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In a stunning turnaround on this week’s “Bachelorette” finale, Desiree Hartsock went from being completely heartbroken over the departure of Brooks Forester to getting happily engaged to Chris Siegfried.
Feeling a bit of whiplash? You’re not alone. Desiree and fiancé Chris addressed her seemingly rapid change of emotions in a conference call with the media. Also on hand were Brooks and runner-up Drew Kenney to chat about their reactions to Desiree’s engagement. Here are 14 things to know from the Q&A:
1. Desiree and Chris haven’t spoken much more about the Brooks situation
“Since the proposal, we haven’t needed to rehash everything more,” Des said. “He pretty much knows all the details, and that didn’t bother him.”
2. Chris didn’t watch her breakup with Brooks
He only watched their dates, Chris revealed, adding that he wanted to let the past be the past. “We’ve really been focusing on our relationship now, and that’s not something everybody gets to see,” he said. "I was glad that she was honest with me. That’s where we wanted to start our relationship.”
3. Desiree never thought Brooks would come back
Spoilers floating on the Internet indicated Desiree ended up with Brooks, so many viewers thought he would make a romantic return. But she never harbored that thought.
“I never had hopes for Brooks to come back. That ship had sailed,” she said.
4. Chris is NOT Desiree’s rebound
“Chris was never a second choice,” she said adamantly, adding, “There were still two weeks left even when Brooks left.” Those are key weeks, Desiree noted, when relationships really deepen.
If viewers felt like she got over getting dumped quickly, it’s because “the feelings that come during this experience can be very accelerated.”
5. She didn’t tell Chris that Drew was already gone to avoid pressuring him
“I didn’t want him to feel that pressure that he was the only one meeting my family and the only one left,” Des said.
6. Des will take Chris’s last name
“I’m very traditional in that sense, so I will be a Siegfried,” she confirmed.
7. She’ll design her own wedding dress
Des described her design style as “vintage” and “romantic,” and teased her gown would likely have beading and lace.
8. They’re (probably) not going to do any more reality TV
While Des would consider airing their wedding, both sounded decidedly lukewarm on appearing on another reality series. They want to focus on their respective careers.
9. Drew has one unanswered question for Desiree
Why did she give him that last rose? As Des explained to reporters, she was not in a good headspace after her breakup with Brooks. She hadn’t had time to process. But once she did, she realized her relationship with Drew wasn’t going to work.
But Drew didn’t know that, and didn’t get a chance to ask her during the “After the Final Rose” special. “That did confuse me,” he admitted.
10. Even so, he’s not mad — he’s happy for Des and Chris
When a reporter noted that Drew was very gracious during his breakup, he said, “If she didn’t feel that she had that connection with me, I wasn’t going to sit there and convince her otherwise.”
As for the engaged couple, he added, “They seem like they’re really happy. I’m happy for them.”
11. Brooks has no regrets
“I know I made the right decision,” he declared. He knew it before having the conversation. He never had second thoughts — and never contemplated coming back.
12. He is and isn’t surprised that Des and Chris are engaged
“I had time to consider all of the options of what might possibly be the outcome,” he explained. “I’m excited for them, I wish them the best. As I said last night, it was apparent that Desiree had those feelings for Chris, and Chris had those feelings for her. I love Chris, and I think he’s a genuine person and he’s a great guy. I think Desiree got what she deserves — a great guy.”
Still, the fast turnaround stunned him, along with viewers. “Yeah, to say there was no surprise at all, it would be a stretch,” Brooks conceded.
“I don’t know what her process was. I wasn’t there to see exactly what it is what she was realizing.”
13. While he wishes them the best, Brooks probably won’t attend the couple’s wedding
The question was clearly a curveball for Brooks, who laughed nervously. “I don’t think so,” he said.
“Out of respect for Chris and Desiree, I just feel like it would be awkward. I myself would go if they were entirely comfortable with it, but that’s a weird circumstance.”
14. Everyone is happy that Juan Pablo is “The Bachelor”
Des and Chris both raved about what a good guy Juan Pablo is. Drew gushed about his family values.
“I know him really well,” Drew said. “He’s wonderful and he loves his daughter… I firmly believe he is thinking about the future and he’s thinking about family.”
But Drew probably won’t be showing up to give Juan Pablo any pointers, as Arie Luyendyk Jr. did for Sean Lowe on the last season of “The Bachelor.”
“He doesn’t need it,” Drew laughed. “He’ll be just fine.”