This season of ABC's The Bachelor concluded this week, and throughout the season finale and live after show of this lackluster season, I found myself feeling mostly uncomfortable with the show's conclusion.
Here's the thing, I like Nick Viall. I was excited for him to be the Bachelor, but this season has been a snoozefest and I just don't feel/see the connection or chemistry between him and his final two: Raven and Vanessa. Both are really cool girls, but I just couldn't see either of them with Nick. The person I always felt he had the most incredible, tangible, fiery chemistry with is Rachel. So it was disappointing when The Bachelor franchise revealed weeks ago that Rachel was slated as the next Bachelorette, while she was still on as a contestant on The Bachelor. For myself, that pretty much took the wind out of my sails for the rest of this season. We already know he doesn't end up with Rachel and she was in the final three, so I immediately lost interest after. It felt a little deflated for me.
So, let's just skip ahead. Nick finally takes a knee and proposes. But not to Raven. He lets her make a whole speech about loving him and then he breaks up with her. What annoys me about this is that when he was in Raven's position in past seasons, both Andi and Kaitlyn spared him from going all the way and getting down on one knee only to be rejected. I kinda wish he would have extended that same courtesy to Raven, having known how difficult it is to be in her shoes. I think the best part, though, was when Nick said to Raven, "I'll miss you," and she steadfastly and stoically responded with "I know." That was badass and I was proud of her for that.
Fast forward another couple minutes, and Nick does actually propose to Vanessa and seeing as how they're both weepers, they were crying all over each other and hugging for the rest of the finale. Now, I don't want you guys to think I have anything against Vanessa, I don't. I just think she wasn't well suited for the show, which she somewhat admits herself on After the Final Rose, and that now being able to make this relationship work is going to be extra challenging for both she and Nick.
We saw the couple on After the Final Rose and they kept it pretty real. Vanessa seems to be the kind of person who is very honest, and because of that I believe it's difficult for her to sugarcoat or cover things up - she's a pretty easy read because her eyes and facial expressions are extremely emotive. Seeing she and Nick, a beautiful engaged couple, sitting together on the couch - it felt a little tense and at times awkward listening to them talk about their current situation and engagement. I do believe they love each other, but we all know that it takes more than just love to make a serious relationship, especially a marriage, to work - and it appears that they're experiencing that now.
Schematically, it's already difficult for Nick and Vanessa since they live in different countries, she in Canada, and he in the States. Compound that with having to keep their relationship a secret for months, as well as now continuing to learn about one another in a real day-to-day world setting, that's a big challenge! While talking with Chris Harrison, both Nick and Vanessa said "we're still getting to know each other," and "we still have things to figure out." But the one line that really raised my eyebrow was when Nick referred to the fans of 'Bachelor Nation' and how they always "[want] the couples to work out...but we know we have a long way to go." That gave me pause, because it almost sounded like he was preparing the audience and fans in case he and Vanessa split up.
In the final segment of After the Final Rose, they bring out the next Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay. Chris Harrison promised the audience a big surprise, and he delivered by putting Rachel on the spot to meet a few of her new suitors in front of the live audience. It was super uncomfortable to watch and it appeared pretty awkward for Rachel and the four suitors on set.
I think I actually may have hated this surprise. I don't know why they keep trying to do things early with Rachel, between announcing her and now this stunt - it's annoying - just let us have a proper intro episode with her! Actually, I don't understand why the Bachelor franchise continues to take these weird risks with only the Bachelorette branch - remember a couple seasons ago where they made both Britt and Kaitlyn the Bachelorette(s) and had their potential suitors pick which one they'd rather date?!?!! That was gross and unnecessary. And this whole charade with Rachel, a clear ploy to try and pump ratings for After the Final Rose didn't work either. Let her have a proper season because that girl is AMAZING.Final Final Thoughts: I still like Nick, but I sure am glad his season is over. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Rachel, but of course, I'm most excited about my favorite hot mess which is Bachelor In Paradise this summer! See you next season!