Ben Higgins about to propose to… someone. (Matt Dunn/ABC)

The day has arrived: “The Bachelor” finale airs at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC, which means you may be forced to watch, depending on remote control privileges in your home. If you haven’t been paying attention to this season, here’s everything you need to know — because trust us, it’s very easy to accidentally find yourself glued to the TV for the entire three-hour (!) show.

‘The Bachelor’ is out of surprises. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

The bachelor:

The star of this season is 26-year-old Ben Higgins, a software salesman from Denver. One of the youngest bachelors in the show’s history, he landed the gig after appearing on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of “The Bachelorette” last summer, where he was just sweet and awkward enough to win over viewers. In case you’re curious, his deepest insecurity is that he fears he’s unlovable.

The finalists:

The season started with 28 women, and Ben has narrowed the field to two: Lauren Bushnell, the 25-year-old flight attendant from California, and Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher, the 24-year-old real estate developer from Texas. Lauren goes by “Lauren B.” because in the beginning of the season, she was one of three Laurens in the race.

The controversy:

There’s always some drama hanging over the finale, and this season’s is a doozy: In the penultimate episode, Ben said “I love you” to Lauren B. and JoJo.


Listen, it’s actually a big deal in “Bachelor” world. There’s a serious unwritten rule that the bachelor is not allowed to tell any finalist that he loves them, because that’s considered a major spoiler about which contestant he’s going to choose. However, Ben threw a curveball by saying the three little words to both women.

It’s also considered poor “Bachelor” etiquette because, well, you normally don’t tell a woman you love her before you dump her on live television and propose to someone else… so Lauren B. and JoJo are, sadly, both feeling pretty confident about their chances. Unfortunate for them, but great for TV viewers!

The outcome:

It’s (technically) a mystery. Ben already confirmed he’s engaged, so we know he won’t pull a Brad Womack and propose to no one. For the record, former “Bachelorette” star Ali Fedotowsky predicts “Lauren B., hands down,” and she’s an expert, so…

The show:

The episode ends at 10 p.m., but you’ll want to stick around for the “After the Final Rose” after-show. Some of the greatest “Bachelor” moments in history have occurred on “After the Final Rose,” because it’s the first time the finalists can see each other in public again after the show wrapped filming months ago. The after-show is where Jason Mesnick changed his mind, breaking up with the winner and choosing the runner-up… Juan Pablo Galavis had a hilariously contentious smackdown with host Chris Harrison… really, this is the part you want to watch.

The next bachelorette:

Like clockwork, “The Bachelorette” will air on ABC this summer. As for the star (typically announced on “After the Final Rose”), all signs point to Caila Quinn, the 24-year-old software sales rep from Ohio, and the second runner-up eliminated last week.

Read more:

‘The Bachelor’ premiere: Predicting this season’s big controversies

Can you still enjoy ‘The Bachelor’ when you know how truly sordid it is?

Here’s one reason ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ contestants act like lunatics