After calling off an engagement with his first winner, Becca Kufrin, about a month after filming ended, Arie Luyendyk Jr. proposed to his now winner, Lauren Burnham, during Tuesday’s live After the Final Rose special.
After the devastating switcheroo played out, the show of romance was met with mixed reviews, to put it kindly. But Becca, with America firmly in her corner, received the consolation prize of being ABC’s next Bachelorette (which starts airing May 28).
“Arie, did you know everyone would be so mad? I mean, everyone is so mad. My wife was really mad at you,” said Kimmel, a self-proclaimed Bachelor franchise superfan.
After the season premiered back in January, Kimmel brought Arie onto his show and predicted that Becca would win. Arie explained that during that visit, he had actually run back to Lauren after picking Becca behind the scenes, but couldn’t reveal any of that. “I was in this crazy mental state. I was just freaking out,” he said. “Obviously, I knew that there would be some backlash, but it’s worth it. I’m so in love with her.”
Lauren’s personality shone through as she fielded Kimmel’s jokes and jabs with poise and class. “I did second-guess it at first, and we definitely had a conversation about my hesitations,” she admitted. But even her family welcomed Arie back with open arms.
Still, Kimmel needed more answers, joking: “Remember, you are under oath.”
Arie took Kimmel through the timeline he had explained on After the Final Rose and cited the pressure aronud the show, the expectation of a finale proposal and the emotional roller-coaster of going through the biggest breakup of your life and proposing to someone else on the same day, something he said simply isn’t natural.
“But then why, after feeling like that was a mistake to have done that — which, obviously, it was a mistake — did you turn around and get engaged tonight?!” Kimmel asked, vocalizing the big question on everyone’s mind. “What rush are you in? I know you’re a racecar driver, but slow the hell down already!”
Kimmel did admit that proposing now was a good move if the couple wanted the ring for free. Arie proposed with a 3.65-carat Neil Lane sparkler and, per show contract rules, the winning couple gets to keep the ring if they stay together for two years. “Then you can figure out if you’re going to get married a little bit later,” Kimmel advised. But Lauren, who will be moving into Arie’s Arizona apartment, said they’ve already started planning the wedding.
Kimmel then asked if any of her former castmates — who have been heavily critical of Arie, both publicly and on social media — would be invited to the wedding. “I honestly haven’t seen any of it,” said Lauren. “They don’t really understand.”
Despite Kimmel’s criticisms of Arie’s waffling, Lauren held strong. “You don’t seem particularly critical,” he said. “You could have married anybody!”
Pointing out that they have only been together for two and a half months and have never even been to a restaurant together, Kimmel ended the chat by telling them: “Oh, you should definitely get married right away!”