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'The Bachelor' recap: Who went home with the final rose?

March 14, 2011 | 11:44 pm

122552_0712_pre After 38 long years, Brad Womack has finally found himself a woman. Unlike his first time around as "The Bachelor," Brad didn't disappoint us this season, settling upon Emily as his final pick. It needs to be said: called it.

My friends and I were so excited about tonight's "Bachelor" ending that I decided to do a play-by-play of the all-important season finale as it happened. Relive the glorious three hours that unfolded Monday night with me:

8:05 PM: Woohoo, we're past the boring recap intro. And Brad has to walk away because he's crying so much when he sees his family? He's real? He's not made of stone? So nice to see him finally show a little bit of emotion.

8:06 PM: Too bad Brad's hunky brother, Chad, is married. He would otherwise have excellent "Bachelor" potential.

8:07 PM: Brad tells his family he's "100%" ready to propose to one of the women. I wish I'd watched his first season to see how this stacks up. Did he tell his family then that he was ready to choose someone, even knowing he ultimately would reject both contestants?

8:11 PM: Chantal shows up: interesting choice of outfit. And it only gets worse in the back. No matter, as Chad is providing welcome eye candy directly to her left.

8:15 PM: Mom pulls out the million-dollar question while grilling Chantal: "How can you fall in love so fast?" Chantal says she's been picky in the past, but Brad is exactly what she's been looking for. Of course he is. Still, Mama Womack seems to be buying it. Chantal seems like she'll get along better with Brad's family than Emily, because she's so much less shy.

8:23 PM: Emily, not surprisingly, makes a much more appropriate outfit choice, and also brings flowers as a gift for Brad's family. Smart move.

8:24 PM: He's much more affectionate with Emily right away. But he gets so awkward when it comes to explaining that Emily's fiance is dead. She starts telling his family what happened to Ricky in an intense level of detail -- "it was a Sunday and it was raining" -- and some of the family members are quickly moved to tears.

8:27 PM: Brad's...other brother, Wes, has a kid and is worried about Brad becoming a dad. (So are we, by the way.) Ultimately, Wes decides Brad is ready to be a "full-blown father." OK, if you say so.

8:31 PM: Brad's mom starts crying when she recalls that Emily called Brad "her angel." Oh, man. I think she's got their vote. Or do they just feel bad for her and her tragic past?

8:38 PM: Brad begins to debrief with his family. His brother's spouses say they relate to Emily because she's already in "their world" as a mother. The whole gang generally seems to think she's the right one for him -- and is he really going to ignore all of their advice?

8:45 PM: Chantal shows up for her date, again, inappropriately dressed. For their last date, she and Brad are going swimming with sharks. Why do the producers always have to make everything a challenge? Can't they at least let Brad and Chantal enjoy their final date together instead of continuing to test her?

8:49 PM: Yeah, Chantal is the woman for doing this. I would never get in that cage.

8:56 PM: Chantal gives Brad a message in a bottle. What dude would really want that? Or a memory book? These girls always whip out such cheesy gifts at the end of the season. There's a sensitive note inside that Brad reads aloud. It doesn't make him cry, but Chantal gets weepy.

9:06 PM: Kind of love that Brad calls Emily "Em." (Chantal's nickname, "Chan," just doesn't work.)

9:07 PM: Emily shows up for her date and quickly brings down the mood by reminding Brad that if chooses her, he'll no longer be single-guy "Uncle Brad." He's noticeably rattled thinking about that very real possibility, and seems to back off for a moment.

9:13 PM: During the evening portion of their date, Brad says he's ready to be a father to "little Ricki." Emily challenges him, asking what he thinks it means to be a father. His response? Being a friend and disciplinarian when it's necessary. He says he doesn't like being grilled. I mean, come on, dude. Answer a question you maybe weren't prepared for.

9:16 PM: Emily worries Brad is getting mad, and he admits he is. Although I'm absolutely baffled as to why. She isn't allowed to question you before she uh, accepts your proposal and allows you to become the father to her child after one night with Ricki Tick?

9:18 PM: He awkwardly leaves the room to go get some water and Emily worries she ruined her chances. Of course, she blames herself instead of Brad's inability to handle any challenge that comes his way.

9:27 PM: Neil Lane! Love that guy. Of course, Brad takes the opportunity to use Neil as his therapist, telling him about how strongly he feels for his pick.

9:32 PM: Thoughts on the dress selections: Chantal -- really close, but that shoulder boa just kills it. Emily looks like a perfect, real-life Barbie with far too much blush on.

9:39 PM: Chantal walks out of the car first! I knew it! She's a goner!

9:40 PM: Brad has a somber tone to his voice. He tells Chantal he just has stronger feelings for someone else. She seems so upset! This is tragic. She looks so "Black Swan" in her dress. She should totes slap him again.

9:43 PM: "Anything you want to say to me?" Brad asks Chantal. NO. Just walk away, already, girl! At least your makeup is waterproof.

9:46 PM: She's bawling in the limo. Ugh. This is sad. At least it'll all be better when she's inevitably named the next "Bachelorette."

9:54 PM: Chris Harrison's major skill: being impartial when greeting the women at the limo. Why has his role been so drastically reduced this season?

9:56 PM: What a difference. Brad greets Emily so much more warmly than he did Chantal. His proposal is horribly cheesy. "Please give me your forever?" It is adorable how she leans down into his face when saying yes, though. I'm a little touched. Need to get it together.

10:01 PM: Ain't no stoppin' us now! "After the Final Rose." Yes. Bring some drama, please. A gnarly twist, perhaps?

10:04 PM: Chantal seems really composed, saying she doesn't have any regrets. She's already tearing up, though. And out comes Brad. I like this, not wasting any time!

10:05 PM: Like every rejected woman, Chantal asks when he knew she wasn't the one for him. Early on, he says, he felt more strongly for Emily. Ouch.

10:07 PM: This gets awkward really quickly. Chantal says he feels like he's discounting their relationship because Emily's watching, which he totally is.

10:09 PM: Chantal is dating someone new and says she's doing great...even though she's still clearly not remotely over Brad. Which means she's not the new "Bachelorette?" No! Please, not Ashley.

10:15 PM: Wait, the "After the Final Rose" special was supposed to be Brad and Emily's wedding? He says tabloids came between them and it's been a "tough go." They apparently broke up and Emily said she "just couldn't do it." Hm, that doesn't sound too good. Looks like another "Bachelor" breakdown is a-comin'.

10:24 PM: "It's certainly not all roses," Emily says of her relationship with Brad, adding that she really does love him. But is she convincing us or herself?

10:25 PM: Emily on getting married to Brad: "Right now, in this instance, I love you, but no." Um, wow? She says they need to figure out how they fight, and she's thinking of her daughter. And she couldn't move to Austin today. The audience gasps.

10:29 PM: Emily is very defensive, saying she isn't the uptight girl she came across as. She got all of the scenic dates -- nothing exciting like diving in a shark cage. Somehow I don't feel like that was the problem.

10:36 PM: "How honest are we getting?" Emily asks Chris when she's pressed about the troubles in the relationship. Her biggest issue? Watching how affectionate Brad was with the other girls on the show. Which is weird, considering she signed up for the "Bachelor," and even though she wins, she has a problem that he gave other girls attention? Ugh. Whine, whine, whine.

10:45 PM: Jason! Ali! My favorite old "Bachelor" couples. Can Ali and Roberto get married already, by the way?

10:48 PM: How weird is it that Emily is the dominant personality in the relationship with Brad now? She seems so controlling, and he's just sitting there like a timid child afraid to say anything.

10:57 PM: He puts Emily's ring back on her finger. Somehow I can't get into the joyous ending of this. Do you think Emily and Brad will ever make it to the altar? Weigh in in the comments.

--Amy Kaufman


Complete 'Bachelor' coverage on Show Tracker

'The Bachelor': Ashley knew she was a goner after Emily's date

'The Bachelor' recap: All roads lead to Texas

'The Bachelor': Chris Harrison warns fans not to believe show spoilers [Video]

Photo: Brad Womack and his fiancee, Emily Maynard. Credit: ABC.