We’re only five days away from the Bachelorette finale, and if Chris Harrison and Emily Maynard’s tight lips at last night’s Men Tell All are any indication, we may be in for three hours of shock and surprise on Sunday, when Emily chooses between her two top man-candidates (manidates?): Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and Jef Holm.

Reality Steve hasn’t changed his story since revealing his spoiler on how this Bachelorette season will end. But there’s more to the story than just how it ends. Here’s what ABC is saying about Sunday’s big Bachelorette conclusion:

Emily Is More Torn Than Natalie Imbruglia

After her broken engagement to Brad Womack, single mother Emily Maynard risked everything for a second chance at love, searching not just for a husband but for a father figure for her six-year-old daughter, Ricki. Now, after surviving some stunning twists and turns, Emily has narrowed down the 25 bachelors to two fabulous guys, Arie and Jef. Although her two relationships have progressed at different speeds – passionate and steamy from the start with Arie, while the other with Jef just grew out of a playful crush – Emily is completely in love with both men. She hopes her family, now on the beautiful island of Curacao, will offer some crucial input on which bachelor would make the better match for her. Emily is totally torn between her two suitors and whether she even should introduce Ricki to them. Which man will she choose to leave paradise with and to share her life? Or will she decide not to hand out a final rose?

Jef and Arie Meet the Parents, But it Doesn’t Help

Jef is the first to arrive to meet Emily’s family and makes a great impression. He has a crucial discussion with Emily’s mom about fatherhood and another important conversation with her dad about whether he is ready to propose.

Then it’s Arie’s turn. Emily’s family is skeptical about how he will compare with Jef. But this charming bachelor appears, presenting a thoughtful gift, and her family is quickly impressed with him. But will he win over Emily’s overprotective brother and her father?

Emily’s family won’t make this easy for her, explaining that they like both men and this is her decision to make. And then her mother makes an astonishing suggestion. Will Emily take her mother’s advice, and how will that impact her potential happy ending?

The Last Chance Dates are High Stakes

With two possible proposals just days away, Emily hopes the last-chance dates with the two men will bring clarity to what is currently an impossible decision. Will she introduce the men to Ricki? Will she hand out her final rose? And if she does, will the final bachelor accept it and propose?

Why is the After the Finale Rose Live?

No, it’s not just so Chris Harrison can force Emily to do the Running Man for the nation. Wetpaint reports that, according to an unnamed source close to the show, the Bachelorette: After the Final Rose special will be live this year because “although Emily Maynard did accept a proposal in Curacao, events have occurred since the finale was taped in May that could have caused major problems in her relationship.”

What does that mean, exactly? They’re staying vague, but will say that “at least one person involved in the final trio of characters – Emily, Arie Luyendyk, Jr., and Jef Holm – has had “lingering feelings” that need to be addressed.”

Apparently, a live reunion is the only way those feelings can get addressed — and it also prevents spoilers. (Though that didn’t stop RS from posting his theory on these “lingering feelings.”)

Who Else Will be There?

Besides Chris Harrison, Emily, Arie and Jef, RS reports that the franchise’s favorite engaged couple, Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum, will be in the house (again) to brag about their beautiful love story.

Fingers crossed that they’ll be announcing their televised wedding, too!
What Emily and Chris Harrison Say about the Finale

The promo for the finale seems to hint that Emily may quit her search and leave without a fiance, but in her People.com blog today, she says the finale is the “best episode yet!”

Meanwhile, over in his EW blog, our venerable host says of the finale, “To say it’s emotional or dramatic is a gross understatement. It’s going to be an incredible two nights with the finale followed by the opening of the Pad.”

Here’s that finale promo again, to watch and worry over while you bide your time waiting for Sunday:

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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.