Lyndsey Gavin stunned Chris Leroux in the finale of The Bachelor Canada Wednesday night by making her own choice before he could say a word.
And, it turned out she really was the winner, in escaping commitment-shy Chris.
Dressed in a turquoise gown that matched the waves that were crashing at Riviera Maya, she quietly walked out to where Leroux was waiting with a single rose. Then she gave him her surprise.
“I do not choose you,” she said bluntly, explaining that although she thought he was “phenomenal and great” there were too many differences, too many challanges for a long-term relationship between them to work out.
Chris listened quietly.
“There are too many challenges for us,” he said, explaining that he might have easily fallen heavily for her under other circumstances, “but I don’t think this is that time. I want you to live your life,” he said.
Then Lyndsey, whose family lives in Lake Cowichan, was off, saying at last, “I don’t regret a bit of it. ‘Bye.”
Chris did not even share a hug before she walked away from the beach and into the waiting vehicle.
Inside, she commented to the camera that she was glad she had been able to express her feelings, to “make herself vulnerable” but “there were too many things in the way.”
It was quite obvious that, although he had been concerned right to the end about her determination to live on the west coast, that was not the only problem, but she did not elucidate.
“You want The Bachelor to choose you. But, as much as you want to be chosen, you also have the right to choose,” she concluded.
Chris was still a bit stunned by it all.
“That was tough,” he said, and then considered the one option Lyndsey had left him.
“When I think of a lifetime with Mikaela, I think of a lifetime of happiness,” he said.
But there was a lot to get past before he got to talk to her about that.
It had all begun early the previous day when Leroux, calling himself “Cold Feet Chris” was still wringing his hands about the challenges he saw.
He said he was “willing to change” but he still was after Lyndsey to move to Toronto, where he lives.
On their last date, she sang him a sweet little song she had composed about her hopes for being with him, accompanying herself on the ukulele.
Even then, it all about location, location, location.
“Lyndsey is so special but I can’t figure out if she’ll be the love of my life or someone who just smashes my heart. When I’m around her I’m giddy, I have butterflies, but geography is still a hang-up.”
Chris had been 15 years away from his family during his career, but seemed to be stressing that he now wants to be close to them. All of this confused Lyndsey who had been upfront with him about her desire to stay in Vancouver. She seemed to be distressed that he was still harping on that subject as if they’d never discussed it.
Mikaela, too, was trying to find solid ground on which to base a relationship. Her body language when she sat with him on their “last date” showed she was still hurt and confused by his attitude.
Then Chris made the cardinal mistake of calling her “Lyndsey” before trying to recover by saying, “I’m highly embarrassed. It’s a terrible slip” and assuring her he was sorry.
The 27-year-old from Ontario was devastated.
“It’s an unbelievable thing to say at a moment like this. I was so excited. He just ruined it,” she said.
The rumblings of distress were still in the air when the three were getting dressed the next day, with Chris saying, “I’ve found my soul mate”.
Mikaela, getting into a superb off-the-shoulder white gown with a jeweled bodice and chiffon skirt, was worried.
“It’s supposed to be a happy day, but it’s not,” she said.
Lyndsey’s comments while getting ready were already hinting at what she might do.
“I’m afraid I’ve been falling in love with a perception, with what I want to see,” she said as she dressed in a beachy gown of ocean turquoise before walking outside to stun The Bachelor and the watching audience with her decision.
In what could only be a denoument after that, Mikaela came out and she and Chris decided that they would work towards becoming engaged but not before they were ready.
And, in a shock announcement made in the “After the Final Rose” segment, Chris said that he and Mikaela had already broken up, which, as a comment on the series, only seems to hammer home the idea that Lyndsey was “the one who got away”.