In the Most Unsatisfying 'Bachelorette' Finale Ever, Desiree Settles for No. 2

When Brooks dumped Desiree last week, she was ready to quit the show. So why is she now engaged -- to the other guy?

On Monday night's season finale of The Bachelorette, the 10-week competition for Desiree Hartsock's heart came down to two guys she didn't love. Good guys both, Chris Siegfried and Drew Kenney just weren't in league with the one who got away, Brooks Forester -- a fact Des made clear in the closing moments of the penultimate episode. We all sighed and hoped that Reality Steve, whose gossip site has correctly predicted most Bachelor/Bachelorette endings, was right again: Somehow, some way, Brooks would realize his mistake in leaving, return to his true love in the finale, and get down on one knee. 

Spoiler alert: That's not what happened. Yes, Des quickly dispensed with the boyish Drew, as expected. But once she was down to just one man, Chris, her determination to hold out for the fairy tale must have faltered. In the end, he proposed, and she accepted. 

To be fair, Chris did step up to the plate, charming her sentinel-like brother at a family meet-and-greet, where he sweetly deflected references to his romantic rivals. (Des stared sadly at her lap.) To the viewer, anyway, Chris did come across as deeper than Brooks. But Des never stopped seeming, well, crestfallen.

Her final speech to Chris was lovely: "I feel like I was so blindsided by my feelings for Brooks that I couldn't see that the one thing that I always needed was right in front of me," she tearfully told him. "I thank you every day for never giving up." But in this context, her words were unconvincing. 

If ever there was a moment to yell at one's TV, this was it. Were viewers actually being asked to forget her words from just last week? "I just can't love [Chris and Drew] as much," she said. "And that's not what they deserve." Chris' charm and humility throughout the final episode underscored the sentiment. 

"Desiree Hartsock, I want to be your first," he told her, heartbreakingly, during his proposal. "And I want to be your last." 

But Chris deserves better. And frankly, so does this 27-year-old bridal stylist, whose choice has obviously been colored by her growing weariness with preparing other women for their big day. Desiree may be a beauty, but she's not immune to the worries of any single woman staring down a ticking clock. Does she hold out for The One, or does she settle for the good-enough guy who's game right now? Des has made her decision. 

As well as one can discern based on a 10-episode TV show, Chris actually does seem like a much better life partner. He's funny, and he also has a sense of gravitas that Brooks lacks so far. In the After the Rose special, Des pointed out that Brooks' rejection worked out well for her in the end. Hopefully she'll realize the truth behind her words as time goes on. 

In the meantime, another player in this saga suffered a massive defeat last night. Reality Steve, who correctly predicted the outcomes of four Bachelor/Bachelorette seasons, got this one all wrong when he predicted Brooks as the winner.

Shortly after Chris' proposal, angry fans took to Twitter to lambast the smug spoiler for his mistake. This one was typical:


So what happened? Obviously, Reality Steve's source fed him false details. Did ABC intervene, convincing the squealer to feed him the wrong information? For once, the show ended on a genuinely surprising note. We just wish it was a more satisfying one.

Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.

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