If you haven’t watched the finale of “The Bachelorette” Season 20 yet, you may not know that Charity Lawson and Dotun Olubeko are happily engaged. If you are part of Bachelor Nation, you absolutely know that the winning duo is one of the strongest couples to come out of the dating franchise in over two decades.
On this week’s final episode of Lawson’s season, the star of “The Bachelorette” was torn between her two finalists: Olubeko and Joey Graziadei, who was announced as “The Bachelor” lead for its upcoming 28th season that will air in 2024.
In the end, after many tears, Lawson was ultimately set on Olubeko and they became engaged. In the process, she broke Graziadei’s heart, but again, he now has his own show, so everyone ended up a winner.
At the conclusion of her season, Lawson got the surprise news that she will be competing on this fall’s season of “Dancing With the Stars.” She also made a surprise appearance in the trailer for “Bachelor In Paradise,” which will return with a new season this fall.
Here, Lawson and Olubeko talk to Variety about watching back their TV proposal, their wedding plans, how they feel about Graziadei becoming “The Bachelor” and their excitement for “DWTS” and more…
On “After the Final Rose,” Jesse Palmer surprised you with a Greece trip. Any honeymoon plans?
Charity Lawson: I keep asking when we’re going to go. Obviously, we want to plan it and make sure it’s spectacular, but with “Dancing With the Stars,” I’m hopping right into that, so we’re probably going to save it for when we really need it and just can really just enjoy it and not have to rush. It’ll probably be after that.
Dotun, you surprised Charity with the news that she’s been cast on “Dancing With the Stars.” How long were you holding on to that secret?
Dotun Olubeko: It felt like a month, but it was literally just like two hours [Laughing]. At the studio, they told me the news, which had been in discussion to my understanding for a few weeks, and they wanted me to tell it to her. I was really happy we got to share that special moment, and that I got to let this one know she’s gonna be cutting it up on the dance floor.
“Dancing With the Stars” is pretty rigorous with the rehearsal schedule. Will you both be living in L.A. together during the show?
Olubeko: Definitely. At this point, we are enjoying each other’s company and we want to continue building, so we are going to be sticking together wherever we go, so I’ll definitely be in L.A. with dinner waiting when she gets back… It’s not going to affect our relationship. And if it does, we’ll address it. But as of now, we’re just really excited. I think I’m more excited. We are going to prioritize relationship above all else, but certainly, it’s a beautiful opportunity. She’s going do great, and I can’t be more excited.
Now that you are done with “The Bachelorette,” what are your plans as a couple, beyond “Dancing With the Stars?”
Lawson: After “Dancing With the Stars,” we’re both like “Oh, do we want to come to L.A.?” But he’s grown up in California, so he’s experienced a lot of it, and I’m not super pressed on being out here, so I think we might take ourselves back to the East Coast, and we might experience New York and see what else is out there.
Is it too early to ask about wedding planning?
Lawson: Wedding planning, we know that’s a process in itself, so we have not started that. I’m really just going to give myself time to really do that correctly and enjoy my time doing that. But we’re looking to do it sooner rather than later. We don’t have like a set day, but nothing too long. We don’t want a super extended engagement.
I’m sure you’ve seen on social media that Bachelor Nation always thought the winner would be you, Dotun. We know that “The Bachelor” franchise doesn’t have the best track record for couples staying together, but you make viewers believe that it is actually possible to find love on reality TV. How does it feel to see this strong reaction from viewers?
Olubeko: I did not expect the love to shine through by watching this back. We experienced it and we felt it deeply, but we were like, “There’s no way that’s going to be captured.” So for us to watch it back and for other people to see it, it has been just so magical, really, in every way. We are just so happy for the positivity because a lot of these couples probably don’t get the positivity that we received, which can make it harder. We aren’t really public people, so we kind of stay to ourselves as it is, but we are just so happy. I think that just lends to the compatibility that we have and our intentionality. You really can’t make this up. It’s a true fairytale ending.
Dotun, did you watch the finale with the rest of America? Or had you seen it before?
Olubeko: I actually haven’t even seen the whole thing yet. I watched my proposal, so that’s about it. Online, I’ve seen clips and bits of pieces of the other portions, but I haven’t seen the episode in its entirety. I’ve seen the up to meet-the-parents, but after that haven’t seen much.
I’m not sure if you even saw these scenes then, so please let me know if you haven’t, but if you did, what did it feel like to watch Charity struggling with her decision between you and Joey? And what was it like to see her family’s reaction? Was that difficult to watch back?
Olubeko: That’s a great question. There were definitely difficult moments throughout the season, and it got more difficult the closer the connections got. As far as the parents, what you guys didn’t see was that by the end of it, I got the blessing from both parents. Her sister voiced her opinion towards me, but by the end of the meet-the-parents, I felt really good. But again, that was missing the episode. But obviously, it’s been all over the promos — her tears, and it does get hard, but I had to realize that what I love about her is her ability to love, and love deeply. And I get to enjoy that now. That was obviously in the past. So, as hard as it was, she was doing such a good job of checking in on me, making sure that I’m good and that I understand that what we have is solid and secure. She’s been my rock through all of this, and I’m feeling better than I did after our engagement. It’s been it’s been tough, but we made it through. I think we passed with flying colors.
You’ve all handled everything so maturely. It seems like you’re excited for Joey being cast as “The Bachelor.” Any advice for him?
Lawson: When you step into a role as as big as “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” I think sometimes people can forget their purpose for being there. I hate the saying, but if “you’re there for the right reasons.” Obviously, the goal is to find love and to find your person and nothing else matters. As we know, Joey is a lover boy and he is really ready to find his person. I’m wishing him the best and obviously, I think he’s going to do so great. He’s an incredibly intentional person and a super compassionate person. If he leads with that, my best advice going through it is just taking it day-by-day not looking too forward down the line. You can get really caught up in that, and you can also get caught up in the narratives that other people want you to have. It’s important that he follows his heart. I think he’s spent the time to really work on himself and figure out what it is that Joey really wants, so if he goes in with that mindset, he will no doubt find his person.
Are you going to watch his season?
Lawson: We’ll be rooting for him. We’re going watch, and wish him the best.
Charity, we saw you in the trailer for “Bachelor in Paradise.” You’re obviously not looking for love, so what are you doing there?
Lawson: Ummm [Laughing]. I might just be going down there to offer a few therapy sessions. It’s going to be a wild ride! That’s all I can say. Yeah, I had some checking-in to do.
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