'The Bachelor' Recap, Season 21 Finale: And the Winner Is…

Have you ever seen the movie Center Stage?

I feel like the character Maureen Cummings.

At the end of the film she tells her mom she doesn't want to be a ballet dancer.

Nancy Cummings: I know what regret feels like, and I don't want that for you.

Maureen Cummings: That's what ballet would be. A life of wishing that I found something I loved, instead of something I just happened to do well. I'm not you, Mom. You didn't have the feet. I don't have the heart.

My Bachelor bracket was 100 percent correct.

100 percent.

I just happen to be really good at predicting The Bachelor.

Image via Sara Nachlis

Anyway, since Corinne is already gone and there's nothing keeping anyone's interest anymore, lets bring this snooze-fest of a season to an end.

Once again, ABC is trying to kill us all with a three-hour death march. Picking up back in Finland, the episode starts with Nick picking up Raven before she meets his family.

Nick really loves to pick a woman up. It gives me anxiety.

Nick's family have been flown in to once again deal with meeting another one of Nick's possible wives.

These people have been through enough, damnit.

Given Raven had already met Nick's parents and sister Bella earlier in the season, the family is excited she's made it to the end. But as soon as they start talking it becomes pretty clear: Raven is not going to win.

She unconditionally loves Nick Viall. She tells his family she loves him, has been waiting for someone like him, and would say yes to a proposal in a heartbeat.

Yeah, no possible way she's winning.

Despite the fact Bella tells Raven, "I hope he picks you", it's pretty obvious Raven is just too sweet for the situation. Which makes the next hour or so quite excruciating to watch.

That poor girl.

The next day Vanessa gets picked up and meets Nick's family.

Nick's dad—who I'm guessing wants to make a different impression—decides to wear contacts instead of his glasses for the occasion.

For some reason, I find this adorable.

Anyway, despite how much they are all on #TeamRaven before meeting Vanessa, the family makes a pretty instantaneous switch to #TeamVanessa.

Nick's dad says he wants to hear everything about her, so she tells them all about her family in Canada, teaching special ed, and throwing up on her and Nick's first date.

Pretty soon, Nick's mom is crying and the rest of the family has that "YES, HER" face. Even Vanessa gets choked up telling the story. So much so she can't fully finish it and one of the people related to Nick—maybe a sister, I have no clue—has to tell him, "This is where you chime in and finish it up because she's having a moment."

Ugh. Nick's the worst.

Vanessa sits down with Nick's family and proves herself to be The Bachelor contestant least prepared to be on this show.

She tells Nick's mom she's not sure she's ready to be engaged, because she's worried that there's "still so much for us to learn about each other." She tells Nick's dad she's not ready to say she's ready for a proposal because there's still another woman he could choose.


I have a theory that Vanessa actually meant to sign up for The Voice and somehow ended up here but was too embarrassed to admit her mistake. Now she just has to live with itforever.

Having met both Vanessa and Raven, Nick's family (his mom in particular) makes it pretty clear they're leaning toward Vanessa.

But his mom says her biggest fear is someone not accepting Nick's proposal, and with Vanessa that seems like a real possibility. (Well, not really. But what's the point of a television show without stakes, right?)

The next day, Vanessa and Nick go on their final date.

The two of them get on horseback and start riding through the snow. At one point Vanessa is trying to get her horse to go faster, so Nick tells her to, "Give him a little squeeze with your thighs. You know how to do that."

Ew. And that illusion to sex makes the next location even weirder.

Because these two grown adults end up at Santa's house.

Not weird at all.

Not weird that ABC hired a guy to play Santa for this episode.

Not weird that two adults are asked what they want for Christmas.

Not weird that Vanessa is SUPER into it.

Not weird at all.

After spending some time with Santa (yep, I wrote that sentence), Nick and Vanessa sit down to talk about what's wrong with their relationshipagain.

Vanessa tells Nick she's not okay with him choosing her just because their relationship is slightly different than his and Raven's.

Then she says she doesn't want him to turn his chair around for her unless he really feels her voice is the best fit for his team.

Okay that last bit doesnt happen, but you get the point. What show is she watching!? That's what The Bachelor IS: Choosing which one of a group of women you like slightly more than the others.

Vanessa wants Nick to tell her no other woman is even close to her, but Nick can't do it.

That night, Vanessa—still hung up on the fact that Nick has feelings for Raven in addition to her—looks for reassurance by asking Nick if he's ready to propose.

"The week's not over," says Nick. He tries to reassure her, but the night ends in tears.


The next day Nick has his final date with Raven.

The two of them reenact their greatest hits: Ice skating and straddling make-out sessions to the sounds of Sixpence None the Richer's 'Kiss Me'. But, this time there are puppies.

"I hope my kids with Nick are as cute as these puppies ," says Raven.

Oh, poor, sweet, sweet Raven.

That night Raven checks in on Nick's stress levels. Apparently they're so high he can't move his neck. Though I'm not sure it's from stress so much as spending a large amount of time looking in the mirror trying to make sure his scarf is tied perfectly from every single angle.

Unlike Vanessa, Raven is READY to get engaged. Something she tells Nick—again unlike Vaness—without tears.

Nick says, "I'm proud that you are here."


And with that, the final day is upon us.

Nick gets a visit from the real star of The Bachelor franchise, Neil Lane, who tells him, "I hope this one works."

Neil Lane, you are a delight.

The two of them discuss rings and eventually pick out a "classical" ring that's perfect for Vanessa the girl he's going to choose. Come on, it's Vanessa.

And we're finally here. The final rose.

The first limo pulls up and very anti-climatically, Raven exits the car.

Nick lets Raven tell him once again how much she loves him before pulling the rug out from under her. While he cares for and respects her, he explains, it's not enough. He says he has love for her, but then through tears says, "I just don't know if I'm in love. My heart's somewhere else."

He walks Raven back to her limo without her coat, further showcasing his lack of warmth. And with that Raven is gone, left to ponder if love is possible.

Oh, sweet, sweet Raven. It is. Just please don't go on Bachelor in Paradise.

Vanessa arrives. Chris Harrison, doing his job as only he can, tells her she "should be" nervous and sends her in to Nick.

Nick tells Vanessa about the moment he started to fall in love with her, during the second rose ceremony. He explains that for a while he tried to fight it, but in the end he couldn't. He loves her.

He says The Bachelor is about his past, but when he looks at Vanessa he sees his future.

I guarantee you Neil Lane rolled his eyes at that one; he's such a saucy minx.

Vanessa says she didn't think Nick would notice her but instead he "noticed every part" of her. Including the parts that make a horse go faster, apparently. She says she wasn't sure love like theirs existed.

With that, Nick gets down on one knee and proposes she join his team and let him be her coachI mean marriage. He proposes marriage.

Vanessa says yes and the two for them ride off into forever on a sleigh waiting outside.

Finally, this stupid season is over.

The 'After the Final Rose' episode follows and is generally pretty boring.

Chris Harrison gets to prove to the Bachelor Nation that he's important to the show and Nick and Vanessa get to try to make themselves out to be interesting enough for club appearances.

Raven doesn't take the advice I was screaming in my head and accepts Chris Harrison's invitation to appear on Bachelor in Paradise.

The episode ends with Christ Harrison bringing out the next Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay for an "historic" announcement. Which isn't really an historic announcement so much as a different way of doing things.

Chris Harrison announces that the next season of The Bachelorette starts now. A photo of the Bachelor mansion is brought out, along with four of the guys from Rachel's upcoming season.

One brings her an engagement ring and tickets to Vegas. The next tells her she smells good. The third says, "I'm ready to go black and I'm never gonna go back." (No comment. Except, terrible.) And the fourth tries to impress her with some dance moves.

It's going to be a good season.

The Bachelor is sadly over, but The Bachelorette returns in May 2017 on ABC. In the meantime, you can read the rest of our Season 21 recaps here.