Spoilers ahead for the Season 16 finale of The Bachelorette on ABC.
What actually turned out to be the most dramatic season in Bachelor Nation history has come to an end with the Season 16 finale of The Bachelorette, with Tayshia Adams deciding which of her remaining suitors was the one for her. That said, the last couple of episodes have been intense for Tayshia, with some unexpected farewells and returns, which leaves me wondering: was the man whose proposal she accepted actually her first choice?
Tayshia ended her season engaged to Zac Clark, who was a steady source of support to her in her final days at La Quinta and made a good impression on her family. The proposal itself was actually very cute, as was them dashing off to "drive" away in a fake taxi cab like the one from a previous date. It was a happy ending, but I find it hard to overlook everything that led to Tayshia choosing Zac over the competition, and am wondering if she wouldn't have chosen one of the others if things had gone just slightly differently.
Brendan Morais struck me as a frontrunner from the beginning, even with spoilers hinting that he and Tayshia wouldn't be riding off into the sunset together. Tayshia was certainly taking him seriously, but he dropped the bombshell in the first half of the premiere that he wasn't ready for a serious relationship when he was still recovering from what happened in his previous relationship, and he left. Upset, Tayshia was down to Zac Clark and Ivan Hall... up until Ben Smith showed up to pull a Bennett Jordan and complicate things.
Ben was sent home last week when he couldn't bring himself to open up to Tayshia and confess that he'd fallen in love with her, but that proved to not be the end of their story. He showed back up at Tayshia's door right when she was about to head to the rose ceremony to presumably break the news about Brendan to Zac and Ivan, and Tayshia wasn't thrilled at having another complication, although she did take the initiative and kiss him.
She ultimately decided to send Ivan home because of their different perspectives on religion, which came somewhat out of nowhere as a dealbreaker to me as a viewer, but better for them to figure it out sooner rather than later! While Tayshia also came to the conclusion that Ben wasn't the guy for her, I felt that it was implied that she might have had something different to say if only Ben had confessed his love prior to being sent home rather than turning up again. And Tayshia was left with Zac.
Now, I'm not suggesting that Tayshia doesn't love Zac, or that Tayshia and Zac won't have a happily-ever-after. They definitely could work out. I just think that Tayshia's ideal top three would have been a Brendan who didn't leave early, a Ben who opened up without being sent home first, and Zac. And I'm not sure Zac would have been her top choice if the obstacles weren't in the way with Brendan and Ben. I can only speculate, though, and Zac was pretty great for Tayshia throughout the second half of the finale on December 22.
Zac was there for her rather than making their interactions about him, which is more or less what Ben did, and he went the extra mile to make a good impression on her family. He also brought them pizza, and pizza can make everything better, right? His proposal was sweet, as was his reaction to Tayshia's confessions, and I truly hope that he and Tayshia are happy together. I really enjoyed Tayshia as the Bachelorette, so my fingers are crossed that she got what she needed out of the experience and not more heartache.
For now, Tayshia's story in Bachelor Nation has come to an end, but fans won't have to go without any Bachelor Nation action for long. The new season of The Bachelor premieres with Matt James on Monday, January 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For more viewing options in the coming weeks, check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.