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Welcome to The Bachelor version of The Hollywood Reporter's Power Rankings. Each week, THR's Bachelor experts will be tuning into the romantic connections and dramatic shenanigans taking place on season 21 of the long-running ABC franchise. In an effort to cater to viewers who opt out of show spoilers, these rankings are based on opinions and observations week-by-week.
Could our Bachelor bad boy, notorious for sleeping with a former Bachelorette (Kaitlyn Bristowe) before the fantasy suites, restrain from being sexually active this season? It’s possible.
After Raven reveals she’s only had sex with one man, Nick shares in his private interview, “I was actually quite nervous about Fantasy Suite nights in the sense that I want to have a clear head about it, and not sleeping with the women might help me get to that point. So quite honestly, I don't know how I’m going to approach this.”
Why turn down the intimacy of three overnight dates, and not to mention a mid-show rendezvous with Corinne? It seems Nick could still be a bit traumatized from the pain he felt on the other side of this process, when he was sexually active on the show moments before getting dumped.
The worst of his Bachelorette PTSD hit three seasons ago on Andi Dorfman’s turn at the female spinoff; the Wisconsinite infamously asked Andi on her Bachelorette: Men Tell All special, “If you weren’t in love with me, why did you make love to me?”
Since then, Nick and Andi have worked out their grievances, especially after his ex stopped by Nick’s Brooklyn hotel room at the start of Monday’s episode. The Bachelor shares he’s “always been sorry” for the pain his personal question on TV in 2014 caused her, and she accepts the apology: “I know that I hurt you and in return you kind of hurt me back, and we've both done our damage.”
Andi offered ABC’s leading man advice for his upcoming overnights: “Don't let that keep you from anything now … If you see a potential for that girl to be standing there at the end, then that lends itself, if you two agree to take it to the next level and be intimate. You have every right to get as intimate as the two of you want.” But Nick still seems to be holding back in the bedroom department. Tonight’s episode ends on yet another “To Be Continued" note before the 36-year-old decides whether or not to focus on the emotional aspects of his relationships over his physical connections.
Bachelor viewers are treated to only one Fantasy Suite date tonight, with Vanessa’s and Rachel’s fun in Finland coming next week as part of a three-hour Bachelor event ahead of Nick’s Women Tell All special. The 21st Bachelor is set to reunite with 19 of his exes, including Corinne, who he lets go tonight after she tells him, "I love you."
And all this, before Bachelor fans even knew that the leading man will soon dance his way on to TV on Dancing With the Stars — according to creator Mike Fleiss.
Read on for THR’s ranking of his final three ladies and Nick's goodbye with the woman with the famed “platinum vagine.”
Raven, 25, fashion boutique owner from Hoxie, AR
Raven gave Nicholas Sparks a run for his money tonight with what Nick calls one of the “best professions of love” of all time. The Southern belle put her heart on her sleeve telling Nick, "I do love you,” marking the first time she’s ever shared those words with a partner. In case you missed her speech, here’s a recap: “My dad used to tell me as a little girl that he prayed that I would have an easy love and from the very beginning it was easy for me to see you as a partner. It was easy for me to see you after being with Bella [Nick's sister] as a dad. And then it was too easy how comfortable I felt with you, and with every step of the way you have made it so easy for me to love you … I do love you and it would be the worst thing I could do to not tell you that.” (Goals.)
Nick was choking back tears, but the ultimate jaw-dropping moment came when the 25-year-old revealed she has never had an orgasm. The Arkansas native says she has gone the distance with only one man, her ex-boyfriend of two years, but he never made her climax. ABC pushes the limits on airing their detailed conversation, but Raven defends herself: “It's really taboo to discuss, but it's important.”
It’s unclear whether their open conversation about sex led to a positive experience once the bedroom doors closed. The preview for next week hints that something rattled their romance, when Raven suggests their night together could have been “cut short.” But at least from what we see this week, it’s easy to call her the current frontrunner, especially after Nick’s latest words of affirmation: “I could not feel more fortunate knowing Raven could be the one that I could be lucky enough to spend the rest of my life with.”
Rachel, 31, attorney from Dallas, TX
Nick’s soon-to-be dumpee survives another week. Believe it or not, the next Bachelorette remains on the show, marking her third Bachelor episode since being announced as ABC’s 13th lead of the female spinoff.
The 31-year-old’s Fantasy Suite date has yet to air, but the preview for next week reveals the Texan lawyer taking a step back. “If I’m 100 percent honest, I’m scared,” she tells the Bachelor in the teaser. An emotional Nick responds, “The only thing to make this whole thing work is to get out of your head and go with your heart.”
Will Rachel open her heart enough to make the final two? Or will she say her goodbyes among the Northern Lights? Since Raven's relationship is on relatively steady ground, Rachel and Vanessa seem to be the ones going head to head to nab the second remaining rose.
Vanessa, 29, special education teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Vanessa hangs onto the bottom of THR’s Bachelor rankings for the second week in a row. Following the Canadian’s dramatic hometown date, the 29-year-old still appears to be on thin ice on her snowy date in Lapland, Finland. The preview of next week’s Fantasy Suite date teases yet another fight between the two. The special education teacher scowls at Nick when he shares, “I’m not traditional at all,” as she asserts, “my core values are things that I don’t want to compromise on.”
Can they find common ground in time for Nick to get down on one knee? The Montreal native is having her doubts. “I need to know where Nick’s heart is at, so it does scare me, absolutely … I’m very aware that it takes more than love for a relationship to work.” Do you think this couple has more problems than strengths? Share your thoughts below in the comments.
Corinne, 24, business owner from Miami, FL
Raquel. Cheese pasta. Cucumber slices. The infamous “platinum vagine.” There are countless memorable moments to count that we’ll miss from Corinne’s time on The Bachelor. Nick breaks up with the 24-year-old at tonight’s rose ceremony, but insists she has “nothing to regret, second guess or be sorry for.” As he walks a crying Corinne to her departing limo, Nick tells her, “I’m going to miss the Hell out of you. I have so much love for you.”
But before you get worked up over her elimination, take a nap out of emotional exhaustion, and/or chant “Make America Corinne Again," keep in mind you could be seeing Corinne again soon: Following her breakup with Nick, the Miami resident told The Hollywood Reporter auditions are in her near-future.
“Me and Raquel are going to take over the world," she said. "I’m already doing some auditions for some big stuff so hopefully only good things come from that. I’m working really hard.” As for being willing to join Bachelor in Paradise, that’s a big TBD: “I don’t know yet. I haven’t been asked, and I haven’t like, even explored that idea yet.”
The business owner added that she has no regrets about her time on Nick's season, including her sexy advances, “No, I love me," she told THR. "If there’s no sexual attraction in a relationship you shouldn’t be with that person."
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