When Arizona real estate broker Arie Luyendyk Jr. picks his fiancee on the season-22 finale of “The Bachelor,” airing Monday, it takes a three-hour episode to do it. Why such a long time slot instead of the usual two-hour closer, followed by the traditional “After the Final Rose” special (which now airs Tuesday)? Because the woman he chose initially on the finale is not the one with whom he winds up later in the finale.
Luyendyk, 36 — a former race car driver and the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk Sr. — previously sent away director Kendall Long, a 26-year-old Santa Clarita, California, creative director, to leave two finalists: Becca Kufrin, 27, a publicist from Prior Lake, Minnesota, and Lauren Burnham, a Virginia Beach, Virginia, tech salesperson who was 25 during the season’s production but has since turned 26, according to People magazine.
As initially reported by Us Weekly, Luyendyk changed his mind about the woman to whom he proposed, and broke up with her to begin seeing the runner-up. Something similar has happened only once before, with season 13’s Jason Mesnick in 2009, who during the “After the Final Rose” special taped six weeks after his proposal announced he wanted to end his engagement with winner Melissa Rycroft and instead take up with runner-up Molly Malaney. He and Malaney married in 2010 and had a daughter in 2013.
According to Us, Luyendyk proposed in Peru in November and the couple stayed together through December. But Luyendyk’s doubts about his decision became acute as the season’s Jan. 1 premiere approached. In early January, Luyendyk broke up with the winner. Sometime after this, he visited the runner-up in her hometown, and the two began a relationship. ABC cameras recorded all the drama, with E! News detailing that Luyendyk had notified the network when he began realizing he was having second thoughts.
“If I could rewind time and redo things as the Bachelor, I would, honestly,” Luyendyk said on the Feb. 25 special “The Women Tell All,” produced after the proposal. “I know people always say, ‘No regrets.’ But I have regrets.” He went on to tell People last week, “I know people are going to be hard on [me],” adding, “I made a mistake. And I’m prepared for the backlash. But all I can say is I had to follow my heart.”