"I am confident in saying this 100%, and I'm not just saying it to say it and there's a lot behind it. It's not just a yes or a no. It's a, do you want to grow old together? Do you want to share your experiences with me in life? Can I share mine with you? Do you want to start a family? Do you want to have kids? Desiree Hartsock, I want to be your first and I want to be your last. Will you marry me?" Chris S. asked.
"Yes, 1000 times!" Desiree replied, adding that she wanted to grow "old and wrinkly" with him and promised to always tell him everything.
Desiree selected Chris, a 27-year-old mortgage broker from Seattle, WA, over Drew Kenney a 27-year-old digital marketing analyst from Scottsdale, AZ, during the finale.
The Bachelorette's ninth-season finale began with a brokenhearted Desiree debating where to begin and picking up the pieces after Brooks Forester unexpectedly dumped her. She envisioned a future with Brooks in which she'd love him and be equally loved in return. That dream was shattered.
The next day, Desiree sat down with host Chris Harrison. She put on a brave face and said she was "okay" -- only to later reveal she was okay as long as she wasn't thinking about what happened. Once the breakup was addressed, Desiree cried and said, "I just want to go home, to be honest."
"I understand. I'm sorry," Chris H. said.
Desiree explained she was upset because she was blindsided and had been so hopeful. Chris H. asked Desiree if she could see herself with one of the two remaining guys. He asked her to think about it as if Brooks had never been in the picture. Des said she felt comfortable and relaxed with Chris, while Drew was the sweetest man she ever met and he wasn't afraid to be himself and be expressive. Des said her heart had been broken but her spirit hadn't been.
Des then insisted she was ready to see the two guys left and wanted to continue on in her journey. She said it was going to come down to how she felt and if she'd be able to give either Chris S. or Drew the love they deserve. She said she was looking for an "undeniable spark" that would tell her she wanted and needed to be with that person. It all came down to chemistry.
"You're being brave," Chris H. assured Des.
"I want to find someone to share my life with. I do, I really do. That's all I want. But now, I don't know. I have to first sort my thoughts out about what just happened, and then I'll figure out what I need to do with Drew and Chris. I have two amazing guys and a Rose Ceremony coming up and I don't have a clue about what I'm going to do. I don't have a clue," Des told the cameras.
Des noted if she couldn't see a future with Drew or Chris S., for her, the journey would be over. She gathered her thoughts and was later greeted by both men for a Rose Ceremony. Chris H. initially warned the guys there was a lot going on that they didn't know about. They looked confused, and then Des approached the men and took a deep breath.
Des explained Brooks chose to go home on his own and it turned her world upside down. She broke down into tears and just sobbed all the while trying to get her words out. She said she understood love was a two-way street. She compared her relationships individually and didn't want Brooks' departure to affect her relationships with them. Des had two roses and two amazing guys standing before her, so she asked the guys to truly only accept a rose if they wanted to be there without a doubt. She cried and said, "Just please, let me know."
Des then offered Drew a rose and he accepted with an "of course." She then gave her second rose to Chris S., who also said "of course."
"I could tell she was emotional, and when I love someone as much as I do love Des, it's really hard to watch her cry," Chris S. told the cameras.
"I'm ready. I'm ready to propose. I'm so in love with her at this point that I could never walk away from her. That's just never going to happen. I'll never leave Desiree, and it's important that she knows that," Drew explained.
Before determining whether she wanted Drew or Chris S. -- or neither for that matter -- to meet her family, Desiree decided to take them each on one final date in Antigua. Knowing both guys wanted everything she wanted in a relationship, it meant the world to her.
"I feel like I do want to continue on and I want to give these relationships a chance. So the next two dates are so important, because normally, it would be time for these guys to meet my family. But with everything that happened with Brooks, I'm hesitant to introduce these guys to my family, because I still need to sort out exactly how I feel for each of them," Des explained.
Drew got the first one-on-one date, and she was still hopeful there may be sparks between them. She needed to discover if she could love him the way she loved Brooks. Meanwhile, Drew was so excited for everything to come. He wanted a life with Des and was madly in love with her. He told the cameras he wasn't in the least bit nervous nor did he feel any hesitation or doubt. He had every intention to follow through with proposing to Des.
The two rode horses together and seemed to make small talk. Des was really nervous and didn't know what to feel, but she said something just didn't feel right with Drew.
"I'm not feeling the way I thought I should be. I wanted to feel excited. I wanted to feel the excitement I feel when I love someone. I can't even focus on this amazing view because I'm figuring out what I need to say to Drew. I need to tell Drew exactly how I'm feeling right now," Desiree told the cameras.
While on horseback, Drew initiated a toast about being madly in love and not wanting to be anywhere else in the world but with her. After that moment, Des said she needed to talk to him. She didn't know where to start and tried to explain how the past couple days had been a struggle in her heart and mind. Des had been reflecting on her whole journey and told Drew she'd be so lucky to have him in her life but she just didn't know if she saw their futures together and if she could be 100% for him. Des noted she could feel something was missing.
"I didn't see this happening," Drew replied in shock and disbelief.
"I never, ever in a million years, ever, wanted to hurt you. I just know," Des said.
"Um, I guess I have to thank you for being honest and I don't know, I don't know, I don't know," an emotional Drew attempted to explain.
Des then apologized, and Drew said she didn't have to be sorry. Des was hoping she could be the one to love him the way he wanted to be. It hurt her to hurt him, but Drew just comforted her, saying she didn't have to love him or feel the same way he did.
"I would want you to be as in love with me as I am in love with you, and this hurts and it hurts a lot. I don't know when it'll really sink in, but I guess this is goodbye," Drew said.
The pair then hugged and Desiree was completely emotional and in tears. Drew told her that he hoped she'd find happiness and then he said goodbye.
"I'm crushed, I'm confused. I didn't see [myself] coming out of this without her. I found the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and I made up my mind that I was ready to do it and start the rest of our lives together. When it was all said and done, she just didn't want to be with me. I really loved her; I really do love her," Drew said following his ouster.
"I don't get it. She's the most amazing woman I've ever met and now I have to think about a life without her. I never thought that it would be like this. I don't expect a perfect life. I don't want one, I wouldn't know what to do with one. I just want to be happy. That's all I ever wanted. I've just got to start over."
Desiree said her goodbye to Drew was extremely difficult because he was perfect in so many ways.
The next day, Des had her date with Chris S. and she said things immediately felt different when he approached her than they did with Drew, and she noted that was "a good thing." Des believed it was her last chance on the show to find love and she just needed to see if her love for Chris could be deep and real.
The couple took a catamaran out into the ocean, and Chris S. told her that he wanted to be a shoulder for her to always cry on. He explained it was difficult to see her so upset, and Des knew he'd always be there for her, as he had been from the very beginning of the show. Des wanted the day to go perfectly because she was really feeling potential between them. She also admitted her strong feelings for Chris S. had previously been clouded by her feelings for Brooks.
Des felt like it was a new day. She loved how comfortable she was with Chris and how he was expressive, romantic and fun.
"We connect on all different levels and it's nice to be able to have a full day with him and kind of re-connect. There were undeniable sparks that just keep you wanting more, and that's what I've been wanting with Chris. There's a lot of beauty in not knowing what's going to happen next. The person I'm supposed to be with, I'm going to find, and if he's still here, he's still here. And it's a good feeling, knowing that," Desiree told the cameras.
Des knew Chris S. would be supportive of her in their future together. She said there had been ups and downs and surprises along the way, but she knew deep in her heart things were going to work out the way they should whether that meant Chris S. would still be in the picture or not.
That night, Des was beginning to acknowledge she may be truly in love with Chris S. after all.
"Today went so amazing, and for it to change so drastically, it's hard to accept. But sometimes, life is hard to accept and I'm really happy it went well. I'm glad I made the decision to continue on and not give up on love," Des told the cameras before she met Chris S. in a hotel suite for the latter portion of their date.
Chris S. made a toast and thanked Des for his entire experience on the show. He said he had fallen in love with her and couldn't wait to see what the future might bring. Chris S. explained he was confident in what they had and they shared an amazing bond. Des said she was happy to be where she was at, and she thanked him as well for being by her side. Chris S. expressed how their relationship was real to him -- how they always picked up where they had left off, and Des realized that was true and loved the notion.
Des then admitted she was apprehensive to allow anyone to meet her parents but she decided she'd like Chris S. to. She said she wasn't going to introduce just anyone to them, because she wanted to make sure they'd be a lifetime possibility. Des loved how badly Chris S. wanted to meet her family and she appreciated how important it seemed to be to him. Chris S. then gave Des her own little journal with a note inside, thanking her for every moment they had shared.
Chris S. had written all the poems he had shared with her throughout the show inside the journal. Des said she felt like "the luckiest girl alive" and the fear she had of not finding a genuine connection with Chris S. simply went away.
"I've never in my life met anyone like Chris, and never in my life did I ever think I would meet someone like Chris. I just feel so lucky to be that person that's receiving his love because I've never felt like anyone has loved me as much as I have loved them. I think that's why it's hard to feel so loved, because I don't know what it feels like. That sounds so weird -- so it feels so good. It's just hard, like, now I feel guilty -- almost like, how could I not have loved him from the beginning?" Des told the cameras in tears.
Des told Chris S. he was the greatest man she had ever known and a loyal friend.
The following day, Des brought Chris S. to meet her family, and he was very nervous about her brother Nate making a snap judgement about him as he had before with Sean Lowe. Once Chris S. sat down with Des' parents and Nate, Nate began grilling him with questions about his intentions and feelings. Chris S. told Des' brother he was confident Des would choose him in the end and Des hoped Nate wouldn't keep picking to find things wrong with her suitor.
Chris S. admitted he'd be just as protective of his sister as Nate was being with Des. The bachelor then had a private chat with Des' father and asked him for permission to propose. Chris S. wondered if they'd be comfortable in letting that happen, and Des' dad immediately gave him permission. He said they'd be a good fit and Chris S. promised he was 100% committed to Des and would take care of her. Chris S. loved the fact he had won over the approval of Des' family.
After Chris left, Des sat down with Nate to learn his opinion. Des told her brother this was the man she'd like to spend the rest of her life with although she was taking things day by day, and Nate admitted he'd be a good choice. However, Nate flat out asked Desiree if she was disappointed or hurt over Brooks' departure because it was obvious to him she had really cared for him.
Des told Nate she was really hurt and surprised because she had invested a lot into her relationship with Brooks. Des said it took her awhile to give up on Brooks, and it surprised The Bachelorette star that Nate brought him up. Des said it was scary to know what her brother thought because it was ultimately the truth.
"I need to trust my heart and trust my feelings and figure out what to do," Des told the cameras.
The next day, Chris S. planned to ask the woman whom he loved to marry him. He loved her with his entire heart but knew he was "swimming in unchartered waters" that were "cold." However, he was optimistic things would work out. Chris S. then picked out Des' engagement ring and the moment was sinking in that he was about to make a lifelong promise to a woman he cared so deeply for.
"This is not just a promise. It's a commitment that I will be able to provide for her and be there for her. It symbolizes a union together that can't be broken. I believe that I can make Des happier than anyone else in the world. I've been waiting quite awhile for the woman I love to say the words, 'I love you' back. But Drew may have the same feelings I'm having and also want to get down on one knee and propose. This is the most gut-wrenching feeling I've ever had. This is by far the biggest moment of my life," Chris S. explained, adding he was either going to be ecstatic or devastated at the end of the day.
"Never did I think I would be this girl in a beautiful gown with a handsome prince. I've always stayed hopeful to meet someone who's going to love me as much as I love them. It's hard for me to accept how much Chris loves me because I've never felt that before -- ready to allow someone in," Des told the cameras in tears.
"Not only do I want to give my heart over to someone, they want to give it over to me, and I've never felt it so completely. I don't have a clue what I'm going to do. I am so blessed and I am so grateful for everything that has led up to this point. Chris is the man I could love for my entire life, but at the same time, Chris doesn't know how I felt about Brooks and he deserves to know everything. I have been waiting for this for my entire life, and I am just so nervous and scared that once he learns the truth, everything will change," Desiree explained.
Des then stood in a courtyard surrounded by flowers and plants in a peach ballgown with her hair pulled back gently in a bun. Chris S. said he'd be shocked if anything got in the way of the relationship they had built. He was extremely nervous as he approached Des, who in turn, admitted she was very nervous as well.
The couple held hands and Chris S. started rattling off all the amazing memories they had together.
"You make me want to be a better person and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don't want to make decisions for me anymore. I want to make decisions with you for us and our future together, and I want to be that rock that doesn't break for you," Chris S. began.
As he started to get down on one knee, Des asked him not to say anything. Chris S. looked completely terrified and embarrassed as if he was just about to get dumped, but Des just noted she had a few things she wanted to say to him in return. She planned to tell him what her heart had been through, and she started off by saying she let Drew go earlier in the week.
"You're the only one here and you're the only one that met my family. The past couple weeks in Antigua have been incredible. I was torn apart by Brooks leaving. I loved him, and throughout the journey, I was torn between the two of you. I feel like -- I hate it -- but I feel like I was so blindsided by my feelings for Brooks that I couldn't see that the one thing I always needed was right in front of me," Desiree said in tears.
"You have been by my side from the very beginning. You never lost sight of what we could be, and for that, I am so grateful. I thank you every day for never giving up and you mean the absolute world to me. I love you. I love you so much. I want nothing but to spend the rest of my life with you."
Chris S. kissed and hugged Desiree and they both cried in each other's arms. After collecting their emotions, Chris S. tried, once again, to get on bended knee and he finally got to ask her hand in marriage. Desiree accepted with glee and a heart full of love.
Chris S. slipped the diamond ring on Des' finger and the couple got lost in the moment together. Des then offered Chris S. her final rose and he took it by saying "with all my heart."
During the After the Final Rose special which followed the finale, Des seemed to get her closure with Brooks, who said he wasn't all that surprised she ended up with Chris S. because their chemistry was apparent. As for Drew, he told Chris H. he was no longer in love with Desiree but would always be in her corner. He admitted, however, it was a long road to recovery.
When reflecting on her struggle between Brooks and Chris S., Des also told Chris H. she had to go through heartbreak in order to see the beauty and love in what was right there all along. She added that she had to experience the difficult to find the good. But at the same time, Des said Chris S. was always in the picture and she had been falling in love with him. Des insisted she didn't expect or need a proposal at the end of the show, so Chris S. wasn't a rebound relationship.
Des also revealed Chris S. was an even more amazing man than whom viewers saw during the show. Des announced she's moving to Seattle to be with Chris S. and they bought a new place so they can create a life together. Chris S. gave Des a framed poem he wrote called "My Girl" which featured dried petals from all the roses she had given him.
Also during the special, Chris H. announced the new Bachelor, who will star in the franchise's upcoming eighteenth edition to premiere in January, will be Juan Pablo Galavis, 32.