I need to start this recap off with a few items of business.

1) Thank you, Tamara M, for giving me the strength I needed this morning to wake up and write this recap.

Tamara found me on Venmo and hooked a sister up with some much needed Starbucks money in direct support of these Bachelor Recaps. I cannot tell you how much this motivates me both through caffeine pumping through my veins and the general desire to sit in front of my computer and look through the previous night’s notes that generally look something like this (DIRECT EXCERPT FROM SHOW NOTES):

That night, nick in ridiculous grey sweater and raven in awesome red off the shoulder sweater

Dinner in a little log cabin

My husband says he looks like a penis in his turtleneck

Knowing you guys really enjoy these recaps makes writing them 1,000,000,000x more fun. So thanks, Tamara, and to all of you who’ve shown your appreciation via Venmo. It’s the GREATEST.

2) A deep apology to Natty T, who apparently reads these recaps a day later, piece by piece during commercial breaks as she catches up on the show. Somehow, she managed to be the ONLY human in the world to avoid seeing the news that Rachel is the new Bachelorette, and felt personally victimized by that announcement on my blog. She also wasn’t a fan of how I copied ABC by spoiling Episode 7 in the first few lines of my blog post. To Natty, I love you and I’m sorry and also PS spoiler alert: Nick wears a turtleneck that makes him look like a penis in this episode.

nick turtleneck

ONTO FINLAND!

Wait, no, we have to start back in NYC. Thanks to everyone who sent me texts, private messages, or comments regarding the hotel where the contestants were staying in Brooklyn. Truly, that information helped me sleep better at night.

Last week, the episode ended with Andi Dorfman saying “Helloooo Nick” as she surprised him by knocking on his hotel room door. And by “surprise,” I mean showed up exactly when producers told Nick she’d get there.

We pick back up with Nick ushering her inside and offering her a drink. She is an old pro and says “we’re going to need whiskey for this conversation,” leading us to believe it’s going to be really tense. It’s not. As a matter of fact, by the time she’s done giving him advice, including but not limited to…

  • have sex with as many girls as you want in the fantasy suite (okay, Kaitlyn…)
  • never to talk about said sexual interactions during ATFR
  • don’t let the fact that I broke your heart stop you from putting your heart back out there

…I almost want her and Nick to get back together. I was wayyyyy more into their chemistry than I am his remaining contestants. Not to mention Andi looked like a million bucks in her leather leggings and camel blazer. She always really knows how to serve hot lawyer-turned-reality star.

Nick tells her he might not choose anyone in the end, but he probably will. God, both he and Andi are so good at giving producers sound bites at this point that I’m not even sure they know how to have an unproduced conversation anymore. Yet another reason they’re probably perfect for each other.

andi nick 2

Sadly, they don’t sneak off into the room to “make love,” so Nick throws on a black tie and a black blazer to match his black shirt and black pants, then heads downstairs to send one of his girls home. All he’s thinking about is how Andi is the one who got away, so he barely shows any sign of emotion while giving his speech thanking all the girls for their Hometown dates.

I should mention that these poor girls have been waiting outside in what looks to be sub zero temperatures for at least 30 minutes while Nick was upstairs chatting up his ex-girlfriend. Vanessa would’ve been pissssssed if she’d known. Raven would’ve slyly smiled and shrugged at the news, Corinne would’ve found somewhere to nap to pass the time, and Rachel would’ve calmly talked through her feelings with producers. Instead, all three of them shiver in their gowns and coats to the point that Corinne literally has runny boogers on her upper lip.

It’s surprising that I noticed Corinne’s boogers, actually, since at first all I could stare at were her legs. It seriously looked like she was wearing a fur coat with no pants until I stared hard enough to realize she had on a black dress with slits up to her armpits. The no pants effect of that design was truly remarkable.

Rachel won the gown + outerwear style game, for the record. She looked stunning in an emerald green dress with a cream coat. Then again, Raven and Nick are starting to always match, which could be a sign that she’s The One. She wore all black to match her black hair and black eyes, which complemented Nick’s black suit and black soul.

I was convinced that Rachel would be the next to go since we already know she’s the Bachelorette, so why would producers string viewers along one more week, thus giving away the top two? Well, I clearly have a lot to learn when it comes to producing a show, because Nick said goodbye to…

CORINNE

What?! I honestly thought Corinne was going to be Top 2, if not the winner– despite their 12 year age gap. As he walked her to her rejection limo, the way he comforted her by kissing her head and telling her she did nothing wrong is SO similar to how my ex-boyfriend used to talk to me. At the time, I was 22 and he was 36, and he had that same ability to make me feel loved and like his niece at the same time. Probably not the healthiest or most desirable dynamic.

I’m 90% sure Corinne was laughing, not crying, during her exit interview. She knows she’s a shoo in for BIP, plus we all know her soulmate is Chad anyway, so she laugh-cries for a bit, says some outlandish things, and passes out in the back of the limo.

corinne laugh cry

I am really going to miss her commentary for the next two weeks, though. Thank goodness next week is Women Tell All, so at least we’ll see her there.

We’re left with the next Bachelorette, an alien, and Vanessa. If you’d asked me a few weeks ago, I would’ve bet my money on Vanessa. Now, I’m leaning towards the alien, believe it or not. Raven and Nick have had by FAR the easiest relationship during this *journey*, which tends to mean it’s the right one. Vanessa may seem like the frontrunner, but I really think Nick should pay attention to how easy his connection with Raven is, verse his relationship with Vanessa, which seems to always be riddled with minor arguments and unresolved differences.

The only reason he and Raven wouldn’t work is because I’m not sure that aliens and humans can end up together, and Nick made it very clear that he’s human.

not from mars

Nick and the final three pack their bags and head to Finland, where Nick dresses up like Buddy the Elf, and the girls prepare themselves for Fantasy Suite dates.

nick buddy

So accurate.

His first and only Fantasy Suite date of the episode goes to Raven. Traditionally, it’s not a good sign to be given the first Fantasy Suite date, but I’m keeping my hopes high.

Before the date even begins, we’re teased with this little tidbit of information:

raven o

The amount of awkward I felt watching editors play this clip over and over and over again was unspeakably painful.

But also obsessed with Raven’s humor when right after she made this confession, she said in her southern drawl “Today is the day!” This girl alien has a way of saying everything like she’s about to cast a spell. I can’t get enough.

She and Nick hop in a red helicopter for an aerial tour of Finland, where they hold hands and kiss and check out the invisible herds of reindeer that editors sliced in after the fact. Afterwards, they play darts and take shots in an adorable local pub, which is my ideal date, and also seems surprisingly normal for this show. Nick tells the camera that Raven is the perfect balance of salty and sweet, with an edgy craziness to her. I was very proud of his ability to verbalize something so true.

As they drink by the fire, they have a super cute and normal banter-debate about ironing vs. steaming. Raven owns a clothing shop, so she’s a big believer in steamers. I loved their conversation, because for once, it wasn’t all about “seeing a future” or vaguely talking about their chemistry in place of actually having chemistry. Eventually, they talk about the Fantasy Suite, and she tells Nick she’s nervous. He tells her he has no expectations for the overnight date, and that it’s all about furthering the relationship, not about sex. She doesn’t believe him and neither do I.

That night, they have dinner in a cozy log cabin. Nick wears the penis turtleneck, and Raven wears a gorgeous off the shoulder red sweater. She gives a long speech about how much she cares for Nick and how easy their relationship has been. After lots of sweet words that she obviously put a LOT of thought into, she delivers Those Three Words. After she says I love you (for the first time in her entire life, by the way), Nick kisses her and looks extremely happy. A much better response than his usual reactions to professions of love.

She closes out her speech with this:

wine gif raven

An alien after my own heart.

Listen, is it weird that Raven was in a two year relationship and never said I love you, but now she’s saying it to Nick after six weeks? Yeah, sure, a little. But the internet needs to let her live her life. I support you, Raven!

I don’t think she meant to, but Raven then completely throws Vanessa and Rachel under the bus. She tells Nick that the Fantasy Suite is a lot more important to her than to the other remaining girls because she’s only had sex with one person..thus implying that Vanessa and Rachel are more sexually active than she is. Sorry Mr. & Mrs. Grimaldi! Sorry Judge and Mrs. Lindsay! Cover your ears!

Nonetheless, she accepts the Fantasy Date card, telling Nick he needs to remember two things:

  1. “I’ve only been with one person. Keep that in mind.”
  2. “My ex never made me orgasm because I didn’t trust him.”

Nick basically says “Challenge accepted!” and rushes her off to the awesome hut with a glass ceiling in the middle of the snowy terrain, where they’ll spend the night and Nick will help her see the Northern Lights, if you know what I mean.

As the cameras pull away, leaving Nick and Raven alone for the first time in their entire relationship, editors CGI some Northern Lights and Chris Harrison leaves us with some rousing questions:

Will Raven’s date come to a satisfying end?? (gross)

Rachel hasn’t said I love you. What will it take to light her fire?? (gross)

Will Vanessa get cold feet??? (As they show a clip of her getting into an ice bath)

We get a Dramatic Three Hour Event next week as Fantasy Suite dates wrap up and the Women Tell All. Buckle up. Send me Venmo. Seriously. I’m scared.