Regardless of how the finale of The Bachelorette would end, fans had their fingers crossed for a full breakdown of the real-life accusations surrounding singer-songwriter Jed Wyatt. Although both of their families doubted the strength of their relationship, Jed successfully proposed to Hannah during the finale's second part, and because of his reported pre-show relationship, fans exploded about the season's outcome. Jed's comments about his ex-girlfriend drama on The Bachelorette finale were so messy that not even a good "Roll Tide" cheer could clean them up.
Hannah's parents speculating about Jed's financial stability and Hannah then feeling sick on their final date on July 29's finale weren't the only concerns about the Tennessee native. Halfway through the season, Jed's ex-girlfriend Haley Stevens alleged that, with her approval, Jed put their relationship on hold to star on The Bachelorette and use the platform to promote his music. Jed came clean about his professional intentions on his first date with Hannah but never mentioned his ex or how they reportedly exchanged "I love you"s as he boarded his flight to Los Angeles.
Stevens also revealed that Jed apparently ignored her upon his homecoming from The Bachelorette. When he finally approached her at CMA Fest, where they both performed, he danced around the truth. Stevens recalled to Us Weekly, "He said, ‘It’s weird … everything that’s happening, and it’s all happening so quickly.’ And in my brain, I’m like ... 'Is he talking about being on this show?’ That’s what’s weird?”
Following their engagement on The Bachelorette, Hannah and Jed's happy ending took a quick turn as additional footage detailed Hannah's reactions to the June publication of Stevens' reports. "I was so happy because I thought I was getting this person who I thought I could spend my life with, who's sweet and honest," Hannah told cameras, "and that's not been the case."
Hannah revealed that Jed told her about his ex the second night after their engagement, telling her that the relationship was now non-existent. But then Stevens' story broke publicly, not matching with what Jed told Hannah. "Jed has muddied the waters of our future together and it's not what I thought I said yes to," Hannah said. "I don't know if he understands the depths of how this hurts me ... I love the person I got engaged to. I don't know I feel about this person."
In their filmed discussion of the scandal, Hannah asked Jed why he wanted so long to tell her the truth. "There were two very different views of what happened," he said, explaining that he was "very single" when he met Stevens and didn't feel that their relationship was exclusive. Hannah then quizzed him on his definition of exclusivity and hanging out, prodding him to be blunt.
Hannah wasn't having Jed's loose explanations, especially when he mentioned going on vacation with Stevens and seeing other women at the time. Stevens then planned a birthday celebration for Jed, where she surprised him with another vacation. Around the same time, Jed found out he was cast on The Bachelorette and told Stevens the show was a chance to promote his music.
"I told her that I loved her, and when I said it, it didn't feel right," Jed confessed. "After I landed in L.A. and started this whole thing, that was a goodbye for me, which is not a proper goodbye."
Hannah called him out on the "goodbye," mentioning that she saw his final text exchanges with Stevens. "I know what I want. I've been doing all the things to be prepared for this. I was so in the right place for it," Hannah said. "How would you ever be ready to be engaged? I've been doing all the freaking steps and know what I wanted ... it's like using me, our relationship for [your career]."
"You're everything that I've ever wanted and needed in a woman," Jed said. "Whatever I need to do to prove it, I'll do it."
Hannah asked for total honesty before throwing back to the Night One fiasco of a contestant having a girlfriend. Jed stuck to the story that he wasn't in a relationship, but he recognized he acted poorly. But in Hannah's eyes, his bad decisions carried through to post-Bachelorette choices.
"You went right back to the life you were in," Hannah said, accusing him of telling his friends that he "won" rather than getting engaged. "Your past was actually current and it's now in our future ... I was being told half-truths and lies. You wanted me to have clarity and clarity means truth ... you're really selfish in this and right now, I feel my decisions, my choices were all tainted."
"I want to be better for me and for you," Jed replied. "I want to be someone that you're proud of, Hannah. I need some grace and patience though. I'm not perfect."
In response, Hannah slipped off her engagement ring. The pre-taped footage left the question of their relationship open-ended, but Hannah's somber entrance into the finale's live show essentially said it all. She elaborated on how she found out about Jed's past and how difficult the past few weeks have been. "I've sobbed on the floor," she said. "In that moment, my whole life caved in ... I have been mad as hell and just questioning what happened, but I've gotten a lot stronger through it."
"I am not with Jed anymore," she continued, prompting the audience's cheers. "The engagement's over, we're not together. That's not what I said yes to ... I know what I got is not what I ever wanted for a life partner, a love that's not built on a foundation of trust and honesty."
Marking the first time they were together since breaking up on the phone, Jed then entered to near silence. "First and foremost, from the bottom of my heart, I want you to know that I'm sorry ... now that I've had time to review myself and my past and my behaviors, I fully see that I wasn't the best I could be," he said to Hannah. "It ruined what we found here ... I'm sorry that I took that experience away from you, I'm sorry that this has hurt your family, your friends, Bachelor Nation, everyone ... I'm responsible for this, I will own up to it all day."
"I appreciate your apology," Hannah said. "I know that it's hurt me a lot, but I know it's not been easy for you and I know critics have been hard ... what you did was not right and not good, but I did fall in love with you and I know that person is in there. I hope from this you'll be honest and learn and grow into the man I do believe you can be for whoever in your future."
Although Jed admitted his feelings for Hannah hadn't changed, he respected her decisions and her choice for them to remain separate. Bachelor Nation may not never welcome him or his "Mr. Right" serenade back onto their screens, but props to Jed for owning up to his flaws on such a public stage.