By Krissy Dolor

After two long seasons and more than fifty women, Austin native Brad Womack has finally chosen his bride-to-be: blonde bombshell Emily Maynard!  But before we get to the details of their final week in South Africa (and the shocking announcement during the After the Final Rose special), let’s take a look back at The Bachelor season 15 finale:

Before the final dates, Chantal O. and Emily must meet the family: mom Pam, brothers Wes and Chad (Brad’s twin), and their wives, Prima and Dylan (who resembles Emily in the looks department – maybe it’s a twin thing?).  After a tearful reunion and Brad revealing a definite proposal, the interrogation began.

Chantal met the Womacks first, and said she fell in love in Costa Rica.  Her upbeat personality easily won her points.  “She immediately clicked with the family.” said Wes.  Pam, however, was skeptical of Chantal’s devotion and asked how she fell in love so quickly.  “It made it easy to fall in love because Brad was that person,” Chantal said.  Pam couldn’t argue with that, and said she saw her fitting in with Brad’s world.  “You’re precious,” said Pam.

Though Brad thought Chantal won his family over, he was clearly more excited to see Emily and was nervous about their day.  “I just hope she’s herself with my family,” he said.  The meeting started off stiff, as Brad acted as a shield between Emily and his clan.  It wasn’t until Wes asked about Ricki’s father that the tension broke, as Emily graciously told them the story and brought everyone to tears.

“Hearing Emily…it completely blew me out of the water,” said Wes.  “For her to be able to triumph over that and be the strong woman that she seems is amazing.”  Since both of Brad’s brothers are fathers, they wanted to make sure Brad knew what he would be getting into if he chose Emily.  “I would welcome the opportunity to be a father, I would,” Brad said.  Pam thanked Emily for trusting her son enough to let him meet Ricki, and Emily one-upped her, saying, “I am so grateful to have met your son…he’s been such an angel in my life.”  As tears of joy streamed down Pam’s face while she talked to the camera, it was easy to see who her pick would be.

Though everyone liked Chantal, they unanimously agreed that Emily was the one.  “I feel like Emily really knew our worlds,” said Prima, since Emily is a mother.  “I certainly see chemistry here.  I think Emily is the whole package,” Pam told Brad.  And mother knows best!

But first, the final dates.  Brad took Chantal swimming with the sharks.  “The fact that I’m doing this for Brad speaks volumes,” she said.  As a testament to “traveling the world for him” (as opposed to being on a reality show), she made Brad a map of everywhere they’ve been and wrote him a sentimental letter that declared her love even more.  “I know it takes a lot to write that, thanks so much,” said Brad.  But there just wasn’t enough emotion in Brad’s eyes and you could tell he wasn’t in love with her.

Emily’s date started smoothly enough, with a helicopter ride (yawn) and picnic (double-yawn).  But her insecurity brought the mood down, despite Brad telling Emily how much he family loved her.  Later that night, he said he wanted to be a “real” father to Ricki, and not just a step-father.  Emily (rightfully so) questioned Brad and wanted to know what he thought that meant.  He was obviously hurt and left in a sour mood.  “This particular date is making me question everything,” said Brad, and at that moment it was obvious who he choice would be.

The next day, Chantal was brought out first, wearing black, which set the tone of her impending breakup.  After the obligatory niceties, Brad dropped the bomb: “I don’t know how else to say it but I have stronger feelings for someone else.”  Chantal was floored, and it was clear she didn’t suspect anything.  While she was speechless for most of his monologue, she finally mustered, “You’re an amazing person and Emily’s very lucky.”

Soon after, Emily arrived, and looked bride-like in a pale pink gown.  After a long introduction, the moment we’ve been waiting for: “I’m asking you to give me your forever.  I love you.”  Brad then got down on one knee and took out the Neil Lane ring he picked earlier that day.  Emily said yes and Train’s “Marry Me” played over a montage of their most romantic moments – the perfect fairytale ending!

But was it?

Turns out the couple had broken up for a bit after the show’s ending.  In fact, the After the Final Rose special was supposed to be Brad and Emily’s wedding night – in Anguilla!  But the two reassured the stunned in-studio audience (and everyone at home) that they are still together and just need to figure out how to communicate better – seems like Brad isn’t the only one with a temper!  In addition, Emily had to watch Brad with the other women on the show and has struggled to figure out what reality is, even though it’s been clear to everyone else that Brad only had eyes for her.

To help them out, Chris brought out Trista and Ryan, Jason and Molly, and Ali and Roberto, as these three couples have proved the tabloids and the Bachelor-franchise statistics wrong by finding true love.  Trista, who has been married to Ryan for seven years, said it best:  “We met on the show, but it’s what we did after that show in real life that matters.”

And after Brad and Emily watched their engagement for the first time, it was clear that they really do care for each other.  But where was Emily’s blinged-out ring?  Don’t worry about that, either: Brad pulled it out at the end of the night, and this time, it was sized.  “You are my forever, babe.  Here’s your ring.”  Phew!  Cupid wishes the engaged couple all the best!

But what about Chantal?  Don’t worry, romance rumors of her and a new beau are true.  “He’s definitely everything I’ve been looking for,” she said.  “He let me know I could love again.”  We wish Chantal and her new man the best of luck!

Well that’s it folks!  It’s been a pleasure watching season 15 of ABC’s The Bachelor with you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the recaps as much as I’ve loved writing them!  Until our next recaps of whichever show we choose (The Bachelorette, perhaps?), here are my favorites – including an introduction to the next Bachelorette (who we totally called): Ashley H.!