[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart. Read at your own risk!]
Who knows if The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart will be back for Season 2, but Season 1 ended on a high note, with Bri and Chris being crowned the winners in front of God, Taye Diggs and Chris Harrison, and an auditorium full of people in Nashville. Chris Watson and Bri Stauss joined us on TV Guide’s unofficial Bachelor Nation podcast A Beautiful Podcast to Fall in Love to talk about that very special night, what their relationship and lives have been like in quarantine (Chris is in Los Angeles and Bri is in Utah), and their self-titled debut album Chris and Bri, which is now available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you get your tunes. They wrote the album’s original songs and recorded it during quarantine. They aren’t engaged, but they’re still together, and making beautiful music. Listen to the podcast below.
The episode started with the three remaining couples — Bri and Chris, Jamie and Trevor, and Rudi and Matt — arriving in Nashville to prepare for their final performances. Matt was freaking out. He was in his head because he knew his romantic connection with Rudi wasn’t as strong as the other couples’.
He finally pulled her aside and told her that he didn’t think they were on the same level as the other couples, and for that reason he couldn’t go through with the performance. He didn’t want to fake feelings that weren’t there. Rudi was understandably upset, but she understood, and she believed Matt when he told her that he cares about her and he will always be bonded to her. In fact, Matt’s pain in having to break Rudi’s heart and leave the show showed Rudi how much he really did care about her, even if he wasn’t in love with her. He made a tough choice, but it was the right choice… I guess. He could have pretended if he really wanted to win, but he didn’t. The man Listened to His Heart. And this doesn’t mean that Rudi and Matt can’t work together as musical collaborators again; in fact, Chris and Bri said that Rudi and Matt might be working on something.
Bri and Chris chose not to go to the Fantasy Suite, because they didn’t want to rush into the physical part of their relationship. They confirmed during the podcast that this whole season was filmed in just a few weeks, and they didn’t feel the need to move their relationship at a pace they weren’t comfortable with. They said they didn’t feel pressured to get engaged, which is a big change from how couples usually feel in the Bachelor franchise.
Jamie and Trevor did choose to go to the Fantasy Suite, and Trevor gave his morning after ITM while wearing a hotel robe.
After a little bit of rehearsal, it was time for the couples to perform for the last time. They were going to sing for the whole ball of wax. The judges for the event were Taye Diggs, Jewel, Rita Wilson, and Bachelor Nation’s own Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick. Jamie and Trevor went first, performing the Righteous Brothers’ classic “Unchained Melody” and “Speechless” by Dan + Shay. It was the best they’d ever sounded, but they were no match for Chris and Bri.
Chris and Bri did “To Make You Feel My Love,” which is a late-period Bob Dylan song that the show mostly attributed to Adele, and “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran. They had Taye Diggs and everyone groovin’. Taye Diggs said he would pay to see them perform, which is a pretty amazing endorsement from a guy who was in the original Broadway cast of Rent.
Then Daddy Harrison did something he’d never done before, and announced the winner in front of a live audience. Jamie and Trevor didn’t even seem to mind that they didn’t win, they were so happy for Bri and Chris. Trevor said he didn’t need to win, because finding Jamie was a win enough. “I feel unstoppable with her,” he said.
Chris and Bri ran up the aisle from the stage high-fiving the audience, and then boarded their tour bus, where they gave each other their final roses. It was really cute.
Overall, Listen to Your Heart Season 1 was a fun experiment. It didn’t deliver the outrageous drama of usual Bachelor shows, which surely bored some viewers, but I found its lower-stakes geniality a welcome change. The cast of atypical Bachelor people gave it a different feel, and it was refreshing to see contestants support each other, be nice to each other, and generally act like reasonable people instead of going over the top all the time. Drama still emerged, but it grew out of the show’s dynamics. It wasn’t the grating, exhausting, interpersonal conflict that made the most recent season of The Bachelor such a slog. It was a lighter, kinder, Bachelor, and it was a brightening thing to watch during this tough time in the world.
The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart is available to stream on Hulu.