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‘Bachelor in Paradise’ finale makes history with first same-sex engagement

“Bachelor in Paradise” contestants Demi Burnett, left, and Kristian Haggerty celebrate their engagement during the season finale.
“Bachelor in Paradise” contestants Demi Burnett, left, and Kristian Haggerty celebrate their engagement during the season finale.
(ABC / YouTube)

Cue the rose petal confetti! “Bachelor in Paradise” contestants Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty — the franchise’s first same-sex couple — got engaged Tuesday night in a historic finale episode.

The pair’s groundbreaking queer romance had a fairy tale ending during the three-hour broadcast, which included one proposal in pre-recorded paradise, followed by another during the reunion special. Burnett popped the question first on the beach after the happy couple professed their love for each other.

“Kristian, I know that this has been really hard,” she said before getting down on one knee. “I’ve put you through struggles, and you were always there for me, regardless of how much I didn’t deserve it at the time. I never knew that someone could be that patient ... I came here to find myself, but I found myself in you. I love you so much, and I’m so in love with you, and I didn’t even think it was possible to feel this way about someone.”

Haggerty then made the engagement extra official by returning the favor with a second diamond ring in an unexpected move that shocked and thrilled Burnett to tears.

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“I did want to get one more thing off my chest, so Demi if you could stand with me really quick,” Haggerty said, pulling a bewildered Burnett up off the couch. “I’m so grateful that we went to paradise and it gave us the opportunity to grow our love for each other. I know that last day in paradise, that was the best day of my life, and I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else but you. ... So Demi, will you marry me?”

Red rose petals rained over the ecstatic audience as the lovebirds shared a sweet smooch to seal their romance — one that has been building since Haggerty joined “Paradise” as a surprise mid-season addition.

Burnett made her “Bachelor” debut on former NFL player Colton Underwood’s season as a popular love-to-hate-her villain before “Bachelor in Paradise” nuanced her personality with more favorable editing. Though she initially pursued a male participant in paradise, she later came out as sexually fluid, changing her course and falling for Haggerty instead.

The long-running franchise hadn’t featured a LGBTQ+ happily ever after in 44 seasons between its three hit programs until Haggerty and Burnett. The 24th season of “The Bachelor,” helmed by “Bachelorette” breakout Peter Weber, premieres on Jan. 6.


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