7:34pm PT by Jackie Strause
'Bachelorette' Star Says She Doesn't Know How Live Finale Will Play Out
The first night of The Bachelorette's two-night live finale was not overly dramatic — until the show's final moments.
Months ago, Hannah Brown's season of the ABC reality series wrapped in Greece. The pretaped footage that aired Monday night showed Brown narrowing her final three down to two and eliminating Peter Weber. Shifting to the live portion of the two-night ender, Brown and Weber reunited on the show's Los Angeles stage where they were able to offer each other some closure, while also telling the world that they had, in fact, had sex four times in the infamous windmill suite, instead of two (a quote that had gone viral). The moment prompted a memorable reaction from both host Chris Harrison and Weber's parents, who were in the audience.
The rest of Brown's time in Greece played out as could be expected. She introduced her finalists Tyler Cameron and Jed Wyatt to her parents and went on her final dates with both. Her parents shared reservations about Wyatt, which made for a bumpy final boat ride with her frontrunner. Their concerns focused on whether or not the Nashville singer-songwriter would be able to provide for their daughter and, considering Wyatt already admitted to Brown that he came on the show to boost his career, the skepticism noticeably affected the star. In the end, she told the camera she was torn.
That's when Harrison took the live stage with Brown by his side for an unexpected announcement to wrap the show.
"Since that last day in Greece, the past couple of months have been really tough and emotional," said Brown, addressing the live audience and viewers at home. "I know there are a lot of rumors out there and, honestly, tomorrow I don't know what's going to happen. But I have a lot of questions that need to be answered, so I hope I'll be able to do that."
Harrison promised, "We're going to get those answers tomorrow night" and told Bachelor Nation: "Get some rest, because tomorrow is going to be unlike any finale we've ever seen before."
The trailer for tomorrow shows Brown seemingly in Greece struggling with her final decision and then later, in a more casual location, confronting someone who was hidden from view. "I just feel like this experience has been taken away from me," she says. "How would you ever be ready to be engaged?"
Bachelor Nation has been waiting for the finale so Wyatt could finally address the swirling off-camera claim that has been leveled against him and now, if the trailer is any indication, it looks like Brown needed similar answers for herself. The second moment in question was likely taped after the season wrapped in Greece.
In an on-the-record interview with People, Nashville-based musician Haley Stevens had claimed she and Wyatt had been in a relationship for four months when he left to film The Bachelorette. "He told me [the show] was just an obstacle and we’d be stronger on the other side because of it," she said. "He said, ‘It’s probably not going to happen, but it’s a huge opportunity. I’m only doing this for my music.’ He only did it for his career."
As the story picked up steam in the news, Wyatt took to social media to ask viewers to be patient until he could speak out about the matter — something he can't do, per his ABC contract, until his elimination. Since he is still on the show, tomorrow's finale will be his first opportunity to address the "rumors."
Brown, meanwhile, has indicated through not-so-thinly veiled social media posts of her own that the claim has impacted her current relationship. She maintained her sense of humor Monday by tweeting at the end of the show, "just got off stage. did I miss anything?"
Weber had also been accused of having a girlfriend during the audition process, though that wasn't addressed during his part on Monday's live show. (Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss is also under ongoing investigation over a domestic abuse claim, something the show also did not address. Sources had told THR the investigation would not impact current or forthcoming franchise shows.)
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter during the recent Men Tell All reunion show taping, Harrison said he doesn't know how the finale ends, indicating that it's all still playing out in real time: "I know what happened in Greece but I don’t know how this is going to go. It’s very rare where you go into something and you really don’t know." Brown also told THR that while it's been difficult to stay quiet, she has appreciated the time to reflect: "It’s hard sometimes, but there is also something about being able to just process it for myself and not having to speak on things that I’m not ready to speak on just yet."
ABC doubled down on the drama by airing a two-night finale, a first for the Bachelorette franchise. Recent seasons of The Bachelor with Colton Underwood and Arie Luyendyk Jr. were extended to two nights, and both ended in nontraditional ways for the long-running franchise.
The Bachelorette finale wraps up tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on ABC.