I want to start off by saying congratulations to Andi and Josh on their engagement. I couldn’t be happier for them.

That said, this live After the Final Rose special was easily one of the more intense hours of television I’ve ever hosted. I want to pick this story up about a month and a half ago. That was the first time I sat down with a producer who let me know that Nick was still very much interested in Andi and he wanted to talk with her. Nick called me and we talked for a bit about how he was doing, and he let me know his feelings and how he really wanted to get some closure with Andi. At the time Andi was in Mexico and she was just beginning her new relationship with Josh, so she didn’t think it was the appropriate time. I understood both sides in this case. Nick essentially had a Band-Aid just ripped off of him and there was no closure whatsoever. He was being extremely cool about the whole thing and his approach was kind and respectful, not angry or vengeful. Because of that when he showed up to talk to Andi at the Men Tell All I sat down to talk to him. There was obviously a lot more to the conversation that you didn’t get a chance to see, but you got the overall idea. But one thing that wasn’t shown is how I explained to him that although I respected his emotions and thought he was handling this very professionally I made it very clear that I respect Josh and his relationship with Andi.

I explained to Nick that their relationship is real and I wasn’t about to just let him go up and surprise her if it could ruin that. He told me that wasn’t his intention and that he really didn’t even want to question her as much as he wanted to just make his feelings known. As you saw in the show, Nick was truly thrown for a loop when Andi let him go. He just couldn’t imagine how his feelings and this relationship could possibly be that one-sided. How had he been so blind? How could he be this wrong? Those are brutal questions to have to face after a break up with someone you love. Many of us have been in his shoes and it sucks. The only difference is many times in other relationships you get some sort of closure or answers, but Nick understandably didn’t feel satisfied with his.

When I told Andi that Nick was in the building at the Men Tell All special she wasn’t too pleased. She wasn’t ready to face him and definitely didn’t want to be surprised by a visit. I fully understand her position. She made her decision and she did the best to make it very clear to him in the Dominican why she was making that decision. She knew she would be sitting down with him a week later on After the Final Rose, so she decided that would be the appropriate time and place to do so. I have no idea what was in the letter that Nick gave Andi. All I know is from what he told me it was his feelings on her and the breakup. I know Andi read the letter that day he gave it to her. So now we flash-forward to last night’s live show.

When Nick walked onto the stage, I’ve never seen him like that. He was nervous, scared, hurt, and shaking like a leaf. He was so emotional he was having trouble expressing his thoughts and feelings. I was doing my best to just let him talk, but at the same time with it being a live show, I also had to move things along because, as a host, I have to keep things moving—that next break is coming whether I like it or not. I think everyone got the idea of how Nick was doing as we brought Andi out to face him. When they sat down, you could feel the tension on the stage. If Nick was nervous and emotional before, I don’t even know how to describe how he was while Andi was out there. His voice was weak, his hands were shaking, and in that moment he just didn’t know what to do or say. And that really is the thing with a bad break up isn’t it? There really isn’t anything at that point to do or say that’s going to make anything easier or better. Being dumped sucks, period. What Andi had to do in that situation sucked. But in the Dominican she handled it the classiest way she could. She really let him off the hook by not making him show up that final day knowing her mind was made up. But Nick was in love with her and we’ve all been there.

You want there to be some magical answer that will just make everything clear and easy to understand, and that’s just not the way love works. I felt terrible for Nick, but I also felt really bad for Andi. She delicately and respectfully handled Nick last night just like I knew she would. She was strong and aggressive, but sensitive in her comments. I know for a fact that she cared very much for Nick during the show. Andi did a great job as the Bachelorette keeping an open mind and really going through the paces to make sure what she had was real. The most dangerous thing a Bachelor or Bachelorette can do is zero in on someone early and just shut everybody and everything else out emotionally. When you go through this process open and vulnerable, you end up with a strong true love like Andi did.

Andi and Josh are great together. I spent a lot of time with the two of them on the show on- and off-camera. The night after the proposal a few of us gathered back at a villa nearby to raise a glass and share some laughs. Hanging out with them it felt like they’d already been together for 10 years. That hasn’t changed as I saw it again last night on the show. They love each other very much. Josh is a good man who is truly looking for someone to add to his life. There is no doubt in my mind that he will take care of Andi. I enjoy being around them because all you can do is smile. It was a beautiful season capped off with an incredible proposal, and I can’t wait to follow this happy couple all the way to their wedding day.

More than a few of you tweeted me last night reminding me that I forgot to announce who the new Bachelor is. Believe it or not I didn’t forget to announce something that big. The truth is we haven’t decided 100 percent on whom that is yet. Obviously we take this decision very seriously and a lot goes into this process. There are endless discussions and heated debates on which direction to go and what to do. We are very close to making that decision, but the only big mistake we could really make is to rush this and try to get it done in time for last night’s show. I know you’re all anxious, and I wish I could tell you exactly when we’ll make that announcement, but I just can’t because the decision hasn’t been made. I do love reading the “stories” that claim one thing or another but I am a part of these heated debates, and I can promise you one took place last night after the show, so it’s still not a done deal. I’ll keep you posted via Twitter (@chrisbharrison) as to when and where we’ll make the final decision.

Now usually this time of year we all put the roses in the closet and get a little rest, but we don’t have time for that this summer because next week we’re going to take you on a ride you won’t forget. Next Monday night is the premiere of our new show, Bachelor In Paradise. By now you’ve seen some of the familiar faces and bodies that will be gracing the beaches of Tulum, Mexico. This is an incredible show that I know Bachelor Nation will love! All of your favorites are back for a second chance at love and, yes, there will be love found in Paradise. So I won’t say goodbye but rather “see you later” as I can’t wait for you to join me next Monday night for the premiere.

Thank you for being with us again this season, Bachelor Nation. I say with all sincerity you are the best, most loyal fans of any television franchise. You are what make this show easily the most socially relevant show on television. You are the reason we get to do what we do and we love you for it. I love that we have ended another season with a happily engaged couple and I’m excited for what the future holds for our next Bachelor, but you are the reason I am excited. You guys keep me inspired and keep my love of this show going, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Episode Recaps

The Bachelorette

One single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs in this romantic reality series. Will you accept this rose?

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