie's final days in Peru then resumed with a date in Sacred Valley with Lauren. She knew this could be her last date on The Bachelor with her future fiance.

Lauren continued to reveal more of herself to Arie. She was really starting to be vulnerable and open, and Arie told the bachelorette that her visit with his family had exceeded his expectations. Arie could see how Lauren was giving herself to him, and it made his confidence in their relationship grow.

"I thought I really had my feelings sorted out, but today, Lauren found her way into my heart. I feel like I fall in love with her more and more every time I hang out with her, and when I look at her, I just feel that -- so fully," Arie told the cameras.

"When I'm with Lauren, there's this unexplainable feeling that I have. Lauren is amazing, and I can tell you that she has a little speckle in her left eye. There are little things about her I find so endearing and sweet... and it's crazy to think I could say goodbye to someone like that."

Lauren said Arie had done everything possible to prove his love to her and she was no longer afraid, so that night, the pair just got cozy, drank some wine and talked.

Lauren put it all out on the table for Arie and reiterated how much she loved him and appreciated his kindness and patience.

"I'm ready to spend the rest of my life with you," Lauren told him, adding that they saw the world in a similar way and she could always tell what he was thinking. "I'm so in love with you."

"I love you so much," Arie replied.


The couple embraced and kissed, and it became clear both of their walls came down that night. Arie realized that Lauren was truly committed to him and finally felt confident in their relationship.

"I see my future with him, and I don't want it with anyone else," Lauren told the cameras. "I don't think Arie would let me tell him all those things about how much I care about him... if he knew he was picking Becca."

Arie said if he had to propose that second, it would be to Lauren.

Back to the live portion of the broadcast, Bekah Martinez told Chris Harrison that if Arie was as conflicted as he was on The Bachelor, going through with a proposal would be the absolute wrong thing to do.

And then there was Arie's final date with Becca in Peru after a "pretty much perfect" day with Lauren. Arie couldn't believe he was so uncertain so late in the process.

The couple walked around a local market and simply enjoyed each other's company. When Arie was with Becca, he felt comfortable, not to mention he found her "striking and beautiful."

Becca knew Arie always told her the truth, whether the news be good or bad, and he was reminded of all her amazing qualities that day. Arie felt completely "conflicted" because his connection with both ladies was incredibly strong.

Becca said in a confessional that Lauren was everything Arie dated in the past and she would challenge him more in the future. Becca noted that if Arie chose her, they would have an equal partnership.

"I can't picture my future without him. Losing him in one day to somebody that's so different from I am, to me, right now, it's just unimaginable," Becca confessed.


When Becca and Arie got to enjoy their final hours together at night, Arie insisted he had no questions for her or doubts about her. Arie could spend all night talking to Becca, and he said, "I love you very much."

Arie demanded that Becca stop worrying about everything, and then Becca felt relief -- that they were on the same page.

Becca then showed Arie how much she cared for him by giving him a scrapbook of their photos from this journey. She also wrote him a sweet letter about how her beloved deceased father would not only approve of him, but adore him, if he was still alive.

"I know she'd be a great mother and an awesome wife. I'm in love with Becca, and tonight, I could really feel how much she loved me and how much she wanted us," Arie told the cameras. "I needed today to help me make this decision, and I really realized Becca could be my wife."

Leaving Becca's room, Arie felt "overwhelmed," and he was "struggling." Arie confessed in tears he didn't want to be "half in" with somebody because he was "thinking about somebody else."

Going into the final Rose Ceremony, Becca feared Arie was also in love with Lauren, and Lauren was terrified that Arie might break her heart. But both women were more than ready and willing to accept a marriage proposal.

The morning of the final Rose Ceremony, Arie disclosed that he had to "look inward" to determine which bachelorette was best for him.

"I finally realized who I can see growing old with. It feels so good to have that clarity. I couldn't have pictured a better woman for me," Arie revealed in a confessional before picking out an oval-shaped diamond designed by Neil Lane.


Although Arie was excited to have made his final decision, he felt terrible and sick about having to blindside a woman he really cared about and loved. Arie had no great reason why he was breaking up with the runner-up.

Walking in to meet Arie in a beautiful courtyard in Cusco surrounded by plants and flowers, Lauren said Arie made her feel very safe and loved her in a way that she had never known. She could be open, honest and vulnerable with him, adding that their connection was "far beyond anything most people have in a lifetime."

"I do feel like he's my one true love. We are in this together, and I know that we will be for the rest of our lives," Lauren told the cameras.

When Arie took Lauren's hands at the final Rose Ceremony, she said she was "freaking out."

Lauren gushed about how she thought she had love figured out before Arie and kept her walls up as a way to protect herself, but he changed all of that for her. She pointed out that although she fought falling in love with him, he never rushed her, and looking back, she recognized she had been in love with him all along.

"You're the man I've been looking for my whole life," Lauren said as Arie started to shake his head "no."

Arie then told Lauren he wanted so badly to make things work with her, but there was something holding him back and he just couldn't go through with it. Arie did mention, however, that he gave their relationship his all.

Lauren cried and noted how she was "confused" and felt "betrayed." She really had nothing to say to Arie, who felt like "a monster."


"How could you do that to somebody? I don't get it. He just completely blindsided me. I let my guard down and I let someone in, and it still didn't work out. I whole-heartedly believed that I was going to be the one. I was wrong," Lauren said in her final words.

"He said he's in love with me and he's in love with her and he had no idea what he was going to do until this morning. Does that not terrify him? How can you get down on one knee if you weren't sure until three hours ago? I really do think he made a mistake... I don't want to try anymore."

Becca then approached Arie at the final Rose Ceremony. He had all of the qualities, right down to his core, that she wanted in a man and a husband.

Becca took Arie's hands and said she's always been in "awe" of him. Since their very first conversation, he put her at ease and made her feel comfortable. Becca said she could open up to Arie with no judgment, and she fell hard and fast for him.

"I didn't think I could feel so deeply for someone so early on. But you proved me wrong. You've made falling in love with you easy. You've made being in love with you easy, and I never want to stop being in love with you. I love you so much and I'm ready to do this thing with you!" Becca told the Bachelor.

Arie then called Becca "beautiful, elegant and incredible," adding that he viewed them as a team.

"Through all of [this journey], you've given me so much confidence along the way. And because of that, my love for you is immeasurable," Arie said.

Arie then got down on one knee and presented Becca with a Neil Lane diamond ring. He explained to Becca that he envisioned his life, his children and growing old all with her.

"I choose you today, but I choose you every day from here on out," Arie told her. "I love you so much. Becca, will you marry me?"

"Of course!" Becca exclaimed in pure shock and joy.


The couple kissed and embraced, and Becca couldn't believe she got a fairy-tale ending to this The Bachelor journey. And finally, she accepted Arie's final rose.

Once the romantic pre-taped footage wrapped, Arie explained that his time with Becca was "good" after the show and she would fit well into his life back home, but he was feeling an immense amount of guilt because he was still in love with Lauren.

Arie felt he was "half in" with Becca, his fiancee, and that was his worst nightmare.

Thinking about "the possibility" of rekindling a relationship with Lauren made him want to "risk it all" and call off his engagement to Becca. Arie's heart just wasn't in his engagement, and it certainly didn't belong to Becca, and he knew he was being unfair to her.

It killed Arie to go back on his commitment to Becca, but he said he had to follow his heart.

Meanwhile, Becca was happy and ready to start her life with Arie after the show. She missed him, sincerely loved him and just wanted to be with him.

The Bachelor then aired a raw, real, unedited version of Becca and Arie's breakup, with Chris Harrison saying it might be "the most emotional scene ever."

It all began with Arie meeting Becca for what she believed was going to be a "happy couple visit" in Los Angeles. When Arie showed up, he asked to talk to Becca, and she immediately admitted she was nervous.

"How do I start this conversation? You know, I've been struggling a little bit, and I think over the last couple of times we've been hanging out, I've been trying to sort my feelings out and trying to grasp this whole thing, you know? And the reality of it is that being with you -- although it's been everything that I wanted -- I still think about her," Arie confessed.

"And I think you sense that. And I think for me, the more I hung out with you, the more I felt like I was losing the possibility of maybe reconciling with Lauren."

"So, what? Do you want to get back with her?" Becca asked.

"I want to see if there's that possibility," Arie noted.

"Are you f-cking kidding me?" Becca stated.


Arie said that despite making a commitment to her, he had to follow his heart. Becca then asked Arie if a recent conversation with Lauren played a role in his sudden change of heart.

"When I spoke to her, I realized there was all that feeling there still," Arie admitted.

"What the f-ck," Becca said.

"We left Peru and I didn't want to be as honest with you about how conflicted I was. I tried to deal with that emotion... and get over that heartbreak. I thought that heartbreak would go away, but it never went away. I don't think it's fair to be half in with you," Arie explained to his fiancee.

"Are you going to be half in with her?" Becca asked.

"No," Arie replied firmly. "I want to take a risk and see if there's a possibility with her."

Becca then called Arie out on the fact he had said he couldn't see a future with Lauren before, nor could he quantify why he loved her.

Arie justified that a relationship with Becca logically makes more sense but he always had a strong affection for Lauren that never dissipated.

Becca didn't know what to say except the following: "You were conflicted, but you should have then thought about if you were even ready to get engaged. And you weren't!"

Arie said he had been upfront with Becca, and she gave him credit for at least saying he still had feelings for Lauren that he was struggling with. Becca tried to help Arie get over those feelings during their time together, so she wondered where she went wrong.

Arie commended Becca on being extremely patient with him and allowing him to work through those feelings, but she obviously didn't know the extent of his feelings for Lauren.

"This is f-cking embarrassing," Becca noted.

Arie said he wanted to talk to her in person and not wait to do this on After the Final Rose. She said he never should've gotten down on one knee and had "a lot of sh-t to figure out." Arie said he put a lot of thought into this situation.

Becca seemed flabbergasted and said, "Oh my God."

"I hope you find what you want," she noted. "But it's clearly not me."

After a moment of pause, Becca said, "Okay, I'm done," and walked away. She began to pack her bags and refused to hug him goodbye. Arie worried there was so much more to say, but she said "it doesn't matter" because it wouldn't change anything.

"This is a really sh-tty thing on your part, everything about this," Becca told him.

When Arie asked if she wanted to talk or just wanted him to go, she insisted, "I want you to go."

Once Arie left the building, Becca could be heard sobbing and crying alone in the bathroom. Arie stood outside and seemed lost in thought only to return to ask Becca if she was okay. But Becca wanted nothing to do with him and demanded, "Just go."

Arie sat on the couch as Becca bawled her eyes out. She could barely speak.

"It's so f-cking embarrassing to think you have this future," Becca said.

Arie wanted to talk and hold her, but she told him not to touch her. Becca argued that she had nothing left to say because she's simply "not the one" for him.

Even though she was in pain, Becca still loved Arie and wanted to see him happy. It was hard for her to stomach that she wouldn't be the girl with him.

"It's hard to see my life without you," Becca cried.

"I wanted those things with you too, but I just can't give them to you if I'm in love with someone else. And I'm so sorry," Arie told the sobbing bachelorette. "I'm so sorry. I know it feels cruel, but I want you to be able to move forward and I want you to know how I'm feeling. I know that's a lot to take in."

Chris Harrison then interviewed Becca live.

Watching the finale back was "brutal" for her, and she felt a mixture of "anger, frustration and confusion." Becca revealed that she cried for four days straight after her split from Arie and had to grieve the loss of her relationship as well as the bright future she had envisioned with him.

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