'The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart' finale recap: Chris Watson and Bri Stauss win over Trevor Holmes and Jamie Gabrielle
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/18/2020
The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart featured Chris Watson and Bri Stauss being crowned champions after a final performance show over runner-up couple Trevor Holmes and Jamie Gabrielle during Monday night's finale broadcast on ABC.
"The couple I call out will be the winning couple of Listen to Your Heart. Ladies and gentlemen, the first winning couple of Season 1 of Listen to Your Heart is Chris and Bri," The Bachelor host Chris Harrison announced in front of a huge audience at a music venue in Nashville, TN, at the end of the broadcast.
Listen to Your Heart judges Jewel, Taye Diggs, Rita Wilson, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick picked Chris, a 30-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, and Bri, a 28-year-old waitress from Provo, UT, as the winners, allowing the lovebirds to create and record original music with the help of a notable producer.
Chris and Bri were also supposed to go on tour together this month, but their shows have been postponed -- or maybe even canceled altogether -- due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and quarantine regulations in place across the country.
"Bri and I just won the first season of Listen to Your Heart. Tour bus life!" Chris gushed. "You couldn't have dreamed this right?"
The finale broadcast of The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart began with three couples remaining: Bri and Chris; Trevor, a 29-year-old in social media marketing from Thousand Oaks, CA, and Jamie, a 21-year-old hostess from Nashville, TN; and Matt Ranaudo, a 32-year-old musician from Milford, CT, and Rudi, a 24-year-old studio vocalist from San Antonio, TX.
Bri and Chris were already in love, and Jamie and Trevor were falling in love with each other -- but Matt and Rudi were a few steps behind. While Rudi admitted she was falling for Matt, Matt just wasn't on the same page.
Trevor revealed his plan was to move to Nashville since that's where Jamie lived, and he said that was his next move regardless of whether they won the show together.
The three couples then met with Harrison, who explained each couple would be singing two songs in a final performance show. But first, each couple had the opportunity to enjoy a Fantasy Suite date.
Harrison wanted to see everyone take his or her relationship to the next level.
"Figure out if you can leave this stage and truly spend the rest of your lives together," Harrison noted, as Matt noticeably fidgeted and appeared uncomfortable.
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"The whole point of this is to give one couple their dream -- love, commitment, music, everything. Make sure you can check off all those boxes. This is it... Listen to your heart.
The three couples then moved into the Hermitage Hotel and everyone was blown away by their accommodations. While Trevor, Jamie, Chris and Bri were celebrating, Matt whispered to Rudi that they needed to talk.
Matt told the cameras he felt an incredibly strong and inexplicable bond with Rudi after going through this process with her, but he just wasn't convinced it was love. Matt said Harrison's speech and needing to figure out where his heart was at freaked him out a little.
Each couple then received the songs they'd be singing. Jamie and Trevor were given "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers as well as "Speechless" by Dan + Shay.
Bri and Chris were asked to sing "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan and "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran.
Matt observed the other two couples and realized his relationship with Rudi wasn't at the same place. Rudi said she tried to put on a happy face but couldn't enjoy the moment because Matt was clearly freaking out. Rudi told Jamie that Matt's body language screamed stress and anxiety.
Matt even felt the need to walk up and down the hotel's halls by himself, thinking and contemplating the future as he rubbed his face and vented, "Oh my God."
Rudi was on the verge of a panic attack as she sprawled out in bed alone, and then Matt returned to their hotel room to break some bad news to her.
Matt told Rudi getting to know her and going through this process with her had been "such an amazing experience," adding that singing with her was "the best musical experience of [his] life."
But Matt said after hearing from Harrison and comparing their relationship to the other two relationships, it was hard for him to say they were on the same level.
"I just don't feel like we are, if we're just being honest with each other. I just feel like such an idiot because I keep feeling like I can't get there... and I don't want to do something that's disingenuous and I don't want you to resent me," Matt explained.
Rudi said it was no secret or surprise to anyone that their romance wasn't at the same point the other two couples had reached, but she thought they could still like each other and sing with each other and have fun.
"We don't fake anything, and that's why I like you... What is onstage is real. It's just me and you," Rudi said. "So for me, it's not like, 'Oh I'm going to have to go into this and fake being in love with Matt,' no I'm not. I'm not going to fake anything. I've been real and you've been real."
But Rudi said she wasn't going to force Matt to sing with her and fake being happy, but Matt assured her that was the wrong way to look at their situation.
Rudi grew angry that Matt had waited until they traveled to Nashville to have this conversation.
Matt said he needed more time to think about everything and figure this whole thing out. Rudi broke down into tears as the conversation progressed, and she eventually went into the bathroom and bawled her eyes out.
Matt clearly felt horrible for hurting Rudi, but he told the cameras he couldn't pretend that he was madly in love with her and fake that onstage in order to win. Matt said he wouldn't be able to live with himself.
Matt then sought Rudi out and tried to talk to her and calm her down.
"You mean so much to me and I care for you so deeply. I've had such anxiety and such a mental struggle to even come to this decision. This has been killing me. The last thing I want to do is make you upset; the last thing I want to do is see you crying. I hope you know that," Matt insisted.
"I really care about you -- a lot. And I'm just trying to be honest with you. I wanted to put it all on the table that I just wasn't there, where I thought we needed to be for this whole thing. And I care about you more than you could even imagine. So I hope you know that. I'm so sorry."
Matt was also in tears and assured Rudi that he had so much fun with her. Matt said getting to know her and making music with her had been incredible.
"I will forever have such deep feelings for you and we will be so bonded from this whole thing for the rest of our lives, and I hope you know how I care about you," Matt concluded.
Rudi and Matt therefore came to the conclusion they needed to leave the show, and so the former couple said goodbye to their castmates and walked out of the hotel hand-in-hand. Matt and Rudi admitted they'd miss each other before parting ways.
"I honestly didn't know how much he cared about me until our last conversation. It really, really meant a lot. It helped me realize that I did mean something to him," Rudi said following her exit.
"As hard as it is leaving, I'm glad I had Matt by my side throughout this whole time."
Matt confessed he'd probably question this decision for a while but he had to trust his heart and his gut. Matt said Rudi deserved to find someone who would appreciate her talent and everything else about her.
Matt said he felt guilty for depriving people of hearing Rudi sing again.
Meanwhile, Jamie said she finally found someone who balanced her out, calmed her down, believed in her and pushed her in the best way. Jamie was excited to explore Nashville with Trevor and catch a glimpse of their future together.
And Chris expressed to Bri how he couldn't believe he had fallen in love in such a short amount of time, and Bri felt they were exactly where they were meant to be.
"Best case scenario, Chris and I would be married, we'd have a couple kids, and we'd be doing music together -- having a home studio and getting to tour," Bri said in a confessional. "I really can't wait to get to the finish line with Chris."
That night, Trevor and Jamie enjoyed a Fantasy Suite date.
Jamie admitted to Trevor she had struggled with believing her self-worth, and Trevor said he also struggled with confidence as well but Jamie helped him with that. Trevor told Jamie that he had seen parts of her soul just through music alone.
"The moment I met you, I know I didn't want to waste my time getting to know anyone else," Trevor told his singing partner. "And since Day 1, it's been you."
Trevor told Jamie that she's a strong woman and he was so proud of her, and he complimented her for getting better and better with each performance. Jamie said Trevor had made her believe in herself and she couldn't imagine life without him.
Jamie and Trevor reiterated how they were falling in love, and Trevor claimed he was looking for true love -- and he was going for it with Jamie and not holding back.
"I feel like I already won," Trevor told Jamie.
"He's, like, the best man in the universe," Jamie said. "He makes me want to take risks, to do the things I'm scared of and put myself out there and be vulnerable, because I know if I fall, he'll catch me. Going into tomorrow, I'm going to rock it!"
Bri and Chris' date was then shown, but Bri said she didn't want to rush her relationship. Bri noted physical intimacy is very special and important to her, and because she had been hurt in the past, Bri didn't want to give away too much too soon.
Chris told Bri that he could see them creating a life together, adding that he didn't want to wake up without her in his life.
Bri told Chris that she never imagined things could be "so perfect," and the couple exchanged professions of love over a candlelit dinner.
But Bri told Chris that she wanted to get to know him on an emotional level that night and save intimacy for a later date in order to preserve what they had.
Chris agreed he wanted to be solid on an emotional and friendship level first -- which was something he had apparently been missing in past relationships -- and so he said he was "beyond happy" to be on the same page with Bri.
"I feel like you love me for me, and I really appreciate that more than anything, because I'm not used to that," Bri said.
Bri and Chris therefore chose to spent the night in separate rooms, but they both insisted they were in love and shared a kiss before going to bed.
The next morning, Trevor said it felt "so right" waking up next to Jamie and just being with her. Trevor said he had found his best friend whom he's also crazy about, and Jamie loved waking up next to such "a handsome man."
Both couples then rehearsed for their big performances and were hoping to exude passion and joy.
Bri and Chris struggled to "lock in" on each other and Bri was showing some fear while practicing. Bri said "Give Me Love" didn't sound good and she wasn't inspired and lacked focus.
Bri said it was hard to give the performance her full attention because she kept thinking about the previous night. Bri apparently worried she had wasted an opportunity to grow closer to Chris and fall deeper in love with him through new forms of intimacy.
As Bri expressed annoyance and frustration, Jamie and Trevor were shown flirting, kissing and playfully feeding each other breakfast in their hotel room.
It then became time for the two couples to perform, and this was everything they had worked for.
Harrison announced the following celebrity judges would be critiquing the performances and choosing the winner: The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn and her boyfriend Jason, actor Taye Diggs, singer and songwriter Jewel, and singer and songwriter Rita Wilson.
Rita wanted to see the couples strip emotionally and make "beautiful intercourse musically," and Rita hoped to see into the cast members' hearts.
Jamie and Trevor were up first and performed "Unchained Melody," and they ended their song with a big kiss onstage. Chris could see Trevor and Jamie's connection was strong and tangible, and he worried his performance with Bri wasn't going to register with the audience in the same way.
Jamie and Trevor's next song was "Speechless," and Trevor told the crowd Jamie was the first woman he's dated who shares his passion for music.
Rita thought the couple was unbelievably cute together and that their voices blended beautifully and they were very connected.
Taye called the pair "adorable" and said they looked good together, but at the same time, he said he could sense their nerves and that they leaned on each other a little too much.
"I was going to say they've either been [in the Fantasy Suite] or they're about to be there because the chemistry," Kaitlyn began to gush.
"My dad is watching!" Jamie said with a laugh.
Jewel cried at the end of Jamie and Trevor's performances and said their dynamic was "really beautiful."
"That performance made me fall in love with Trevor, for sure," Jamie told the cameras backstage.
Bri began worrying about letting Chris down and couldn't help but compare herself to Trevor and Jamie.
Chris and Bri then had their moment to shine, and Chris couldn't wait for the "powerful" woman in his life to showcase her talent. The couple kicked off their set with "Make You Feel My Love," followed by "Give Me Love."
Trevor called Bri and Chris' performances "nothing short of amazing," and he knew the decision was in the judges' hands.
Chris was speechless after taking the stage with Bri, who said Chris gave her comfort and confidence.
Rita joked babies were coming soon for this couple and they had a "clear connection" that was beautiful, calm and centered. Rita thought that was "extraordinary" given the circumstances and she really believed what they were singing and delivering.
Taye got emotional during the performance and told Bri and Chris they're a beautiful couple and he'd "pay money" to see them. He told them to be proud of themselves.
Jewel said their connection felt genuine and settled, but she told Bri all of her energy is in her face and her body didn't show any energy. Jewel wanted to see a little more from Bri, but she said she loved their harmonies.
And Jason gushed, "Honestly, it's time for the world to see you two because you have so much to show and give."
Bri gushed she was "so happy" backstage, and then Chris said in reply, "I'm so happy to be with you."
The judges made their decision and picked the winner at the packed music venue in front of everyone.
For the first time ever, a Rose Ceremony took place in front of a crowd, and the judges were about to make two people's dream come true.
Harrison then announced Bri and Chris had won The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart.
"Even though Jamie and I didn't win tonight, I feel unstoppable with her," Trevor said in a confessional. "I feel like I gained more than I ever would have imagined."
Bri and Chris then exchanged roses in their tour bus parked outside as well as a few steamy kisses. And the episode ended with Chris and Bri in the studio recording an original song.