Who will Nick choose? It’s time for the decision. We are in Rovaniemi, Finland.
Nick’s family is here to meet the ladies. This poor, poor family. They’ve been on TV more than any reality TV family not named Kardashian.
Raven met them briefly on a terrible date in Wisconsin, now she gets to meet them in the only place colder than Wisconsin. Raven’s sister is sold on Raven because she’s almost as young as she is. Raven tells Nick’s parents that she’s in love with their son, and they seem sold and both say it seems like they have a great connection. But they’ve been lied to on this show before, and they’re worried about Nick taking a risk again on this show. Seems like you should have made that case to him before we’re here in Finland. I guess I can’t blame them for wanting a free vacation out of their son’s public humiliation.
For their final date they go ice skating alone. If you’ll recall, they had a roller-skating date some weeks ago, so I guess this is their thing. They practice ice dancing routines, and Nick is a little too good at it. Raven is totally ready to get engaged and she’s nervous but has no doubts about getting engaged after dating Nick for a few weeks. Nick and Raven end their date holding husky puppies and giggling. Raven tells Nick that she is 100% sure she is ready to get engaged to him.
Vanessa tells Nick’s family about how much she loves her job, family, and friends in Montreal and you can tell they are thinking the same thing Nick is thinking- will she really be interested in leaving behind a good life in Montreal for a bad life with Nick chasing fame in LA.
Vanessa tells Nick’s mom that she’s never felt the way she feels about Nick. But she isn’t 100% positive that she can be ready to be engaged at the end of a six week TV show. Nick’s family should be sympathetic to this argument but they seem worried. Vanessa tells Nick’s father that she thinks they have love but she isn’t sure that love is enough. These are some aggressive questions. It’s almost like she is trying to sabotage herself. Somehow Nick’s family isn’t worried about that and says they like her too.
For Vanessa’s final date they go horseback riding through the snow while being stalked by Santa Claus.
Finns claim that Rovaniemi is the home of Santa Claus. Here are two things wrong with that:
1. Santa Claus grew out of fabled stories about Saint Nicholas, a Greek dude from Turkey.
2. Santa Claus is a fictional character and does not have a home that exists in the real world.
They find their way to the shack in the woods where Santa hides the naughty children. Santa asks them what they are wishing for. They both say love. So Santa gives them some shitty artwork that has fertility symbols on it. Very appropriate to have Santa on this show because, much like everything that happens on this show, Santa is a lie. Nick tells Vanessa how confident he is in their love, but Vanessa can only be so confident because she knows Nick is going on a date with another woman tomorrow. How did Vanessa get to this point in the show and not understand how it works? Nick tells her that he isn’t going to give it a lot of thought until right before the very end. Smooth, Nick. Vanessa says her gut is telling her not to believe Nick. And for Nick, the familiar scenario of a date ending in tears.
So Raven’s date ended with her telling Nick she is 100% confident, Vanessa’s ended with her crying and sounding like she hates Nick. Let’s see how this plays out…
Neil Lane has been let down by Nick almost as much as Nick’s family, and he’s here to try again. At this point Nick and Neil have spent a lot of time together on this show. Neil hopes this time it actually works out for Nick because it’s beginning to hurt his business having Nick’s rings constantly rejected. Some say diamond engagement rings are going out of fashion and attribute it to economic conditions or the widely publicized abuses committed by some diamond companies. But I think if that is true it is directly attributable to Nick appearing on this show.
Raven is first out of the limo. Raven again tells Nick how in love she is and how sure she is. Nick tearfully looks away and tells her that he has a lot of love for her but doesn’t know if he’s “in love” with her. He tells her he’ll miss her and sends her away into the Finland wilderness. I haven’t seen a Raven look this upset since Ray Rice in that elevator. Nick is such a contrarian that hearing that someone is 100% in love with him had to have been an immediate turn off.
Vanessa arrives and Nick tells her he started falling for her at the second rose ceremony. WHY NOT THE FIRST, NICK? He tells her that he “tried to fight it.” Vanessa says she’s in love with him or whatever, Nick proposes, and she says yes and they head out into the cold together to make love while Santa watches.
AFTER THE FINAL ROSE
Nick is here and he says very unconvincingly that he is happy. Not unconvincing because he doesn’t like Vanessa necessarily, but unconvincing because I don’t think Nick is happy when he isn’t unhappy.
Raven takes a seat next to him on the couch and says she was honest with what she said about Nick and she feels that she was optimistic but not naive, which is a fair thing to say because she was certainly portrayed in the last two hours as being quite the rube. She says she’s happy for Nick and Vanessa and hints that she might join Bachelor in Paradise, which would be a major coup. That may have been the classiest After the Final Rose interview ever. Certainly put Nick to shame.
Vanessa is here, and her entire family is here (much to Nick’s chagrin). Vanessa says she didn’t watch the fantasy suite episodes. That’s a ticking time bomb waiting to blow up this relationship. Vanessa says it has been very hard and difficult, which is an honest answer, but not something that the pretending-to-be-happy couples usually say After the Final Rose. But she says they love each other and are trying to make it work and aren’t going to quit. Yet. I give this roughly 6 weeks. Nick joins her and tries to be political and say things will get better now that the secret is out and they can publicly date and he says “normalcy” and “troubles” a lot. Vanessa still says they’re trying to get to know each other, she’s worried that it won’t work out, but she’s trying. She doesn’t sound thrilled about the idea of moving to the US, especially because Nick is being a fame whore and going on Dancing with the Stars.
The show ends with the beginning of the Bachelorette. Rachel is forced against her will to meet guys and start the process of weeding them out. I did not even get a chance to do preemptive power rankings! We didn’t get to have a fantasy draft! This is corruption of the highest order. The system is broken.
I think I have the least confidence in this couple than any couple I’ve seen since I’ve been watching, and that includes the couples who break up before the final episode. At the end of the day, Vanessa isn’t going to like moving to LA to watch Nick struggle to remain relevant. Nick will miss being on Bachelor in Paradise. If Raven stays away from Daniel on Paradise, she’ll be a contender to be a retread Bachelorette.
I’m not too optimistic about Rachel as Bachelorette. She seems like a smart and fairly normal person, which will lead to boring television. I am, however, very bullish on Bachelor in Paradise.
Thanks for reading and keep sending in those cheese pasta recipes!