In ABC's most dramatic Bachelor 17th season finale, Sean Lowe chooses Catherine Giudici as the winner of his heart and proposes to his future wife, while a brokenhearted Lindsay Yenter is sent home.
The rumors in the tabloids about Lowe selecting Catherine, the goofy 26-year-old Seattle native over Lindsay, the 24-year-old army brat, in the final rose ceremony proved to be true on Monday night, as Sean's new fiance Catherine excitedly said yes to the bachelor's proposal in Thailand and they rode off into the sunset on an elephant together. The couple could not be more thrilled to finally unveil their secret relationship to the public and start planning their lives together.
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Late Monday night after the conclusion of ABC's live "After the Final Rose" special, which followed the two-hour season finale, the former bachelor tweeted:
"This is happening! With my love @clmgiudici on our way to NY," and attached a picture of himself with the winner of his heart, Catherine.
Before the winner was revealed at the end of the finale episode, Sean took both of the remaining ladies home to meet his family. America quickly learned that Sean's parents were as adorable as their son, as they kindly welcomed Catherine and Lindsay with open arms.
Lowe's parents told him they believed either girl would fit well into the family, but Sherry Lowe did have a word of caution for her son.
"It's got to be something you're so excited to do ... or you don't need to be proposing to either one of them," she said of the choice he was set to make at the final rose ceremony in a matter of days.
When Lowe's family left, the bachelor had a final date with each woman. He took Giudici for a ride on an exotic ride on an elephant, and went on a river boat ride with Yenter. Lindsay's date left her confident that she would receive a proposal from the man of her dreams, while Catherine felt frustrated by their final interaction. At the end of her date with Lowe, she finally confessed that she loved him. He hugged her in his silence before replying, "Thank you for today."
Although Sean's decision seemed to be a tough one for the bachelor, it turns out that Catherine was the lady that had nothing to be worried about.
After saying goodbye to his second choice Lindsay on the season finale, Sean suddenly received an unexpected letter from the woman he would soon propose to. The suspenseful note mislead a nervous Sean, as well as the Bachelor fans tuning in, to believe that Catherine was bailing on him and would not show up to receive the final rose. Luckily, the note turned out to be a sweet love letter from Sean's lady, part of which read: "I know neither one of us is perfect, but I truly believe we are perfect for each other."
After reading the letter and feeling a sense of relief, Sean watched his wife-to-be walk towards him in a shimmery, gold gown. Soon after, the handsome fan-favorite bachelor popped the question to the graphic designer.
"This has been a crazy journey," Sean told an obviously nervous, shaking Catherine. "I knew from the very beginning that you were someone I wanted to be around. I miss you every time I have to say goodbye. I don't want to say goodbye anymore."
"I want to spend the rest of my life telling you I love you and making you feel like the most special, beautiful woman in the world," Sean said beaming, as he got down on one knee. "Catherine, will you marry me?"
Of course an ecstatic Catherine said yes, (who wouldn't say yes to a studly southern gentleman?) without even looking down at the glistening engagement ring first. "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, is this for real?" she squealed.
After accepting the ring and the final rose from her new fiance, the precious couple proceeded to ride off into the sunset on their elephant.
Excited for Catherine and Sean, who do seem crazy about each other, fans still couldn't help to feel bad for Lindsay who was also led to believe that she would be Sean's wife one day. The bubbly substitute teacher may have showed up tipsy, joyful, and dressed in a wedding gown upon meeting the bachelor in the first episode, but she left sober, distraught, and barefoot when she walked away from the love of her life in the end.
Although most of America, the other contestants, and even Sean thought Lindsay was crazy, at first, for showing up to the Bachelor decked out as a drunk bride, many couldn't help but to root for the underdog by the end of the show. As Lindsay was falling more and more in love with Sean up until their very last date together, the genuine contestant was soon let down as her wedding dreams shattered.
"I want to give you my heart so bad, but my heart is somewhere else," Sean said. "I've been so confused, and have been searching and praying for clarity. I think I've finally gotten it," he told Lindsay.
"Oh my gosh, I'm gonna go because this is painful," she said, breaking down and sobbing. "This is a nightmare. I'm happy for you, I'm happy that you found love, but I honestly can't imagine my life without you and that's something I'm going to have to figure out." Lindsay cried as she removed her heels and walked away from the love of her life.
After talking briefly to a composed Lindsay on the "After the Final Rose" show and giving her a bit of closure, Sean & Catherine finally sat down together as a couple for the first time in public.
While Sean had tears of joy in his eyes and lit up while talking about his beautiful fiance, who he was excited to start his life with, Catherine seemed to show a little less emotion and warmth towards her man, yet was still content.
"Each day since the show our love has grown stronger," Sean explained.
The couple told "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison that they are excited to finally be able to go out, go to the movies, hold hands and "just be in love."
No wedding date has apparently been set yet, but Sean revealed that the wedding would be televised. "We have decided that because our relationship started and cultivated on a TV show, we're going to have it on a TV show. ABC is going to cover our wedding!"
Now we can only wait patiently, with fingers-crossed, for the happy couple's wedding day to arrive. Previous contestants who fell in love on the Bachelor and Bachelorette haven't set the best track record of long-lasting relationships after the shows wrap. However, let's hope that Sean and Catherine's fate differs from the majority of the previous winners, so that we'll get to watch them walk down the aisle in the near future.