Fourth time's the charm! After suffering last-minute rejection twice on "The Bachelorette" and another failed love connection on "Bachelor in Paradise," Nick Viall is finally engaged.
The 36-year-old handed out his final rose on "The Bachelor" Season 21 finale Monday night, choosing Canadian special education teacher Vanessa Grimaldi over Arkansas boutique owner Raven Gates.
The notion that Nick faced the difficult task of delivering the same bad news he'd painfully received two times before wasn't lost on him as he prepared for the ceremony. The sales executive was clearly choked up while letting Raven go, and remained distraught as the 25-year-old left the premises amid confusion and tears.
However, his journey came to an emotional crossroads much earlier in the episode as he mulled his decision between both women and the risk he was taking in putting his heart on the line once again. In on-camera confessionals and conversations with his family, the Milwaukee native explained how his past heartbreak on the "Bachelor" franchise made him nervous to enter another potentially doomed romance.
His quest culminated in Finland, as he took each finalist on snowy adventures for their respective last dates, from ice skating and puppy cuddling with Raven to horseback riding and a Santa's workshop visit with Vanessa.
Nick's parents and siblings were on hand for support, and expressed their concerns that Nick was possibly setting himself up for another devastating rejection. They weren't alone. Nick had fears of his own, recalling how former Bachelorettes Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe had left him gutted despite his confidence in each relationship at the time.
His parents, Chris and Mary, acknowledged how hesitant their son had been to take yet another chance on the "Bachelor" franchise, sharing worry that he would be left at the "proposal altar" yet again. While the Vialls had positive reactions to both Vanessa and Raven, the women had different approaches toward their remaining hours with Nick.
Although Raven repeatedly said she was "100 percent ready" to make a lifetime commitment to Nick, Vanessa was candid in admitting her hesitation that she and Nick could possibly be rushing into an engagement too quickly without considering all the factors in play.
That anxiety was still present as Nick waited for Vanessa to arrive, but soon disappeared. Announcing that he wasn't going to fight his feelings for her any longer, Nick confessed that he'd been "falling in love" with her "for a long time" before getting down on one knee and asking the ultimate question.
Vanessa happily accepted, and beamed while offering a cheeky proposal of her own.
"Should we go start our life?" Nick asked his bride-to-be.
"Let's do it," she replied. "Literally."
-- Erin Biglow