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Trista Sutter on The Bachelorette Finale: Yay for Ed! Reid, Really?

The Bachlorette, Ed Swiderski, Jillian Harris ABC/MARIO PEREZ

Original Bachelorette Trista Sutter is putting her reality-TV experience to use for us here at Watch With Kristin, blogging about Jillian Harris' quest for the perfect guy. Take it away, Trista...

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Dun, dun, dun...It's finale recap time!

For 10 weeks, we've been watching Jillian's search for love. Yes, it's a television show that is out for ratings, but like millions of Americans, I continue to believe that two people can meet and fall in love under the harsh glare of reality-TV cameras.

Isn't that why we are all tuned in on Monday nights? The hope that love will win out, even in the most unusual and bizarre set of circumstances? Well, that's why I have my TiVo set!  Am I biased? Sure. But when I look into the beautiful eyes of my children, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that love from a TV setup is most definitely possible. Will it be a reality for Jillian? Only time will tell. For now, though, I just want to see a happy ending to a crazy courtship.

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Ed is the lucky first contestant to meet Jillian's family. Hugs all around for the good-looking man in pink, but her mom somehow decided it would be best to remain seated. (Huh?!) As I always try to give the benefit of the doubt, maybe she has an injured foot or back. Hmmm.

I don't know if it's the color of his shirt or the Hawaiian light shining through the windows, but Ed's eyes look gorgeous! His time with Jillian's mom was all about questions. Go figure. The apple obviously doesn't fall far from the tree, although at least when Jillian was asking, she took her questions and turned them into conversation. Note to future participants of the show: Practice your interview skills, as there is a good chance this line of questioning could become a trend (although I hope not)!

The best part of their date was Ed getting Jillian's father's blessing for a proposal and then dancing butt cheek-to-butt cheek with him in a grass skirt and coconut bra. Priceless.

The next day, Kiptyn got his shot at impressing his possible future in-laws. Before the big event, Jillian preps him and they enjoy a few smooches. Have I been able to get over what I feel to be a lack of kissing chemistry? Unfortunately, no. And it bums me out! I cannot help it, though. Whenever he reaches forward with his lips to plant one on our Bachelorette, the heebie-jeebies creep up, and I have to turn away. Sorry!  

Lunch is served with a little side of gab, but it didn't get down to the nitty-gritty until it was time for Jillian’s mom to steal Kiptyn away. Poor guy. She didn't even face him. She sat at the edge of the couch and looked over her shoulder to chat. I'm sure she's a very sweet person, but a body language expert would probably tell her a more welcoming position would be to face the person you are speaking with, and I'm sure Kiptyn would've agreed. 

After her time with the boys, Jillian's family weighs in. For me, that part of the process was a major point of solidification. My family knows me better than just about anyone, and hearing their insight was invaluable. They gave me clarification that I wasn't just getting caught up in the moment (as I did with Alex Michel!) and creating feelings as a byproduct of television cameras. I was on the right path, and they gave me the confidence to believe that. I hope that Jillian gained that perspective as well.

Since my space here is limited, I'm going to hold off on last-chance date comments. That is, except to discuss Ed's choice of hairstyle and wardrobe! Not only was the 2-year-old-after-a-bath hairstyle back in action, but those snazzy green shorts made a repeat appearance. I know I'm just a stay-at-home mom now who is constantly in sweats and a ponytail, but I know fashion a faux pas when I see one, and handfuls of hair gel and those green shorts have got to go! His only saving grace is that at least he didn't wear them to meet Neil Lane!

Now for the good stuff: The "most emotional rose ceremony ever!"

Bachelorette, Jillian Harris, Chris Harrison ABC/ Mario Perez

The limo arrives, and you can sense all of America watching with you as the first guy steps out and into the fate of a broken heart. This time that guy is Kiptyn. 

What I don't understand is why it is alluring to have Kiptyn walk down the aisle, hold her hands and profess his love, all before Jillian says a word. It would be just as compelling to watch if Jillian spoke her mind and gently let him off the hook. Instead, she waits until after the dagger makes its violent plunge, after he says, "I love you." Ouch! I'm sure contracts have changed, but I can't imagine that she wouldn't have the choice to be the first one to speak, in essence, saving Kiptyn the pain of admitting to being in love and then being turned toward the door. 

It was not easy to hear her tell Kiptyn that she had fallen in love with someone else, even if I'm not a fan of his kissing. I know that pain. It sucks. I have a feeling, though, that Kiptyn will bounce back and be completely fine. I would offer him this piece of advice: Take a bodyguard with you on your trips to the beach because you are going to have to fend off the swarms of women coming for you! 

In normal Bachelorette protocol, bachelor No. 1 is hugged goodbye and bachelor No. 2 arrives from his fancy stretch limo for the climactic final rose ceremony. Not this time. Yet one more twist to end the season that was full of them, and this one is the return of Reid! In a superluxe, red minivan taxi, Reid steps out with what looked like white Converse sneakers on (Stylish? Maybe. But the right choice? I think not). He proceeds to put a big question mark over Jillian's head on a day where she probably thought all her questions were answered. Possibly unfair, but he's following his heart, so who can fault him? I don't think Jillian does by the look in her eyes, but I can't imagine her stress level. I just hope they had a medic nearby! 

After lots of forehead touches and sighs, Reid takes the traditional proposal stance and plants one knee on the ground. He tells her he loves her, and all I can think of is what would Ed do if he knew this were going on? Can you imagine?

She pulls him up and tells him she needs to think about this, and his response: "What do you need to think about?" Seriously, Reid? You just interrupted her before she was most likely about to get engaged to someone else. You haven't met her family. You hadn't even told her you loved her until two minutes ago. Thinking may be overrated, but not in that serious of a life decision. Come on!

After a heart-to-heart with Chris to help her through the confusion, she ultimately decides to go with what she knows to be true: her love for Ed. Poor Reid gets the second broken heart of the day, and for the rest of his life will most likely regret not verbalizing his feelings sooner. Another lesson for the guys of the show. Hopefully.

Jillian heads back down to her mark at the end of the pool and says, "Ed better not f--king disappoint me." That, to me, was the best line of the show!

Happy music plays, Ed steps out of the limo, and the butterflies start buzzing. Yes, in my belly! I can't help it, but one of the reasons I watch these shows is to remind myself of the memories I made when I was in Jillian's shoes. Remembering Ryan finally coming down the stairs toward me was one of the happiest days of my life. I'll never forget his face. You can tell it's the same for Jillian. Her smile gives it away. I still don't know why she gives Ed the lead, but love that he said, "Before we go any further, I need to know that you love me." She confesses that she is madly in love with him, and the happy ending ends with a ring and a signature squeal.

Some are questioning whether she picked the right guy, and some are saying flat out that he's wrong. All that matters at the end of a love story is if they are happy. Right? Who's to say what is right and wrong when it comes to love? They lived their story. They know their feelings. And I for one could not be any happier for them. I just hope in five years, they'll still be alongside Ryan and I in the ranks of success stories from the show. Congrats, guys, and all my best!

(Originally published July 28, 2009, at 3:32 p.m. PT)

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Check back here on Wednesday for a recap of the "After the Final Rose" Bachelorette special. And follow Trista on Twitter at tristasutter or on her family website at www.ryansutter.com.

Do you think Jillian made the right choice? Discuss it in the comments below.

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