Who Will Kaitlyn Choose on The Bachelorette Season Finale?

Ingela Ratledge

It’s been one of the thorniest—and certainly horniest—seasons of The Bachelorette ever. And on tonight’s two-hour finale—followed, as usual, by the live After the Final Rose special—we’ll find out the fate of Kaitlyn Bristowe, the 30-year-old Canadian dance instructor with the bawdy sense of humor. But according to host Chris Harrison, this particular installment of ABC’s matchmaking series is likely to be short on laughs and long on drama. “It’s a very combustible situation,” he says. “It has the potential to be a beautiful ending…or go tragically wrong.”

The Shakespearean-style antics will kick off in Los Angeles, where Kaitlyn’s journey began, as she struggles to choose between her two remaining suitors, software sales exec Nick Viall and fitness instructor Shawn Booth. Nick, a former runner-up from bachelorette Andi Dorfman’s season who’s back for another shot at a subsidized engagement, has been like catnip to the polarizing Kaitlyn, even inspiring her to (gasp!) invite him for a steamy sleepover long before the infamous Fantasy Suite key had been dangled. “I don’t know if Bachelor Nation was ready for that, but it happened,” Harrison says. “Kaitlyn and Nick have an amazing, palpable chemical connection—you can see it and, at times, hear it. But she has been fighting her attraction to him. There’s just something about Nick that isn’t passing the smell test.”

The Bachelorette-Nick Viall, Shawn Booth

Nick Viall (left) and Shawn Booth (right)

You’ll get no argument there from beefcake Shawn, who’s made it crystal clear that he considers his archrival to be downright noxious. Alas, he may have devoted too much of his energy in the competition toward trying to thwart the enemy. “This process has been a struggle for Shawn,” confirms Harrison of the frontrunner. “He’s been needy and immature at times because he loves Kaitlyn and just wants to marry her.”

Whether that will actually happen is still anyone’s guess. As for what odds to give the final couple? “Well, first we’ll have to see if there is a final couple,” says Harrison. “But right now I’m at 50-50.”

The Bachelorette, Season finale, Monday, July 27, 8/7c, ABC