'The Bachelor' Ben Higgins gets engaged, runner-up becomes next 'Bachelorette'

ByJennifer Matarese via WABC logo
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NEW YORK -- Ben Higgins' journey for love came to an end as he decided between the two women he loved: Jojo and Lauren. Chris Harrison started off the show with a live introduction and promised a live wedding...but would it be Ben's wedding? It appears that it will be as they even flew out Ben's hometown pastor! Before we could get to the nuptials, we had to watch Ben's last dates in Jamaica with his final two and see how Ben's parents like each of the women.


Ben met up with his parents who were set to meet Lauren first. His mother said that she was "disturbed" by the fact that Ben told them that he loves both of the remaining two women. He told his parents how Lauren told him on their first date how she said to Ben that she wanted to meet his parents, and it was very sweet.

Lauren revealed to Ben's father that she trusts Ben and that he's caring and selfless and she admitted to him that she loves his son. She also told him that she told Ben that she loves him. Lauren also said that she's ready to get married and she hopes Ben is too. Amy, Ben's mom, seems to be a tough critic! She asked Lauren if she's seen the side of him that he thinks is "unlovable". When she called Ben "perfect" his mother scoffed and laughed. I think she seems a little concerned that Lauren's head is in the clouds a bit. His mom seemed to have trouble thinking about Lauren being Ben's wife. After Ben took a few minutes to talk to his parents, he spoke with Lauren privately about how things went. She said that she's fully ready to get engaged and said she's "there".

A very nervous Jojo was up next to meet the parents. She told Ben's mom that she was a little nervous and his mom actually seemed excited to meet her. Maybe she prefers brunettes? She seemed so much more open and relaxed around Jojo than she did around Lauren. Jojo even mentioned how Ben is too hard on himself and Ben said it's "comforting to be around her." That alone made Ben's mom happy. Jojo said to Ben's father that Ben meets all of her expectations for a husband and a father for her future kids. Jojo told his mother about how excited she was to hear Ben say "I love you" back to her and his mother just had a twinkle in her eye. Aw, Jojo talking to Ben's mother about how she doesn't want to lose Ben was just so emotional! Ben's mom is definitely team Jojo. Jojo told Ben that she's 100% ready to be married and then she asked him if he's ready to propose to whoever he picks, and he said yes.

Once that meeting was over, Ben seemed more confused than ever. Ben's dad said that both of the women are fantastic and he can't go wrong with either. Ben's mother said they were very different to her. She said that everything is wonderful about both of them, but she said she will be disappointed when Ben has to choose because he has to lose one of them. She is worried that Ben is too confused to make such a huge decision.

Back live in the studio they showed Lauren's whole family sitting in a room, and also Jojo's parents in another room ready for a "wedding" should one take place. Ok, so right there...where are Jojo's brothers? I think is an indicator of who Ben picks, but we'll have to wait to see if my prediction is right!

Lauren was up first for her final one-on-one date with Ben. She got a raft ride over to a catamaran ride with Ben. Ben right away told Lauren that he loved her and started giggling and saying how great it was to see her. He admitted that he hadn't slept in a while, but when she asked him what he was thinking about, all he would tell her is "You're beautiful." Once they docked, he said that the only doubt he has is that it could be too good to be true. He also said that he loved her right away and he didn't even know why. He's a little concerned that their relationship hasn't been tested where his relationship with Jojo has and they've still been able to come through that. Well if he does pick Lauren, I'm sure there will be some tough times once she watches the show back and she sees his time with Jojo! Yikes!

Lauren left that afternoon feeling a little defeated because she felt like Ben wasn't really mentally present on their date. He showed back up at her hotel room and she said that she feels very emotional and scared for what's ahead. Ben admitted that he's confused. This date seemed very tense and emotionally heavy. Ben told her no matter what happens she's made him a better person and made this experience "worth it". Lauren's eyes teared up because that sounded like a bit of a goodbye. At the end of the date they had a long lingering hug and passionate kiss and off she went.

The next day, Ben pulled up in a Jeep to meet up with Jojo for their last date before the big final rose. They drove off and Jojo told him that she loved his parents and could totally "kick it" with them. She said that she now sees where he gets a lot of his characteristics from. They went to a little waterfall (again?!) and jumped in. They had fun swimming and making out in the beautiful blue water. Once they were done swimming, she said that they hadn't talked a lot about the logistics of what would happen after the show, but that she would do whatever it takes despite living in two different cities to make their relationship work. Ben admitted to her that he doesn't know who he wants to propose to yet and Jojo was shocked that they weren't on the same page for once.

Later at Jojo's hotel room, Jojo pressed him on how he couldn't make up his mind when she is already so sure about him. He got a little agitated and said that he didn't see them talking about this that night. He told Jojo that he didn't have any reservations about her and that's the hard part. She told him she's scared about how he could make her so happy or so devastated at the same time. Ben told her that somehow in two months, she became his best friend. Wow, that's heavy! He said that's what he looks at and there are no fears or concerns with that. She was waiting for a sign that she's the one, and he never gave her that sign. They went inside the bathroom to try to talk off view from the camera, and he sat on the bathroom floor and told Jojo that he loves her. She flat out asked him if he loved Lauren too and she wanted to know if he told Lauren that and he said yes he did. Jojo said that she felt foolish and said that she's "so tired of competing with other people." She said that she's hurt and upset by his revelation.

On proposal day, Ben woke up hoping for clarity, but said that he still had none. Neil Lane, the ring guy, showed up and showed him six different cuts of diamonds. Neil asked Ben to tell him about the woman that he wants to propose to and he couldn't! Then all of a sudden, his face changed and he said that he does know who it is!!! He picked out a ring and he got ready to face the ladies. Ben said that he knew what he had to do and he was upset to have to hurt someone and breakup with someone he loves.

So first, Ben had to break up with someone. He stood there and waited at the podium with the final rose as we waited to see which unlucky woman got out of the helicopter first. Jojo got out of the helicopter! She walked up and started her speech to Ben about how much she liked him and how she loved laying in his arms and Ben's eyes just looked sad. She told him that she trusted him and that she was never going to run from this. Ben said that he came into this not knowing if he was going to find love, if it would be real, or just be some really nice helicopter rides. He told her that it was real with her always. He told her he found love with her, but he "found it with somebody else more". She stopped him, he said that he didn't want to leave her and even on a day "like today, there's no question" that he does love her. Jojo asked him where it went wrong, but he told her it never did. She said it was fine, he said no it's not. He walked her out to the car and she told him that he shouldn't have told her that he loved her. He said that he did fall in love with her and in another world he couldn't imagine saying goodbye to her. It was heartbreaking! She cried on his shoulder for a minute, he kissed her head; she got into the limo and left crying. She said inside the limo that she was speechless. Jojo said that Ben told her he would never blindside her but she never saw this coming and felt blindsided in that moment.

Before Lauren showed up, Ben Higgins called Lauren's father. He told him that he loved Lauren and he wished that he could have told him that in Portland! He asked Lauren's dad for permission to marry his daughter! Lauren's dad said that not only did he have his blessing; Ben had the whole family's blessing! Aww! With that, Ben did a little dance, ha!

Lauren arrived by helicopter, stepped out and was escorted down to Ben by Chris Harrison. She looked stunning in a beautiful royal blue dress. Ben gave her a huge hug and kiss and told her how beautiful she looked. He couldn't stop smiling! Lauren gave Ben her speech about how much she trusted him always and how their first kiss was the last first kiss that she ever wanted to have. She told Ben that he is her "person" and that she loves him. Ben told her that he came into this feeling unlovable, but through this journey that was full of goodbyes and that he never wants to say goodbye to her. He said, "I want to wake up every morning and kiss you on the face." He promised to love her and commit to her and kiss her a lot. He said, "Lauren, I want to spend the rest of my life with her." With that, he got down on one knee and proposed! Lauren said, "YES!" through her happy tears! They kissed and it was pure happiness! He told her that she's his "person" too! Lastly, he offered her his final rose and she said, "Yes, give me that thing!" He picked her up, and they boarded a helicopter together as they kept saying they loved each other and were so happy that they were officially engaged!

Then it was time for "After the Final Rose" to catch us up on where they are today! Ben's pastor was there and ready and waiting to marry Ben and Lauren if they wanted to get married right then and there. Ben came out on stage first and Chris Harrison congratulated him. He said that Chris Harrison asked him, "Is there someone here that you can't picture life without?" And Ben said it was Lauren.

Jojo came out to get some closure with Ben. She looked beautiful in a snug black dress. She said that she was really nervous and it was hard to watch it back. Ben said it made his stomach hurt. He told her that he doesn't regret having her as a part of his life but it will be marred by the fact that he had to end it that way. She said that it actually helped to see that it was hard for him too. He said that he'll always want what's best for her. She said that seeing how early on he had a connection with Lauren she understands more now how he could have chosen her.

Jojo said that it was really tough after she left Jamaica. She said she did a lot of self-reflecting and thinking. She said that there was something in the way that he looked at Lauren that he didn't look at her like that. She asked him what the deciding factor was in the end. He said that he just knew that he couldn't spend a day without Lauren and that he wanted to be with her only and he didn't allow himself to really feel that until the final day. Jojo ended her segment by telling Ben that she was really happy for him and Lauren.

Chris Harrison then announced the new "Bachelorette" and it's Jojo! Wow that is a shocker! Tabloids had said that it was Caila and that they had seen her filming around town. There were even rumors that she was dating Nick Viall, oh goodness can you imagine if he shows up on her season too? Ben said that she was a great choice to be "The Bachelorette"! You know what that means...we are going to be seeing more of her brothers! Let's hope they are nicer to the next batch of guys! Her season starts on May 23rd. Season 3 of "Bachelor in Paradise" was also announced for this summer!

At last, Lauren came out in a beautiful short white dress and reunited with Ben! She said she's so relieved that they can finally start their lives together. Lauren said that they have been doing great since the show ended. Ben said that they've been seeing each other in hiding a lot and each time he misses her more and more. Lauren said that Ben told her the next day about everything that happened on the show so that she wouldn't be caught off guard by anything. She said that has made a tough situation not affect their relationship. She said she was surprised that Ben loved Jojo, but honestly she thought that he could love someone else the whole time because of the situation they were all in. Lauren says that she falls more in love with Ben every day!

Lauren showed off her ring and announced that in the next few weeks she will be moving to Denver! They said that their families have talked and they are all getting along great. They have discussed their wedding and Lauren said that she doesn't want a long engagement. They did say that they wanted to date a little bit. Ben said that for him he just wants to "show her off". Jimmy Kimmel stood up in the audience and asked them what happens in the "Fantasy Suite". Then he proceeded to demonstrate with Barbie dolls! Ben said that he never takes off his suit. It was pretty funny. With 15 minutes left in the show, I doubt that they will actually get married.

Chris Harrison brought out Ben's pastor and asked Ben if he was ready to get married since he said that's what he wanted to do last time he was on the stage. Neil Lane brought wedding bands and Ben thanked him for coming. Ben said that they owe it to each other to do a wedding with their friends and family in a big way. He went over and hugged his pastor and said "When we do it I will give you a call!" Ben brought out Lauren's whole family, his parents, and then re-proposed to Lauren all over again! It was so sweet and they capped it off with a huge kiss! I knew they wouldn't get married, but let's hope they do and that it will be on TV where we can see it. Ben gave a heartfelt thank you to the fans for giving him such a great experience. Congratulations to the happy couple!