After 10 weeks of whittling down a group of men from 28 to only one, Bachelorette Becca Kufrin made her final decision on Monday night. She is now engaged to winner Garrett Yrigoyen, who beat out runner-up Blake Horstmann for Kufrin’s hand.
Since the episodes were filmed months in advance and aired in the beginning of the summer, Kufrin and Yrigoyen have been engaged for months — secretly, though, so as not to spoil the finale. While the couple is, by all accounts, blissfully happy, Yrigoyen came under fire after the season’s first episode for liking several bigoted Instagram posts.
On the first night of the show, Kufrin awarded Yrigoyen the first impression rose, which is often a good indicator that the recipient is a frontrunner. Just hours later, news broke that Yrigoyen had double-tapped politically charged Instagram posts that mocked Parkland high school students, liberal women, trans people and undocumented immigrants.
At this point, Yrigoyen was already secretly engaged to Kufrin. So as not to make himself a villain in the fans’ eyes, Yrigoyen tried to get ahead of the bad press by releasing a statement on Instagram.
“I am sorry to those who I offended, and I also take full responsibility for my ‘likes’ on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive,” he wrote. “garret_yrigs12 was my former Instagram handle and I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself. I am not perfect, and I will never be anywhere close, but now I will always be more informed and aware of what I am liking and supporting, not just on Instagram, but in life.”
Kufrin also reacted to the situation to help her fiancé save face. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she defended Yrigoyen’s actions and said she thought he didn’t mean any harm.
“All I can ask is that people watch the season and get to know not only me for who I am, but get to know these guys as well. I think that everyone is different. I came into this knowing I was going to meet a handful of men who came from different backgrounds and different walks of life, and I wanted to just be open to everyone, and I hope that the viewers can do the exact same thing.”
At the end of Monday night’s finale, the live “After the Final Rose” portion brought the engaged couple onstage to re-address the controversy.
“The Instagram situation, I don’t condone that, and I know that he stands by his apology and he feels so bad for everyone that he did offend,” Kufrin said. “He didn’t mean it. But I just want to move forward, to learn and to grow and continue to educate ourselves.”
“She’s helping me through everything,” Yrigoyen responded. “We’ve been honest and open and transparent with one another since the beginning, and when that all came out, we attacked it because I feel like when I was liking things, it was going against things she stands for and that made it really hard on us as a couple.”
Despite the couple’s apparent happiness, many fans were extremely disappointed in Kufrin’s choice. While she did not know about the scandal when she made her pick months before during filming, the whole situation painted Yrigoyen in a bad light. Let’s hope for Kufrin’s sake that those were only mindless double-taps.