The season finale of The Bachelor saw Brad Womack proposing to Emily Maynard in a romantic setting in South Africa, telling the children's hospital events planner that she was his "once in a lifetime", and pledging to take care of her and her young daughter Ricki before dropping to one knee to pop the question.
The couple appeared on After The Final Rose afterwards, where Emily admitted that she wasn't ready to marry Brad yet, saying that she wanted them to spend more time together, although she insisted that she loved him and saw wedding bells in their future. The pair have since revealed that they want to focus on their relationship and future life together out of the spotlight. So, how are they doing now? Here's what host Chris Harrison told reporters earlier today...
Were you surprised that Brad chose Emily in the end?
"I wasn't at all. I wasn't surprised at who the final two were or Emily ending up with the final rose. From the moment she got out of the limo, Brad took a liking to Emily. They just had something that was a little different... What he had with some of these other girls was really real, whether it was Ashley or Chantal, but he always had something different with Emily, and he always talked a little differently about her and their relationship. You could just tell there was something there and in the end it was very clear it would be her."
When did you hear they were going through a difficult time like normal couples?
"It was several weeks after we shot in South Africa. It was really when the show started airing that it became a big problem. Part of that was, self-admittedly, Emily's insecurity at watching Brad on the show and watching him with Chantal in particular. What Brad and her shared was real and it was tough for her to watch that. Maybe in hindsight she wouldn't watch the show again. Part of the problem with them was going through a normal relationship, having to deal with watching the show, and seeing the bulls**t that was printed in the tabloids... I felt bad for them; some of the things that were said went way behind the line of decency. It's not that they didn't sign up for this - they opened their lives up and they know that and I know that - but there is a line of decency that was definitely crossed with them."
Emily suggested during After The Final Rose that she was not willing to move to Austin yet. Did they ever discuss where they would live?
"Brad was very forthright with Emily and they've talked about it extensively. It's not that she won't move to Austin, it's that having kids, you can't make decisions for yourself any more. I think all things being equal Emily would move to Austin yesterday, but all things aren't equal. She has a daughter who has a life and is in school, so you have a larger responsibility. Emily is in Austin right now and they're spending time together, then Brad will be up in Charlotte. I think they will go the Jason and Molly route. Jason had to do the same thing for his son; he couldn't just go to Michigan and be with Molly. It's a different route they have to take. I think they'll get there but Emily will have to be reassured this will really work before she ups and moves to Austin."
Emily also mentioned that Brad has a temper. Did you ever experience that?
"I did not, although why would anyone ever be mad at me?! We talked immediately afterwards when we were saying goodbye and Emily said she felt bad at saying that word... She regretted bringing it up because it made Brad seem like a monster who is tough to deal with. He's not. I promise you they are two of the most stubborn people you will ever meet. Neither one is wrong. And sweet little Emily can handle herself too and she is stubborn as a mule! They butt heads and have knockdown, drag out fights like normal couples do. When she brings it public and says [he has a temper], I think everybody thinks, 'Oh my God, he's yelling at her and is verbally abusive and a bad guy'. That's not the case."
Do you think they will work out their issues and pull through?
"I do. It's easy to say it won't work, but from my perspective, it's two friends of mine that I have gotten to know, and I think they will try to make it work and will fight like hell. The reason I give them a good chance now is, I think, before you had these two stubborn people butting heads as they were apart and dealing with being apart. Now it's over and they are together, they have a bit of a unified front. I've talked to Brad this morning and last night and know that it is kind of working in their favor in this respect. It's them against the world. Now instead of the tabloid BS causing problems and a rift in their relationship, they can laugh at it and talk about what a joke it is... I think that's one of the great things about having Molly and Jason, Trista and Ryan and Ali and Roberto on the show [last night]. They have been in their shoes and could pull them aside and say, 'You are bigger than this, this is about you guys. Don't worry about the tabloids or all the garbage going on, do what you want'. And what they want right now is to be alone and go have a relationship, so that's what they are doing."
You said last night that they initially thought about getting married on After The Final Rose. Can you elaborate on that?
"Brad had mentioned it as soon as the show was over, and both of them were very excited to get married, saying, 'Let's do it tomorrow!' Once we got back to the US and realized things were going very well at this time, we decided, 'Hey, let's make After The Final Rose a wedding'. We went to Brad and said, 'Let's do this', and he was on board and was excited about it. At first I think Emily was pretty open to it but the more she thought about it, to take a woman's wedding day from her and make it a private event is not a good idea! When she does get married she wants to do it right, she doesn't want it to be a secret from family and friends and everybody; that was one reason. I think also the more she thought about it the more she realized rushing into a wedding with a daughter and not 100% sure where this is going would be a little irresponsible so I think she is the one who really hit the brakes and slowed it down and decided, 'Let's wait this out, watch the show and see where we are', which was a responsible, smart thing to do and I'm glad that she did it."
How long do you think it will take them to get to the altar?
"I don't know when they will get married. I hope it's soon… but whenever it is, I promise you I will be there front and center. If I was guessing, I would probably guess Ali and Roberto would walk down the aisle first and then Brad and Emily. I didn't want to put them on the spot either. I want these couples to live their lives. I want Ali to have a wedding when it's right for her. I love the fact [that she and Roberto are] still together and living in San Diego and doing good. I love that Brad and Emily are in Austin right now and starting to date and going out in public for the first time, so I do think they will get married but when, I don't know."
Chris Harrison will host the new season of The Bachelorette, starring Ashley Hebert, from May 26 on ABC