The web has been abuzz with The Bachelorette spoilers this month, as fans Desiree Hartsock prepares for what could be a rocky lead-up to the finale.
While in the past, The Bachelor or The Bachelorette spoilers have centered around which suitor the star would pick, this year looks a bit different.
Heading into the August 5 season-ender, most of the uncertainty surrounding Desiree Hartsock relates to whether she ends up engaged or heartbroken.
Brooks Forester has been the favorite all season long, both among those offering spoilers and on screen. Des has even admitted she's in love.
So what's the big twist keeping this from being a foregone conclusion?
Even the producers themselves are weighing in on the unusual nature of this particular "journey" for love, and hinting that it may not end smoothly.
Misleading teases that don't come to fruition or are underwhelming in the end are standard for this show, but you don't often hear ones like this:
“All I can say is that you will be shocked by how this ends.”
Straight from show-runner Mike Fleiss himself, to EW.
Yes, we realize that every single week promises THE MOST DRAMATIC ROSE CEREMONY EVER, so you can take that with a boulder of salt.
That said, the shot-caller adds that Hartsock's season's ending “doesn't make sense in some ways,” and “It comes out of left field in other ways.”
The two-part finale is “the weirdest ending we've ever had, for sure,” and while he won't say if the parties involves are happy, "it sure is interesting to watch.”
All season long, The Bachelorette spoilers from Reality Steve, the thorn in Fless' side for so many years, indicate that Desiree Hartsock does get engaged.
However, many suspect that something pretty big happens in the next two episodes that no one will see coming, and that could render his spoilers moot.
By all accounts, he says, Drew Kenney is eliminated in third place, setting up a Chris Siegfried vs. Brooks Forester finale one week from Monday.
On the season finale, Brooks allegedly proposes and Des accepts, but even the king of The Bachelorette spoilers is spotty on these next two weeks.
However it ends, we can pretty much guarantee that there will be unforeseen conflict, and that it involves Brooks. The question is how, and why?
In its preview for this coming Monday, ABC indicates that as Desiree is on overnight dates with Drew and Chris, Brooks is in the U.S. with his family.
This is unheard of on the show, as contestants typically have no time with family before or after hometown dates, which aired two episodes ago.
Brooks, the network says in its press release, is “torn between his strong feelings for Desiree when he is with her and insecurities when he is not.”
A heart-to-heart with his mother and sister help inspire his confidence and “with the reassurance he needs, [Brooks] boards the plane for Antigua.”
The drama doesn't end there, though, as Brooks Forester and Chris Harrison have their own heart-to-heart and “some shocking news is shared.”
Desiree and Brooks later talk this through, which leads to “one of the most explosive, dramatic, emotional moments in Bachelorette history.”
UPDATE, 7/29: Here's a new twist to the already-complicated situation:
Nate Hartsock, the outspoken brother of Desiree who made a scene on The Bachelor and claims to know the outcome of this season as well, Tweeted:
"I cannot tell you who wins but Reality Steve is wrong."
Reality Steve says he stands by his sources and spoilers, so here we have two opposing statements from two guys who do not enjoy being proven wrong.
UPDATE, 7/30: Well, that was certainly something last night.
After two terrific dates with Chris and Drew, Brooks crushes Des with the revelation that he's not ready to commit to her so seriously at this time.
Awkward exchanges were had. Tears flowed like never before.
Then we faded to black, unheard of in The Bachelorette world. No rose ceremony, no elimination, no clue how this is going to play out next week.
Bad as it looks, this was set up in such a way that it leaves plenty of time for Brooks to come around and sweep Des off her feet at the very end.
From the beginning, Brooks has been the guy in her mind.
Could this be a different way of "packaging" the season to play up a finale in which there really was no tough choice as long as Brooks was on board?
Very possible. It's hard to see Des falling back on Chris or Drew after this, isn't it? Is Brooks really gone for good after all that? Difficult to envision.
If you watch the end of last night's episode (above, just before the promo for next week begins) she basically says she can't love Chris or Drew enough.
While there's been plenty of talk of The Bachelorette spoilers being "wrong" this season in light of these revelations, be sure to keep in mind this:
- There's one episode - the final, dramatic conclusion - still to go
- The spoilers aren't inconsistent with what we've seen so far
If Brooks was her top pick all along, as we've been inclined to believe, nothing that happened last night makes a compelling case for Drew or Chris.
Meanwhile, a Brooks win actually seems more likely considering.
Des lamented, even, that those two "amazing, unreal guys" love her, but "I just can’t love them as much ... and that’s not what they deserve. Honestly, for me, it’s over.”
They can't possibly win, can they? If she simply carried on in Brooks' absence and got engaged to one or the other, the cliffhanger makes no sense.
So what's the point of next week? Either two more heartbreaking breakups and Des leaving as single as the day she started the show, or Brooks returns.
That, or we're in for mother of all surprises come next Monday. Stay tuned.
UPDATE, 8/5: Well ... that was certainly a shocking ending, as advertised!
Drew Kenney was eliminated. Chris Siegfried proposed and Desiree Hartsock accepted. No Brooks Forester return. No heartbreaking, bitter tumult.
Did anyone out there see that ending coming? Anyone at all?
Honestly, how the heck did ABC pull this thing off all along?
From Reality Steve's spoilers to Des' confessionals to the editing of the entire season, we were certainly led to believe this season was all about Brooks.
"Wow. Uhhhh, didn't see that coming," he wrote moments ago on Twitter. "No idea what happened. Just means ill have to get it right next season."
There it is. The Bachelorette spoilers guru has been stumped.
Was there deliberate misdirection on ABC's part to plant fake spoilers out there? Or just a terrific job of keeping the actual ending a secret for months?
Whatever the explanation, so well played by the network. Wow.
On the After the Final Rose special, Brooks Forester returned ... to talk about feelings. That was it. Des and Chris are together and happy, end of story.
Oh, and Juan Pablo Galavis will be The Bachelor, incidentally.
Now that all this is said and done, you tell us, THGers:
Did Desiree make the right decision with Chris?