Once Clayton determined that he was truly in love with Susie and only wanted to be with her in the future, he broke up with Rachel and Gabby at the same time, and the girls were absolutely blindsided, furious and angry.
Susie reluctantly showed up at the Final Rose Ceremony but chose to reject The Bachelor star and leave Iceland alone. However, she reached out to Clayton once production wrapped and now the pair is dating and in love with each other.
The Bachelor finale began in Reykjavik, Iceland, with Clayton admitting he couldn't stop thinking about Susie and what they had.
Clayton said he didn't realize what he had with Susie until it was gone and he desperately needed to talk to her in order to avoid wondering for the rest of his life "what if" or what could have been.
Jesse was then shown knocking on Susie's hotel door, and she welcomed him in.
Jesse explained how Clayton was "a wreck" and really seemed to regret how their relationship ended. He therefore suggested Susie should go see Clayton, who, in the meantime, was talking to his parents about what made Susie so special and set her apart from the pack.
Clayton called Susie appreciative, fun, adventurous and "a once-in-a-lifetime girl." Clayton wanted a second chance and could promise Susie it would be worth it, but Kelly and Brian didn't think a reunion was going to happen.
Then, suddenly, Susie walked in the room and hugged Clayton as well as his parents. She asked to speak with the Bachelor alone outside and he obliged.
Kelly hoped Susie could forgive her son and move on, but Susie confessed she had endured "a really rough few days." Susie said she finally accepted things for what they were and she genuinely believed Clayton is a good human, although she was shocked by the way their romance had ended and how he "turned" on her.
"That's when my mentality on you changed. I couldn't even defend myself. I felt so vulnerable, and I felt like that night, you made me question my inner voice and my intuition and everything," Susie explained.
"I felt like an awful person and I felt bad about what I did. It was humiliating, to be honest. I felt like a stray dog who had come into your home and you were shooing me out."
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Susie broke down into tears as she spoke her truth, and Clayton could only bow his head in embarrassment. Susie said their entire breakup conversation was so horrible and "hurtful."
"If you had love for me as a person, how could you treat me like this?" Susie asked in tears. "I was so humiliated. I felt so awful, and you made me feel wrong and bad -- and that, to me, was the heartbreak."
Clayton immediately apologized for making Susie feel that way, and he insisted he never meant it when he said he was not sure whom he was looking at anymore. Clayton said he saw himself losing Susie and so he got scared and essentially panicked.
Clayton confessed to going "way out of character," and he told Susie that she's incredible and has so much to offer.
"To me, you have everything... You said you saw me being your person, you saw a future with me. And I know the love is there. I know it could be a love that is worth fighting for and a love that could last a lifetime," Clayton said.
Clayton begged for a second chance and added, "I love you, and I don't want to lose you."
"I don't know. I don't feel like I'm in a place to make a decision right now," Susie replied. "I just don't know where I stand with everything, but I want you to know that I've heard you and really, really appreciate you."
Susie thanked Clayton for being genuine in his words, and Clayton was relieved to have expressed himself so vulnerably and honestly.
Clayton acknowledged he had screwed up once Susie drove off, and he concluded, "I need to follow my heart, and my heart is with Susie. I will do anything to make it work. My happiness is in Susie right now; everything is invested in her."
Clayton said Gabby and Rachel had given him 100 percent of themselves and so he owed it to them to tell them everything and break up with them before stringing them along any further.
The next day, Clayton didn't feel much hope that Susie was going to take him back. He was sold on Susie regardless, however, and so he felt guilty about having to dump Gabby and Rachel, especially since he had just convinced them to stay and accept roses a few days earlier.
Clayton was prepared for the women to be blindsided, angry and possibly express negative feelings to him, and he noted how he would deserve anything they could dish out at him.
Clayton then knocked on Rachel and Gabby's hotel door, and the women appeared shocked and nervous.
The Bachelor star explained how the journey was not what he had expected but he followed his heart and unfortunately caused a lot of pain along the way. He said he meant every word when he had said he envisioned a future with the both of them.
"I realized it's not feasibly possible to be in love with three women like I said I was," Clayton noted. "And everybody deserves to have someone give them 100 percent of their heart, and unfortunately, I just can't be that person for either of you because my heart is no longer here -- it's with Susie. I'm so very sorry and I didn't mean to hurt you all."
Clayton said he'd understand if they wanted nothing to do with him going forward, and Gabby cut the conversation first and claimed she had nothing to say to him. Gabby expressed how Clayton should have put himself in their shoes and made a decision much earlier, and then she walked away from him and entered a different hotel room.
Once Gabby left the room, Rachel seemed bewildered and heartbroken -- but Clayton chased after Gabby.
"I actually don't know who you are at all, and I'm pissed because I spent the last two days away from my family and my friends who actually give a sh-t about me, and you don't," Gabby complained while on the verge of tears.
"That's not true," Clayton responded.
"It is true, Clayton. I cannot believe anything you say, not one thing," Gabby countered. "You asked me to stay because you were pissed and your pride was heart because Susie left."
Clayton said he really wanted Gabby and Rachel to stay at the previous Rose Ceremony, but Gabby lashed out and swore about how a couple of days shouldn't have made a difference at all.
Gabby suggested that Clayton just wanted to hold all the cards in his hand, but Clayton insisted, "I do love you!"
"That's bullsh-t!" Gabby shouted.
Clayton reiterated how he was falling in love with three women but could really only see himself with one person and that's the person he truly loved. But Gabby snapped about how Clayton had said he was actually "in love" with them all.
"You sound actually ridiculous because you don't want to admit that you're wrong," Gabby said.
"I am wrong!" Clayton admitted.
Gabby said Clayton should have withheld his words and then he addressed them "as a group" about how he "didn't give a f-ck" about them. She noted how his actions spoke way louder than his words and she was done listening to him.
Clayton took accountability for being wrong and then asked if he could walk her out, to which Gabby replied with a disgusted look on her face, "No." Gabby's grandfather could be seen cheering his granddaughter on from the audience with pride.
Gabby then joined Jesse live onstage in the Los Angeles studio, and she said watching the season back had brought up a lot of emotions -- both good and bad -- and given her clarity.
Gabby shared how seeing more sides of Clayton on the show made his actions make a little more sense and she found it all "disheartening." In the moment of their breakup, Gabby recalled being more angry than sad due to the tumultuous journey she had up to that point.
"I was angry. I felt betrayed, I felt hurt and I think that's a totally appropriate emotion to feel at the time," Gabby noted, adding that she was "of course" really in love with Clayton and it took her awhile to shed her layers.
Gabby, however, said she has no regrets and learned a lot about herself in this process. She called Clayton "a safe space" during the season, a man who really saw her, and that's the man that she loved.
"Looking back, I didn't know everything. I feel like I was supposed to be privy to that knowledge but things were kept for a long time," Gabby told Jesse.
Clayton and Gabby then reunited in front of the world. They apparently hadn't spoken at all since Iceland, and so Jesse opened up the floor to the bachelorette first.
Gabby shared how she felt "so misled" because Clayton had withheld information from her when she was trying to decide whether to leave or not. She was seemingly referring to how Clayton had never told Rachel and Gabby that he was "the most in love" with Susie heading into Fantasy Suites.
"That's what hurts the most for me, is that I truly feel betrayed," Gabby said.
Clayton apologized for what he had put Gabby through, saying that it was difficult to watch the show back and see the emotion and pain that he felt. Clayton wished he had approached things differently but promised he had "no malicious intent" in his actions.
Gabby said Clayton was well aware it would be a dealbreaker for her to learn that he loved Susie "the most" and it made matters worse that he chose not to share that information with her at the time.
"As you said, you compartmentalized our relationships. Watching it back, everything is so muddled and you were clearly pitting us against each other. It really seemed like a competition, which I had expressed to you I didn't want to be a part of," Gabby explained.
"And it seemed like you had your mind set on Susie WAY before you wanted to tell us, and you kept going back to Rachel and I, 'Oh, I want to try this and I want you to meet my family -- but I can't stop thinking about Susie and I love Susie the most.'"
Gabby explained how she felt extremely dismissed in Iceland and it would've been okay had they not ended up together. However, she didn't think it was fair for Clayton to choose the best woman, in his mind.
Clayton said he thought one conversation could change everything when he was going through the experience, but Gabby snapped, "When you say you love someone, you are assuming responsibility to protect them and to care for them and to not hurt them, and you didn't do any of those things."
Gabby didn't think Clayton acted maliciously, but she also said he didn't recognize how much weight his words carry and she "takes words as vow." Clayton noted how his actions couldn't back up any of his words.
When asked if he regrets being so honest with the ladies about feeling like he was in love with them, Clayton said he felt the need to be totally transparent in the moment.
Gabby said Clayton did not treat Rachel and herself like individuals, and he assumed they'd all want to hear or react to things the same way.
Clayton admitted he hadn't asked enough questions and made too many assumptions during the process, and so he apologized again for that.
Footage then flashed back to Clayton and Rachel's conversation after he unexpectedly dumped her.
Rachel recalled how she had fallen in love with Clayton so deeply and wished all women could experience the type of love she was feeling for him because it doesn't happen to everyone in their life.
"I felt it, and then what you put us through at the Rose Ceremony -- and then me choosing to stand there with you. I was the only one who chose to stay there, and you told me that you were willing to fight for this and that moving forward it would only make us stronger, and I believed you!" Rachel cried.
Rachel said she continued to fight for Clayton by winning over his parents and she wouldn't stop loving him after the show.
"I promise you that when you look back on this, you will -- this is going to haunt you, the fact that you let me go," Rachel insisted.
Clayton could only say, "I'm sorry," and Rachel said she had fought for Clayton every single day and he never fought for her at all.
"I thought it was us at the end and I couldn't imagine a way it wasn't. You didn't give me anything, and what little you gave me, I held onto," Rachel lamented.
Clayton reiterated how he did love Rachel and had thoughts about being together down the road and he fought as hard as he could until his heart wouldn't allow him to be 100 percent in it with her any longer.
Clayton proceeded to walk Rachel out as she reminded the Bachelor that she had never given up on him and never stopped fighting for him and for them as a couple.
"You're going to put me in this car right now?" Rachel cried, breaking America's heart.
"I could be making the biggest mistake," Clayton noted.
"It is," Rachel said. "I promise you, it is. I cannot believe you're going to put me in the car right now. Oh my God."
Clayton said he saw things ending differently but all he could say is, "I'm sorry."
Rachel sobbed in the car, and her parents could barely watch the footage in the audience.
"He didn't even shed a tear," Rachel said in her final words. "He didn't even cry, he didn't even fight at all. He just walked me out. I was in love with him, but he was never in love with me. I'm so heartbroken, but at least now I have an answer."
Rachel was relieved she'd no longer have to cry herself to sleep, wondering how things would turn out.
Rachel then joined Jesse live in the L.A. studio, and she had tears thinking about how in love with Clayton she was. Rachel said she never knew what was going on behind the scenes and she got "completely blindsided."
Rachel called Clayton out for "complete disrespect" to both Gabby and herself in the sense that he couldn't even break up with them separately. Rachel also pointed out how Clayton had broken her heart twice, once at the Rose Ceremony following Fantasy Suites and then again after she met his family.
Rachel said Clayton never gave her a reason to think it wouldn't be them in the end together and watching the show was like an out-of-body experience.
"I feel like I was robbed of an opportunity to actually stand up for myself because I was begging him to not put me into a car," Rachel told Jesse.
Jesse asked Rachel if she was still willing to fight for Clayton once he let her go, and she confessed, "In that moment, if he was like, 'I made a mistake,' I can't say what I would have done because I truly believed it was me."
But Rachel confirmed she no longer has feelings for Clayton after watching the season back and his blatant disrespect. Rachel dubbed Clayton "selfish" and said she believes he never truly loved her and didn't even deserve to talk to her.
However, Rachel took the opportunity to stand up for herself, and she expressed to Clayton how she had zero lingering feelings for him because he turned her into "collateral damage" in his journey for love.
"That was the most completely selfish journey," Rachel noted. "I feel like watching that back, there was no empathy at all for me or Gabby. And you not shedding a single tear and watching myself, I can't even imagine how you could do that, and I just think it's so disrespectful."
Clayton said he was incredibly sorry for his actions and how he had handled things. Clayton said he never intended to hurt anybody and it pained him to watch Rachel's pain.
Clayton acknowledged he should have checked in with the women more and could not have been more wrong, but Rachel wasn't buying what Clayton was selling.
Rachel said this was Clayton's first apology on-camera and he had preached transparency on the show only to leave out the most important things -- such as the fact he loved Susie the most and "already knew who The One was."
"I just don't believe you, and I don't believe that you were in love with me at all. I don't know what your version of love is now... but you just completely disrespected me, not only as someone you loved but as a human," Rachel griped.
Rachel criticized the "group breakup" and accused Clayton of casting Gabby and herself aside without a thought just to chase down the woman he supposedly loved the most.
Rachel's parents appeared disgusted with Clayton and had nothing nice to say, and so Clayton also apologized to them for having put Rachel through so much.
"I have to live with what I did, and I take full accountability and responsibility. I am learning to be a better person overall and I made a lot of mistakes," Clayton confessed to Rachel.
Clayton wouldn't admit that his choice to eliminate Rachel ultimately haunted him, but he said he felt "terrible" and had only tried to follow his heart and do what's best.
Rachel then reminded Clayton how he said she was the first person he said "I love you" to in six years.
"I had no reason to ever doubt you, so did you tell me that you were in love with me because you wanted to sleep with me?" Rachel bluntly asked.
"No," Clayton replied. "No... I felt those feelings for you then. I believed it; I really did believe that I felt those feelings."
"I just don't believe you," Rachel said.
Footage then flashed back to Clayton throwing "the biggest Hail Mary that Bachelor Nation has ever seen," according to the show's host.
After Gabby and Rachel were eliminated from the show, Clayton said he wanted Susie back more than anything and he'd do whatever it takes to win her back. He therefore picked out an engagement ring, ready to make a lifelong commitment, and wrote Susie a heartfelt letter in a last-ditch effort to woo her.
"I believe that Susie is The One... and I owe it to Susie to show her how serious I really am," Clayton said.
In the letter, Clayton wrote how they had both been tested and their love was challenged. He apologized for hurting her and not being the man she had thought he was, especially when she needed him most.
Clayton asked Susie for a second chance, saying he'd fight for her love "day in and day out" to prove to her that he could be the man she's dreamed of.
"Without you, I am nothing -- and with you, I have everything," Clayton wrote. "I want to respect the time you need to take to figure out a decision, but if you'd be willing to meet me, I'd be patiently waiting for you in the countryside."
Susie decided to meet Clayton in a beautiful barn wearing a symbolic white dress, and Clayton hoped to leave the show with the love of his life.
Clayton took Susie's hands and said he had been blown away by her and she's more than he ever could have imagined. Clayton insisted that he didn't want anyone else and he was fully committed to her and their love.
"I will never stop fighting for you. I know I can't take back what I've done... but I just want you to know if you ever question how serious I am, I am [an engagement ring] serious about it," Clayton said, as he flashed a ring box in front of Susie's face.
Clayton said he saw an engagement and beyond with Susie, including having a family and going through all of the stages of life together. Clayton asked Susie to allow him to love her just one more day and give him a chance.
Susie shared how Clayton's words were powerful and she believed him as well as the fact he's an incredible man.
"I still believe it. I just know it to be true, and there's no doubt about our connection. The love that I have for you in my heart, it's so real, and I know that you have it too," Susie began.
"But, like, I don't feel the kind of love I have for you right now is the kind of love that you have for me right now. You have an unconditional love for somebody you want to spend your life with; that's not where I'm at."
Susie added, "I made the decision to leave Iceland alone... It's devastating, if I'm being honest, but I've thought this through and I don't think I'm your person. And I don't think that you're mine, but it doesn't take away from everything that we've had and from the love I genuinely feel in my heart for you."
Clayton appreciated Susie's honesty but asked her if there was a chance their relationship could ever get back on track and be something again.
"Do you feel like it's over?" Clayton asked. "Because honestly, I see a future with you and I see forever with you, but I will also take as long as it needs to get to that point because to me, it's not over until you tell me it's over."
Susie took a moment and replied, "I feel like it's over."
Clayton walked Susie out as a result, and the pair hugged goodbye as Clayton wished nothing but the best for his final bachelorette.
Clayton also left Iceland single, and it marked the first time in history a Bachelor was ever rejected on the final day of filming and ended up alone.
"Or does he?!" Jesse teased to home viewers. "I told you tonight was going to be absolutely crazy."
Jesse then welcomed Clayton back to the hot seat, and Clayton called The Bachelor "five years of growth packed into two months." Clayton wished he could take back the women's pain, but he insisted he's a better person now from all the lessons he learned.
Clayton said when Susie drove away from him, he felt like he had failed because his intention all along was to leave the show with somebody.
But Clayton went on to confirm that things didn't really end in Iceland.
"I left Iceland and went back to what I thought was my normal life... And I was reached out to someone, and it was the last person I ever expected to reach out," Clayton announced. "And I was just shocked, absolutely shocked, that there was maybe something that came from all of it."
Clayton acknowledged how he never anticipated a woman from his season would reach out to him again after putting multiple ladies through a world of pain. Clayton expected to start new and over again, but that wasn't the case.
Jesse welcomed "the mystery woman" out -- and it was Susie!
The audience's cheers were quiet, as everyone seemed confused by the turn of events. Susie hugged Clayton and sat next to him, hand in hand.
"I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but what are you doing here?!" Jesse asked.
Susie explained how she left Iceland and had to make that decision for herself and it was the best decision she could have made in that moment.
"I think that's why we're here today, because I was protecting myself and I didn't know what I wanted and I didn't know the capacity in which I wanted Clayton in my life," Susie shared. "But we took time apart after the show, and we reset and re-laid foundation."
Susie confirmed, "We're really happy and we're happy to be here today. We realize it's a tough day, but we're happy to be here together."
Susie and Clayton were smiling at each other, and then Susie confirmed, "That's my boyfriend!"
Susie and Clayton apparently got back together after re-establishing trust and having difficult conversations. Susie said she had to let Clayton go and choose herself in Iceland, which allowed her to take a better look at Clayton and receive the answers that she needed.
Clayton said he held out hope, even after the Final Rose Ceremony in Iceland, and Susie thankfully reached out to him and they had one conversation at a time to rebuild what they had during filming.
"Susie, are you in love with Clayton?" Jesse asked.
"I love ya," Susie told Clayton, before giving him a little peck on the lips.
"I love you. I do. And we took some steps back when we left Iceland, which was best for both of us... but I always had that love in my heart. I loved him as a person before I ever fell in love with him. I can confidently say, yeah. He's incredible."
Susie pointed out how Clayton had made mistakes and they both made mistakes throughout their journey on the show but they "both have so much love for each other."
Susie told Jesse that she expects to receive some backlash from Bachelor Nation due to a controversial season but she hopes people will be happy for them and root for them as a couple.
"It's not Team Clayton and it's not Team Susie. We are together," Susie confirmed, adding that they both have the best of intentions.
Clayton said his tumultuous journey was "1000 percent" worth it now that he's with Susie and he "couldn't be happier."
"I've spent the last four months with her, and she just impresses me more and more every day," Clayton gushed. "She continues to give me reason after reason why following my heart was the best decision I ever could have made, and I could not be more in love with this woman."
As for what's next for the happy couple, Clayton asked Susie to accept his final rose, and she said, "Yes."
However, Susie announced that if she and Clayton were going to get engaged on the show, she'd actually be the one to ask him!
In addition, Clayton revealed he'll be "moving right in" with Susie over the next couple of days in Virginia. He left his job and sold his condo to give his romance with Susie a real shot.
"We have a lot of exciting things ahead! [This is] very [serious]," Clayton declared. "I'm moving out to Virginia!"
The Bachelor finale concluded with Jesse announcing that Gabby and Rachel will both be starring on the next season of The Bachelorette, jointly and as a team!
"We beat ourselves up trying to make this decision," Jesse revealed. "It took weeks and weeks and weeks. But at the end of the day, watching you both support each other in Iceland, and also how you have tonight, that's really the big reason why we decided to give you both a shot."
Jesse, however, said he has no idea how the format is going to work and they'll figure it out together.
"Hell yeah!" Gabby said about the idea of meeting 30 men soon.