It’s the final countdown … until Ben asks Courtney to be his bride (you know, allegedly) and slides that ring onto her thin, cold, long-black-glove-sheathed finger in the Bachelor finale. And then we’ll immediately be whisked from that Swiss mountaintop straight into the present, on an L.A. soundstage turned tealight museum, to find out where their relationship stands now, on the After the Final Rose special. I SERIOUSLY CANNOT WAIT … for this to be over. (But you know who’s probably even more anxious for it to be over? Lyndzi.)

While it’s seemed inevitable for weeks now that Ben and Courtney would wind up engaged, last night’s Women Tell All still stirred the pot before Monday’s big finish, and plenty of members in Bachelor Nation were more than willing to weigh in on the night’s biggest question: Was Courtney sincere in her apology to the other women?

The episode also planted plenty of other questions in our brains, like: Is ex-Bachelorette Ali really going to be on Bachelor Pad 3: Escape to Bitch Mountain? And now that the sun is setting on Ben’s season, how long will we have to wait for Emily Maynard’s Bachelorette season start?

Here’s what we know:

About Courtney’s tearful WTA appearance:

  • The Two Men in Her Life Weight In: Chris Harrison says that she’s “a very fragile little girl” and he “felt like she was really speaking from the heart.” Ben, on the other hand, says that her apology “seemed genuine” to him (seemed? that’s how you defend your maybe-fiancee?) and referred to her like she’s not just a stranger, but possibly a robot: “To see an emotional side of this woman was a good thing and it makes her feel like she is human, and a softer, sweeter side is shown.” Was a more detached and passive sentence ever written?

  • Ashley’s Man Is Skeptical: J.P. Rosenbaum, Ashley Hebert’s adorable fiance, is skeptical, but wants to give Courtney the benefit of the doubt: “She made an effort, right? She said, ‘I am sorry.’ What more can she do at this point? Nothing,” he told OK! magazine. “These girls were there. Only they know what really happened. What else can you expect from the girl? She manned up and she apologized. I have to give her credit for that.”

  • Coached to Cry? Amy Kaufman of the L.A. Times attended the WTA taping, and revealed that a private conversation between Courtney and a producer went public to the audience, thanks to her mic. “I don’t know if I can show that emotion again,” Courtney, worried she’d come off as cold, said after recovering from her first tearful moment. To which the producer apparently replied: “You have to,” the producer said. “This is for you. This is for you and Ben.” Not surprised, but still … yikes!

  • Ben’s So Over It: Kaufman also caught Ben complaining about his Bachelor duties: “After completing a round of interviews with the media following the “Women Tell All” show, Ben exhaled and went over to vent to a group of show insiders. “One more of these [expletive] things and I’m done,” he said, likely referring to the then-impending “After the Final Rose” taping. “I have so many better things to do with my life.'” Another witness told US Weekly that Ben “wasn’t empathetic in the least” to the women, and that he was defensive and “cold hearted” during the taping. Maybe they’re even more perfect for each other than we imagined.

In Bachelor Pad 3 casting rumors:

  • Ali’s out. And no, she’s not dating Frank. To both I say, THANK HEAVENS. (Frank says BP3 “isn’t for him,” either.)

  • Two women from Ben’s Bachelor season recently had separate (possibly romantic?) lunch dates with two men from Ashley’s Bachelorette season: Jenna and Ames, and Kacie B. and Ryan P. Doesn’t mean any of them will be on BP3, but that show loves couples, so it certainly increases the odds…

What about the next season of The Bachelorette?

Reality Steve is also reliable Steve, as today he posted lots of photos of the mansion where Emily Maynard’s suitors will apparently reside while they’re waiting around for their dates with the Mother Theresa Barbie.

And while we won’t see the season premiere until May, spoilers are shortly forthcoming, says Steve. “The guys will arrive this Sunday, with filming beginning a week from tomorrow on the 14th,” he says, and reveals that he has ten contestants already confirmed — and will start revealing them next week!

(Image: ET)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.