Jordan Mauger has chosen Fleur Verhoeven as the winner of The Bachelor NZ - but he's broken a heart in the process.
Mauger chose the 26-year-old youth worker from Waipawa over the favourite, Hamilton landscaper Naz Khanjani, 25, in the finale of the show's second season.
"This has gone beyond anything I've ever dreamed of. You make me extremely happy," Verhoeven told Mauger when he presented her with the winning ring. "I think we're going to be quite happy together."
Both women had spent 10 weeks vying for Jordan Mauger's heart, enduring group dates and single outings, even dog washing and zip lining.
Mauger said he "couldn't apologise enough" when he broke the bad news to Khanjani, who had flown by helicopter to meet him on a clifftop.
"It's been an amazing and crazy experience and I've seen you grow so much.
"I have so much admiration for you. Making my decision today has been extremely difficult," he said. "You mean a lot to me".
A tearful Khanjani replied: "You need to do what makes you happy. If that means not being with me, there's not much else I can do. Fleur's a beautiful girl. You'll be really happy with her. "
'I'm just excited to get to know Jordan better'
At a press conference in Auckland after the finale, Verhoeven confirmed she was moving to Auckland so she and Mauger could begin their relationship together.
"It's amazing. I'm so relieved. Just not to have to be secretive anymore, that's been the toughest thing," she said.
"I was initially planning to move to Wellington but you know what? Let's move to Auckland. I'm just going to move to Auckland and see what happens."
Verhoeven confirmed she and Mauger hadn't seen each other for several weeks, for fear of spoiling the finale.
"The last time I saw Jordan was a couple of weeks ago. I'm really looking forward to seeing him. I just want to spend some time with him and just be able to talk like normal people with no cameras around."
'The hardest decision'
He'd already eliminated 21 girls over the course of the series, but before last night's ceremony Mauger admitted choosing the winner was "by far the hardest decision" he'd had to make.
"Both the girls are so remarkable in their own ways. Having to choose one over the other is very, very difficult ... I have fallen for these two amazing women."
Earlier in the episode, both finalists met Mauger's parents and extended family in his hometown of Akaroa, with Khanjani getting the first grilling from his mother Linda.
"In the early stages, I don't think you were that nice," she told a surprised Khanjani.
Her reply - "Jordan's just everything I could want" - seemed to soften her.
"I can see you're a very determined girl and go after what you're looking for. I can see you're fond of my son."
Mauger and Khanjani then went on a final date, a helicopter ride around Canterbury, before she admitted: "It's going to be ... heartbreaking not to get that final rose. I'm leaving it in your hands."
Verhoeven was then put under the grill by Linda, who told her he needs "a very strong personality" and then asked: "Do you think Jordan's the right person for you?"
She replied: "We had that single date in Hawaii and that changed things for me. It scared me ... in 26 years I have never felt that with any other guy. It just feels so right. It's like we've known each other for years."
Mauger then took Verhoeven for a ride in his DeLorean car.
"I know I could be extremely happy or extremely hurt. I want to be the one you spend many more years with. I'll just sit here hoping you feel the same," she told him.
"He could be the person I could marry. He could be the father of my children."
* A recap episode, called Women Tell All, screens on TV3 in the same time slot tomorrow night.