On Monday night's shocking season finale of The Bachelor, fans watched raw, unedited footage of Arie Luyendyk Jr. blindsiding his fiancee, Becca, with a breakup. She thought they'd be spending the weekend together at a private, arranged hideaway in Los Angeles weeks after he had proposed and filming had wrapped. Instead, the 36-year-old walked in with no bags, just cameras and a lot of metaphorical baggage to unpack.
In November, they had filmed what would become the first two hours of the season 22 finale. The race car driver broke up with runner-up Lauren Burnham (a move which she also said left her blindsided) and proposed to Becca. He told Becca that he saw their future together and envisioned growing old with her. He even asked her when they could start having children.
Then, in the meetup that Becca thought would be secret, he showed up with a production crew and laid the pain on thick. Even Arie didn't seem to grasp the gravity of what he was saying as cameras rolled. "I just felt the further along we got, the further I started to drift away from the possibility of trying again with [Lauren]," he told Becca.
"Well, yeah," she responded, seemingly dumbfounded. "Because that's a normal relationship."
Becca thought they were engaged. Understandably, she thought that Arie was committed to her, and that he wouldn't think of his promise to her as an unwelcome prohibition on him from pursuing someone else. It all seems so obvious, right? At episode's end, Becca made a short appearance and told host Chris Harrison that she still had many questions to ask her ex on Tuesday night during the live After the Final Rose reunion special. She also said she wasn't sure if she'd get truthful answers.
So on Tuesday night, Becca, Arie and Lauren will all reunite, and the franchise will also reveal its new Bachelorette. If there's one thing Arie's season had going for it, it was a group of smart, strong, beautiful women. We love many of the standouts from this season; Bekah Martinez, Tia Booth, Kendall Long, Seinne Fleming will also be on hand. They're all considered candidates, though Kendall, Tia and Seinne have told ET that they haven't had discussions with producers about taking on the role. And after last night, it seems there's only one choice for our next Bachelorette: Becca.
Why? Because Becca cannot be defined by this shocking scenario. She cannot be remembered only for this man's betrayal. In February, franchise alum Clare Crawley got a chance to change her story on The Bachelor: Winter Games. Before that, she told us that, for years, people would come up to her with their sympathy for her heartbreak on The Bachelor. It was pity that she didn't ask for, want, nor feel was warranted in her life.
So, Becca Kufrin cannot be bombarded in grocery aisles. She cannot be asked at airports if she's OK. Becca Kufrin has been lovely, confident and kind all season long. She's been dubbed a "pure soul" by more than one fellow contestant from her season, and she even handled a completely unexpected, disgraceful dumping with dignity.
In short, Becca Kufrin deserves to write her own story, and we can only hope this heinous heartbreak will be merely a chapter; perhaps even only a page.