Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve come to the conclusion of another long season of watching a group of celebrity-craving people grapple for their fifteen minutes to six months of fame (possibly stretched out to two to three years, if they play their cards right).
I watched the finale with three girlfriends, a bottle of Dom Perignon and an exceedingly well behaved infant, so I may have missed a bit of the show (again, no fault of that baby. Baby was entranced by The Bachelor. BABY KNOWS GOOD TV), but really it’s pretty easy to recap what happened even if I had not watched any of it, because this show follows a very specific formula.
We kicked off the show with a meaningless “Chris Harrison on a Soundstage” intro (I assume he was just trying to make up for the fact he was barely on this season, but my god his work tonight literally consisted of him offering meaningless intros and outros between commercial breaks. WHY. IS. HE. HERE?)
An assortment of lucky (unlucky? You choose.) Viall family members were whisked away from their freezing cold homes in Wisconsin to an even colder Finland, where they sat down and watched Nick parade his last two lady loves around. Nick’s sister Bella was solidly Team Raven (speaking of Team Raven – is it possible Bella was named after the Twilight character? She’s in the age range of being a Twilight baby. See? This is how bored I was.) and looked like she wanted to push Vanessa into a snowbank. Full disclosure – I missed most of the family stuff but I presume it went something like:
Nick’s mom: “They’re both really lovely.”
Nick’s dad: “Son, I just want you to be happy and stop going on national television and embarrassing your mother and all of your siblings. My god, even our dog was hiding under the rug with shame.”
Or something like that.
Moving along, Nick dismissed his family back to Wisco and went on a date with Vanessa. “Date” is a really generous, nice word. More like something out of a fever dream. They rode horses to a tiny shack in the woods (ugh) and met with, THIS IS NOT A JOKE, a Finnish dude dressed up as Santa Claus. First, isn’t Santa Claus a German construct? Second, it’s fucking March, no one cares about Santa Claus right now. Third, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE BACHELOR? I just find “adults hanging out with SC” to be exceedingly disturbing. Especially on a show about romantic love. He gave them a woodcutting with some really poorly executed caricatures and their Finnish names (I think, my Finnish is…nonexistent). I just kept screaming “THROW THAT THING INTO THE FIRE LIKE YOUR LOVE” but they did not, sadly, oblige.
Then there were some tears and doubts and stuff, and they had a normal real conversation (BORING) and then I faded out for a few minutes and when I came to, it was on to the Raven Date.
Raven had the Best Date Ever, which I guess was Nick’s attempt to make up for the fact he was about to dump her. Raven got to play with husky puppies. They spent entirely too little time on this (I could have watched the puppies in the snow for the entire show, we got about 3 minutes of footage).
Then they went ice skating, where we learned Nick is a terrible dancer (ice dancer, anyway) and has no chance in a million years of doing ANYTHING on Dancing with the Stars. We even rewound to watch it twice. It. Was. Bad. (Sidenote: During the ice skating scene, they played “Kiss Me” and I was like “The Cardigans!” and my friend’s husband, while artfully lounging in a chair, drinking a beer AND feeding an infant, just burned me with “Sixpence, son!” and I was chastened and ashamed and put in my place. I’m an embarrassment to the 90s. My apologies to Sixpence None the Richer.)
After the dates, we revved up to the Someone Gets Dumped portion of the show (the end is in sight!). Nick wandered around in the snow looking like he was thinking hard about thinking hard. Raven put on her spangle dress and black cape and enthusiastically waxed on and on about how she was soon going to be engaged (a sure sign that she was getting dumped). Vanessa put on her Jessica Rabbit dress and fur stole and sang a dynamic rendition of Oh Canada (kidding. Sadly). We sat around wondering what Raven was going to do with that full length velvet cape once she headed back to Hoxie, Arkansas.
The reindeer wondered when it was going to get untied from the fence (answer: Never).
The black Mercedes AWD European crossover pulled up to Nick’s cabin (why was this inside? I wanted a full blown evening event in in the Finnish winter) and out stepped…. Raven. Not shocking. Chris Harrison gave her the sorrowful look he gives all the rejects and she was sent into The Room of Dead Reindeer Skins (so in hindsight, that one reindeer is STOKED to be outside tied to the fence).
Raven immediately launched into her I Love You So Much speech and Nick looked like he was going to vomit (literally, his face actually looked puckish). Raven, not reading the room, continued. Nick, being an asshole, let her go on. Then he did the classic “I love you but I’m not IN LOVE with you” bit and, kudos to Raven, she took it like a champ. She worked up one or two tears that stayed firmly within her eyelids and then was like “OK NBD!” and was packed into the Shame Mercedes where again, she looked pretty OK with it all. This is a sign of just how boring this season got, post-Corrine. The loser didn’t even have a sob fest or WHY NOT ME moment in the limo (well, she did say something about “why does no one love me?” which was sad, but you know, she’ll get past it).
Next up, the Mercedes dropped of Vanessa and Chris Harrison’s entire body language just shouted “HE PICKED YOU!”. In this scene, Vanessa says nothing and Nick starts talking and I’m sure he mentioned something about love, beauty and his innate desire to not move to Canada, but I can’t be sure because I was again distracted by the pile of dead reindeer in the corner. He proposed. She said yes. We can all assume they will never get married. The end.
I have not watched The Bachelor religiously, but this year just seemed incredibly anti-climactic. Not sure if it’s always that way or not, but everything about this episode (minus the puppies) was a dud.
We end with a review the Winners and Losers of the Bachelor Finale:
Raven: She is not engaged to Nick.
Finland: Not going to lie, Finland did a good job of selling itself.
Me: I finally got to drink Dom Perignon, a highlight in my drinking career. CHEERS, BITCHES.
Vanessa: She is engaged to Nick
Chris Harrison: The desperation to stay relevant was palpable.
That Reindeer: Seriously, someone go check on that reindeer.
Before we go, let’s revisit my initial impressions of the Final Four, which I had made based solely on their online profiles:
Original impression: “Has the most boring profile so far (which hey, probably means she’s really nice and normal IRL, so there’s that).”
Post show impression: This is what it looks like to be wrong about something.
Original impression: “Rachel has Angela Bassett-quality arms, a physical trait I really admire. She also sounds like a really smart, well-rounded, successful person, so I don’t know why she is on this show. She’s the type of person I would want to win, but for the fact she is clearly far too good for this shit.”
Post show impression: This is what it looks like to be right about something!
Original impression: “Raven looks exactly like you would imagine someone named “raven” to look. To the point I wonder if it is her real name. She’s from a town called Hoxie, Arkansas, which sounds pretty awful (but maybe is nice!). Favorite profile moment: “Who is your favorite actor and why? Brittany Murphy (when she was alive).”
Post show impression: I would never have guessed Raven was making it to the Top 4, much less the Top 2. She was a completely inoffensive, non-confrontational nice girl. Except when she told the world she beat up her ex-boyfriend with a shoe.
Original Impression: “Vanessa is another person that seems really normal. Her most intriguing profile moment: “If you could be any fruit or vegetable, which one would you be? An onion because they’re a staple item and can be found all year round.” Ok.
Post show impression: Vanessa seemed like a likely candidate to win it all from basically the first episode. She consistently led in the Power Rankings. She’s like the Duke basketball of The Bachelor.
Congratulations Vanessa, on your moment in the spotlight. See if you can keep that ring when you break up.