Is Ben Smith about to sneak his way into Tayshia Adams’ top two? The Bachelorette fan-favorite returned during part one of the season 16 finale on Monday, December 21.
Tayshia, 30, initially sent Ben, 29, packing during the December 15 episode after she met his sister and their family friend — Top Chef’s Antonia Lofaso — during the hometown dates. Tayshia subsequently solidified her final three: Ivan Hall, Brendan Morais and Zac Clark. During their goodbye, Tayshia was upset that Ben didn’t show any emotion.
The personal trainer returned during Monday’s episode and revealed that he was still in love with Tayshia, something he failed to mention during the hometown dates.
“I know I’m supposed to be long gone, and I know you sent me home already, but the way that that ended, I was so completely caught off guard, I just didn’t even know what to do or say. And I’m sorry for that,” Ben began after he showed up at her room at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs. “For two days after, all I’ve been saying is ‘What the f—k just happened?’ I didn’t even see that coming. And the feelings that I’ve had for you, I’ve been describing this entire time. I just didn’t know what it was, but I’m in love with you.”
Ben added that he knows he “blew” it by not revealing his feelings sooner.
“But I am in love with you,” he continued. “Like, the life we could have together. The thought of that, it keeps me awake at night. And I’m not sure what to do right now, I’m not sure what I’m asking for. I don’t even know what I’m doing. I just couldn’t leave. But I just had to tell you. Like, I see a life with you.”
Tayshia, who was visibly emotional, walked away, unsure of what to do as Ivan and Brendan waited for the rose ceremony. (Brendan, meanwhile, self-eliminated during the fantasy suite dates.)
The Bachelorette season 16 finale airs on ABC Tuesday, December 22, at 8 p.m. ET.
Scroll through for more on Ben: