"The Bachelor" star Jake Pavelka shocked viewers during the show's finale when he proposed to Vienna Girardi.
In a surprising finish to a season filled with emotional twists and unexpected drama, the 32-year-old pilot from Denton, Texas, chose Girardi, who stirred controversy among her fellow contestants and the show's fans over finalist Tenley Molzahn.
The couple, still reeling from all the attention and getting ready for their future, told "Good Morning America" the experience was "amazing" and "incredible."
It's "awesome," Pavelka said.
Girardi, a 23-year-old marketing representative from Sanford, Fla., acknowledged that her experience on the show was like a a "roller coaster." When asked if it was a relief to be together with Pavelka at the end, she said, "Yeah, it is."
Both said it's possible to find love on a reality show. The proof is "right here," Girardi said.
"You cannot control who your heart's going to fall for," Pavelka said. "I wanted it to fall for Tenley, but it fell for Vienna. You can't make your heart fall, and you can't keep your heart from falling."
The couple said it hasn't set a wedding date yet, and the two plan to live together before moving on to marriage.
During the finale, Pavelka said he could see both Girardi and Molzahn as his future wife and selected engagement rings for each woman.
"You're not supposed to be in love with two women at the same time," he said, citing his emotional connection with Molzahn -- "the girl with the heart of gold" -- and calling the physical chemistry with Girardi "lightning hot."
Both women professed their love for Pavelka during their final dates and presented him with gifts to signify their feelings.
"I'm head over heels in love," Girardi said. "I know we're going to be together, and we're going to last forever."
"I feel like I've fallen more in love with him," Molzhan said. "Jake is the guy I want to marry."
Pavelka said his experience as a contestant on "The Bachelorette" didn't fully prepare him for the difficulty of being "The Bachelor."
"I got to watch ['Bachelorette' Jillian Harris] do this," he said. "She made it look really easy, but it didn't prepare me. You just go into it wholeheartedly and hope and pray for the best. I didn't know that I would meet someone like [Girardi]. … I had no idea that she was coming."
It was a long road to get to the final rose, and early on Girardi always seemed to draw a little drama. She said she viewed the other women in the house as competition, not as friends.
"The girls had their minds made up -- they didn't like me; they didn't want me there," she said.
Girardi called rumors in the tabloids that she had stolen money from her ex-husband and had a secret boyfriend entirely untrue.
"The first couple [of stories] that came out, I was really upset," she said. "So upset that they would fabricate these stories, and it was extremely hurtful for America to get this image of me that wasn't me at all."
Girardi wasn't the only one who drew attention on "The Bachelor." Contestant Rozlyn Papa was asked to leave the show when rumors surfaced that she was having an affair with one of the show's producers.
She denies the affair with the staffer, who was let go, but Girardi said she witnessed the two together.
"I was one of the girls that witnessed [them]," she said. "I had seen them cuddling on the couch together; it was extremely awkward."
She said she didn't say anything to Pavelka because she "never wanted to go to him and say something bad about the other women."
Papa's departure wasn't the end of the drama. Fan favorite Ali Fedotowsky left the show unexpectedly when she had to choose between her job and Pavelka.
"It was difficult to see him with Ali," Girardi said. "He had a connection with Ali."
Fedotowsky ultimately regretted her decision, but Pavelka said now he's "sure" that things wouldn't have played out differently if she had stayed.
In the end, Pavelka said he knew Vienna was the one "when it got down the final two. I knew." The previous week, Pavelka had sent home swimsuit model Gia Allemand.
During the finale, he was seen choosing two engagement rings for two different women. He called that "one of the best and worst days of my life. It was a decision for me whether to follow my heart or to follow what I thought everybody would want me to do."
And while the couple plans their lives together, Pavelka isn't done with the spotlight just yet – he'll be appearing as a contestant on the upcoming season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."