"Ed is the person I'm meant to be with," the 29-year-old interior designer from Vancouver, BC said moments before Ed arrived at the final Rose Ceremony location and proposed to her.
"I can see him in my life long-term -- forever, 50 years down the road. There's something about my relationship with Ed that just makes me smile from ear to ear. We are best friends, we have that laughter. And we have that spark and that chemistry. Our relationship is complete, we're ready to take the plunge. It's everything that I was looking for I am 100% madly in love with Ed."
Jillian selected Ed, a 29-year-old technology consultant from Chicago, IL, over Kiptyn Locke, a 31-year-old business developer from Encinitas, CA, during the finale, which also featured the unexpected return of Reid Rosenthal, the bachelor Jillian had previously eliminated at the season's penultimate Rose Ceremony.
The Bachelorette's fifth-season finale began with Jillian individually introducing Ed and Kiptyn to some of her family, who had traveled from Canada to the Big Island of Hawaii, the finale's filming location. Ed was the first bachelor to meet the family members, which consisted of Jillian's mother Peggy and father Glen as well as her grandmother Marjorie and her cousin Tori.
While Jillian's family initially seemed a bit concerned that Ed had previously quit the show and picked his job over Jillian, he was able to appease their worries make a very positive impression on them. During a private conversation with Glen, Ed also openly offered that he was in love with Jillian and asked Glen how he would feel if he were to propose to her.
"I think I'm reading you the right way and I like what I see in you. I think she's ready for this and if you are the fella that's going to be proposing to Jill, I'll be really quite happy to see it take place. I'll be doing somersaults," Glen told Ed.
The following day, Kiptyn met with the family. Similar to Ed, Kiptyn also made a strong impression with the family members, who were also quick to note -- positively, given Ed's prior decision to quit the show over his job -- that he appeared to be less focused on his career.
However unlike Ed, Kiptyn didn't openly offer that he was in love with Jillian during his private meeting with Glen. In addition, he also stopped short of saying he was in love even when Glen asked him the question directly.
"I'm getting... I'm getting there a lot quickly there I thought I would," Kiptyn replied when Glen asked him if he was in love with Jillian.
"I would never propose without being sure," he added later in the conversation.
Afterward meeting both men, Jillian's mother and cousin both told her was difficult to select one bachelor over the other but appeared to favor Kiptyn slightly. However Jillian's father had a clear favorite: Ed.
"They're two gentlemen to be sure, but when I sat down with Ed he told me he loved you, I didn't have to ask. And also he asked me if he could marry you," Glen told Jillian, causing The Bachelorette star to turn away and break into a huge grin.
"I thought Ed was actually deeper," Glen added when Peggy attempted to call the decision "a tough one still."
"Glen, enough about Ed!" Tori joked back.
Afterward, Jillian also took Tori aside and discussed her disappointment with her recent overnight fantasy suite date with Ed, which she had previously blamed on exhaustion and sunburns from the active day they had spend together.
"I was waiting for that same kind of feeling where you want to rip each other's clothes and when we woke up in the morning I was like 'What's that supposed to be different? Wasn't that supposed to be like I can't keep my eyes off you [and] we only have this one night to make out hot and heavy and steamy?'" Jillian told Tori. "I think he was sort of wondering about that too and it worried me a little because I am looking for a best friend but I also need to know that other side is there."
"It's a big thing, it's a very big thing," Tori replied. "I'm on your side. I support you in any decision you make."
After meeting with her family, Ed and Kiptyn each got to go on one final day-long date with Jillian. Both men appeared to use the date to resolve Jillian's remaining concerns about them, with Ed demonstrating the passion and romance Jillian had felt was missing from their last date and Kiptyn finally telling Jillian he was falling in love with her and could see himself proposing to her.
"This day that I've had with Ed and this night that I've had with Ed was exactly what I needed," Jillian said after her date with Ed. "He adores me, he loves me and that physical and sexual chemistry was still there. It's like that last piece of the puzzle you're looking for. It's a huge relief."
"This is exactly what I need to hear from Kiptyn -- [that] he's ready to commit and he's falling in love with me, the things I've been waiting to hear," Jillian said after her date with Kiptyn. "It feels so good for him to finally tell me those things."
The next day, both men began their day by meeting with the show's jewelry sponsor and selecting engagement rings for Jillian. Afterward, they returned to their hotel rooms and prepared for the final Rose Ceremony where they each planned to proposal to Jillian and hoped she would be present her final rose to them.
"I'm excited and I can't wait to ask for her hand in marriage," Kiptyn said.
However after taking his private limousine ride to the final Rose Ceremony podium, Jillian informed Kiptyn that she'd decided to pick Ed.
"You are the person that from the second I met you I looked at you and I said 'He's incredible.' You have just that spark for life that I've been looking for. You are all the things that I've always dreamed of," Jillian said after Kiptyn told Jillian he loved her. "And um, I guess emotionally it's been being slower and... and... I never though I would say this, it's just in the meantime I've fallen in love with somebody else."
"Hmm," Kiptyn replied.
"This hurts, a lot," he added after a long pause. "You know I'm a man and I'll have to get through this. It hurts, but at least I'm leaving here knowing I told you those things and I want you to be happy. Thank you for everything through this."
"Thank you," a tearful Jillian responded.
"You're an incredible woman and Ed's a lucky man," Kiptyn added before Jillian began escorting him back to his limousine.
"I didn't pull out the ring because I thought she was going to say something back to me about what I'd said and then I'd continue on," Kiptyn explained during his limo ride later. "I did not realize that was going to be the last words I said to her."
"Saying goodbye to Kiptyn today was excruciating," Jillian said afterwards. "I've been crazy about him from the second I met him and I've never had never had to let somebody go that I've been crazy about."
However after saying goodbye to Kiptyn and returning to the Rose Ceremony area to wait for Ed's limo to arrive, Jillian was surprised by a visit from Reid, whom she had eliminated at the season's previous Rose Ceremony due to her concerns that he wasn't willing to open up.
"I had to pull multiple strings to get back out here, because the minute Jillian told me I'm going home everything just hit me like a ton for bricks, all the emotion," Reid explained before he surprised Jillian. "On the plane ride back to Philadelphia I was like 'What the hell did I just do, where am I going to find a girl like that?' And at that moment I realized I need to do something about this."
"I think she's going to be really surprised that I'm here but there's no doubt in my mind that we're perfect for each other," he added. "I don't know why I couldn't tell her that I love her [before] because I do. I'm just going to tell her how I feel because I haven't said it yet and then I'm going to propose to her."
And after bringing Jillian to tears with his return, that's exactly what Reid, a 30-year-old realtor from Philadelphia, PA, did -- causing her to tell him to stand back up and wait while she took some time to try and sort through her feelings about his return.
"I don't even know what to say, honestly letting you go was the hardest thing I've had to do [except] today here and I was obviously falling in love with you and I cried that whole night," Jillian told Reid. "I just don't know."
"My connection with you was indescribable. And it's still indescribable," she said. "When I let you go, I you go because you couldn't tell me how you felt and I was worried you couldn't make a decision. I mean you were so unsure."
"I don't know, I need to think about this... I need to think about the fact that I was thinking about spending the rest of my life with somebody else today. But that doesn't mean that when I'm standing here now I forget about everything that you and I had so I don't know... I don't know what I'm supposed to do."
However after taking some private time to sort through her feelings, Jillian still appeared to be unsure what to do, causing The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison to step in and offer her some advice.
"It's still up to you. If you are in love with Ed you can stand by your convictions, but are you in love with Reid?" Chris told a somber Jillian.
"How is somebody supposed to make a decision like this?" Jillian asked.
"Because you know... right?" Chris replied.
"Yeah," Jillian said softly.
"Are you excited about the prospect of Ed showing up and getting down on one knee and proposing to you today?" Chris asked.
"Yes," Jillian said.
"You're in love with this guy?" Chris asked.
"Yes," Jillian replied as she cracked a smile and began to cheer up.
"You want Ed to be your husband?" Chris asked.
"Yes!" Jillian said as her smile grew larger.
"Then there's no question what you need to do," Chris replied.
"Yeah," Jillian replied as she realized she needed to say goodbye to Reid a second time.
"Just looking at Reid I feel sad and I feel heartbroken and knowing what an incredible guy he is, I would do anything to make his dreams come true but I know my heart is with Ed," she explained afterwards.
After tearfully informing Reid of her decision, Jillian walked him back to his car.
"Ed better not f--king disappoint me," an emotionally drained Jillian sighed after returning to the final Rose Ceremony podium a third time.
And luckily for her -- or probably him -- he didn't.
"Jillian, you may not know how much you have impacted me. How you've changed me as a man and helped me reprioritize my life. You're everything that I could ask for in a woman. You're beautiful, you're intelligent, you're funny, you're confident and you make me smile when I look in your eyes," Ed told Jillian. "I know that I love you but before we go any further I need to know that you love me."
"There's no doubt in my mind that I am madly in love with you, I love you so much," Jillian replied before she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him.
"You don't know how much -- I've been waiting to tell you I love you for so long," she whispered as they embraced afterwards.
"It was so hard. It was so hard for me not to tell you that I loved you," she added.
"Just one last thing," Ed said as he got down on one knee and proposed as Jillian jumped anxiously. "I want to be with you forever. I want a family with you. I want you to give me a hard time when we're 80 years old. Jillian, will you marry me?"
"Absolutely!" Jillian shouted as she jumped into Ed's arms.
(Photo credit ABC/Mario Perez)
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