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'The Bachelor': Why Jake chose Vienna

Chris Harrison, host and EW blogger, on this season’s controversial pick

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The last-chance dates were very telling of Jake’s final decision, in my opinion. You could tell how easy it was between Jake and Vienna. You could 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 After the Final Rose that watching the show, she too saw that what Jake has with Vienna is different from what they shared.

The proposal site was at a resort called Jade Mountain. It’s 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 (a Bachelor first).

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 was remarkable.

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. 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 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’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.

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