On this week's finale of my guiltiest pleasure, "The Bachelor," Andy Baldwin proposed to San Francisco social worker Tessa Horst, whom I thought was the better of two fairly dull choices. Andy will face some of the rejected bachelorettes tonight in the "After the Final Rose" special, which I'm betting will be more exciting than the sappy, cliche-filled proposal episode. Meanwhile, this morning, I had a chance to join some other reporters in a chat with the couple about the parts of their relationship that we didn't get to see on TV, what it was like to have so many women vying for Andy, and what comes next for them. Here are some of the highlights:
How hard has it been to keep your secret?
Andy: We've been walking around New York and I've been screaming it from the top of my lungs. It's no secret any longer.
Tessa: It's a huge relief to have it over. Everyone around us was still watching [the show] as if it was present. We're just really excited to move forward from here.
What have you learned about each other since the show ended two months ago?
Andy: We've seen each other four times, talked to each other all the time on the phone. We've definitely commented how much better we know each other now than even at the end of the show. The risk we took in getting engaged is getting better and better.
Tessa: Andy snores. And he wakes up at about 5 a.m. every morning, as if that's a normal time to get up and start your day.
Andy: Tessa's a good cook, and she sweats a lot from her armpits.
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What's the next step for you?
Tessa: I'm going to move in the next few months. I think in terms of a wedding, we're definitely taking our time.
Andy, what was going through your mind when both girls said they loved you?
Andy: I was really, really stressed. it's such a bizarre situation, but one that becomes permissible given the format of "The Bachelor," where you can actually develop very strong feelings for more than one woman. The love I felt from Bevin was so powerful — she really, really loved me, and I didn't feel the same necessarily back to her. I was falling in love with Tessa, and once she gave that back to me, I had to really crush Bevin, and it was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do.
Tessa, what was your first impression of Andy?
Tessa: That first night, I did actually really feel a connection. My feelings for him definitely went up and down in the first couple of weeks. I kind of wouldn't let myself have feelings for him because I was kind of turned off by everybody else having feelings for him too. I couldn't see it being a situation where I could fall in love. While my feelings for Andy were growing throughout the experience, I definitely would push him away a lot because it did feel unnatural for me.
Were there things about your relationship that were important but that we didn't get to see on TV?
Andy: Every time I saw Tessa, she would hide a York Peppermint Patty, which was to signify that her mother lives in York, which is right down the street from Lancaster [Pennsylvania, Andy's hometown]. I composed a song and sang it to her after I proposed — she's my Peppermint Patty.
Tessa: Sometimes I felt with me and Andy, we had a lot more fun and laughing times, and what we saw were the clips of us talking very seriously.
Tessa, there were rumors going around that you let the secret slip early. Did that happen, and did you get in any trouble?
Tessa: There were rumors going around with the New York Post. I think that that was an absolute fabrication. I never spoke about the show in public, and it wasn't even true — it said that I turned down the proposal.
Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.