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Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelor' finale and After the Final Rose

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It’s hard to believe this season is over. Maybe it’s because there have been a few things that have distracted our attention this time around, but it really seems like this season has flown by. I’m glad you all got a chance to be introduced to Jake’s family. I think once you see them and how they interact as a family it’s easy to see why Jake is the way he is. They are all such good communicators and you can see where Jake has gotten his skills. His parents fell in love with Tenley the moment she walked in the door. That’s not hard to believe as everybody who has met Tenley this season loves her and has nothing but good things to say about her. Jake’s family quickly put her in front and I honestly don’t think they gave Vienna much of a chance to succeed at first. The fact that Vienna was able to sway their opinion and convince them otherwise was really impressive. It’s actually ironic that what happened to Vienna in the house with the girls, happened again with Jake’s family. The only difference is that Vienna was able to make it right with Jake’s family.

This show has given me the opportunity to go to some pretty special and beautiful places. The island of Saint Lucia is high on that list. The people and the beauty of the island are just about as good as it gets. With that said, several of the crew kept trying to get me to go to those sulphur springs that Jake and Vienna went to. I know it looked romantic on TV, but that’s only because you couldn’t smell it. Everybody who came back from the sulphur springs said it was cool, but the sulphuric odor smelled like rotten eggs and it pretty much ruined whatever you were wearing. Needless to say, I passed. The crew gave me a bottle of the mud as a gift.

We spent the final week of our trip at the Jalousie resort. It sits in this beautiful cove nestled between the two pitons (those big mountains you see in all the shots). Between the scenery, the beach, the people, the food, and, of course, the rum, the Jalousie resort is easily one of the best we visited over the eight years we’ve been doing this show.

In my opinion, the last chance dates were very telling of Jake’s final decision. You could tell how easy it was between Jake and Vienna. You can also clearly see that he was always defending her and got very defensive when anybody didn’t see what he saw in her. Tenley is a wonderful woman and Jake did love her, but not nearly in the same way he loves Vienna. Even Tenley admitted on the AFR special that watching the show she too sees that what Jake has with Vienna is different than what they shared.

The proposal site was at a resort called Jade Mountain. This is the place where you saw Jake spending his final day and picking out his ring. We had to get to this site by water which meant bringing in the women by chopper (another Bachelor first). One thing that wasn’t shown was the choppers pulling right over my head and landing about twenty yards away from me. I was really hoping we had good pilots flying for us.

Walking Tenley over to meet Jake was tough. She was nervous and I knew she was very much in love with Jake. I’ve always been impressed by Tenley. But the way she handled herself that day, the poise she showed under that pressure was astounding. Having the grace to actually thank Jake for showing her how to love again is remarkable. Tenley is another person who has left this show with a new clear understanding of who they truly are and what they want. More importantly, I think she now knows what she deserves in return and that’s a big step for her.

Vienna got out of the helicopter shaking like a leaf. She was so nervous she could barely breathe. You could tell she had completely fallen in love with Jake and felt incredibly vulnerable. I have to say that bit where he gave her back that promise ring was a little cruel and it had her going but he quickly redeemed himself. It was easily one of the most beautiful proposals we’ve ever had on the show. I realize Jake’s choice and his proposal to Vienna surprised some of you and it’s even been called controversial. While I respect all of your opinions there is one thing I don’t get. How could anybody possibly have a problem with two people falling in love with one another and finding happiness together? I’m not saying you can’t be surprised or even think that one of the other women might have been better but now that he’s made his final decision and you see they are together and very much in love, how can you fault that? I can’t imagine telling anybody they’re an idiot for falling in love and finding happiness. How can that be wrong? I’ve already been asked if I think it will last. The answer is “I don’t know,” and to pretend that I do would be ignorant as well as presumptuous. What I do know is that Jake is a good and decent man and Vienna is a good woman. They love each other very much and are committed to making this work. I wish them the best in life and love and hope to see them walk down the aisle. I hope you will all wish them the same.

For some reason lately it’s become easy and somewhat in vogue to take shots at people and try to tear them down. I know happiness doesn’t sell magazines and it doesn’t make for sexy headlines but try to keep a little perspective. Congrats to Jake and Vienna, a happy couple who will now begin their life together.

A couple notes before I let you go this season. I loved having Jeffrey Osborne on the show to sing “On the Wings of Love.” The guy was awesome and still sounds amazing. Also, I was extremely excited to announce Ali as our next Bachelorette. She is a strong woman and will give the next group of guys a run for their money for sure.

Finally, next Monday night please be sure to tune in to see Jason and Molly’s wedding. This is going to be a wonderful event that will bring together many of your favorite former bachelors and bachelorettes. I was very pleased to be a part of their special day. Then, on Monday, March 15th I hope you’ll tune in to ABC to watch the two-hour 20/20 special that will take you behind-the-scenes of the Bachelor franchise like never before. While you have your calendar out, I also hope you’ll join me on the Oscar red carpet live from the Kodak Theatre this Sunday on TV Guide Network. Okay, I think that’s it!  From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank our entire crew. On behalf of that crew, thank you so much for your support and for tuning in each week. Goodbye for now. I hope to see you this spring for the next season of The Bachelorette and see ya next season with my blogs right here on EW.com.

More on The Bachelor from EW:

‘The Bachelor’ finale recap: The Dumber of Two Evils

More on The Bachelor from People:

Jake’s Bachelor blog: “I am so in love!”