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If 21 seasons of The Bachelor have taught us anything, it is that there’s a seemingly unending supply of twenty-somethings willing to sacrifice their dignity for camera time. The second thing The Bachelor has taught us is that a lot can happen in 3 years. Specifically that given a good haircut, a gym membership and the right lighting, even a dorky software salesman from Wisconsin can fool us into caring about his love life. Someone get these people an Emmy.
It has been 3 years since Nick Viall stuck his scarf wrapped neck into our lives with his first foray into Bachelor Nation. Since then he has had his heart broken by Andi, and again by Kaitlyn, somehow talked us into liking him despite his striped swim trunks on Bachelor in Paradise, and finally
stole Luke Pell’s spot took center stage as the bachelor. Finally all of his efforts crescendoed this week when his journey came to an end (at least until he needs some spending cash).
Here are the top moments from the season finale of Nick’s journey to find love on The Bachelor with gif reactions.
Now that Nick has narrowed down his choice of future
temporary life partner to two women it was time to introduce Vanessa and Raven to his family. At this point Nick’s family has been forced on these shows so many times they should have their own IMDb pages. They should also have a contract with Xanax because these people never stop crying. I get it, Nick has been devastated through this process in the past, but Nick’s dad cried more during his conversation with Vanessa than my kids did when I accidentally touched their Elf on the Shelf.
Raven was her usual friendly, happy self. Vanessa was her usual intense, mistrustful self. Nick sat there wearing a sweater that looked like it was weaved from Easter basket grass and his family cried some more. Vanessa appeared to get their stamp of approval, but Nick’s dad did admit that she’s his usual type which hasn’t worked out so well in the past. This was all very important, I’m sure, but I was distracted by Nick’s good looking lumber-sexual brother. That’s a Viall I wouldn’t mind seeing in Bachelor Nation again.
With the meet-the-parents mating ritual complete, Nick took Vanessa on her final date of the season. This was their last chance to connect before he would decide if he was going to propose to her, so obviously they rode horses through the snow to find Santa. No for real, they found Finnish Santa in a remote cabin where he gifted them with a plaque that blessed them with happiness and fertility. I wish I were making that up.
After saying good-bye to Santa, Nick and Vanessa spent the evening together drinking wine and being terrified of their future. To sum up a long drawn out conversation, Vanessa was looking for assurance that Nick wasn’t willing to give her. He told her that he knew what she wanted to hear, and that he could choose to say what she wanted to hear, but that the week wasn’t over so he wasn’t willing to just yet. Well that definitely wasn’t the answer she was looking for.
Nick held her while she cried and told her that he isn’t looking for someone who is perfect, just someone who is willing to sacrifice to make it perfect together. Honestly, as someone who has been married for a third of her life, that’s a pretty healthy outlook on marriage. Sure, I understand why Vanessa is unsure about getting engaged since Nick is undecided. I get mad when my husband won’t pick what I want to eat for dinner (that’s a thing), let alone if he wasn’t sure who he wanted to marry two days before proposing. But despite the seriousness of the situation, they never seem to have any fun together anymore. Falling in love is fun, getting engaged is fun, these conversations Nick and Vanessa keep having are not fun.
The next day Nick had his final date with Raven. If I was looking for fun, I found it in their time ice skating while Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me” played in the background just like my dream date in 8th grade. Raven and Nick have nonstop fun. When they weren’t doing their best impression of Oksana Baiul circa 1994, they were making out on the ice or cuddling with a trio of husky puppies. If they weren’t restricted from outside contact with the world like white collar prisoners, Raven’s Instagram story would have been basic bitch perfection.
I assume Raven smuggled some of those puppies back to her room but first she had to spend a little time petting Nick’s ego. Raven and Vanessa are both strong, smart, beautiful, accomplished women whom Nick somehow tricked into liking him. Yet, they have taken completely opposite approaches to their relationships. While Vanessa seeks assurance from Nick, Raven is always the first to give it. She told Nick that she knows she is ready to accept a proposal from him. She showed no hesitation or confusion, only confidence in the relationship they have and the choice he was going to make the next day. Nick looked relaxed, even relieved during his time with her, telling her that he knows that he would have the type of love and woman he has always wanted if he chooses her. While Vanessa wasn’t sure if she’s even accept a proposal, Raven ended her last date confident that she would be engaged the next day.
When he wasn’t feeling guilty for the heart he was about to break, Nick spent the next morning choosing a beautiful diamond engagement ring from his old pal Neil Lane. Then he donned a perfectly tailored suit, blow dried his hair to have that strange swirl on the side and entered a lodge that was decorated to look like an Anthropologie candle display. As we all know, the first woman to arrive on the final episode is the one that is about to get her heartbroken so the tension was turned up to a 10. Who was it going to be? Fun Raven with the good chemistry or Vanessa who asks hard questions but seems to have a deep connection with Nick?
It was Raven.
She looked beautiful as her face lit up when she saw Nick, but she quickly shutdown into stoicism while Nick ended their relationship. A single tear rolled down his face when he said he would miss her, but she became everyone’s hero when she replied, “I know.” I KNOW. He broke up with her and she didn’t grovel or cry, she recognized her own worth and walked out with a broken heart, but her head held high.
Nick wiped away his tears and prepared himself for the moment we have sat through 3 seasons for: Nick was finally going to propose! Vanessa arrived wearing a black sequined gown and fur coat that would be all the rage among cruise ship singers. She looked beautiful as always, but it was the audible gasp Nick made when he saw her that really did me in. Guys, Nick did it. He found love! Forgive me for doubting you, Bachelor.
Nick anxiously jumped the gun, telling Vanessa that he has been falling in love with her since the second rose ceremony, before she even had the chance to give her speech. Her eyes filled with tears and her hands covered her mouth when he dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him. She gave a muffled, “yes,” behind her hands, Nick gave his signature puppy dog eyes, and I completely fell for it all over again. You got me Bachelor. True love exists. This show works. I’ll never make fun of you again (until the next season).
The Bachelor barely gave us a chance to bask in the glow of Nick and Vanessa’s contractually obligated happiness before the Live (for the East Coast) After the Final Rose show started. I don’t know who decided to air a three hour show until 11pm the day after Daylight Savings, but I was not happy. Nick also wasn’t happy because he had to face Raven for the first time since breaking her heart. Who cares about him though because Raven is a dream. She looked gorgeous of course, but more importantly she handled herself with grace. Although she admitted she was blindsided, she wished Nick and Vanessa the best and appeared ready to move on. I like Raven very much, but I especially like that (as she pointed out on her instagram post) she wore green to celebrate school integration and overcoming adversity through diversity. Please pause while I slow clap. She confirmed that we will see her this summer on Bachelor in Paradise so prepare yourself for some fangirling from yours truly.
Finally it was time for Nick and Vanessa to put their blissful happiness on display for all of us to covet. But no, this is Vanessa and Nick we are talking about, so they had to be “realistic” and “honest” about how hard it has been. Okay yes, not being allowed to see your fiance or tell anyone about them for months at a time while the whole world judges you is not easy. But they really killed my love buzz with all of their serious talk.
The first time I watched their interview I was convinced that they had already broken up. In fact, my husband walked into the room, saw them interact and asked, “Did they just have a fight in the green room?” It was bad. Their smiles were forced and their body language was awkward. I’ve seen more chemistry watching a Sean Spicer press conference. However, on second viewing I’m willing to concede that maybe they’re just really sick of the pageantry and ready to move on with their lives. Then again they have no intention of booking their wedding anytime soon so maybe not.
Vanessa and Nick were ferreted off stage to lick their wounds and avoid running into Raven while our new Bachelorette Rachel came out. Chris Harrison was nearly giddy when he surprised her with the worst possible news. They were starting The Bachelorette right then on live television. They wheeled in some fake trees and a background of the bachelor mansion and forced that poor girl to meet four of her future ex-boyfriends without any prep time. She handled herself well, even when one of the white contestants said, “I’m ready to go black and I’m never going to go back,” but I was getting more annoyed by the minute.
They would never pull this crap on one of the male bachelors. Period. First they pitted Britt and Kaitlyn against each other, now they have Rachel being put into a position of defense instead of power. It’s a tired game and I’m over it. Rachel is more accomplished than Nick Viall could ever hope to be. She deserves nothing less than the same respect they afforded him.
So with that, Nick’s season of The Bachelor is complete, but we have one final bit of business to attend to. Fifty-four wonderful Bachelor addicts played along with That’s Normal’s Fantasy League, but only one can take home the prize. This season’s winner is: Cuddly Protein Bear! Congratulations! Please tell us who you are by emailing us at admin@thats-normal(dot)com with the subject line Bachelor Fantasy Winner. Plus, I want to make sure I never invite you to play again because you’re way too good at this and might steal my job. Just kidding, I love you. Let’s be best friends.
What did you think of this season? Did Nick pick the right woman? Are Nick and Vanessa miserable or am I projecting? I had way too much fun watching The Bachelor with you this season. Let’s do it again in May!