Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock's road to happily ever after had a few speedbumps on it.
Two of those speed bumps? Brooks Forester and Drew Kenney, the men who made it to the final three along with her now-fiancee Chris Siegfried. Fans of the ABC reality hit were left blindsided when Brooks told Des he didn't love her and bowed out of the competition, while Drew was devastated when she dumped him in the season finale on Monday night.
E! News exclusively chatted with Brooks and Drew, who revealed what they think of Desiree saying yes to Chris' proposal so soon after Brooks broke her heart. Does Brooks regret breaking up with Desiree? Was Drew really in the running to be the next Bachelor? And what do they think of their former competitor Juan Pablo Galavis being selected as the next Bachelor? Find out...
Though some fans were hoping to see Brooks return in the finale and beg Desiree to take him back, Brooks, who is single, has no regrets about his decision to leave the show. "I know I made the right decision. That was about being honest with Des and myself and that conversation and the breakup as difficult as it was and as bad as it hurt," he explains. "I just don't know how I can regret being honest. I look back and say that was the right decision."
Brooks adds, "Des deserves to be in love with someone that is equally in love with her. If she was at that point, great, I needed to get there and I just wasn't there just yet." And while he tells us, "I never had a moment where I felt like I should go back and hash things out with Des," he does admit, "Were there things I missed about her and was I sad to see our relationship come to a close? Yes."
While some were surprised that Des was able to get over her heartbreak and say yes to Chris' proposal, Brooks says he "wasn't entirely surprised. I had time to consider all the options of what would be the outcome. I am excited for them and I wish them the best. As I said last night, it was apparent that Des had those feelings for Chris and I know Chris has those feelings for her. I love Chris. I think he is a genuine person and a great guy. Des got what she deserves and I couldn't be happier for them."
Brooks was the frontunner throughout the season and spoilers claimed he and Des were engaged, something he admits was hard for him to deal with. "The last two months have been difficult. Everyone assumed we were together," he says. "I am glad that it is over." Brooks adds that he has no plans to attend Des and Chris' nuptials "out of respect" for the couple.
Drew was left heartbroken when Des dumped him in Antigua during their date, but he tells us, "I didn't have any anger towards her. I understood that she was going through something difficult. If she didn't feel like she didn't have that connection with me then I wasn't going to sit there and try to convince her otherwise. That was something she needed to figure out on her own."
And if the tables were turned, Drew, who is currently single, tells us he also would have stayed with Des after what happened with Brooks if he was in Chris' shoes. "I would have stayed with her. [Des and Chris] had plenty of conversations to explain herself and their connection was different than mine. It was such a quick turnaround for her to go from such heartbreak to such elation in that engagement. I'm happy for them." He adds, "I look at them and I see the outcome that she should have had. I have nothing but good thoughts and good hopes for them in the future."
During the After the Finale Rose special, it was revealed that 31-year-old singel father Juan Pablo, who was went home by Desiree in episode six, would be ABC's next Bachelor when the series returns in January.
"I think Juan Pablo is a great guy. He is wonderful. He is family oriented. He will take it seriously," Drew says. "Ultimately he wants what's best for him and his daughter. He would talk to his daughter every day, whether through Skype or through text messages. He was constantly showing us in the house pictures of her. It was clear how important she was to him."
But what about the reports that he was also being considered as the 18th Bachelor? "I don't know if I was ever in the running, they tend to keep that stuff close to the vest. If I was being considered, I wasn't really informed," Drew tells us. "As far as being the Bachelor, what that meant to me was the opportunity to find the person that I'm meant to be with. This process was an awakening for me. I realized there are qualities that I am looking for and I am ready to find them and ready to settle down and start a family and start my future."