It all comes down to this on The Bachelorette
season 10 finale. It's Josh, the sturdy and emotionally unavailable former professional athlete who quit baseball to support his younger brother and do nothing in particular for work, versus arrogant, romantic, sometimes off-putting and possibly manipulative brillo head Nick V. -- with Andi's heart (and a potential couple spot on Dancing with the Stars
) on the line.
So who will it be? Will Andi choose brawn over brains? Or outward feeling over awkward "I like yous"? In the end, I'm not so sure either couple is destined for marriage. It just doesn't have the same feel as JP and Ashley or Sean and Catherine, or any of the other two and a half couples (Jason and Molly still only count as 0.5) who have worked out in 28 seasons of givin' it the ol' college try for love.
Andi seems much more content with exploring what being on the show can do for her career in the spotlight, thus the end of her assistant district attorneying. It's another smack in farmer Chris' face because, sure, you can lawyer up anywhere, even Podunk, Iowatown. But you can't be famous everywhere.
Though I have to admit, the success rate has been higher as of late. And that includes you, Juan Pablo and Nikki, you crazy insufferable love birds.
I'm not even sure both Josh and Nick will propose, but anyway, on to the
most dramatic end i n Bachelor/ette history of Andi's quest for love!
Welcome to the LIVE 3-Hour Finale Event
There are viewing parties going on all over the country, most notably the live studio audience watching with Chris Harrison (and us!). He informs us that the loser of this game of love is still not over Andi, and he apparently tried to confront her while she was vacationing in Mexico and during the Men Tell All special. Both times, she refused to speak with him. But now, she can't avoid the confrontation any longer.
Nick, the 33-year-old Wisconsin software sales executive, is the first one up to meet the Dorfmans. He brings flowers for momma and a bottle of booze for dad, and her sister's husband is like, what the crap, what about me, bro? Father Hy can sense Nick's nervousness, and mom Patti notices that there aren't many outward signs of affection.
Nick butters them up a bit over dinner, though probably not as much as Hy butters up his food. That man is large and in charge. And intimidating (remember Juan Pablo?). Nick's goal is to make Patti understand how much he cares about her daughter, and he opens up about his emotions and how Andi made him realize that there can be just one person for someone. He says the word "love" over and over until Patti cries, all while Andi is telling her sister that Nick makes her feel like a real woman. A natural woman.
Papa bear is a bit harder to impress, but Nick is determined to get his blessing. Hy stops short of granting permission, but he believes the heartfelt sincerity of the request and admits he would welcome NIck as a son-in-law. Nick and Andi smooch and part company, the suitor content at having cleared the final hurdle to foreverhood.
Josh and Andi? Talk About a Home Run
The Dorfmans' Excellent Adventure in the Dominican Republic continues with an introduction to Josh, who Andi describes as an athlete who is totally her type and a guy she would have immediately dismissed as a player before she dug deeper and found out he was different. But Hy isn't so sure, and he's ready to size up this dude before probably chest bumping him and spiking a football.
Josh arrives and is loud, nervous and sweaty, and he immediately talks about being stereotyped as a cocky athlete, which he doesn't like. Andi confides in her sister that she went on The Bachelorette to branch out and is concerned that she is ending up with the same type of guys she dates in the city she lives in, which coincidentally is also where Josh lives. Like they could've hooked up at a bar one night without exchanging names and have no idea they've already done it.
Sissy and hubby get first crack, and Josh wins them over with his blunt sincerity ("I, like, totally want to marry her."). Hy pulls him away next, and Josh comments on the delightful nature of the breeze before opening up about baseball and his subsequent return to college, where he walked onto the George football team and played with his brother.
Hy tries to throw him off his game, but Josh is able to convince dear old dad that he's the real deal. Hy gives his blessing, and Josh feels like the luckiest man in the world. Then Hy gets funny and says that Josh is definitely one of the two greatest people he's met in this country.
More smooches and another departure, and maybe dad isn't actually such a grizzly hardass after all. Maybe he just really didn't like Juan Pablo. I mean, who did? Andi still doesn't know who she is going to choose, and she's worried about the ability both men will have to break her heart. Even if she is the gold medal at the end of the Bachelorette Olympics.
Final Date: Numero Uno
Both family dates are out of the way, and yet we still have 90 minutes left. So how about one last date with each guy? Josh is up first, and they take a tongue-tied yacht ride out into open waters, where Josh talks about acquiring dad's blessing and how he didn't plan anything that he said.
She knows things were great on the family side of things, but she still has doubts that Josh might be too good to be true. He, on the other hand, is 100% sure he wants to make Andi a wife and frequent flyer to Kansas City Chiefs games.
The camera zooms in as he strokes her leg while her sarong slips precariously off her shoulder. Then they strip down and dive in the water for some snorkeling, but the goggles only stay on for so long. It's damn hard to make out while wearing headgear.
A Little Less Conversation
Andi is determined to get to the bottom of her true feelings regarding this relationship, and so they have big conversational plans as the final date before the proposal progresses. She needs some last-minute reassurance, and so she tries to find a crack in his facade. But he is sure of his feelings and has no questions or concerns, even as she peppers him with a bunch of "But how do you knooowwwws?"
He asks what her issues are, and she says that if they already can't get enough of each other and don't want to be apart, then what's left? He says his love lasts beyond the puppy dog stage, but she is still more focused on what could go wrong as opposed to what could go right. He is blessed because she changed everything for him, and her "You're sweet" response tells me that she's not convinced. But we'll find that out soon enough.
He scribbled some notes on a piece of paper, which he reads aloud before presenting her with an Andi Murray baseball card, the back of which includes stats and a description of their relationship. Fun Fact, reads the card, husband Josh has never missed a day of saying I love you. So that's good, at least.
Kisses, wrestling and manly gropings follow, and he says she is the best friend in whom he could confide anything. Except, you know, the things he lied about with the lie-detector test. After spending the day together, she can tell that it is indeed serious. But she's still scared that it's just too darn good to be true.
Finale Date: Numero Dos
While her relationship with Josh has its share of head-versus-heart issues, she's sure of what she has with Nick (which is probably why she'll end up going against her gut and choosing Josh). She greets him with some passionate smooches, and she's hoping for clarity that will allow her to actually get some sleep tonight.
They go off-roading in a Jeep, and she is happy to let her hair down and feel free. He's like a giddy little schoolboy, just excited to be around her. They share some wine on a secluded beach, and they reflect on everything they've done together. He opens up about what he said to mom and dad, which he calls the easiest part of this journey, and he reiterates that he is going to marry her and that they will make every decision together without any absolutes on his end.
He makes her feel like a sexy woman who is ready to get married, and he revels in finding the love that he always dreamed he would find. There is not a doubt in his mind, and he hopes she will find a way to convey the same feelings to him (even though she's not really allowed). If she doesn't, and it's all on him, he doubts they'll end up engaged at the end. He won't propose unless he knows it's him.
Concerns at Casa de Campo
To end the evening, Andi is heading to Nick's place for their last moments together before the season's conclusion. Having been engaged before and not wanting any bit of doubt, he wonders if Josh is still in the picture. He doesn't want to put her in a tight spot, but he needs to be for sure in order to get down on one knee.
They toast, and she can tell that Nick is working that big old brain of his. He rambles, struggling to find the words to express his anxiety. He wants to get engaged, but he's been in that position before and remembers feeling that the situation wasn't right. So now, the wondering is the tough part for him. She knows he's always analyzing things, and she recommends that he just turn his brain off and go with his heart.
She just nods, pouts her lips and tells him everything is going to be alright, and that's reassurance enough for him. It's interesting that Andi is reassuring Nick at the same time that she seeks reassurance from Josh. Which end of things is it better to be on?
He ends the date by telling her that he can't wait to go grocery shopping with her and describing what a day-in-the-life might be like. He'll wake up at 6am, but he'll let her sleep in. Then he'll head off to work around 7am, and later they'll meet up for lunch. He'll get home just before 6pm, and maybe they'll hit the gym together before making dinner. Then they'll make out(-ish).
Nick says he can't wait to settle down and start a family with her, then he gives her a necklace with a tube of sand that he collected and made after the first time he told her he loved her. They say their goodnights, and she tells him to get some sleep.
The Day That Andi Does/Doesn't Get Engaged
Andi wakes up and walks around the grounds in her nightie, while Josh and Nick both open their blinds without shirts on. The women in the audience cheer and swoon, while Andi, Nick and Josh voice-over their respective predicaments. Which are exactly everything I've said above, so congrats, you get to skip these 10 minutes of showtime.
Andi concludes by saying that she has made her decision, and she knows what she has to do next. Nick and Josh are ready to pick out their engagement rings, with Josh choosing a large and slightly gaudy circular diamond. Nick is excited to make his selection, but when he opens the door, he finds Andi on the other side. The crowd gasps. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn.
As is norm, Chris Harrison wastes some time by polling the audience. The crowd goes nuts for Josh, but there's no request for any specific Nick reaction. Then it's time to get some Bachelor/ette favorites involved.
Clare respects Andi for doing this and following her heart, and she has no idea what's going to happen. But she wishes someone had come to her door when she was in the final two. Farmer Chris was caught off-guard when he was sent home, and he isn't sure Andi's appearance at Nick's door is a good thing. My man-crush Drew, who was also in the final two, thinks Nick must feel like his days are numbered. He adds that there's just no way to be prepared for something like this.
In fact, by a poll, there is no one in the audience who doesn't think Nick is about to have his heart broken. Then Michelle Money wastes more time by standing up and asking when Chris Harrison is going to announce the identity of the next Bachelor. I'm going to go with the same time as every other season in recent memory. Now kindly sit down.
To me, it just seems like Nick is offering a grown-up relationship with a much deeper and more intellectual connection, while everything with Josh is much closer to the surface. She could be happy with either, I suppose, it just comes down to the type of relationship she prefers. But I think one is much more conducive to marriage, provided the feelings are reciprocated. She can always fantasize about Josh, right?
D-Day in the D-Repub
Back to the action: Andi is paying Nick a visit to have a chat. Using his own words, that when he woke up the morning after his last proposal feeling that something wasn't right, she too feels that something isn't right. And it's clear to her that the things she sees in their relationship is not what she thinks is best for either of them.
He asks when she started feeling this way, and she responds that she's had worries about their intensity and over-analyzing. And on the last date, she just wanted to have fun. Which is ridiculous, because on her last date with Josh, she was the one who was over-analyzing! He questions the sincerity of her emotions throughout the whole experience, and then asks if this is about them or about Josh, and she just says, "I'm sorry."
He says it's all f***ed up, and that when he told her he loved her, she said she wished she could say things back. All in all, it's standard finale rejection procedure, and he ends by hoping she's 1,000% sure and just not scared. She says she is positive, and he walks her out.
She walks to her SUV in the rain, ready to become Mrs. Joshua Murray, while Nick stares out off his balcony before throwing all the roses he has saved along the way into the wastebasket.
He packs up and heads for the airport, his journey at its end. He is speechless and emotionless at first, shaking his head, his mouth agape, a single tear running down his cheek. "She asked me to trust her," he says. "I just looked at her and thought we got each other. I was so confident ... What is she doing? ... I really thought she loved me."
A Grand Slam Proposal
Only one thing left to do now: Josh emerges from his SUV, all suited up in a super tight sport coat (only supposed to make use of one of those buttons, big guy), to meet Andi at the edge of a waterfront villa. He tells her she looks beautiful, stunning. She says he looks nice.
He says that when he decided to give up his love, baseball, all those years ago, he knew it was because there was a greater love out there. He never knew if he'd find it, but at first sight, Andi took his breath away and just one week later, they shared their first kiss. He knew that it wasn't about him or her anymore, it was about them. She is the woman of his dreams, and her smile brightens his day and makes him feel like he can do anything in the world.
He knows that he is the only man who could ever make her smile the way that she does, and it goes on and on and on like that until she finally gets a word in, and she doesn't give back with the same emotion, at least not at first. She started this journey to find love, and that hope has been tested along the way. And the truth is that from the first time she met Josh, she was scared.
And when he said that the next time he dropped an L-bomb it would be to his wife, she took that to heart. And she knows now that the scared feeling ... dramatic pause ... is love, and she felt it from day one. She is madly in love with him, and she wants to spend the rest of her life with him and have his babies.
He drops to one knee, opens the box and pops the question. She accepts, and we fade out on their giant smiles, everlasting embrace and proclamations of love. And just like that, season 10 of The Bachelorette is in the books.
Were you happy with how it all ended? Or do you think Nick was the better choice? And are they destined to spend the rest of their lives together, or does this relationship have the shelf life of, well, a season of The Bachelor? We'll see how the hopefully-happy couple is doing on the After the Final Rose special, and if Nick is back to being a fully-functioning human.
As always, I'd like to thank all the readers who have followed along on this journey. You guys are the reason that I get to spend my Mondays making ridiculous observations, writing about one of the silliest social experiments that has somehow gained a foothold in primetime television for more than a decade. Hope you've enjoyed the adventure as much as I have. And now that we've emerged from bathing in a sea of love, it's time to get dirty in paradise! Bring on the trash!
You can watch Bachelor in Paradise starting Monday, August 4 at 8pm on ABC.