In what might've actually been the most shocking rose ceremony yet—at least, in the sense that it only involved one suitor—on August 2, The Bachelorette's Ali Fedotowsky handed out her final bit of flora to insurance agent Roberto Martinez, who offered her an engagement ring in return. (In a first-time twist, Ali sent runner-up Chris Lambton home a day early, thus sparing him the humiliation of getting down on one knee in front of America for nothin'.) Here, Ali talks about the bloom of new love.
TV Guide Magazine: You gave Roberto the "first impression rose," and he remained a frontrunner throughout the competition. Did you know all along that he was the one?
Fedotowsky: I don't want to discount the other relationships I had, but I definitely did feel really strongly for Roberto all along the way. I kept a journal throughout so that whoever I ended up with would know how I felt the whole time, and he's up there [in the ranks]!
TV Guide Magazine: When did you know it was love?
Fedotowsky: I think I realized "Oh gosh, I'm in love" when we had our final date, and my heart could not go to anyone else and I knew I had to say goodbye to Chris. But the first time I probably thought, "This could be love" was our first date in Tahiti...waking up and looking at him all wrapped up in the sheets, I thought, "I'm so lucky!"
TV Guide Magazine: Why did you decide to send Chris home early?
Fedotowsky: I really didn't want to leave Roberto's suite after our last date. Afterwards, I talked to a producer and said, "I don't even want to go on the next date, I just want to see Roberto again." My father, mother and sister had said that Chris was going to propose, and I wouldn't take that away from him. I feel like every woman wants to be proposed to once and every man wants to propose once, and I wasn't going to take those sacred feelings from him.
TV Guide Magazine: And that was OK with the powers that be?
Fedotowsky: Look, I knew that the show had to happen in a certain way. There was a little bit of, "What are we going to do? I don't know if we can do this," and I just felt like, "Well, I don't know if we can do it any other way." But lucky for me, they were super supportive about my choice.
TV Guide Magazine: If Frank hadn't left Tahiti to reunite with his ex-girlfriend, would he have been there until the end instead of Chris?
Fedotowsky: My feelings for him were very, very strong on the show. If that last date had gone bad, he might not have been there, but I thought it was going to go well, and there's a strong possibility he would have met my family. But it's hard to tell in hindsight.
TV Guide Magazine: It's no secret that beloved cast-offs like Chris have the perfect makings of the next Bachelor. Do you think he should be next up in the driver's seat?
Fedotowsky: There's a lot to consider—I remember when I was asked to be the Bachelorette, and there was a lot I had to figure out. But if he chooses to become the Bachelor, I think he'd absolutely be great.