Why there was no real winner on last night’s finale of ‘The Bachelorette’

“The Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay during the season finale in Rioja, Spain. The three-hour finale aired on ABC Aug. 7, 2017.
ABC Handout
“The Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay during the season finale in Rioja, Spain. The three-hour finale aired on ABC Aug. 7, 2017.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

We always knew Miami chiropractor Bryan Abasolo was going to win Rachel Lindsay’s season of “The Bachelorette.” We just didn’t know it was going to feel this unsatisfying for everyone involved.

At the final three rose ceremony, Lindsay looked Wisconsin business owner Peter Kraus directly in the eyes before handing him and Abasolo roses and told him she expected a proposal at the end of the show.

He got the message.


And yet, he told her during their final date that while he loved her and he could see a future with her (and while he had signed up for a reality show for which the endgame is in fact a highly produced proposal), he wasn’t going to be able to get down on one knee.

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After a breakup segment so teary that Lindsay cried off her false eyelashes and so steeped in emotion that the pair’s lengthy kiss left viewers thinking, “Wait, so are they actually breaking up, or—?” Lindsay was out.

“What is wrong with me?” Kraus asked himself as he bawled into his sweater.

Kraus later told “Bachelorette” host Chris Harrison that he was so distraught, he walked past Lindsay’s fake eyelashes on the floor for two days.

“No one would clean them up, and I wasn’t about to,” he said.


Alas, there are quick turnarounds in Bachelorette land: The next day was proposal day.

“Waking up this morning, I’m still affected by the goodbye I had to say to Peter,” Lindsay, a Dallas lawyer, said in voiceover. “I don’t regret the decision that I made, but some of the questions he asked me last night resonated with me. I got where he was coming from, and that thought process made me question if I’m rushing into this with Bryan.”

And yet, Abasolo proposed in the cliche-filled, wax-faced way he always speaks, and Lindsay seemed happy enough to accept his proposal.

Rachel Lindsay is a special Bachelorette. The significance of her season notwithstanding (Lindsay is the first black Bachelorette in the show’s history), she’s accomplished and confident, and Bachelor Nation really wanted something great for her.

It feels like she didn’t get her happy ending, but rather, ended up with the last man standing.

Alison Goldman can be reached at