By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
High on a hill was a lonely Bachelor ... and his name was Ben Flajnik.
It's the moment we've all been waiting for! Host Chris Harrison kicked off Monday's episode by saying it's "the most controversial finale in Bachelor history." We'll be the judge of that, Chris.
The action picked up in Zermatt, Switzerland. "I have two incredible women here that I'm head-over-heels in love with," says Ben. "This decision's going to be more difficult than I thought."
Ben's mom, Barbara, and sister Julia drop by for a ski chalet chat. Ben explains he needs some "outside perspective."
Right from the start, his sister asks if there was a girl the other girls didn't like. "Yeah, there is," says Ben. "And she's Courtney. She's still here."
Julia says, "That's a red flag" if Courtney can't get along with other women.
First, Lindzi Cox meets the two women. Ben introduces her as the one "who rode up on the horse." They all sit down to lunch. Lindzi drops her fork -- twice. "This is a such a nerve-racking situation," she says.
Ben's mom asks what is the ingredient that brought her to be one of the final two. Lindzi says, "You come in walls-up, but your son is amazing. I've completely fallen in love with him and the person he is. I would be honored if I were the one he picked." The two seem have no problem chatting.
Then Lindzi steps out on the patio with Julia, with the Matterhorn in the background."It's so exciting to me," says Lindzi of being close to landing a ring on her finger.
Julia then asks about Courtney Robertson. "She's very different than myself," says Lindzi, not getting too dishy. "She was very shut off."
Julia again says it's a "red flag," adding, "That doesn't sit well with me. ... At the end of the day if my brother picked you, I'd be very, very happy."
They hug. Julia tells the camera that Lindzi "would be a good fit for my brother."
She tells Ben, "I liked her a lot. I truly think from the conversation I had with her she wants to give herself to you." Barbara says Lindzi is "the total package."
Stamp of approval given!
Courtney Robertson on the season finale of ABC's 'The Bachelor.' CAPTIONBy Nick Ray, ABCAnd now for Courtney. "My mom and sister have already heard a couple of negative things about Courtney," says a concerned Ben to the cameras. "I need Courtney to get along with my family."
Courtney says she has a "scary feeling." Ben says he's "nervous."
"You like me a little bit?" coos Courtney to Ben as they meet before going in to see Barbara and Julia. "Yes," says lovey-dovey Ben.
The first thing Barbara and Julia bring up is the fact that Courtney is a model, and did that maybe affect the other girls? "I'm generally a confident woman, but right now I'm not," Courtney tells the cameras. "I can tell Ben's mom is concerned and Julia's skeptical."
Julia takes her aside to ask about the other girls. "I was really making an effort from Day 1 but some of the girls didn't seem to want to get to know me," says Courtney. "I felt like I was constantly defending myself. Then I gave up. I was here for him. ... I'm in love with your brother. ... It feels right. Like everyone says, when you know, you know."
Says Julia, "Hopefully I can trust your word on that."
"I think I've kind of told you everything," says Courtney.
Then Courtney sits down with Barbara. "Ben, he's special and smart and funny! We laugh so much when we're together. I come home and my cheeks hurt. I love him. I just love him. It's almost like too good to be true. ... He's just getting better and better. It's just like a fairy tale. I'm really happy. I'm also feeling vulnerable."
Julia talks to Ben and says her first impression is, "I'm shocked."
She explains, "I wasn't trying to stereotype her ... and I'm blown away. She's a really amazing girl." She says to the cameras that she found Courtney "to be very, very sweet."
She says to Ben, "If you want my approval, I give it."
Barbara tells the camera, "I found her to be a very kind person. And he seems to have fallen in love with her. He seems happy and who doesn't want happiness for their children?"
As they say goodbye, Julia says to Ben, "Do what's right for you. Nobody else."
But we're not at proposal time yet. Ben has to have one more date with each of them.
After a carriage ride, he and Lindzi go skiing on the Matterhorn. She has never skied before, but all that matters on the Matterhorn is that fondue is waiting for them on the gondola ride up the mountain.
And then, whoa, the gondola stops. Lindzi says it's time for her to "open up."
She tells Ben she enjoyed meeting his family. "This thing is really hard for me. ... Can you see an 'us' in your future?" He says, "I've seen us ... yes." She says, "I feel like we've come so far and I want to start a life with you." Says Ben, "Means a lot, it does. I've been in your shoes."
They get together later for an evening glass of wine. Says Lindzi, her voice a little croaky, "We've done some cool stuff but the best times are this." Says Ben, "The down times, the normal times, they are the best." He adds, "Thank you. It's been incredible."
Ben is so not into it; we're starting to feel rotten for Lindzi.
She starts talking about vulnerability and her desire to make him happy. "I see a life for us. ... I came into this not knowing what to expect." Froggy voice returns. "Turns out I fell in love. I love you."
"Good," says Ben.
"I want to make a life with you," says Lindzi. "I want to be a great fiancee in life with you. I'm ready for this next step!"
Get outta there, Lindz!
They head to the balcony for a make-out session and she whispers again, "I love you."
With Courtney, he lights up when they see each other.
"I'm head over heels with Ben," says Courtney to the cameras. "And what's that other girl's name?" Oh, good snark, Court! "I've never seen that depth with Lindzi. I feel really good about us."
They take a helicopter ride and fly over the Matterhorn. Courtney snuggles with him. "I hope our relationship is progressing to new heights," Ben tells the camera. Who wrote that line?
They stop and grill some food in the snow. They laugh. They play. They are so happy. "I want to remember this day forever!" confesses Courtney. To him, she says, "It's been a long journey. It's been hard for me."
She asks him how he feels, "It's been incredible getting to know you," he says. Gush. Gush. Gush. "You really hit a home run, being open and honest. Just you being you, the woman I know."
She coos, "You're worth it." They kiss and cuddle. They laugh. They make snow angels. La la!
"With Courtney, I'm completely myself," he confesses. "I've always wanted to feel this way around a woman. It's nice to be where we are right now."
And he tries to tell the cameras he still has a lot to decide.
Later, Ben visits Courtney. They kiss. "I had the best time sledding," says Courtney. "Me, too," says Ben.
"I feel a little vulnerable," she coos. They kiss and kiss, and kiss some more. Then Courtney says she made him a gift, which she gives him on the bed.
It's a photo scrapbook. "I've been working on it for a little bit," she coos. This trick didn't work for Blakeley, but Courtney can do no wrong. She includes a "letter from my heart to yours" in which she thanks him for "believing in us" and says "I hope you know I've fallen so in love with you."
Says Ben, "That's really, really nice!"
They go back to the living room, by the fire. Ben isn't saying much, so Courtney says, "It's really nice to hear your family likes me and to get some positive feedback." But then she questions him about bringing up her problems with other women.
"I don't even know why we're getting into it again," he says. "There are times I don't understand her."
Ben goes to the door to leave, and they kiss. "I'm terrified Ben might do to me what Ashley did to him," says Courtney to the cameras, bending over while talking to the cameras. "Oh, it hurts," she says, tears flowing. "My heart hurts just thinking about it."
Time for Neil Lane to arrive with rings. "This feels way different from the last time," Ben says to the camera. "There's only one woman I'm thinking about. One woman I want to propose to. One woman I want to share my life with." He adds, "I'm the happiest I've ever been!"
Lindzi and Courtney put on their fancy black dresses. Show time!
They're both in love, excited, and expecting rings. They helicopter to a mountaintop location, where Ben awaits.
"This is right," says Ben. "This is the first time in my life I can say someone loves me as much as I love them."
First to arrive is ... Lindzi.
As she approaches him, her voice is heard saying, "I love Ben. I love Ben."
They meet and face each other. She says one more time she's fallen in love. Lindzi, stop talking! Ben finally says, "You are what I've looked for in a woman my entire life. ... I want you to know I've fallen in love with you, but I need those moments to last a lifetime. And, uh, I've found that with someone else. I'm sorry. I'm in love with someone else."
Lindzi gets steely, shrugs and doesn't speak.
Ben sighs, holding her hand as they walk out. "I'm sorry," he says. She tells him, "Don't be sorry. I'm mad at myself, for not giving you what you needed. It kills me that I couldn't give you that and I wanted to so badly. ... Well, good luck, and if things don't work out, call me. See ya."
She says in a voiceover as she flies away, "If he does want to marry Courtney, I would be completely shocked. He would look like a total fool. I really thought this was someone I could settle down with. ... I definitely want to go home. Now!" She wipes away tears, but she's not sobbing. Lindzi is one tough cookie.
Courtney time. With a dramatic white cape over her black dress, along with long black gloves, she's a little Cruella de Vil-ish. Her voiceover: "I never lied about my feelings for Ben. ... He is a good guy."
They kiss. "You look so pretty," says Ben. "You kind of took my breath away there." He starts in, "What a journey. ... " Courtney brushes her hair away from her eyes. "It always seems like when I'm with you we have these incredible moments. ... I want you to know I think you're incredible, but I promised myself that I wouldn't get down on one knee again unless I was certain it was forever, and I want to tell you that you are my forever!"
Gasp! Courtney gasps and starts giggling and crying.
"I've been waiting a really long time to tell you I'm in love with you." He gets down on one knee. "Oh my God," she says.
"Courtney, will you marry me?" he says, flipping open the ring box.
"Of course I will! I love you so much." He slips the ring on her finger. "I love it. I will love you forever."
He says, "I will love you forever." They laugh and kiss. And he asks her to accept the final rose. "Yes, I do," she coos.
"I am the happiest girl in the world!" she says.
"I'm the happiest guy in the world," he says.
"I'll love you forever," she says. "You're stuck with me."
Most controversial ever? Hmmm. ...