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The Bachelorette’s Michelle Young Did Not Have The Most Dramatic Finale Ever, And Here’s Why That’s Okay

Michelle Young press photos for The Bachelorette
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story discusses the result of Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, so proceed with caution if you haven’t watched the Season 18 finale.

Michelle Young’s journey on The Bachelorette has come to a close, with the Minnesota teacher accepting a proposal from season-long frontrunner Nayte Olukoya. The three-hour season finale, including the “After the Final Rose” special, featured a tough breakup with runner-up Brandon Jones, but otherwise it definitely was not the “most dramatic finale in Bachelorette history,” as the show loves to promote. Here’s why that’s actually a good thing.

Bachelor Nation loves its drama — so much so that the producers are often accused of manufacturing it where it doesn’t exist. Michelle Young’s mostly drama-free season was refreshing after the truckloads of chaos previous seasons have delivered, and Season 18 brought the show back to what it was originally intended to be — a love story.

ABC really played up the “Is Michelle Young more in love with Nayte Olukoya than he is with her?” angle, and Young’s mother certainly helped bring the tension by saying she didn’t think Olukoya was ready to get engaged. But it was merely a means to an end, which was Young getting engaged to the man who was first out of the limos, and who received the First Impression Rose. 

It’s been a long time since The Bachelorette simply celebrated its happy couple on “After the Final Rose,” so maybe the “conclusion you’ll never expect” that was teased in all the ABC previews was that the finale would go down without a hitch? Just think back to the most recent season finales.

Season 17 with Katie Thurston ended with her engagement to Blake Moynes, but the “After the Final Rose” was dominated by her confrontation with Greg Grippo, where she accused him of gaslighting her. Prior to Thurston's run as Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams got engaged to Zac Clark, but COVID robbed that couple of an "After the Final Rose" celebration altogether.

Hannah Brown was still single at the conclusion of Season 15 after she broke up with Jed Wyatt amid reports that he had had another girlfriend, and Becca Kufrin spent the Season 14 finale addressing her then-fiance Garrett Yrigoyen’s social media scandal, which surfaced while her season was airing, making the finale her first opportunity to comment publicly. 

Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo got engaged at the end of Season 13, but Abasolo took a backseat to discussions about runner-up Peter Kraus, who had been Lindsay’s assumed front-runner until he revealed he wasn’t ready to propose and left the show right before the final rose ceremony.

Has it really been since JoJo Fletcher got engaged to Jordan Rodgers in 2016 that we’ve had a finale of The Bachelorette where we were simply allowed to be happy for the couple? We, fans of Bachelor Nation, deserved this. Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya deserved this! And I’m actually really okay with Season 18 not being the most dramatic finale in The Bachelorette’s history.

The Bachelorette may be over, but there is some real drama coming our way very soon. Clayton Echard embarks on his own journey to find love, as The Bachelor Season 26 premieres at 8 p.m. ET Monday, January 3 on ABC. Check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what other shows are coming in the new year.

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.