Decisions, decisions: Emily chooses between Arie and Jef in 'The Bachelorette' finale.
In a “Bachelorette” finale that had almost the same running time as "The Dark Knight Rises,” Emily Maynard finally got down to picking her husband/baby daddy. She chose between Arie -- a dark, handsome racecar driver from Scottsdale, Ariz., who excelled at revving her engine -- and Jef, the edgy but essentially wholesome Salt Lake City native who just “gets her.”
Chemistry, as it always should, proved to be the ultimate deciding factor, and Emily ended up with few doubts that Jef was the man of her dreams -- even sending Arie home early. Chris Harrison and his live studio audience were along for the ride.
Meeting the Parents
In their first appearance this season, Emily’s parents arrived in Curacao to suss out her two men and try to help her come to a decision. Both suitors were eager to win her family’s approval, but Jef did a bit better than Arie, who met with a considerable amount of skepticism. Emily’s brother accused Arie of being a “smooth talker,” but softened when Arie revealed that he’s dated a single mother before. Emily’s dad gave both Jef and Arie his blessing to propose to Emily; but he, along with the rest of her family, was of no use when it came to choosing sides.
Will She or Won’t She?
Emily had been angsting about whether to introduce Ricki to her potential mates all season, but her concern came to a head on her last date with Jef, who spent their time together assuring her that he’d be a good dad. His sense of urgency seemed legitimate: “There’s still some doubt because I haven’t meet Ricki,” he said, “ and she’s the most important part of Emily’s family.”
Emily seemed to agree, saying, “You can’t really get the full picture of my life without meeting her.” The twosome sat on the sand together more stiffly than usual, and went in circles about whether or not Jef would get to meet Ricki. Emily admitted to feeling guilty that she had introduced Ricki to Brad, only to split from him later. But Emily made a good point -- she could hardly expect Jef to commit to her without first meting the most important person in her life. “Meeting Ricki is 100% the last piece of the puzzle before proposing to Emily,” confirmed Jef.
The Package Deal
Finally, Emily decided to introduce Jef to Ricki, and led Jef to the pool where Ricki was playing. And wow -- Jef was a total natural. He hopped in the water with Ricki and blew Emily away with how well he was able to put Ricki at ease. “He has totally exceeded every expectation I had,” Emily gushed.
The threesome played in the water together for a long time, and Emily endearingly dropped her composed camera demeanor around Jef and her daughter, transforming into a playful, sarcastic version of herself that we’ve always suspected existed. She couldn’t stop smiling.
Later that night, Jef and Emily cuddled on the couch, barely able to keep their hands off each other. Jef gifted her a book about Curacao -- the place where they had taken the most meaningful steps in their relationship. He had added his signature edgy touch by drawing stick figures of the two of them on the pages. They giggled and kissed, then said a poignant goodbye in the rain. Jef admitted that it was one of the hardest goodbyes he’s ever said, and that the possibility that Emily might see a life with Arie -- and not him -- was “so scary.”