6:39am PT by Jackie Strause
Jilted 'Bachelorette' Star Becca Kufrin Engaged
It's official: Becca Kufrin has moved on from Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Following the most shocking ending of the long-running Bachelor franchise, the star of ABC's upcoming The Bachelorette has confirmed that she is now engaged.
"It was the happiest moment of my life!” Kufrin told People about the engagement, which will play out on her upcoming season. "I still pinch myself, like, did that all just happen? It’s been a whirlwind."
After winning the most recent season of The Bachelor and accepting a finale proposal earlier this year, Becca was blindsided by both Arie and producers when the Bachelor called off their engagement with the cameras rolling. The heartbreaking made-for-TV moment aired March 5, but was actually filmed in January. Arie went on to propose to runner-up Lauren Burnham on the live After the Final Rose special (the pair are still engaged and announced a wedding date one day after this story published) and Becca continued down her own path as she went on to film the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, which premieres May 28.
"It feels so good to say it and this time, I think it's going to stick!" she added about the news. "Now looking back, as weird as it sounds, I can really only thank [Arie] because he followed his heart and it allowed me to go on this new journey for myself to find the person who is a better suit, better fit for me. He's just a special one."
Becca's pronouncement follows in tradition with past Bachelorettes, including her precursor Rachel Lindsay, who have shared ahead of their season's debut that they will, indeed, find their happy ending.
Viewers have been particularly invested in Becca's happily ever after ever since she was subjected to the on-camera breakup. The choices made by producers to ambush Becca and by ABC to air the breakup footage — unedited, and for nearly an hour — turned off some fans of the franchise, spurring think pieces and takedowns in the week that followed.
Though Becca admitted that she went through all the stages of grief over the split, she insisted that she was ready to move forward as the next star of the franchise when she began filming nearly two months later. Still, many wondered if Becca could make the turnaround so quickly and even ABC's head of alternative series Rob Mills revealed that the 28-year-old publicist made the decision to star on the show only days ahead of the After the Final Rose special.
"Once I got past the initial heartbreak...at the end of the day, the show is about finding love," she had said at the time. "That's all I want to do. I have so much love to give. Hard yes all around. I want to be the best damn Bachelorette I can be."
Now that filming has finished, Becca is admitting that she is more sympathetic to Arie's decision having been in his shoes.
"There's really no rule book for being in this position," she says of being the lead of the show. "You just have to go about it your own way and follow your heart, but I definitely do feel more now how he struggled and I can see that more now going through it, too."
Viewers can see for themselves how ready Becca was to find love when her season begins airing Monday, May 28, on ABC.