Ben misses the final rose on "Bachelorette"
Ben Flajnik brought Ashley Hebert home to Sonoma during an episode of "The Bachelorette"
Sonoma winemaker Ben Flajnik, 28, offered up a poignant marriage proposal during the finale of “The Bachelorette” Monday night, but Ashley Hebert turned down the offer, instead deciding her heart belonged to JP, a construction manager from New York.
“I guess that’s it, right?” he said after she turned him down, before walking away from the brunette beauty as she stood on Fijian beach.
He later told the cameras, “I’m in utter shock, I’m in disbelief … I don’t know what the **** just happened there.”
It was an emotional journey for the Sonoma native, who frequently discussed how reserved he was when it came to relationships. Hebert was only the second girl he ever brought home to meet his family, and the first girl he could ever see himself marrying, he said on the show.
“I do believe Ashley is in love with me, I see it in her eyes,” he said before the proposal. “This is a hell of a story. You know, you read fairytales, you never think that you’re going to be apart of one. And that’s exactly what this is, a fairytale.”
During the proposal, he credited Hebert with helping him bring down his walls and allow her into his heart. “Every second that I spend with you makes me fall deeper in love with you,” he told her. “I want to thank you for letting me be completely vulnerable and open with you.”
While Flajnik appeared angry right after being turned down, by the time he returned for the reunion special “After the Rose,” his view had shifted, at least after he got in one dig, telling Hebert “nice ring” as he looked at the engagement ring she accepted from JP. But ultimately, he said the experience was worth the heartache.
“I think about Ashley. I’m a more complete person because of her and this journey,” he said. “Ultimately, after going through something like that and putting myself out there, it’s an accomplishment.”
In the tradition of “The Bachelorette,” whoever does not win the competition often returns as the star of the next season’s “The Bachelor.” There’s no word yet on whether Flajnik would consider another relative TV run, when the Index-Tribune asked he simply said, “I don’t know.”