'Bachelor in Paradise' Finale Recap: 'When I Think About the Real World, It's Different'

Our final hour in Paradise begins much as the last hour ended.


Everyone’s reeling from Kirk and Carly’s break-up. But it’s time to make like T. Swift and shake it off, folks, because it’s time for the “romantic” one-on-one dates. Brush your teeth, do you hair, write random words like “unexpected” and “timing” on a blank page in your journal — whatever you gotta do to get ready. The Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta awaits!

First, let’s start with the couple we don’t give a crap about: Nick and Samantha. He’s all, “You’re pretty.” She’s like, “Yep.” Then they go to the Fantasy Suite. Next!

Related: Chris Harrison Blogs the ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Finale

On the other side of the fornication coin are Justin and Cassandra, who quite literally just met a day ago. Or is it two days? Whatever the answer, it’s not long enough to justify heading to the Fantasy Suite, that’s for damn sure. After smooching Justin on the couch for awhile, Cassandra tells him that it would be “almost inappropriate” for them to sleep together, so they part ways for the night.

As for Tenley and Joshua, after a brief, tremulous conversation about the mythical future, they wind up in the Fantasy Suite. Tanner, perhaps worried Jade is going to bolt after seeing her best friend get brutally dumped earlier that day, drops the l-bomb. “I love you, Jade,” he says. “One hundred percent.” And she LOVES it. More to the point, she loves him.


Hooray for one (temporarily) happy couple!

The next morning, all four couples return to basecamp for a final briefing from Harrison.


In other words, this is all meaningless… which we already knew. But we’ve come this far, right? Let’s find out how it ends.

Though Harrison advises the couples to take time alone before the final rose ceremony to do some soul-searching about their relationships, Tenley and Joshua steal away for a private chat. It seems that concerns about a long-distance relationship are starting to weigh Tenley down. “I’m just trying to be realistic,” she says. “When would I see you?” Joshua’s response, a very dude-like “We’ll figure it out,” does not inspire confidence. “It’s not a good way to start,” she sighs. The poor girl is so upset, she nearly swears.


The final rose ceremony, a moment fraught with none of the significance you’d expect, arrives… and I seriously can’t believe we have to watch Cassandra and Justin go through this charade. In case you care: She accepts, he accepts. Huzzah. And now here comes Nick. Seriously, Team BIP, allowing this douchewad and his even douchewaddier arm candy to participate in a “final rose ceremony” — an event that is sacred to those of us in Bachelor Nation — is just a travesty.


And now it’s time for Tenley and Joshua. “My heart wants to keep Joshua in my life,” she admits. “But my head is saying, like, ‘What’s it really going to look like in the real world?’ I don’t know what to do.” Girl, who cares? A rose isn’t legally binding. And poor Joshua is just trying so hard. “I think what might happen after Paradise might be great and unexpected,” he tells her. “I’d love to try it, actually.”

Tenley’s response? “Why do you have to live in Idaho?” Good question. But what she means is, she’s played the movie of their relationship out in her head and she knows how it ends: They break up, or one of them has to move. And she sure as f–k isn’t moving to Idaho. “It would be so unfair of me, knowing how hard it would be for us, to try,” says Tenley, her voice breaking. “My heart is so conflicted, but I know this is the right thing.” She’s right — and not just because they live in different states. Let’s not forget this is the dude who drinks MDMA out of coconuts. Tenley can do better.


Welp, there’s just one couple left, and since we know there’s a giant ring and a proposal coming, let’s just skip ahead to the good part. Jade tells Tanner that he makes her feel “worthy, and understood, which I don’t think I’ve ever felt from a man before.” And Tanner, in a classic Bachelor-franchise fake-out, waves the rose in front of her face and declares, “When I think about the real world, it’s different. I can’t give you this rose today.” Because…

He’s gonna give her a ring instead! Gotta hand it to Team BIP. They literally changed Jade’s nail-polish color in post so we couldn’t guess who got engaged. And thank God — all this time I’ve been thinking who on earth would wear turquoise nail polish to a proposal?? Look at it:


So congrats to Jade and Tanner, the last (semi) real couple standing in Paradise. Good luck you crazy kids. And maybe rethink that getting-married-in-Paradise plan — it didn’t work out so well for the last couple who tried it.

Well, rose lovers, we’ve made it to the end. How do you feel? (Before you answer that, definitely do not think about the fact that we spent 18 hours of our lives — 24 if you stuck around for After Paradise — murdering our brain cells with this show.) You know I want to hear what you think: Do Jade and Tanner have a shot at staying together? Did Tenley make the right decision? And what will Jorge do now? Post your thoughts below! And be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s final, behind-the-scenes blog before you go. Thanks for coming on this “journey,” friends. Until January, rose lovers!

The new season of The Bachelor premieres January 2016 on ABC.