Zac Track, Episodes 12 & 13: The Finale
Well, YCP, here we are: the final moments of this season of The Bachelorette. Strange as it may seem, we began this season a few months back with Clare Crawley and her initial group of guys in a mid-pandemic quarantine. Together, we watched a bachelorette switcheroo, more than a few guys being sent home (with some returning uninvited), a number of moments that made us laugh, more that made us cry, and some we just want to forget—and you stuck with us through it all. So thank you from the York College Communications and Alumni Relations teams for taking this ride. It was certainly a joy for us, and we hope it was for you, as well.
And from me, Sophie Barnes, Bachelor Nation fan and Spartan junior: thanks for following the journey. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to mix two passions: writing and The Bachelorette. It’s definitely not something I thought I would ever get the opportunity to do! I cannot emphasize enough the pressure of writing this after the way it ended. I have had three cups of coffee, a shower, and even did a little bit of yoga—so here we go. Welcome aboard!
Night one of the two-part finale began with the infamous “fantasy suite” dates. With Brandon, Zac, and Ivan being the remaining guys, Ivan went first. For his date with Tayshia, they tried to break a world record for the “longest, coldest kiss.” This was exactly what it sounds like: they kissed while sitting in ice baths. Fellas, if you’re looking for date night ideas...this isn’t it.
The rest of the night seemed to go well, Ivan’s date came to an uneventful close, and he returned back to the house to be reunited with his fellow contestants. Man, nothing like fist-bumping your bro after he comes back from a date with your girlfriend.
Soon after, it was time for Zac’s date. Zac and Tayshia created a masterpiece by painting a giant canvas…with their bodies (ah yes, staining every inch of your body before a dinner date!). Later in the evening, Tayshia asked some deeper questions involving family and their future—and OF COURSE, Zac confirmed that he felt he would be a good husband and father (we think so, too, Zac). He officially said “I love you,” and Spartan Bachelor Nation fans in our Zac Track Slack went kind of wild (in the best way possible, of course).
After that date, it was Brendan’s turn. Considering Brendan left halfway through, it’s easy to say that it didn’t go too well.
Then came Ben. No, not Bennett (though we couldn’t blame you if you thought he came back). Ben returned and dropped an “I love you” bomb on Tayshia, and she was clearly shook just like the rest of us. She invited him to the rose ceremony, and that was the end of night one!
Night two began with the rose ceremony. Before handing out any roses, Tayshia asked Ivan, “Can we talk?” and as we all suspected after those words were spoken, she sent him home. That left two roses. Zac got the first, and Ben got the second.
The following day, the final two guys were scheduled to meet Tayshia’s parents, a major step in any relationship. For Ben, to be honest, it went very “meh.” He did what he was supposed to do, but seemed to leave out a lot about their journey. He never mentioned that he was sent home and returned, or that Tayshia was clearly not very happy to see him the night before. Nobody seemed very wowed.
And the only reason that I know what it means for Tayshia’s family to be wowed is because I saw what happened when they met Zac. He clearly made a great impression on her family, and was taking this step in their relationship very seriously. “I need to convey to her family that I love Tayshia and that I will marry her given the opportunity,” he told the cameras.
Throughout the family meet-and-greet, Zac was Zac: calm, cool, and collected! Now I must make one note that I did not appreciate about Tayshia’s family: When they met with Ben, they asked about his college years and he mentioned that he attended West Point Military Academy. They were all very impressed. But college didn’t even come up with Zac! Personally, I think if they knew that he went to YCP, they would have somehow been even more in love with him.
But I digress. Talking with her dad, Tayshia mentioned, “Zac is just a good guy. He is all the things!” Zac went on to charm both of her parents during one-on-one discussions, and we have no doubt that they were very impressed with him.
Later in the week, Tayshia’s dad stopped by her suite for a visit, and left her with some cryptic advice. I would tell you what he said, but even now, I’m not quite sure what the point of the conversation was. Whatever it was, it must have gotten into Tayshia’s head because she was clearly a little overwhelmed during Zac’s next date, when the pair learned how to ballroom dance. While our bachelorette was flustered, Zac was her rock. “It kind of bothers me that I can’t find any flaws in him,” Tayshia confessed.
For the dinner portion of the date, they had a serious conversation about careers and priorities, and Zac said that he would do whatever he needed to do as long as Tayshia was happy. They exchanged “I love you’s” and a few smooches, and couldn’t stop fawning over each other—and honestly, the Zac Track Slack couldn’t either.
Next up, it was date time with Ben. Ugh. It went a little like this:
Tayshia: “My heart belongs to another man.”
Ben: “Oh no! What should I do?”
Tayshia: “Go home, lolz.”
Well, that’s not exactly what happened, but you get the idea.
Once it became clear that our favorite Spartan-on-screen was the only guy left in the running, the Zach Track Slack went a little wild. And by a little, I mean a lot. Our guy made it to the end! Tayshia showed a little bit of trepidation, but Zac was busy ring shopping with Neil Lane. Who would have thought that York College and Neil Lane would ever be used in the same blog post?
Through tears, Zac confirmed, “I love Tayshia so much.” And if you or a loved one cried real tears while watching last night, get in line. We have nothing for you, but just know that you weren’t alone.
Moving on, let me just say something about the proposal spot. What in the world? Feathers? Fire?? I could literally hear the heat and maybe even a few vultures circling above. It felt like it was the setting of some sort of human sacrifice, not a proposal. But again, I digress.
Zac showed up and made all of Bachelor Nation/YCP proud as he poured his heart out to the woman of his dreams. He promised to be loyal to her, to love her, and told her that nothing has ever felt so right in his life. (Except for maybe signing the rock? Come on, Zac!) When it was Tayshia’s turn to respond, she said “I love you, but…” and she took a long pause. And I mean long. See the list below for what I did during her pause.
- Ran my first half-marathon (feel free to congratulate me at a later date)
- Finished my Christmas gift wrapping
- Wrote the next great American novel
- Played a few rounds of Among Us
- Finished the speech I plan to read at their wedding
But, eventually, Tayshia finished that sentence, clarifying that she is MORE than in love with Zac. She then accepted his subsequent, tearful proposal. Hands down, this was the best proposal that Bachelor Nation has ever seen. It went perfectly (except for the Game of Thrones-themed setting). They even talked about wanting to jump into fountains together (we have one, and we are ready for you guys)! And now, Zac Clark ‘06 and Tayshia Adams are engaged! We could not be more thrilled for the couple and we can’t wait to get an update on their new adventure together. After spending the semester listening to exclusively Amy Winehouse and Lizzo, I finally feel that maybe true love is possible after all. Thanks for the reminder, Zac and Tayshia.
Zac, we know you can’t wait to bring Tayshia by your alma mater, so I’ve gone ahead and made an itinerary for your honeymoon to York, PA. We’ll start things off with a drive along the Codorus Creek on the way to get a slice from NJ’s (just make sure you wait your turn). Next, you kids will take a romantic stroll down Dupont Avenue to the dining hall for Fritter Friday, and you’ll introduce her to Sherri, YCP’s true mascot. From here, hit up the track team for some scooters to scoot along the Rail Trail. You can cool off in the fountain like you already planned, don’t worry. Then, the lovebirds will finish up their day with a romantic dinner in Yorkview Hall. If you have time, stop by Grantley Hall, simply because I want to congratulate the happy couple in person.
Now, let me be real for a moment.
Zac Clark is more than just a guy who went on a TV show. He has overcome some serious obstacles and strengthened those around him on the way. You can learn more about his recovery center at releaserecovery.com, if you’re interested in seeing some of the work he has done to move past a really difficult time in his life. Speaking from experience, I can say that Zac is truly a genuine guy and we could not have had a better representative from YCP. Tayshia is lucky to have him.
One last time...thanks for stopping by, Bachelor/YCP Nation!
PS: If any other Spartans are considering reality TV, can someone please go on Survivor? That’s my true reality TV love.
|About the Author|
Sophie Barnes is a current junior at YCP, studying English with minors in marketing and French. She is also the Alumni Relations Marketing and Communications Intern and has been involved in the alumni office in a variety of ways through her time at York through the Spartanation Road Crew program and the Student Alumni Council.
Sophie is a fan of all things Bachelor Nation, especially Bachelor in Paradise. When she’s not in class or watching the Bachelor, Sophie enjoys reading, watching movies, or spending time with her parents, brother, and friends.