We all know Nick Viall is quite possibly the most controversial bachelor in the show’s history. You know what they say right? Fourth time’s the charm? After Nick *slightly* redeemed himself during this summer’s Bachelor in Paradise, I was excited to watch his own story unfold as The Bachelor. There’s someone for everyone and I wanted him to finally get his chance. Honestly, if anything I thought that his prior history on the show would at least make for good TV. But, has it?
At this point in the show, we’re gearing up for fantasy suite dates. Usually in prior seasons, there are clear front runners who have the heart of the lead. There are usually well developed relationships between the bachelor and all of the contestants left in the game. This is something that I feel this season is severely lacking. After weeks of courting, Nick has gotten nowhere with any of this ladies. If you ask me, he’s still on episode two. He doesn’t have a close knit relationship with a single girl. At this point last year, we knew Ben had his heart set on either Lauren or Jojo. It was glaringly obvious. We knew there was the groundwork laid down; the foundation of a relationship going on past the show. At first, I thought the ‘front runner’ would be Vanessa. Now, I’m unsure.
At this point, I feel like Nick has no business getting engaged to any contestant (he has confirmed he is engaged) when he barely has even scratched the surface with them. Last week, we saw him send Danielle home after they had trouble holding a conversation together. If it’s taken you until the final 5 to realize that you are both too awkward to be together, it shows you are missing the knowledge of a big part of the other person’s personality. And let’s face it; he hasn’t had a single real conversation with Corrine. All they’ve done is make out. But, to be fair I’m glad she’s sticking around because without her the show would be a snooze fest. All the drama surrounding Corrine has been the the main reason to stick around as a viewer. Unfortunately, the rest of season has been slow to say the least.
All of this might be a product of Nick’s terribly awkward and socially inept personality. He makes Ben and Prince Farming look like social butterflies. Sad, I know. We have suffered through awkward lead after awkward lead the past few seasons but this one just might take the cake. This is partially what I believe is making him struggle to truly connect with the women. There have been some conversations that I’ve found physically painful to watch. The feeling of second hand embarrassment that sweeps over me is so apparent that I actually feel myself turning beet red while watching. If you can’t hold a conversation without mumbling, how are you going to learn about the person you’re talking to? With the exception of a handful of conversations, none of them have had any real substance.
Part of why Corrine has made it this far without a one on one is because they haven’t done any actual talking. We know his ‘feelings’ for her are not coming straight from his heart (if you know what I mean). Last week’s episode made that clear when they were getting hot and heavy in Nick’s suite behind the backs of other contestants. He has let his sexuality purely drive a lot of his decisions this season. She is one of the final four and I can honestly say that he doesn’t know too much about her aside from what her boobs look like and the fact that she has a nanny. The main reason their relationship has been working, has been because it hasn’t required any sort of depth. Nick hasn’t committed to delving deeper into the relationships and the cosmetic nature of their relationship is what is propelling them further and further. She’s not pushing him for anything more and the nature of their relationship doesn’t challenge him to actually move beyond that. This week in hometowns was probably the most ‘real’ we’ve seen this couple so far. Hey, I can’t blame him if he sticks with her after that $3.000 shopping spree though. Can you say sugar mama??
Another issue this season is that Nick makes an appearance in tears at least once an episode. His fear about not being able to find ‘the one’ at the end of all of this is making him completely overthink things. It’s impacting his relationships because he is holding himself back. He’s his own worst enemy at this point; a ‘head case’ if you will. It’s making his awkward demeanor even worse and is only adding to him not being able to get anywhere with anyone. He’s too scared. If you’re signing up for this show, you need to be able to leave the baggage at the door. You have just a few weeks to find love. You better move quick and effectively. It’s hard for me to have empathy for Nick and his insecurities. Maybe if I had been dumped multiple times on national television, I wouldn’t have as hard of a time. He’s the one that signed up to be in the limelight (4 times). You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Now, we’ve sat through the hometowns episode and I can’t help but wonder where this is going to go. It seems that he is “moving forward” with the women, but I still feel like the base for the relationship isn’t really there. It’s like they’re skipping a massive step and just going straight to the ‘meeting the parents’ stage. I mean, the show always moves quick but this just seems even crazier to me than it has in the past.
One thing that has set this season apart now, is the discussion of race issues during this week’s hometown dates. This is the first season that I’ve watched where it’s come up and I think it is important. ABC has caught a lot of heat for the lack of diversity on the show. We live in a world where couples come in all shapes and sizes so I do believe it is important to show this on TV in order to show a more realistic picture of how life is. However, I think that dwelling so much on the interracial aspect of their relationship was not entirely necessary. It was the focus of the entire date and there were other important aspects of a relationship that should be discussed that were not. Nick and Rachel really like each other. Can’t that just be enough and we can leave it at that? We already know now that Rachel Lindsay doesn’t make it too much farther. ABC announced her last week as the new Bachelorette before she was even eliminated from the show, which angered a lot of fans. She’s the first ever African American lead of the show. Rachel has been one of my favorites this season and despite being let down by the news being dropped too soon, I am excited to see her own journey play out. Rachel clearly is dodging a bullet here. She is way too intelligent and articulate to end up with Nick so I am happy she will get to pick out of her own crop of men.
Vanessa, who was once my favorite, has become increasingly insecure, needy and whiny. Three of my least favorite traits. She is constantly seeking validation. This becomes even more apparent as she is devastated by the fact that he asked each father’s permission to marry their daughter. She can’t understand why he still doesn’t know that he wants to marry her by this point in the game. Vanessa, I’m not sure if you realize what show you signed up for. If he had already made his decision, the show would be over. Not to mention, its extremely clear to anyone who watches that he still has no idea what he wants.
After this week, I can’t help but feel like Raven might be the winner by default. He might like Corrine, but she seems too young and immature to truly be married at this point. As for Vanessa, it seems to make sense that one of the more practical women, has a logical and pragmatic family as well. Vanessa’s family seems to be the most resistant to the show and how they will be able to make a relationship work outside the fantasy world of the show. They’re right to have concerns. I don’t see her giving up her life in Montreal that easily or at least without harboring feelings of resentment.
Nick hasn’t even thought about how he will make it work after the show with any of these girls. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment but how could you be ready for an engagement when you haven’t thought about the future? It all goes back to the fact that he doesn’t know the women that well. He doesn’t know what they want or how they feel about the future either because he hasn’t gotten that far. Some of his decision should depend on whether logistically they would be able to make it work. If not, he just wasted his fourth (and hopefully final) chance at love in the franchise. It just seems too rushed to be truly successful for Nick. Here’s to hoping that the happy couple (whoever it may be) even makes it to After the Final Rose!