Only two men remain as Michelle Young heads into the season 18 finale of “The Bachelorette.” The schoolteacher from Minnesota’s search for a soulmate ends as she must choose between Nayte Olukoya and Brandon Jones.
WARNING: STOP READING IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS FOR SEASON 18 OF “THE BACHELORETTE.”
So who will get on bended knee and will Young get engaged? Here is what you need to know:
Michelle Young Is in Loves With 2 Men
Michelle Young says she loves both of her remaining contestants. She narrowed her contestants from 30 down to two. They are:
- Brandon Jones, 26, a traveling nurse recruiter from Portland, Oregon
- Nayte Olukoya, 27, a sales executive from Austin, Texas
Last week during fantasy suite dates, fans saw Young tell Olukoya, “I am definitely in love with you too.” But this week, she is saying those three magic words to Jones.
“You’ve been so vulnerable with me and you’ve been open with me. And so I wanna make sure that you where I’m at. I feel like I’m already in love with you. I do, I really am in love with you.”
Kaitlyn Bristowe, a woman who has been in Young’s shoes, defended the Bachelorette. “Back in the day on these shows, we used to be, like, ‘I can’t believe they’re in love with more than one person and they said it.’ Michelle is just — she is so strong in who she is,” the “Dancing With the Stars” winner said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reason” podcast. “And she’s like, ‘No, if I’m in love with two people, I’m in love with two. I didn’t think it would happen, but it did.’”
Young Goes on Her Final 1-on-1 Dates
In Mexico, Young goes on her final one-on-one dates of the season with Jones and Olukoya.
Young and Jones enjoy a beach date, which features the couple kissing on a jet ski, based on promos and photos from the finale.
On her date with Olukoya, they experience a ritual “to help you to be close to the door of the marry,” according to their shaman Raul in the promo. He tells the duo to “Speak directly in your eyes and tell her what you want to release in this ceremony.”
During the date, Olukoya says, “I want to release the nervousness and the fear of just, you know, the unknown. Is that good?”
Though Young is left with her doubts. In a confessional interview, she says, ‘I can see that he is putting in effort to be open, to be vulnerable, but during that ritual, I didn’t feel like I was getting enough from Nayte. He was very uneasy today. Like are you truly ready for this?”
Young’s Mom Is Rooting for Jones
In traditional Bachelor Nation style, Jones and Olukoya will get to meet Young’s family. Her mother LaVonne, father Ephraim and sister Angela have all traveled to Mexico.
Jones may have a leg up, having met her parents during his one-on-one date in Minnesota. He arrives with flowers in tow and declares that he already feels like he is a part of the family.
When LaVonne asks about the progression of his feelings in a promo for the finale, he says, “I’ve truly found out that I was in love with your daughter. And yeah, so that was a big moment for me just ‘cause I don’t use that word too lightly and I just want to marry her so bad, you know?” The Bachelorette’s mom responds, “I want that for you too. I know there’s still someone else here, too, but yeah, I would be so happy if you’re here in the end.”
Youn’s father has his own concerns. After meeting with Jones, Ephraim says, “My concern is he would become a jealous person.”
Young has been open about her worries that Olukoya may not be ready for an engagement. Those concerns are reiterated when he meets her parents. LaVonne tells Olukoya, “I’m not sure you’re 100% in” after he declares, “I am very ready to get down on one knee.”
The matriarch seems to double down on that point when Young asks, “Do you feel like he’s ready for an engagement?” She responds, “To be honest, no.”
Young Gets Engaged to Olukoya
Both men meet with Bachelor Nation’s go-to jeweler, Neil Lane, ahead of their potential proposals. Though, as Reality Steve reported in October, Young ends the season engaged to Olukoya. ‘
After rumors of a potential post-finale split, Reality Steve doubled down on his claims they are together. He tweeted in part, “Michelle & Nayte are engaged. You’ll see that Tuesday.”
Young & Her Final 2 Contestants Will Appear on the Live ‘After the Final Rose’
The live “After the Final Rose” will immediately follow “The Bachelorette” finale, airing from 10:03 – 11 p.m. Eastern time. Hosted by the season’s co-host, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, the special will debut the newly engaged Young and Olukoya. The franchise’s lead will also reunite with her runner-up, Jones.
According to ABC’s synopsis, “The roses have all been handed out, ‘The Bachelorette’ herself, Michelle Young, returns. Hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will lead the night, guiding emotional discussions of love and heartbreak between Michelle and her final two men. Plus, appearances from Bachelor Nation fan-favorites and some very special surprises you won’t want to miss.”
“The Bachelorette” finale airs on December 21, 2021, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time.