SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched “The Bachelorette” Season 20 finale with Charity Lawson, which aired August 21 on ABC.
Leading lady Charity Lawson is now an engaged woman.
After a shocking twist that saw Lawson breaking up with contestant, Xavier Bonner, during a one-on-one date where he confessed his past infidelity, “The Bachelorette” star surprised her remaining men by welcoming back Aaron Bryant, one of her suitors who was previously sent home.
With that, Lawson’s final rose ceremony — before the proposal rose ceremony — ended up including three finalists: Bryant, Dotun Olubeko and Joey Graziadei.
Bryant had been sent home by Lawson in a previous rose ceremony, but he then made a surprise return. In the first moments of the finale episode, Lawson welcomed Bryant back into the competition — turning her final two into a final three. Admitting that she regretted her decision to initially send him home, Lawson gave Bryant another shot. The two chatted and kissed, and Lawson became even more confused with her decision.
“Coming into this week, I felt confident with Joey and Dotun, but Aaron somehow made it on Fiji Airways and decided to come here,” Lawson said. “And now, I am deciding to reconsider everything.”
Bryant’s return was brief. As she was about to hand out her final two roses, Lawson sent Bryant home. Nonetheless, producers were likely thrilled with another week of teases and an extra dose of drama.
“The risk I took, you’re just that special of a woman, Charity, and I hope you realize that,” Bryant said. “You gave me hope…I’m always in your corner.”
(Before you feel too sad for Bryant, he’ll have another shot at love — or, TV fame — as a contestant on this fall’s season of “Bachelor In Paradise.” Watch the first trailer here.)
Anyway, Lawson’s final two ended up being Olubeko and Graziadei.
Next, Lawson’s family met both men and they gave an overwhelming stamp of approval to Graziadei, only confusing her decision even further.
When Graziadei met Lawson’s family, he told her mother that he is in love with her daughter and got a big hug at the end of their heartfelt conversation. “I think Joey could be the one,” Lawson’s mother said. He also had a raw discussion about interracial relationships when talking with Lawson’s older sister. “It’s not a point of race. For us, it’s about love,” her sister told Graziadei. “If you’re the right person, we have no problem about it.”
When Olubeko met the family, it was evident that they believed in Lawson’s connection with Graziadei more — in fact, Lawson’s mother and sister told her that point-blank. And so, heading into a potential engagement, Lawson was more conflicted than ever.
“I hope my family can help make sense of what I’m feeling because I can’t take it anymore,” Lawson said, wrestling with her decision between both men. Many tears were shed, and family arguments were had as Lawson was trying to find clarity in who would be her future husband.
“I’m incredibly overwhelmed. I’m feeling nervous. I did not expect to be here with two people. I thought it was going to be so clear,” Lawson said.
“For the first time in all of this, I’m truly not okay,” she added. “I’m a mess.”
Heading into the proposal, Lawson is confused, but Graziadei is certain that he’s the one. “I just feel like we have something special that she won’t be able to say no to,” he said.
But Lawson ultimately chose Olubeko and broke Graziadei’s heart.
“It won’t make sense in this moment, and it’s hard to get these words out,” Lawson said as she was hysterically crying, as Graziadei was getting ready to pull out an engagement ring. “I am in love with you…I don’t even want to think about the fact that our story ends today. I am truly broken, and I know this is hard for you.”
With tears running down her face, Graziadei consoled Lawson and said he only wants her to be happy. In the car, he cried, wondering, “When is it going to happen for me?”
With that, a heartbroken Graziadei received his “Bachelor” edit. And Lawson found another future husband.
(But seriously, Graziadei was announced on Monday night’s live finale to be — surprise! — the next star of “The Bachelor.” Read more on that here.)
As fans have known all along, it was always going to be Lawson and Olubeko in the end. The couple appears to be one of the strongest couples that Bachelor Nation has seen years.
“With Dotun, it’s exciting. It’s ease. It’s effortless,” Lawson said in the episode. “He shows me this is someone I can forever count on, and will do anything for me.”
The 6’7 Olubeko got down on one knee and proposed to Lawson with a Neil Lane diamond sparkler: “The love that we have is perfect,” he said. “Will you do me the honor of turning this fairytale into a reality?”
As the Fiji fairytale was playing out, “The Bachelor” franchise host Jesse Palmer was onstage in front of a live studio audience, sitting down with Lawson and Olubeko.
“Obviously, we want to do the whole thing — marriage and get a house,” Olubeko said on the live show. Lawson chimed in, “It’ll be sooner rather than later. We don’t have a set date yet or anything. We’ve definitely talked about it, but we’re just enjoying this season of life.”
Congrats to the happy couple!
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