4 Theories About Joey Graziadei's 'Unprecedented' Ending of 'The Bachelor'

How does Joey Graziadei‘s season of The Bachelor end? Us Weekly has some (unfounded and possibly unhinged) theories to share.

Before season 28 of The Bachelor started airing, Jesse Palmer teased that “what happens in the end is an unprecedented shocking first in Bachelor history.” While the franchise uses words like shocking, dramatic, emotional, etc. every year, the last time ABC opted for “unprecedented” was Peter Weber’s season 24 finale. (In case you forgot, the pilot got engaged to Hannah Ann Sluss and called it off — much to his mother’s dismay, shout-out Barb — while the show was airing because he still had feelings for runner-up Madi Prewett. Peter and Madi dated for two days and then he dated his fifth place contestant, Kelley Flanagan, on and off for two years.)

As Joey cries in the footage from the finale, he says: “That was crazy. I didn’t expect that at all. I can’t think that’s happened before. I don’t even know what to say. I know I gave as much as I could. I’m sick of feeling like this. It feels wrong, but I don’t know what to do.”

More recently, one of the showrunners told IndieWire that something happened specifically during Joey’s final rose ceremony that has never happened on the show before. The plot twist inspired the group to start the series premiere with footage from the finale.

How Does Joey Graziadei s Unprecedented Season of The Bachelor End 4 Theories About the Final Rose 706
Disney/Jan Thijs

“We felt like we had an opportunity to not just make the change for the sake of making a change,” executive producer Claire Freeland said on Thursday, February 15. “We had what we needed to back it up.”

Before we dive into potential ending, Us presents a quick rundown of final rose ceremony scenarios that haven’t gone as “planned” in Bachelor history:

  • The Bachelor doesn’t propose. This has happened several times, including when current host Jesse was the Bachelor in and more recently with season 25 star Matt James, who is still dating final rose recipient Rachael Kirkconnell.

  • The Bachelor picks no one. Brad Womack made history when he opted to send both of his finalists home on season 11 in 2007.

  • The Bachelor changes his mind and opts for his runner-up; Jason Mesnick, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Peter have all gone down this road.

  • The Bachelor ends up alone at the time of the final rose ceremony. Season 26 star Clayton Echard walked away solo after Susie Evans didn’t want him back. (The twosome went on to date for nearly a year.)

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Disney/Jan Thijs

That leaves Us with a few potential options for Joey’s “unprecedented” final rose ceremony.

  • Joey proposes and his finalist says no. (It’s up for debate if Clayton officially proposed to Susie, but having a ring that stays in your pocket doesn’t count if you ask Us.)

  • One of Joey’s eliminated women returns to scope up the rose. Could Lexi come back after her early exit?

  • Joey’s final pick ends things during the final rose ceremony but then comes back and changes her mind to accept. (Cassie Randolph did dump Colton Underwood on season 23 before opting to try dating, but they were never engaged.)

  • Joey’s first pick declines his proposal and he — gasp — proposes to his runner-up and she accepts.

For a full recap of Joey’s journey so far, and more theories about the ending, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.