Tonight on The Bachelorette, Meredith Phillips finally chooses between Texan boy Matthew and Brazilian-born Ian. With two blond lookers to pick from, we don't see a problem here — except that she can't have both! (C'mon, how fair is it to offer this single gal a hunky harem, then make her select just one suitor?) Recently, ABC's teasing ads single out Ian as the "risky" proposition. How does Miss Meredith feel about that?

"You know, they're both pretty stable men," she says. "I don't know why they say that Ian is a risky choice. They're both gentlemen. Maybe because Ian has traveled a little bit more. Maybe that's a riskier side? For me, it was very safe and calming to be with Matthew, especially in such a chaotic situation. It was nice." Hmmm... Sounds like a hint to us!

One mark against Ian is brother Erik, who interrogated Meredith in the fifth episode. Fans will recall he abrasively demanded to know if she expects an engagement ring in the Bachelorette finale. Later, Erik even barged in on his brother mid-kiss, warning him against rushing into matrimony with Meredith. Um, rude much?

"Ian's brother came off a little strong," she agrees, "but he actually was really sick that night. He ended up going to the hospital because he had the flu."

Well, that explains Erik's 'tude. As for his reservations about Meredith, she shrugs 'em off. "He just got down to the nitty-gritty right away," she says. "I think my brother would do the same. That's what family members do. They put you in the hot seat — since next time they see me, I could be with him! They want to make sure the relationship is right."

Whoever her chosen dude is, Meredith continues to insist she's genuinely in love. The mystery couple has seen each other a few times since taping the show, she says, and they chat on the phone regularly. "This [separation period] has been hard for me," Meredith sighs, "but it's almost done. I'm looking forward on Wednesday to getting on with my life with the guy that I chose."

Asked for the umpteenth time whether she'd do a million-dollar televised wedding like Trista and Ryan, this Bachelorette remains bashful on that subject. "That's a lot. I've always considered a small wedding," she muses, "since that's the kind of personality I have. Thirty or 40 people on the beach somewhere. Really casual, with family."


The Bachelorette season finale airs tonight at 9 pm/ET. Meredith and her chosen one then appear on The Bachelorette: After The Final Rose Thursday at 8 pm/ET.