Tessa Horst, a 26-year-old San Francisco social worker, accepted the final rose --  and a marriage proposal -- from U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin during the final Rose Ceremony at the conclusion of last night's finale of ABC's The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman.  

Andy's proposal to Tessa and her acceptance of it marked the first time in four seasons and only the second in its last seven editions that The Bachelor ended with its bachelor proposing to his final bachelorette.

"I've always imagined this day, and this is beyond my wildest dream... I met this woman who makes me feel so happy and so unbelievably amazing.  I want to say to you Tessa... Will you marry me?" Andy, a 30-year-old undersea medical officer stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI, asked Tessa from bended knee at the conclusion of last night's special two-hour finale of The Bachelor's tenth installment.  

"Yes!" answered Tessa, who put her hand to her mouth and whispered, "Oh my God..." as Andy slipped a diamond engagement ring around her finger.  "This moment is perfect," she said.

In choosing Tessa, Andy rejected Bevin Powers, a 28-year-old Palo Alto, CA clinic research coordinator who became the 24th and final bachelorette to be eliminated from Officer and a Gentleman's pool of 25 bachelorettes.  Bevin was the first of the two remaining suitors vying for Andy's heart to arrive at the show's final Rose Ceremony and, based on some of the first words out of Andy's mouth, should have gotten a pretty good indication that his final rose would not be going to her.

"It's been the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my entire life," Andy told Bevin as the two embraced and cried.  "I want you to know this is not a rejection at all," he continued, "but there's somebody who touched my heart deeper."  Andy then asked Bevin if there was anything she wanted to say, and she shook her head no.  "I will never, ever forget you... Okay?" said Andy, offering his final words to Bevin before she got in the waiting limousine.  Once there, she apparently decided to be a little more vocal.

The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman star Andy Baldwin proposes to Tessa Horst, his final bachelorette (Photo credit ABC/Craig Sjodin)
"I just should have known this is how it was going to end," Bevin said through tears and sobs.  "He doesn't love me.  I put everything out on the line.  I gave him my heart and he didn't want it... I really took a chance and I thought that he could be the one for me.  I couldn't believe he was rejecting me.  I had no idea... It just hurts when you love somebody and they don't love you back.  It's painful.  I thought maybe fate brought us together and it just makes me sad because I thought we could have a future together and now I feel like a fool... It hurts, but I've got to accept it.  This happens to me all the time.  It's the story of my life."

The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman's eighth and final episode began with Andy traveling to his childhood home of Lancaster, PA, where the "people most dear and close to" him -- his family -- would meet the final two women and offer their opinions.  As Andy described both Bevin and Tessa to his family, mom Cynthia said she "sensed" her son was ready to shed his bachelor ways.

"Let's show 'em what we're about!" said Andy to his family before leading them in a rousing cheer of "Operation Soulmate!"

Tessa had the good fortune of meeting Andy's family first, and she said she was excited to see him interact with them because it can be telling.  She was also aware how much Andy "values his family."  As Tessa conversed with the family, Cynthia apologized to Tessa for staring at her, but couldn't help it as she described the bachelorette as "so beautiful." Cynthia went on to describe Tessa as "bright, poised, natural and real."

"I was drawn to her right away," said Cynthia.

During lunch, Andy's grandfather Guy asked Tessa her feelings on religion.  She answered that she was raised Catholic but didn't really practice anymore, and Cynthia quickly changed the subject to Tessa's job as a social worker.  This inevitably led to conversation about where Tessa saw herself in five years.  While Tessa thought she "fumbled" the answer of seeing herself as "more settled," she couldn't help it as she was thinking about Andy's feelings for Bevin, thus not completely opening up.  Andy's sister Susie said she really liked Tessa, and asked her if she was ready to commit to her brother.

"The reservations have gone away," Tessa told Susie, also revealing she'd be willing to move to Hawaii and was "100%" certain she'd like to continue their relationship.  Susie appreciated Tessa's openness in answering her questions.  Tessa described Andy's family as "sweet and great," adding her day with them was beyond her expectations.  She only hoped she was able to prove her feelings for Andy are true.
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Andy immediately realized Bevin had the "tough duty" of meeting his family second --  and unfortunately for her, it was on the same exact day that Tessa met the family.  Bevin said meeting Andy's family was "10 times more difficult" then when he met her's.  Aware that his family is conservative, she was hoping to fit in.  Things didn't exactly get off to a great start when Andy's family asked Bevin about her job as a research coordinator, and Bevin revealed she wants to specialize in treating sexual dysfunction.  Grandpa Guy's face was a mix of confusion and disgust.

"I just wanted to die," said Bevin after the family's reaction.

During dinner, Andy told Bevin that his parents have been married 36 years, while his grandparents have been married 60 years.  Guy then asked Bevin if she'd be willing to move anywhere in the world with Andy, and her answer wasn't very enthusiastic.  "Yeah well... I think it would be fun," she said.  Guy then turned to religion, and Bevin revealed as a kid she was raised in the Baha'i faith.  Andy's family never heard of the Baha'i faith, and Bevin realized her liberal views and upbringing may be serving as a "turn-off" for the Baldwins.

"Honestly I could only be myself.  That's a big part of who I am," said Bevin.

Cynthia then pressed her son about the physical attraction he feels with Bevin, and mom thought it was just an example of her son trying to "justify" his feelings for her.  Cynthia decided to go right to the source and began to ask Bevin all sorts of questions.  When Bevin told the Baldwin women that she first felt a spark with Andy during the third Officer and a Gentleman Rose Ceremony when he touched her hair --  a seemingly small gesture -- the family began to soften up a bit and make Bevin feel more comfortable.  Cynthia described Bevin as "graceful with beautiful eyes" as well as affectionate toward Andy.

"Next time I see them, hopefully it's with a ring on my finger," said Bevin.  "I would love to be a Baldwin."

With both meetings over, Andy sat down with his family to discuss how they felt.  Andy said he was still confused, his heart was still torn up, and he was afraid he'd "screw-up" and make the wrong decision.  He was "praying and hoping" for perspective from his family.  Cynthia thought her son was "more connected" to Bevin, and realized it was most likely because she was totally committed to him while Tessa still seemed to be holding back a bit.  Guy reminded Andy that not all people are quick to show their emotions, which was probably the case with Tessa.

"He's turned on by Bevin... but is that what really counts?" asked grandpa.  "Sure it is!" answered grandma, leaving Guy to still question how much of the attraction it should count for.  With his son still confused, Andy's dad offered some final unhelpful words of wisdom to Andy.

"I don't think you could make the wrong decision at this point," said dad.

Despite having a 14-hour flight from Pennsylvania to Hawaii, Andy said he still had no clarity on who he would choose.  He met with Bevin on the beach for their final one-on-one date, and he commented it was "very important" to get her feelings on commitment to marriage and family.  Bevin wanted to show him she was committed to those things, and realized it was time to stop worrying about Tessa.  Andy took Bevin on a helicopter ride and since she's petrified of flying, she described it as "the worst it can get."  However Andy was able to calm her down, and once in the air, she was "shocked" how "confident and safe" he made her feel.  She said the helicopter trip "solidified" her feelings for him.

The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman star Andy Baldwin breaks the news that he's decided to propose to Tessa Horst to Bevin Powers (Photo credit ABC/Craig Sjodin)
As the two picnicked, Bevin told Andy she's looking for "unconditional love, understanding and a best friend," among other things, and added she was "pretty sure" she'd be happy with him in Hawaii.  She then elaborated that because she doesn't know how he feels about her, it made her feel more vulnerable as she looked to him for reassurance.  "I want to give it, but I can't," said Andy.  Aware that she was in love with Andy, Bevin planned to tell him that night back at the villa.

"Sad, nervous and scared" were all among the various emotions Bevin said she was feeling, however she also said she could see herself "really happy" as Andy's wife.  When she asked Andy what he saw himself doing on his 31st birthday (Officer and a Gentleman's initial cocktail reception took place on his 30th birthday) he answered, "Get married... why now?"  She then gave him a watch as a gift because she said it feels like "time stands still" when she's with him.

"Lieutenant Andrew James Baldwin... I love you," said Bevin to Andy, who responded with, "Are you serious?"  Answered Bevin, "I'm dead serious."  As the two kissed, Andy told Bevin he loved her too, and described the exchange of love between the two as the "best moment" of his entire The Bachelor journey.  With her last chance to make a last impression on Andy behind her, Bevin realized she put herself in a vulnerable position, but added it was completely worth it.

"There's no chance in hell he would leave me standing without a rose at the last Rose Ceremony," said a confident Bevin.

While Andy said he was "feeling a lot of love" with Bevin, he kept and "open heart and open mind" as he began his final one-on-one date with Tessa, who realized there could be no more "baby steps" and it was time to go "full throttle" and was "petrified" it was her final opportunity to let Andy know how she felt about him.  The two went for a romantic horseback ride on the beach, and then enjoyed a sunset swim where they canoodled in the water.  As the two gave reasons for why they're attracted to each other, Andy told Tessa about the positive comments his sister had about her.

"Sometimes the greatest things in life involve big risk," wisely stated Andy.  Still, Tessa said while she wants to spend the rest of her life with Andy, she wasn't comfortable saying it just yet.  Lacking confidence that she'd receive the final rose, Tessa disclosed to Andy she's scared of the unknown and uncertainty of their relationship while having her feelings on the line.  Andy reiterated his quote about risk and reward, and added the experience the two have shared together also makes it all worth it.  Unable to keep it bottled up any longer, Tessa finally revealed to Andy how she felt about him.

"I'm in love with you and I want to be here tomorrow... I want to stay with you," said Tessa.  "Well I love you Tessa," answered Andy, "and to hear those words from you means so much to me."  Tessa then presented Andy with a collage of different pictures and sayings that would remind him of her.  She thought it was "so much more meaningful" than just buying him something, and Andy said he had never gotten a gift like that before in his life.  With the date over and the final Rose Ceremony fast approaching, Tessa was ready.

"If Andy proposes to me tomorrow, I will say yes," she said.  "There's not a doubt in my mind."

The following morning, Andy described himself as a "wreck" and was still confused about who to choose.  Believing that he was truly in love with both women, he went over the positives of each in his head during a run on the beach. 

However when the run was over, he realized was that he could still see himself proposing to either woman.  "I'm really not sure what I'm going to do," said Andy. 


The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman star Andy Baldwin celebrates Tessa Horst's acceptance of his proposal (Photo credit ABC/Craig Sjodin)
Meanwhile, Tessa was frustrated at herself for all the "wasted moments" she and Andy had together at the beginning of her Officer and a Gentleman journey, but added she was ready to make-up for the lost time by spending the rest of her life with him.  Bevin was surprised she went into The Bachelor without expectations and was able to find a man she truly loves.  Andy then purchased a diamond engagement ring and after wracking his brain, finally came to a decision as to which would receive it.

"I hope I made the right decision today for my future and eternity," said Andy. 

Soon thereafter, Officer and a Gentleman's final Rose Ceremony was held and Andy proposed to Tessa, which confirmed reports that spoiled the end of The Bachelor before the final rose was even presented.

Earlier this month, The New York Post reported that Tessa allegedly spilled the beans herself over "a few drinks."  "Apparently he proposes and she declines, but they are still very much together," a "Page Six spy" reportedly told the newspaper's gossip columnists after allegedly sharing a few drinks with Tessa (While the part about who receives the final rose was correct, Tessa must have forgotten she actually said yes.)

Then just last week at ABC's "upfront" presentation in which the network revealed its 2007-2008 primetime programming schedule to advertisers and reporters, the network reportedly presented a video montage that featured highlights of the its current season programming.  Included in the video was a clip that showed Andy kissing Tessa.

ABC will air a one-hour special -- The Bachelor: After the Final Rose -- on Tuesday, May 22 at 8PM ET/PT.
About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.