-- "The Bachelor" chose his soul mate on Monday night's season finale of the ABC series.
Chris Soules proposed to Whitney Bischoff, a 29-year-old fertility nurse from Chicago. He popped the question moments after turning down the other finalist, Becca Tilley, a 25-year-old chiropractic assistant from San Diego.
Chris, 33, told Whitney he loved her, and added, "Everything about this moment feels right." He then dropped down to one knee and asked her to marry him. Her response: "Absolutely."
Chris put a ring on it and presented Whitney with the final rose of the season. The finale concluded with the newly-engaged couple kissing in a hayloft.
On the one-hour “After the Final Rose” special, Whitney described herself as "the happiest girl in the entire world." She said she's just excited to be "normal" with Chris and not have to hide their engagement. There does not appear to be any wedding plans as of yet.
Interesting tidbit: Whitney said she did not watch “The Bachelor” season, aside from footage of her dates with Chris.
It was clear throughout the two-hour finale that Whitney was much more committed to a post-“Bachelor” romance with Chris than Becca was. Whitney charmed Chris' family in Iowa, and assured them she was prepared to make the move to his hometown of Arlington and become a mom.
By comparison, Becca felt overwhelmed by the situation and admitted to Chris' family that she wouldn't relocate for him unless she was absolutely sure their romance would work. She also conceded she was not ready to say yes to a proposal.
Becca's uncertainty spilled over into her final date with Chris. She told Chris she couldn't make any promises about their future.
The tone was much different during Chris' final date with Whitney, spent on the farm and in his house. Whitney declared that she was confident of her feelings for him.
After picking up an engagement ring from jeweler Neil Lane, Chris cut ties with Becca at his barn, saying, "I don't think it's fair for either of us to take that leap at this point."
As she departed in a limo, Becca said she was in a "state of shock." She continued, "I could've seen him being someone I could be with and I could marry. I just wasn't there yet."
Becca explained on “After the Final Rose” that she was confused by her relationship with Chris because she'd never been in love and had no other experiences to compare it to.
“After the Final Rose” ended with a big announcement: There will be two "Bachelorettes" next summer. Two contestants from the just-concluded “Bachelor” season, Britt and Kaitlyn, have been cast in the role, but in a twist, 25 men will have, in the words of host Chris Harrison, the "ultimate say about who they think would make the best wife."
It's not completely clear how this will work, but ABC promises that only one woman will be around in the finale to hand out a rose. We'll find out how Britt and Kaitlyn will co-exist when “The Bachelorette” begins its 11th season on May 18.
“After the Final Rose” included an appearance by Jimmy Kimmel, who guest-hosted a “Bachelor” episode earlier in the season. He presented Chris and Whitney with a special gift: a cow with a ribbon around it that he named Juan Pablo, after much-maligned 2014 "Bachelor" Juan Pablo Galavis.
Kimmel made fun of Chris' final decision, joking to him, "Bottom line is, Becca wasn't into you."
Ashley S., the contestant who mistook a pomegranate for an onion, returned, too. Last week, Harrison extended an invitation to Ashley S. on the “Women Tell All” special to appear on “Bachelor in Paradise.” She didn't give an answer at the time, so Harrison asked her again on Monday night. She cryptically stated, "I suppose I might be there."