When we got to The Bachelor: After the Rose special, many viewers thought we'd see Ben's final choice fall apart before our eyes. And for the first half hour, it really seemed like that would be the case. In the first few minutes of the special, Ben revealed that once the cameras stopped rolling, he and his happy bride to be said ta-ta for now.
But whether or not we were on board with Courtney as the last bachelorette left standing, anyone could see the genuine emotion in that final moment when Ben proposed. So where was the love? Well, it wasn't too far gone. After all, her recent flashy, wedding dress shopping spree was something the duo cooked up together to take the heat off Ben when tabloids accused him of cheating with multiple women in San Francisco.
After spending Thanksgiving with her family, ""a big storm rolled in"" and things came to a halt. The rules of the show required them to separate, but Courtney felt that the separation was more than just an adherence to ABC's rules. Courtney said it killed her when they stopped communicating, saying ""Ben abandoned me."" She tried multiple times to contact him, but he didn't respond and she was sure they were done for. But despite their separation, Courtney sees them as a couple - at least she ""thinks so.""
Of course, this was all leading up to the big, crowning moment: the reconciliation. As much as Courtney's emotions when she described her separation from Ben seemed genuine, it's hard to believe that ABC wouldn't find a way for this controversial couple to follow through with their polarizing engagement.
After reuniting her with Ben and having them watch the proposal together, Chris Harrison brings forth the final piece of the puzzle: the Neil Lane ring. Obviously, Courtney hasn't been allowed to wear it for as long as the series has been on air, in order to keep the mystery. Either way, she'd arrive at the ceremony without a ring. Because many fans were hoping this reunion would fall through, Harrison and crew kept the conversation nice and round about, dragging out the inevitable: Ben and Courtney are still very much engaged.
And the final scene of proof was one for the haters: Ben happily slipped the gorgeous diamond back onto Courtney's finger as she cried tinny tears of joy. Unfortunately for most of America, the bad girl won and this time, it might actually stick. Now, only time will tell if Ben and Courtney's trust issues - most of which are borne out of the nature of the show itself and the tabloid attention that came with it - are their undoing. Who knows? Maybe we'll all have the chance to be miffed and confused this time next year, when Ben and Courtney take Ashley and JP's spot as the success story couple on the ""After the Final Rose"" ceremony.