If you asked Sean Spicer whom he thinks will win tonight’s Season 21 finale, he would yell at you that it wasn’t for him to speak for Nick. That’s for the producers to do.
More importantly, you can see the choices Raven and Vanessa had for proposal-day gowns. The fact that two of Raven’s are white, and Vanessa tried one that’s demonic black and another Jezebel red, are not indicative of anything except the limitations of Macy’s sale rack.
Meanwhile, ET Online offers six clues that Vanessa is the choice to be asked to be Mrs. Nick Viall, and ultimately become Nick Viall’s ex-girlfriend. But never mind all that psycho-babble and conjecture. Here’s why I, as well as a scriptwriter with the hots for Vanessa, and Vanessa’s entire family, are all certain it’s going to be Raven:
- Currently, Raven owns a boutique in an Arkansas town so small they only have seven Starbucks. She would be more likely to want to ply her leather jodhpurs and socks with darling kittycats on them in a more cosmopolitan city, where Nick can also pursue his career in reality TV. Perhaps he’ll even land a lucrative gig like fifth-season Bachelor Jesse Palmer, who is now inexplicably hosting Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship. After his inevitably short stint on this season of Dancing with the Stars, Nick will want to be available for other gigs that will eventually leave him unequipped to hold any job that doesn’t require spray tan and special shoes.
- Raven Viall is a far more acceptable name than Vanessa Viall, which sounds like someone with whom Underdog would cheat on Miss Polly Purebred.
- In her ABC biography, Raven reveals two key things: The most romantic present she ever received was a diamond necklace left on her car. She was so thrilled, she didn’t even care if they were the genuine thing. She also didn’t seem to care that the guy was stalking her like in that true-life Brooke Shields movie of the week, but that’s a separate issue. This indicates that Nick will have no problem satisfying her with cubic zirconias on every anniversary. Furthermore, the hair products she uses are “anything that’s cheap! LOL.” With Nick’s uncertain future, she can be trusted to both budget wisely and settle for acrylic fur. Meanwhile, if Vanessa could be any fruit or vegetable, she opts for onion “because they’re a staple item and can be found all year round.” Who wants to marry a common root vegetable that’s a pain in the ass to peel and makes you cry when you cut it?
Mark my words, Raven has this in the bag. Unless Nick chooses neither of them, in which case he’ll move on to date his professional partner on DWTS to drag out the US Weekly coverage another few days.
And so it begins. Both women love Nick, and dream of a future with him. Nick, for his part, fears enduring the same heartbreak he experienced with Andi and Kaitlyn. There will be much fire-lit, wine-fueled discussion before he makes up his mind, during which a live audience will monitor the proceedings, and car companies and beauty product vendors will interrupt with sales pitches.
Something extraordinary will take place in the studio later tonight, Chris alerts us with a gleam in his contact lens. Maybe Andi is available again. In any event, Raven, Vanessa, Nick, and Rachel will be there to share the moment with us.
Back in Finland, the three are staying right near the Arctic Circle, probably the only place on earth where it’s not snowing in mid-March. Nick visits his family there, who are all concerned that he’ll blow it again. He tells them he has not made up his mind between the two women. His dad has found the process of these three Nick seasons excruciating, much as the viewing audience has.
Raven arrives to meet them all again. The group drinks a toast to family, then discusses what a loser Nick was in previous seasons. His little sister asks Raven pointedly if she loves her brother, then assures the woman that she will serve adequately in the role of sister-in-law. That kid is like the family’s Yoda. Raven also assures Dad that things are looking good for the relationship. She would prefer that Nick says he loves her only when he really means it, just as they require when you participate in a test-marketing panel.
Dad finds Raven mature, and feels she would fit into their family, despite her honey-dipped accent and the fact that thy know virtually nothing about her beyond her first name and that she doesn’t have a pierced nose. Mom is still traumatized by Andi and Kaitlyn’s rejection of her son, not to mention weeks of commenters’ disgust for him on this blog. She’s aged ten years in only three seasons.
Nick recites all of Raven’s positive qualities for Mom. He’s ready to take the risk with his heart, although it’s actually Raven taking it. Mom insists that Nick was very hesitant to accept another giant paycheck from ABC for barely any effort. Wait til he sees how much work is involved in being on DWTS.
Back in the studio, where hysteria and blond hair reigns, Chris calls it the best viewing party since the McCarthy hearings. As they await the arrival of Vanessa now, Nick’s family again debates the wisdom of this whole undertaking. Mom especially wants to see if Vanessa can match Raven’s level of connection to Nick, which in her day they referred to as “sometimes when we touch, the honesty’s too much.”
Vanessa gives them her history: Montreal, special ed teacher, big family, throwing up on her first one-on-one with Nick. Not really the makings of a bestselling autobiography. She wants to consult with his mom, and starts by telling her how much she loves Nick. Mom gapes at her incredulously. She kind of thought Andi and Kaitlyn had a point.
“What if we’re not ready for that next chapter?” Vanessa wonders about he period after they become engaged. I suspect they’re not ready for the next sentence. Then she explains to a sister how stressful it is to be with a person who might not work out. Okay, she wins. This is more obvious a red herring than Bruce Willis never being seen talking to anyone but the kid who saw dead people.
Dad queries whether Vanessa and Nick would have a combative relationship. Vanessa notes how scared she is, but assures him that she definitely loves Nick. “Is love enough to make relationship last?” she asks nevertheless. I think we already know winning a reality TV show is not enough to make it last. Dad feels you must sacrifice to make it work, and not just air time that went to Corinne. Vanessa cries, Dad cries, they hug, and it’s all apparently resolved, like a death scene in General Hospital.
The family then compares the level of connection each woman has with Nick. All that’s missing are a Power Point presentation and a research grant. They draw no conclusions, however, because that would make the show only an hour. Nick wanders into the Finnish night, haunted by his family’s concerns and whether the mini-bar still has Cheetos.
In the studio, Chris asks how everyone thinks this will all wrap up. Some are sure Nick won’t pick anyone, or at least anyone whoever had a blog post in People. Chris again reminds us of the historical revelation that will happen around 10:45 pm Eastern. After the break, he calls it the most jaw-dropping event ever on the show. Unless he means Nick will join a monastery, he’s full of it.
Now Vanessa meets Nick in the snow-clad landscape. She’s ready to talk with him about her concerns, just as she said she would the last three times they got together. She wants to enjoy the moment, though. Maybe they can get their eyebrows done together.
They mount horses and ride off into the picture-postcard woods. A HorseCam captures them from beneath the chin. All the snow is so magical and amazing, Vanessa and Nick confirm. They dismount at a log cabin and are greeted by either Santa Claus or a Finnish extra in a red suit and fake beard. The three visit before a raging fire, where Santa asks what’s on their Christmas wish lists. Nick wants love, and so does Vanessa. A lost chance to ask for a Porsche right from the source. Santa presents them with the gift of a plaque some production assistant made with a woodburning kit. It’s a fertility symbol. The Finns are very progressive, so they also have plaques to prevent erectile dysfunction.
Finally, it’s time to have the talk about balance and relationships and feelings. Vanessa seems unsatisfied with what Nick has to say, which she suggests amounts to him eventually deciding whether he’s a little more in love with her than Raven. That’s how I choose pepperoni over sausage at Luigi’s. She is back to be feeling confused and fearing the unknown, such as Nick’s tax bracket and whether he ever graduated from high school.
That night she wants to talk with him more, possibly running into the time allotted to us watching them make out. She still needs more answers, since his replies have been very general, and often completely incoherent. She longs to say “yes” with her entire heart, and maybe even in one take. Is he ready to propose, she asks. The week is not over, he explains, so he doesn’t want to admit to anything. Understandably, she doesn’t like that. I don’t even like when the dry cleaner only says “anytime after 2:00 PM tomorrow ” for when I can pick up my stuff. Nick insists that by Thursday at 3:27 PM, he’ll know if he’s deeply, eternally, unerringly in love with her or Raven.
Now in tears, Vanessa is confused, uncertain, and frightened, just as I feel every time my AmEx bill arrives. Didn’t anybody have the kindness to leak the last pages of the script to her?
Studio again. What hyperbolic angle will Chris take now? “Will Nick let America down?” he posits with an alarm usually reserved for the fear that you left the iron on. The only way Nick could let America down is by appearing as next season’s Bachelor, too.
Next Nick and Raven get together. She’s rahlly exatted ta say ham. She plans to put out lots of positive energy. They’re going to go ice skating, so she better put out some positive muscle control. Since they also went roller skating, Raven points out that things have gone “full circle.” They haven’t gone roller-blading, though. She muses whether this is her last day as a single person, which would only be the case if they immediately fly to Vegas to get hitched in the Elvis chapel.
As they sit in front of a fire sipping tea from rustic wooden mugs, Nick leaves and returns with a couple of Husky puppies, who clearly resent being exploited for this cheesy endeavor. The studio audience applauds heartily as Raven assures the camera guy she will make Nick understand how she feels. As a result, he will decide he loves her a good seven and two-thirds percent more than he does Vanessa. It’s a love as epic as Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley, only without the distinguished literary accomplishments.
That night, Raven says she feels every moment more certain of her love for Nick. She must relay that to him, and assure him she has no doubts, even about that haircut of his. He thanks her for being there, although the contract kind of requires it. Proving herself more generous with emotional support than Vanessa, she asks how he’s doing during this critical period in the ratings. He replies that he can’t move his neck. Neither can I, for all the eye-rolling.
Worse, Nick is being “eaten alive” because he cares so much for both Raven and Vanessa. She gets what he’s saying, and continues on to tell him she’s ready and sure and has no hesitation and loves him. He replies that he has no reservations about how happy she would make him. She’s thrilled, overlooking that he hasn’t mentioned how happy he would make her. He’s going for Vanessa, no doubt about it. Good thing plenty of other people are willing to give her an orgasm.
“This can happen to a girl from Hoxie, Arkansas,” Raven marvels, as if they can’t register with plentyoffish.com in Hoxie.
In the studio, Chris repeats that the live event will be talked about and tweeted about by everyone from Donald Trump on down (spoiler: Virtually no one in the continental U.S. will give a damn). He asks the audience if Nick will end up happy. He’ll likely end up on the bottom of page 18 of In Touch.
Nick is happy that he has the chance to end up with either Raven or Vanessa, but still he recalls being hurt after falling in love with both Kaitlyn and Andi. Now his heart must guide him while the script guides him in what to say about it. Then there’s a knock on the door from Neil Lane, whose wallet is guiding him. Neil offers Nick the biggest rock he’s ever put in a garish, overpriced setting. Nick now worries he’ll screw up on picking the ring, too, but at least that can be sold on eBay.
Vanessa has prepared for the final moments of the show by stuffing her boobs into a black spaghetti-strap number with a plunging neckline and chandelier earrings that scream “dance hall girl in a TV Western.” Raven went with the more chaste white halter column with tasteful Art Deco-style beading. Black vs. white, so subtle a signal. Airfare provided by FinnAir, by the way.
Chris is back again, wondering if Nick has the clarity he needs to make a choice. I doubt he has the clarity to order a decent craft beer. Nevertheless, Nick has made his decision, and now dreads saying goodbye to the other also-ran. He knows from that kind of unpleasantness. Can he do the same terrible thing to someone he loves and cares about? Can he produce phony tears, or will he need those eyedrops?
Raven steps out of the limo into the snow with her platform sandals. The brush-off she’s about to get will be even colder than her toes. Also, whoops, her dress is pale blue or maybe silver. My TV is 2o years old, okay? Raven is nervous, yet confident that her finger will soon bear the giant diamond set in platinum, something they definitely don’t have in Hoxie.
Inside, she wastes precious time reviewing how great Nick is and how much she loves him. He’s the kind of man her Dad always wanted her to have, that is, if she couldn’t meet someone in a bar or at the casino. Nick looks pained, but it might just be his sore neck. He remembers every moment they spent together, especially in the Fantasy Suite. But he doesn’t know if he’s in love with her. Tearfully, he explains that she is not where his heart is, although not long ago another organ of his was closely connected to her. She looks like she knew it was coming, and is resigned. They hug before he walks her back out into the snow. Raven wonders what she could have done differently, and whether it’s impossible for anyone to feel love for her. Surely someone on Bachelor in Paradise will approximate it.
The studio audience seems sad, perhaps because there’s yet another damn commercial break. When we return, Chris wonders what Vanessa will say when Nick proposes. Yes? No? Man, you picked an ugly ring? It’s time to find out.
Nick tells us he feels like he’s been fighting his feelings for Vanessa. Not anymore, he declares, but will Vanessa accept his proposal? He waits anxiously as she approaches in the limo.
Vanessa continues to be unsure whether she “wants to be engaged” after this. What are the other options, engaged to be engaged? Pregnant and having to do the right thing? FWB? She still wonders if Nick will be able to handle the pressure and compromises that come with her constant annoying demands. Vanessa is a younger and more attractive version of Mrs. Lockhorn.
Nick grabs her when she comes in. He’ll never forget the first moment he fell in love with her, a moment he also recalled for Andi and Kaitlyn. He’s running out of pages in his journal.
“I do love you. I’m in love with you,” he proclaims between sniffles. “You’ve noticed every part of me,” she replies. Especially in the Fantasy Suite when nothing was covering her. He gets down on one knee, and she sobs as he asks the question, which is not “Should I refuse to wear proper footwear on DWTS like Master P did?”
She accepts the final rose. The camera focuses for several moments on the ring, so Neil Lane gets his fully paid-for product placement. The new couple leaves and climbs into a horse-drawn sleigh. Soaring music ends the scene, along with any chance of the horse being seen dropping a load on screen.
After the Final Rose begins with Chris asking about the couple’s unresolved issues, and Raven’s apparently stoic response to being rejected. Nick is now here to talk about everything that happened in Finland, aside from snow, reindeer prints, and gangrene from frostbite. He explains how he related better to Raven being hurt than Vanessa being happy. Here Raven is to ask pointless questions and try to make him feel guilty.
Chris asks what she wants to say to Nick. She admits she was stoic because she was “processing” what he said. After all, he uttered more words in that brief period than any in previous encounter. Nick is a-okay with her reaction, as who wouldn’t be who expected to be slapped. Raven was always optimistic about that day, though, despite moments of questioning why the hell she agreed to do this stupid show only to read rude tweets about her corn-pone accent and silly avian name. She claims she is really happy for Nick and Vanessa, and honestly hopes they won’t die in a fiery crash off a freeway overpass. Chris invites her to go on the summer franchise of the show, as opposed to going home to become a small-print Wikipedia entry with a diminished self-esteem.
Now Vanessa appears. Her family fills three rows of seats. She explains that her and Nick’s relationship was rocky, and plagued by retakes. She had to separate the “show Nick” from the “real Nick,” neither of which is much of a bargain. Dealing with their burgeoning relationship post-show is difficult because they’re in two countries, and also because he’d never seen her without make-up before. But they’re talking it through, mostly with the angry emoji.
Chris wants to know if they feel like a team, as do the Joker and Harley Quinn. She allows that they’re both so open and honest that they fight constantly, just like people in real relationships. Now she’s ready for them to be seen together in public for the first time, which is also the dream of those of us at risk for losing our health insurance.
Nick returns to the set and they kiss awkwardly. She’s glad her family is here. Isn’t Nick’s, or does she not care about sharing the joy with them? Chris asks if he’s still scared about things not working out. He confirms they have their struggles, but so did Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, and Nick isn’t even keeping Raven in his attic. They’re realistic, he asserts, hopefully about the fact that very few Bachelor couples last more than three months.
Chris points out how easy it is to believe couples will fail, especially with people on Twitter vying to come up with the most vicious personal insult to complete strangers. The couple has not yet set a date, chosen where to live, or agreed if God exists or is merely an invention born of human frailty.
Will Nick’s DWTS gig put even more pressure on them? That’s a question any marriage counselor would ask. There’s more talk about compromise and facing their fears and supporting each other before Chris sends them away with another product placement for Neil Lane.
Next will be Rachel, the new Bachelorette, whom Chris claims has no idea what’s going to happen. Are they going to fire her on live TV?
Only 20 more minutes of this agony. Rachel appears wearing a caped jumpsuit like Batgirl at the prom. Is that the historical live event, because it’s rare to see a woman on this show in anything that extends below mid-thigh. How does she feel about Vanessa and Nick? Of course she’s happy and excited for them, since now she gets another season of paychecks from the franchise. She’s ready to start her season, and commence rejecting a bunch of guys by withholding boutonnieres.
Is she nervous? Only that it might not work, and she becomes the female Nick. She also doesn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, but the ratings require it. Everyone she knows is advising her to be true to herself, and also to the character the writers crafted for this season’s star. She is humbled by all the support. She also appears to have had a boob job, so apparently a cosmetic surgeon wasn’t insisting she be true to herself.
Now for The Epic Surprise. Chris shouts that The Bachelorette STARTS RIGHT NOW! They roll out a backdrop photo of the mansion behind them. Rachel will meet some of the guys RIGHT NOW. “Epic surprise” is kind of an overstatement when you’re referring to something that was going to happen anyway. It’s like your accountant saying, “We’re filing your taxes A DAY EARLY!”
Rachel’s journey begins. The first guy is named Demario, and he’s the only one she has to meet, he tells her. He’s even got a ring and tickets to Vegas. He seems nice. Next is a foppish type named Blake who is at a loss for words. Following him is Joey Tribbiani. No, it’s someone named Wayne who is ready to “go black and never gonna go back.” I can just imagine the tweets. Next we have Eric from Baltimore, who is looking forward to getting to know her. A silver tongued fellow indeed. Rachel likes that, though.
That’s all they have time for tonight. Rachel is so excited for her season to start in May that she can barely wait to get back to the hotel and Google these guys.
Thank you, and may we have two months until then without any more Russian spies being ferreted out of the presidential cabinet.