For The Bachelorette star Desiree Hartsock, it all comes down to this.
A season full of turmoil comes to a conclusion tonight on ABC, with so much still up in the air. Will Brooks be back? Will Des leave single and heartbroken?
Will Chris and Drew find out about last week? Do they have any shot?
Here's a look at what The Bachelorette spoilers indicate about this evening's finale, why they could be wrong, and why they're probably not wrong ...
First, a brief rundown on last week's drama: After two fabulous dates with Chris and Drew, Brooks CRUSHED Des with the revelation that he's not ready.
Awkwardness and tears ensued like never before on this show.
Which is certainly saying something. As is the fact that, unheard of in The Bachelorette universe, there was no rose ceremony, no elimination ... nothing.
All three finalists are still technically in the mix ... or are they?
Throughout the spring and summer, spoilers have been spotty, but more or less consistent. The consensus has been that Brooks wins, or no one does.
While there's been plenty of chatter about how The Bachelorette spoilers were "wrong" in light of last week's exit by Brooks, consider these points:
- There's still the second half of the season finale to go.
- The spoilers aren't inconsistent with any of this.
- The Bachelorette story editors are masters.
We're not insinuating that their breakup was staged, merely that Brooks may not be gone for good. Did he even leave Antigua after departing in the car?
We have no idea yet, and he could quickly turn around and change his mind, proposing and living happily ever after with Desiree. It's possible, even likely.
Why? ABC's episode synopsis says Desiree is ready to go home after being left “devastated, heartbroken and hopeless” on the edge of a dock.
The 27-year-old bridal stylist will now be forced to decide if “she can move forward with the other two men or if her hope of finding love will be ruined.”
“The final days of Desiree’s journey are filled with questions. If she does see promise in either Chris or Drew, will she introduce them to her family?"
"Whether they meet her family or not, will Desiree’s brother, Nate, play a role in sabotaging her quest for love again? Desiree must look inward."
She must consider "if the love she has always wanted is right in front of her, or if her heartache over Brooks will crush her dreams of finding a soul mate.”
If Brooks Forester was her top pick all along, as we've been inclined to believe, this synopsis suggests that the season finale is still all about Brooks.
Des has already lamented that Chris and Drew are "amazing, unreal guys" who are in love her, but "I just can’t love them as much" and for her "it's over."
If she simply carried on in Brooks' absence and chose one of them, why the cliffhanger? And why the synopsis above that teases two hours of filler?
Long story short, we're likely in for two more heartbreaking splits tonight. The only question is whether Des leaves single or together with Brooks.
If we're wrong, and she merely gets engaged to Drew or Chris, that would easily go down as the biggest shocker in Bachelorette history, bar none.
But we're almost certain it's Brooks or no one, and confident they're engaged.
That's been the rumor all season long, and those supposedly in the know have not wavered - even if Des' brother Nate says Reality Steve is wrong.
Regarding that recent boast by Nate, here are some other scenarios we could see playing out, absent a proposal by Brooks and acceptance by Des:
- Brooks returns ... with no ring. He apologizes and they agree to date, figure things out, etc. So he wins the Final Rose, but does not propose.
- Brooks returns ... but Des begins to second-guess his intentions and seriousness after speaking with Chris, then REJECTS his proposal.
- Brooks returns ... and gets engaged to Des ... but not on the season finale itself. Maybe it happens on the After the Final Rose special?
Perhaps a combination of 2 and 3? There could be a twist, but from everything we've heard, and seen, Desiree Hartsock and Brooks Forester are together.
UPDATE, 8/5: Well ... that was certainly a shocking ending in more ways than one!
Drew Kenney was eliminated. Chris Siegfried proposed and Desiree Hartsock accepted. No Brooks Forester return. No heartbreaking ending for Des.
You read that right. Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried are engaged! Incredible.
Did anyone see it coming? At all? How did ABC keep the spoilers under wraps?
The astonishing thing was not that spoilers were incorrect, but how much what played out on screen matched the false "narrative" up until the very end.
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.
Steve's own reaction on Twitter just now was that of pure disbelief.
"Wow. Uhhhh, didn't see that coming," he wrote, echoing many fans' assessment. "No idea what happened. Just means ill have to get it right next season."
Win some, lose some.
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, well played by the powers that be. What a stunner!
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.
Drew Kenney came out next, also wishing them the best. Classy interview. Then Chris presented Des with a framed poem he wrote and the audience melted.
Finally, Juan Pablo Galavis (not Brooks or Drew) will be The Bachelor in 2014.
Gosh. Wow. Now that all of this is said and done, you tell us, THGers:
Did Desiree make the right call picking Chris Siegfried?
And will Desiree and Chris make this thing last?