“I need some love like I never needed love before.
(Wanna make love to ya, baby) I had a little love now I’m back for more (Wanna make love to ya, baby) Set your spirit free, it’s the only way to be” The Spice Girls, 2 Become 1
Hello everyone. Welcome to this “very special” (read: so long that I needed to pound an espresso in the middle of it so I wouldn’t fall asleep) 3 hour Bachelor event. I have no idea when they decided that the Women Tell All episode should be two hours, in an of itself, but to add the last hour of the fantasy suite dates to that is just cruel and unusual punishment, not entirely unlike what an overnight date with Nick would be like. But Raven seemed to enjoy herself, so who am I to judge? So let’s get into it.
We open the next morning after Nick and Raven’s overnight. She seems happy and remarks that she is “very satisfied” (wink wink) and we get to see this unfold in a very cheesy montage with a song that sounds vaguely like “Walking on Sunshine” but is decidedly a knock-off that was much cheaper to buy the rights to. No surprise that they didn’t spring for a real song, judging by the budget the rest of the season. She skips through the snow, she lies down to make snow angels and she says, “Nick is very good at what he does.” Somehow I beg to differ. But he has spread “what he does” kind of net wide among bachelor nation, so maybe she’s on to something. Anyway, Nick takes his leave of her and goes on to do “what he does” with Rachel. She arrives looking cute and her special surprise is… reindeer and a sleigh ride. Seriously ABC? These dates are so bad. And Nick’s Finland wardrobe isn’t much better. He really seems to be sticking with the turtlenecks. They chat and Rachel tells him she’s falling for him. I can tell it’s hard for her, because she’s usually so articulate and she’s saying “like” every other word as if she’s Corinne. Nick actually tells her he’s falling for her, too, and then wouldn’t you know it, he pulls out a key “should you decide to forgo your individual rooms and stay as a couple in the fantasy suite.” She agrees to do this and I can’t help but think that on previous seasons, it seemed like there was at least a day or two and half an island in between the overnight dates, but it seems that this go-round, he’s had a scant three hours in between and the dates seem to be taking place right next door to each other. He tells Rachel that he really likes her when she’s vulnerable and then he presumably introduces her to little Nick after the door closes. The next morning Rachel says she can’t wait to meet his family and “seal the deal.”
Five minutes later, Nick walks next door to meet Vanessa for their date. I’m hoping he had time to shower. Their “fun” date is plunging in and out of an ice bath, as they do in Finland. Nick says it’s because their physical relationship has always been hot and they need some cooling off. That actually sounds horrible and it’s the one time I think Vanessa’s sour puss attitude is justified. But into the icy water they go, more than once. Nick says that if they can handle the ice bath, they can do anything. I hate to break it to you, Nick, but the majority of problems you will encounter during marriage are absolutely nothing like plunging into ice cold water, but I commend you on the analogy. She actually handles it better than he does and after a while, they go inside to talk. Nick mentions that her family has a lot of strong personalities and she looks like she’s about to bitch slap him. He says that it seems like her family is very “traditional” and that he isn’t. She tells him that she won’t compromise on her “core values” and by that, she means that they will be having Sunday lunch with her family every week when they inevitably move to Montreal. Nick tells her they may be too alike and she doesn’t take it well. They talk about the logistical issues of their relationship- namely where they will live- and Nick says he can’t see himself living in Canada. He pretends it’s because he’s super patriotic, but we all know it’s because he wants to remain in LA so he can continue being a permanent reality show contestant for a living until someone breaks down and gives him a job hosting some crappy cable entertainment show. Their conversation seems very tense, but as soon as he floats the idea of the fantasy suite, she’s all in. Apparently, sleeping with a guy who slept with one of your friends less than 24 hours prior doesn’t compromise Vanessa’s “core values” so off to the room they go. The next morning they both seem happy, so maybe I’m not giving Nick enough credit. Or maybe these girls will say anything to get a rose. (That’s probably more likely.)
We make our way to the final rose ceremony. Raven comes in sporting a goth look that is quite a departure from her usual and it’s… interesting. Not many people can pull off a nearly-black lipstick, and she is definitely not one of them. Rachel looks cute, but let’s be honest, we pretty much know she’s going home. Vanessa enters and says that she’s feeling unsure and that she hasn’t been insecure up to this point, but now it’s catching up to her. I wholeheartedly disagree- I say she’s been nothing but insecure. But at least they keep the rose ceremony short and sweet. Nick enters, already in tears, and gives Raven the first rose, and then, without so much as a dramatic pause for effect, he gives the final rose to Vanessa. Rachel says goodbye to Nick without a lot of fanfare or tears, and I’m happy about that. He tells her she’s hard to say goodbye to and how great he thinks she is, and then she exits like the true queen she is.
Short and sweet, however, are not words to describe the WTA episode. They start with some lame bit about crashing viewing parties and then cut to Corinne in the green room, drinking champagne, surrounded by cucumber slices. Then we are introduced to the panel: Jaimi, Liz, Elizabeth (who?), Josephine (who borrowed Raven’s black lipstick for the event), Lacey, Christen, Alexis, Dominique, Astrid, Hailey, Taylor, Sarah, Jasmine, Danielle L, Corinne, Whitney, Danielle M (looking hawt) and Kristina. They start by showing Alexis a costume like the one she wore and asking her if it’s a dolphin or a shark. (She says shark.) Then they have a look back at the season’s biggest controversies, and spoiler alert. most of them center around Corinne. They talk about her naps, her leading with her sexuality, her boobies, etc. Some think it was disrespectful, some just think it was Corinne being Corinne. About five minutes into this episode, I notice that Whitney has talked more here than the entire time she was in the house. Then some of the girls who were defending Corinne start coming for Taylor and they all talk over each other until CH whistles and breaks it up. First up in the hot seat is Liz, and it’s all very boring. She wanted to give it another chance to see if they had any real chemistry, they didn’t, yada, yada yada. But she says she’s in a good place now and that the other women have a lot to do with that. Someone (Hailey, maybe) says, “The majority of America knows Liz as someone who slept with Nick. I know Liz to be someone who builds wells in orphanages” as if those two things have to be mutually exclusive.
Taylor then gets called to the hot seat and once again, it’s Taylor versus Corinne. I find it as boring as I did the first time around, and when Taylor starts in on “emotional intelligence” again, I go to the kitchen to make myself some espresso. They each demand apologies and nobody gives in. Jasmine and Josephine say Taylor acted too good for everyone and Corinne says she only came after Taylor after she started it. Then she (Corinne) gets up and everyone thinks she’s storming out but, never fear, she just went to get some champagne. Corinne says she never talked bad about anyone in the house and the audience erupts in laughter. Then Corinne offers a half-assed apology, which puts us all out of our misery (thank God) even if she didn’t mean a word of it. Corinne gets called to the hot seat and her hair extensions are curled in such tight ringlets that she resembles an American Girl doll. She admits that a lot of what she did on the show was done to stand out, but that it made her look more promiscuous than she intended. She defends her excessive napping by saying, “Everybody naps just like everybody poops.” She rolls her eyes every other second and says, “I kind of just did me.” She brings up a good point though- it seems like all the women were busy focusing on Corinne and she was the only one who was focused on Nick. They continue arguing over naps (“I was f*^#ing TIRED!” says Corinne, and as we are entering two-plus hours here, I feel you, Corinne) and Taylor gets upset and says she’s “feeling feelings.” CH talks about Raquel, where Corinne explains that she referred to her as a nanny because calling her a “maid” or a “cleaning lady” diminished what she means to her family. When Corinne’s mom had cancer, Raquel moved from New Jersey to Florida to be with the family and she is a “very special person” to Corinne. And just to prove it, Corinne brought cheese pasta for the audience and the panel, and I wonder if Raquel actually had to cook it for everyone.
Next up in the hot seat is Kristina, whose story still breaks my heart. She says she doesn’t like seeing herself vulnerable like she was on the show and she doesn’t like to let people in. But thanks to the show, she’s gotten in touch with some of the kids she grew up with in the orphanage in Russia and says she’s really proud of the woman she’s becoming. Liz puts it all into perspective by pointing out that they’ve all been born into such privilege compared to Kristina’s early life and they are arguing among themselves about silly stuff. Kristina looks pretty and I really hope she finds someone and that he’s better than Nick. (That part shouldn’t be too hard.)
Nick sits in the hot seat next and makes a joke about how he’s never been a part of a tell-all. He seems delighted to be there until he gets all kinds of questions from the ladies, such as “were you putting me in the friend zone?” from Lacey (yes), “What was missing from our date?” from Kristina (intangible, apparently, which is a bit of a cop out) and “I’m still confused” from Danielle L (not really a question, but that’s okay cause Nick didn’t really give an answer.) Danielle L still seems upset cause she’s crying a lot. To all of them, Nick says, “I know what it’s like to go all the way to the end and not get picked.” This is his way of trying to make them feel better that they got dumped early. Then Christen wants to know if Nick found his “great love” to which he (and CH) say, “You’ll find out next week.” Rachel joins him on the couch and looks like a million bucks. The girl was already gorgeous and now she’s had the Bachelorette makeover and looks even better. She says she’s looking for a great smile, someone who can make her laugh, confidence and someone who is ready to settle down and have a family. The other girls all seem supportive and happy for her and even Nick says she’s everything they could hope for in a Bachelorette. She thanks Nick for making her a believer in the process and doesn’t shed a goddamn tear, just as it should be. They tease next week’s finale, and after a LONG three hours, it’s finally over and I can get on with my life.
Some final predictions on this season before we get to the finale- he will choose Vanessa, they will break up before the year is over (if not sooner, so that one, or both, can head to paradise) and we haven’t seen the last of Nick Viall on this franchise. I think they all know choosing him was the wrong call, hence announcing a fan fave like Rachel before she had even finished her run on the show as the new Bach. I can’t wait for it to be over, I can’t wait to watch Vanessa bust his balls on After the Final Rose after watching the season, and I’m excited to watch Rachel be the best Bach ever next season. Until then, may your glass always be full and may you never have to do an ice bath plunge with Nick or anyone else disguised as a “date.” Onto the finale. See you all next week.