After one of the most tense finales The Bachelor has ever seen, Locky Gilbert chose Irena Srbinovska as his winner on Thursday’s night’s emotion-filled episode.
In a twist no one saw coming, the 30-year-old had told both Irena and Bella Varelis that he had fallen in love with them – leading both to believe they had won his heart.
But ultimately, it was down to earth nurse Irena, 31, who stole the burly adventure man’s heart – leaving Bella completely devastated.
She’s the one! Irena Srbinovska (left) managed to win Locky Gilbert’s (right) heart during the tense finale on Thursday’s The Bachelor
After a distraught Bella stormed off the set, Locky came face-to-face with Irena to give her the good news – telling her he ‘couldn’t wait’ to spend the rest of his life with her.
‘Irena,’ his sweet speech began. ‘Every time I’m with you, I feel so safe and protected. It’s kind of weird, because I’m a pretty big dude, and not many people can make me feel like that.
‘But just when I’m with you, I feel so calm and comfortable, and it’s a pretty new feeling for me. I know you’re going to make a beautiful girlfriend, wife, mother, everything. You’re the whole, whole package.’
It’s official! The pair shared a kiss together in front of a sea of flowers as Locky professed his love for the nurse
A tough decision: In a twist no one saw coming, Locky made the ultimate decision to start his romantic life with Irena just moments after Bella ran off set in disbelief
Locky had placed viewers on the edge of their seat, when he admitted to Irena that he had his doubts about their relationship.
‘However, my biggest fear is that you’re not gonna be able to put yourself first, or tell me no. And in my partner, I want drive and ambition,’ he said.
But then he turned to Irena and said: ‘And I think you’ve got that in spades. When I think about our future together, I’m so excited and I can’t wait to just travel the world and make all your dreams come true.
‘Irena, I’m so in love with you. And I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.’
‘I love you too,’ she beamed in response.
Heartbroken: Meanwhile, early frontrunner Bella had her heart broken in the tense final scenes – leading the 25-year-old to storm off upon hearing the news
Meanwhile, early frontrunner Bella had her heart broken in the tense final scenes – leading the 25-year-old to storm off set.
Locky burst into tears and gasped for air as he delivered the sad news to Bella, who looked visibly shocked as he dumped her in front of the nation – saying he needed ‘more certainty’ in a relationship.
‘I fell in love with you the first day I saw you, and I saw those big brown eyes,’ he said in an emotion-filled speech.
‘Like, they just make me go crazy. And when I told you I love you, I meant every single word.
‘I know you don’t, like, sort of see where your future is at the moment. I think I need just a little bit of certainty.’
Upon hearing the news, Bella looked at the man – who had declared his love for her a day earlier – in complete disbelief.
Storming off: Upon hearing the news, Bella looked at the man – who had declared his love for her a day earlier – in complete disbelief
Heartbroken: Bella then ran away in tears, still shook over what had happened
‘I just don’t know if I can see us working,’ he added.
‘I just don’t get it. Yesterday, you told me you were in love with me,’ she said in shock.
After he responded by saying he was in love with her, Bella added: ‘Well, why not follow through with a relationship, then?’
He went on: ‘Because I asked you in the pool – what do you see our next year looking like? And you were so… I needed a little bit more.’
Furiously, she responded: ‘You can’t turn this around on me.’
She then stormed off, stating: ‘My God… Can I leave. I’m going.’
Prior to making his decision, the adventurous hunk revealed how difficult his choice had been.
‘I thought I would come here and meet one person that I like and then end up together. But I found two,’ he said.
‘They are two of the most incredible women that I’ve ever met in my entire life.’
It’s all over! On Thursday night’s episode, Locky finally chose between Irena Srbinovska (left) and Bella Varelis (right)
Irena, a recovery nurse, has been a fan favourite to win the show for weeks – with the handsome Bachelor regularly talking about their ‘special connection’ and how he loved that she ‘looked after’ him.
The sweet duo enjoyed multiple single dates together, with Irena eventually being the first to drop the ‘bombshell’ that she’d fallen for him.
But Lockie had also made it very clear he was also incredibly interested in 25-year-old Bella, stating he was charmed by her ‘big brown eyes’ and girl-next-door charm.
Fans were left aghast as he told both ladies how he was falling for them, just days before the grand finale.
During the shocking episode, Locky was seen telling Irena: ‘I have fallen in love with you’ – before uttering the same words of adoration to Bella on their own date.
Before he made his choice, a giddy Irena declared: ‘Knowing that he’s in love with me… I feel confident knowing that this is the beginning of our future together.’
While Bella eagerly told producers: ‘It’s given me hope that everything will be alright. I mean, who tells someone they love them and then picks someone else?’
Playing with fire: Locky had told Bella (left) that he was beginning to fall in love with her in the drama-filled finale episode
The mammoth series had been a wild ride for both of the finalists and Locky – especially as he was the first Bachelor in history to find his journey for love caught in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
Before he made his final choice, Locky enlisted the help of a family member in order to try and help him make his decision.
His eccentric mum Brenda, who wore pink glasses and a wild undercut hairstyle, was over the moon to meet the two girls for the first time.
‘Locky means the world to me and his happiness means everything. So I’m gonna try and be as helpful as I can,’ she gushed.
But there was an incredibly awkward twist in store for the two rival finalists – who had to meet his mum for the first time, together.
Awkward! Both Bella and Irena met Locky’s mum Brenda (left) for the first time. Bella was quick to tell her that the pair were no longer close during the incredibly awkward encounter
‘Not how I pictured my first meeting with Locky’s mum. This situation couldn’t get more awkward,’ Bella said.
While Irena sat in silence at the meeting, Bella brutally threw her arch nemesis Irena under the bus – revealing that the pair weren’t pals in the slightest.
‘It’s a weird situation because Irena and I aren’t really good friends anymore,’ Bella said.
‘I think we were really close at the beginning. Irena, step in whenever you like,’ she laughed.
A word of advice: Brenda said she didn’t think Irena had the strength to ‘stand up’ to Locky
After speaking to both girls, Locky’s mum told her son: ‘Talking to Irena, she’s beautiful. She’s a sweetheart. But she’s very soft.
‘She might not have the strength to stand up to you.’
But when discussing Bella, she told the camera: ‘Bella… she’s confident, gorgeous, and she’s strong. She will stand up to Locky which I think is great and I think that’s what Locky needs.’
One wild ride! During the epic finale episode, Locky took Irena out for the first final date – off-road driving, something the adrenaline-junkie hunk absolutely adored
Here we go! Locky took control as the pair zoomed around the vast outdoor area
During the epic finale episode, Locky took Irena out for the first final date – off-road driving, something the adrenaline-junkie hunk absolutely adored.
‘With Irena, I just see the future and I see family. I see kids and I see perfection, and everything seems so goddamn perfect,’ he said to the camera.
Later in the night, the duo enjoyed a steamy hot tub session together – with Irena gushing how she loved Locky ‘so much’ before bursting into tears to the camera.
Love in the tub: Locky and Irena shared a steamy snog in the pool, as she began to break down at the thought of losing him
Romance: As the duo stared into each other’s eyes, the Bachelor placed his hand on Irena’s heart to feel it beating before telling her he had ‘fallen in love’ with her
She broke down to the camera as she said: ‘I’m just so used to being disappointed constantly and everyone saying no and it not being me.
‘I’m never the one that’s happy at the end, and I’ve let it all out there and I hope that this has all not been a lead up to just an awful break-up again.’
As the duo stared into each other’s eyes, the Bachelor placed his hand on Irena’s heart to feel it beating before he romantically declared: ‘I just wanted to feel your heart when… I just wanted to tell you, I have fallen in love with you.’
Shook: Bella’s final date was equally as exhilarating, with the pair enjoying a ride in a helicopter before enjoying a live orchestra in the middle of a field
Bella’s final date was equally as exhilarating, with the pair enjoying a ride in a helicopter before enjoying a live orchestra in the middle of a field.
‘Every time I’m with Bella, like, I can’t think of anything else. It’s just her demeanor and how she makes me feel. It just feels amazing, like I’m on top of the world,’ he gushed to the camera.
He then told Bella he had been wearing his ‘heart on his sleeve’ for their entire journey, in a nod to the first gift she gave him when they met.
He then made Bella read out something he’d written on his arm, which read: ‘I’m a big believer in love at first sight, and I think I fell in love with you on that night.”
In a confusing twist and just hours after telling Irena the same thing, he said to Bella: ‘Babe, I’m definitely falling in love with you.’
Bizarre: In a confusing twist and just hours after telling Irena the same thing, he said to Bella: ‘Babe, I’m definitely falling in love with you’
The pair then shared a steamy pool session together, where the pair began to plan their future together.
Surely he wouldn’t tell you he loves you, if he was gonna pick someone else. Right?’
Before choosing his winner, he declared: ‘Being in love is the best feeling in the world and I’ve got that twice. And so I’m in love with two girls. You think about it and you’re like, how is that even possible?’
‘They don’t deserve to get their hearts broken,’ he said.
Things got incredibly emotional when he started to reflect upon both women and what they offered him, as he began to break down in tears in front of the camera.
Overjoyed: Locky cuddled up to his new love in the sweet final scenes, after going back and forth as to who he wanted to spend the rest of his life with
‘Oh, my God, just thinking about it. I don’t wanna break anyone’s heart. I love ’em both.
‘How am I meant to do it? Like, you don’t break up with someone that you love.’
He then began gasping for air, before sighing and saying ‘for f**ks sake!’
He added: ‘I’m straight up being honest. I still have no idea what I wanna do. I keep going back and forth, back and forth, thinking of which future I want, and they both look bloody amazing.
‘I don’t wanna sound selfish but I wanna choose which future I can be the best me so I can be the best for them.’
Upon finally choosing Irena, he then gifted her with a purple ring from Larsen to commemorate the beginning of their romance.
‘An ending like you won’t believe’: Upon finally choosing Irena, he then gifted her with a purple ring from Larsen to commemorate the beginning of their romance