'The Bachelor Winter Games' forms three dating couples -- And a surprise engagement for Clare Crawley and Benoit Beausejour-Savard!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/23/2018
The Bachelor Winter Games created several strong couples that have remained together since filming concluded -- including Clare Crawley and Benoit Beausejour-Savard, who reunited after the show and got engaged during the World Tells All reunion special!
The Bachelor Winter Games came to a close Thursday night on ABC, and the romantic results were impressive, emotional and even shocking!
The main storyline belonged to Clare, 36, and Canada's Benoit, 31, who broke up during Winter Games but got back together once cameras turned off. Benoit popped the question to Clare on The Bachelor Winter Games: World Tells All, and so Clare finally received her fairy-tale ending.
Clare -- who failed to find love on The Bachelor's 18th season as well as Seasons 1 and 2 of Bachelor in Paradise -- revealed to host Chris Harrison on the reunion special that she was finally "in love" and it all began when she received a text message from Benoit upon returning home from Vermont.
Clare explained that the "timing was off but it was also so perfect," because this man was simply wondering if she was okay, and that meant the world to her.
Once Benoit joined Clare onstage, he said that he couldn't get Clare out of his head after leaving The Hermitage Club, and Clare was ecstatic to find a man who wouldn't give up on her.
Clare told Benoit that he changed her life for the better and she appreciates how he puts up with her "crazy." Clare was holding out for a man like him.
Benoit then stood up and announced: "The first day I met you, I didn't believe in love at first sight. But at the time, I was shocked. You're the strongest woman I've ever met in my whole entire life. I know you've been through a lot and... there are going to be issues, but when we face those challenges, I want to be beside you because we'll be a lot stronger together."
The French Canadian bachelor continued, "You never give up on love and that's the best thing about you, and I will never, ever give up on you... Clare, would you marry me?"
Clare bawled her eyes out with tears of pure joy, and as Benoit was on bended knee, she said, "Yes!"
Also during the reunion special, Ashley Iaconetti, 29, and Canada's Kevin Wendt, 33, revealed they are still together to this day and have been doing a little bit of traveling together.
"We're just kind of digging each other and we're going to take things from there and see what happens," Kevin noted.
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The couple also shared that their Fantasy Suite was all about conversation, cheeseburgers and champagne. Ashley did not disclose whether she lost her virginity to Kevin, but the couple seemed happy and content with each other.
Lesley said she ignored rumors and criticism about Dean going into Winter Games and that helped her to get to know the real him. Dean admitted he's attracted to her "wide-eyed enthusiasm," and then he flat out said to the bachelorette, "I want you to know that I do love you."
Dean then played a little prank on Lesley and Bachelor Nation. He got down on one knee and presented her with a little box, but a key was inside!
"I know we spend a lot of time together, but you also travel a lot. So, because of that, will you accept this key to my house?" Dean asked.
The audience roared with applause and laughter as Lesley gladly accepted the key.
And what about the international couple -- Australia's Courtney Dober, 31, and New Zealand's Lily McManus, 21? They are still dating as well! And they are as happy and quirky as ever.
Once taping of The Bachelor Winter Games wrapped, Courtney and Lily took a roadtrip across America in an RV and drove all the way to Los Angeles. The pair, in fact, has since moved to Los Angeles together, and Chris Harrison called them "the anchor" of Winter Games.
Stassi claimed on the reunion special that Luke ghosted her despite how often he insisted the bachelorette meant everything to him on the show and he wanted to see their relationship through. Stassi basically accused Luke of putting on a show when she had been nothing but sincere.
"It seemed so real how he behaved and how he treated me," Stassi told Chris Harrison. "He treated me like a queen, and then there was nothing after the show... I swear I have more questions than you have. He doesn't have my number! He didn't even ask for my number!"
Clare accused Luke of going on the show to gain more Instagram followers or fans and fame, and she said she was disgusted by his behavior when a great girl like Stassi got hurt.
Luke explained to Stassi that everything that happened between them onThe Bachelor Winter Games was "so great and unexpected" but "geographical differences" prevented their romance from working out.
Stassi, however, argued that Luke did not even try, that he never even attempted to contact her after the show.
"After all this, how could you cut a person from your life completely?" Stassi asked him.
Luke didn't have a great answer other than pointing out that relationships in the real world are tough and he was sorry for any confusion. He suggested to the world they had a conversation before parting ways, but Stassi laughed about how she wasn't actually present for their break up.
During a subsequent commercial break, Stassi poured her heart out to Luke, crying about how much he had hurt her. She tried to express herself and her emotions, but Luke -- apparently thinking cameras were off -- just kept nodding his head, saying, "okay" or "yup," and he didn't even look her in the eye.
The final episode of The Bachelor Winter Games kicked off with five couples remaining, including Bibiana Julian, 30, and New Zealand's Jordan Mauger, 34.
Lesley didn't expect to leave with a boyfriend, but she was "surprised, shocked and super happy" it was Dean. She thought there was potential for love.
And Jordan said he "could fall in love" with Bibiana. Ashley also had great chemistry with Kevin, and Luke and Stassi had an obvious mutual respect. Courtney and Lily also had a cute and quirky romance.
The final event for Winter Games was couples' ice dancing, and famous ice athletes Nancy Kerrigan, Randy Gardner and Tai Reina Babilonia served as the judges. The Bachelor pairs were critiqued on chemistry, performance and effort.
During rehearsal, Bibiana could tell something was off with Jordan and their communication and teamwork wasn't great.
Jordan told Bibiana that night that he really wanted to be with her after the show and their connection was worth pursuing, but when he asked Bibiana if a relationship was realistic, she couldn't give him an answer right away.
"I just feel horrible... He's being so amazing and open and genuine, but I don't know what's going to happen next," Bibiana said, admitting that she was just not ready for a serious relationship or to be in love. "He's everything I ever wanted, but what's wrong with me that I can't just jump on the same page?"
Jordan wanted to have a discussion about how they'd handle things once they got home, but Bibiana felt he was putting pressure on her and seeking answers. Bibiana became overwhelmed with emotion and didn't know why Jordan was taking things so seriously.
Jordan said he'd be willing to do whatever she was comfortable with, but she just decided going home would be best for the both of them.
"You find an amazing guy who makes you laugh, makes you feel all these things, with whom you have these crazy coincidences and you can't believe he's right in front of you, but then you just rushed, and you realize that you're not on the same page," Bibiana cried to the cameras. "He's ready to do whatever it takes, and I'm not, and I feel really bad."
Jordan felt he "ruined" the relationship, but he wasn't sure how else he could've gone about things. He wondered if he should've waited later to have the conversation, but Bibiana noted it would've been selfish for her to hold onto what they had any longer.
Before the last event of Winter Games commenced, Chris Harrison announced that each remaining couple would receive a one-on-one date, which included a Fantasy Suite card. The couples intended to explore the idea of whether they could last in the real world.
Lesley told the cameras she and Dean had both opened up to each other and cried. Their connection deepened once Lesley shared her insecurities about her breasts following a double mastectomy, but Dean said he'd never let something like that deter their relationship because she's an incredible person.
Dean also saw his mother come out of a similar situation, and it strengthened how he felt about Lesley.
Dean noted that if any guy thought any less of Lesley because of her chest, then that is a man who absolutely shouldn't be in her life. They were both "optimistic" and felt "fortunate" to have each other.
Dean and Lesley confirmed they were "girlfriend and boyfriend" before entering the Fantasy Suite, and she was fully ready to take the next step in their relationship.
Meanwhile, Luke and Stassi discussed what their relationship might look like a month from that point since they lived in different countries. Luke said they should think about seeing each other again but they needed to work out the logistics. Stassi insisted she would follow him anywhere to "love and be loved."
It was a huge step for Stassi to go into the Fantasy Suite with Luke, saying her mother might be ashamed of her, so she decided not to accept the invitation.
Luke, however, said he slept well knowing that he gave her a great night. He appreciated how comfortable she was in her own skin, and he gushed in a confessional, "I could see myself falling in love. I want to see this through."
When Courtney and Lily got their night alone, Courtney sweetly confessed, "You make me feel things I've never felt before."
He said it was so easy to be around Lily and he was falling in love with her in such a short period of time, which pleasantly surprised him. Lily said she reciprocated such feelings "100 percent." Courtney called it "a liberating moment" and "indescribable."
Lily and Courtney agreed to enjoy the Fantasy Suite, and she called him "amazing." They were so much alike and she said he couldn't have made her a happier woman. She called him "the one."
As for Ashley and Kevin, she just wanted to make sure that Kevin was everything she wanted for herself before accepting the Fantasy Suite date.
Ashley said Kevin was manly, protective, and caring. He made her feel sexy and desired, yet he was respectful at the same time, and she didn't understand where he came from. Ashley wanted girls everywhere to know that men like him so exist, and she's so glad she waited for the right guy.
"I came here to have fun this time. I didn't think I was going to find the perfect man for me," Ashley said before entering the Fantasy Suite with Kevin.
Ashley was very emotional, but for the first time in a long time, she was crying happy tears. She had waited a long time to find a man like Kevin, and she told the cameras she was "ready to take our relationship to the next level."
When Dean and Lesley woke up the next morning, Dean said he was "falling in love with Lesley" but he was trying to be "present in the moment."
And Ashley -- who was beaming ear to ear -- said she no longer wanted to talk about her virginity, that it was her decision to leave what happened in the bedroom behind closed doors.
Ashley hoped to maintain a level of privacy in her new relationship with Kevin, but she did say the night was amazing and everything she had hoped for.
The Bachelor Winter Games finale concluded with the ice dancing event in front of a huge crowd inside of a Manchester, Vermont ice rink. The couples only had 24 hours to perfect what professionals spend their entire lives practicing.
Kevin, a skilled ice skater thanks to hockey, had a little bit of a freak accident when he tripped over the toe of his own skate before performing, but in the end, he and Ashley performed the best and had the most chemistry, so they were crowned the Winter Games champions for 2018.
Ashley and Kevin were each gifted a bouquet of red roses as well as a special golden rose.
"We won! I am a Bachelor success story -- winning the title and winning a guy as great as Kevin!" Ashley gushed as confetti fell from above. "Kevin and I are probably going to have Fantasy Suite, Round 2 tonight. I finally found what I was looking for. I always felt like I would one day."