After a season that began with dismal ratings and was criticized as being too vanilla and boring, the second part of The Bachelorette finale might be the most anticipated EVER. So crazy! Despite rumors flying in every which way, we're biting our nails wondering whether Desiree Hartsock gets engaged -- and if so, to whom, now that it looks like Brooks eliminated himself and left Antigua?!
While there is evidence to support a Desiree-Chris matchup in the end, and Des's brother Nate claims Reality Steve is wrong about the winner, I'm convinced the bulk of clues at our disposal still lead to Brooks. Here, the major hints that have us believing he'll realize he made a major mistake and get down on one knee with a Neil Lane rock ...
WARNING: (Possible) Spoilers Ahead.
- An insider's description of the proposal. A source tells Wetpaint, “The proposal was very romantic, especially considering that Desiree was seriously doubting the whole process would work out in her favor. When the man she had her heart set on finally showed up and got down on one knee, she was emotional.” Why would this person in the know refer to the "man she had her heart set on" and say he "finally showed up"? Must be Brooks!
- Brooks's post-split freak-out. He was beside himself. If the guy wasn't going to have second thoughts about this, he wouldn't have stood around in the brushes with his head in his hands, broken down in tears. He wouldn't be looking totally dazed and blurry-eyed in his confessional. He was clearly more confused than positive about his feelings one way or the other.
- Desiree's tweet. The Bachelorette wrote that she finds herself crying "happy tears" on the finale. Why would she be crying happy tears when facing anything other than a proposal from Brooks?
- Brooks never said he wasn't in love with Des. Brooks never said "I don't love you." He just hadn't felt comfortable saying "I love you" yet! There's a difference. And maybe that's because he ...
- ... had no idea he was The One to Des! He probably had trouble falling in love with her thinking maybe she was actually falling for two, or three, or however many other guys. Can you blame him? (Also, can you blame a guy who clearly takes marriage seriously for being unsure about popping the question after just six weeks and a handful of one-on-one dates? I can't!)
- Desiree's People blog post. At the end of her reaction to this week's episode, she wrote, "Stay tuned next week to find out what happens with Brooks, my broken heart and the remaining men." As my brilliant Bachelorette scholar colleague Mary mentioned, why would Desiree bring up Brooks if he was gone for good?
- Chris Harrison confirmed Brooks could come back. The host tells ABC, "If anybody was ever set to come back and be wishy-washy, it's [Brooks]. There's definitely that option." And a proposal, too? For Des's sake, let's hope so.
More from The Stir: Brooks Forester's Latest Confession Will Break Desiree Hartsock's Heart Again
What are your thoughts on the proposal at this point?
Image via ABC