The nation has eagerly followed Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins on his journey to find lasting love, and finally Australia's larrikin Bachelor has – with Brooke Blurton!
In a shock ending that nobody saw coming, Sophie Tieman, 25, and Brittany Hockley, 31, were both dumped at the final rose ceremony in New Caledonia.
"It wouldn't be fair to enter into something that a few months down the track I'd be breaking her heart," said Nick, 31, of his decision to choose neither girl. "I came here for a chance at love and now I'm going to have to start again. She's out there!"
Now, Woman's Day can exclusively reveal that on his return from New Caledonia, Nick couldn't stop thinking of fan-favourite Brooke after she dramatically walked away from their relationship, leaving the Honey Badger "broken".
Sources say Nick was "in hell" for days after Brooke left him because all along he thought she'd be the one standing by his side at the end. Days after the finale was filmed, Nick took an extended break in WA – Brooke's home state.
"He wanted to reveal his true feelings for Brooke," confides a friend.
"Nick's a genuine guy and he didn't want to hurt any of the girls, most of all Brooke. When he realised she was the one he had true feelings for, he ended things with the other two and finally confessed to Brooke how he really felt – took him long enough!"
WATCH: The moment Brittany realises Nick picked no one. Post continues...
Before Brooke's shock exit, Nick had designed a ring with the intention of giving it to Brooke at the finale to show he was committed to her and their relationship.
"Nick was extremely enthusiastic about the design process with our team, wanting the ring to encompass the emotional and spiritual journey that he has been through during the show," revealed Larsen Jewellery's Kate Reid.
The ring is believed to be in "safe keeping" with Ten, and Nick's hoping to get it back to gift to Brooke when he returns from walking the Kokoda Trail.
Some believe Nick's trip could be to avoid the public scrutiny, which haunted his predecessor Blake Garvey in 2014. After he publicly dumped Sam Frost for second runner-up Louise Pillidge, he was public enemy number one for many months.
But whatever the reason, one person will be waiting for Nick on his return – and that's Brooke.
Just because The Bachelor has finished doesn't mean Cass is over Nick as well. "I was in love. It's taking time to heal," admits the pretty Sydneysider.
"I definitely had the strongest feelings because of what we'd been through in the past… I was very hurt when I left the show."
Despite the fact Cass says she accepted Nick's explanation that he wasn't feeling it, she can't switch off her emotions. "My feelings are genuine," she says.
"When I first realised that Nick hadn't chosen anyone, I was mad at the start," says Brittany, who had been the favourite to steal the Bachelor's heart.
"Then I thought, 'What a waste of time!'" Brittany says she was upset on behalf of all the girls who'd invested both their time and their feelings in Nick, only to have him baulk at making a commitment.
"No one was asking him for marriage but we were invested."
Heartbroken contender Sophie also says she feels played by Nick. "Do I feel like I wasted time towards the end? Probably, yes! I think he may have checked out a little earlier than the finale actually."
Sophie says while she hopes Nick became the Bachelor for the "right" reasons, she says only he can know what his motivations truly were.
"I suppose we'll never know who he really wanted to take to the finale."