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'The Bachelorette': Jillian Harris stands by her man

July 28, 2009 |  7:38 am

Knh50tnc An “unexpected confession” didn’t get in Jillian Harris’ way.

The surprise proposal and outpouring of love from Reid Rosenthal, who was eliminated during last week’s episode of “The Bachelorette,” did give Harris pause -- and a few more tears -- but the free-spirited 29-year-old interior designer from Canada went with her original game plan. 

On Monday's episode, she told Rosenthal she had woken up having already made her decision, and she stuck with it, choosing Ed Swiderski -- a contestant who notably had second thoughts of his own about finding love on the reality series.

Swiderski, a 29-year-old technology consultant from Chicago, left the show five weeks in, unconvinced and in fear of losing his job, but came back for Harris, admitting he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her while he'd been gone.

As is tradition during the penultimate "Bachelorette" episode, Harris’ parents gave their approval to both remaining contestants, Swiderski and Kiptyn Locke, a 31-year-old business developer from California, leaving Harris with no helpful hints as to whom she should pick.

But once she had chosen, the decision was final.

Locke crossed the pool bridge first and, with little suspense, was respectfully rejected. He was followed not by Swiderski but by Rosenthal, who stunned Harris with a last-minute declaration of love. He also proposed. 

After taking a moment to think -- and some advice from host Chris Harrison -- Harris told Rosenthal that, in spite of their connection, she had since fallen in love with somebody else. “I can’t let them go now,” she told him.

While she awaited Swiderski‘s arrival, Harris said aloud to herself, “Ed better not … disappoint me.”

When Swiderski arrived, he wasted no time dropping to one knee and sweeping Harris off her feet. “I want to be with you forever. I want to have a family with you. I want you to give me a hard time when we’re 80 years old. Jillian, will you marry me?”

“Absolutely,” she said.

Harris and Swiderski will reunite for the “After the Final Rose” special, airing Tuesday at 10 p.m.

-- Denise Martin

Photo: Jillian Harris in Monday's episode of "The Bachelorette." Credit: ABC