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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.
It’s hard to focus on Nick Viall’s pursuit of love when we’re now just as excited for Rachel’s! The Texan attorney has been cast as ABC’s 13th Bachelorette, marking the first time the network has chosen a black lead in its 33 combined seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, a source close to the situation confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. A formal announcement will come on Monday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
The news of ABC’s next leading lady comes while Rachel is still a contestant on The Bachelor. So, keeping in mind that Rachel does not receive Nick’s final rose, THR ranks Nick’s remaining four women below after one of his most emotional episodes yet.
The seventh week kicked off in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with Nick is in the middle of a nervous breakdown. The Bachelor had been crying to the women, to the cameras and to host Chris Harrison about his fear of yet another unhappy ending on his fourth turn at the franchise.
Finally, he wiped his tears to tell his six remaining ladies, "I see what I want in this room. I just don't want to get that close anymore. I want to get all the way there."
But the "the strength" he saw in all six relationships didn't last long: Nick said goodbye to Danielle M. and Kristina, once he realized his heart "can't get there" with the two women.
It's unclear whether Nick's Final Four — Raven, Rachel, Vanessa and Corinne — will each earn a hometown date. While the star of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette traditionally meets four families, the preview for next week teases only three roses remain at the upcoming rose ceremony.
Raven, 25, fashion boutique owner from Hoxie, AR
Pack your boots and practice your Southern drawl because we’re headed to Hoxie, Arkansas! Raven earns the top spot this week for being the only woman guaranteed a hometown date.
Between the group date and three one-on-one dates, only one rose was on the table ahead of the next ceremony. And what’s most impressive about Raven being our lucky lady is that she didn’t try too hard to get it. The 25-year-old was calm, cool and collected on her group date with Nick, even among a clingy Kristina, an emotional Corinne and a group of sharks in their snorkel spot.
It’s possible Raven helped seal the deal by opening up further about her personal life. Raven shared with Nick that her father was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago, leading her to pivot from going to law school to moving back home near her family. And the small-town girl couldn’t be giddier to introduce Nick to her “daddy” (who is much healthier now). After dancing with her man with a rose in her hand, she tells the camera, “I am falling in love with Nick, and now that I have the rose, I might have the reassurance that he's feeling the same way.”
Keep in mind, Raven told Nick she fell in love with him a few weeks back, but we’re still waiting to hear if the feeling is mutual.
Rachel, 31, attorney from Dallas, TX
It seems a little irrelevant at this point to recap Rachel's time with Nick, but maybe it will give us some insight as to what Rachel's looking for on her turn at The Bachelorette. If anything, we'll get a better sense of Rachel's background and family dynamics, since Nick seems eager to head back home with her to Dallas.
Rachel and Nick didn’t have a long one-on-one date this week, but they definitely made the most of their time together. The Texan and the Bachelor enjoyed a taste of Bimini’s local flavor, before sitting down to grab a few drinks. With liquid courage in their systems, the two discussed how Nick would compare to other men Rachel has introduced to her family. “I’ve never brought home a white guy,” she informs Nick, adding that she has dated white men in the past. The 31-year-old also emphasized that taking Nick home to Dallas would mean a lot, since she hasn’t introduced many ex-boyfriends to her father (aka “Sir”).
Nick seems excited about the idea of meeting Mr. Lindsay and the rest of Rachel’s family. They carved their names into the wall of the bar, smooched with Rachel’s legs wrapped around his waist and showered each other with compliments. By the end of the date, Nick described to the camera how their relationship “shot like a cannon” (she received the first impression rose) and “never really slowed down.” Meanwhile, Rachel was just as smitten. “I could not have planned a better date today, and we didn't do much, but that's what I love,” the lawyer shared in her interview. “My walls are down. I'm feeling vulnerable.” Being vulnerable with Nick might backfire short-term, but being open in the long run should pay off when she leads her own ABC season.
Vanessa, 29, special education teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
While it’s clear Vanessa and Nick have one of the stronger connections in the house, Nick did not leave the Canadian beauty feeling too confident this week.
The 29-year-old put her heart on her sleeve during their second one-on-one date of the season. “I could definitely see a future with you,” she shares over their dinner table for two. “I feel confident and comfortable enough to tell you that I am falling in love with you.”
But the special needs teacher did not get the reaction she was hoping for. Nick responds, “I really, really like you a lot.” Ouch.
The Bachelor explained that he basically did not want to pull a Ben Higgins (who told two women he loved them before dumping runner-up JoJo Fletcher). “It is incredibly important for me if I'm lucky enough to feel loved … that I only say it to one person. I've never grown relationships with multiple women before, and so I'm taking it slow. If I'm lucky enough to say I love you, I want to feel like in a way I’m saying it for the first time.”
Wait, did our Bachelor bad boy just do something incredibly mature? It’s hard not to applaud ABC’s leading man for trying to be as respectful as possible, but Vanessa did not see it that way. “I thought we were on the same page and that he was falling in love with me … I thought my relationship was very different than the other women. It hurt. I’m just afraid to end up like Nick did, heartbroken at the end of this.”
If there’s anything we’ve learned this week, it’s that Nick is certainly unpredictable. Yet, there’s a good chance Vanessa has nothing to worry about. She is one of two women who used the L-word with Nick, without being sent home directly after. So chances are Nick is at least developing serious feelings in return for the Italian lady.
Corinne, 24, business owner from Miami, FL
Can we say, karma? The business owner has been leading with her sexuality the entire season and it finally backfired.
Corinne decided to spontaneously show up at Nick’s hotel room to introduce him to her “platinum vagine,” as a last-ditch effort to score a hometown date. But Nick was not feeling it.
The 24-year-old led Nick into his bedroom, but he told her to “slow down,” though it’s “very tempting.” He explained to a shocked Corinne, “I’ve learned that it’s always best to wait in these instances.” After walking her out, Nick said on camera, “As great as it is to have that intimacy, we all make mistakes, but I don't want to make the same mistake I made with Kaitlyn.” (Nick had sex with the 11th Bachelorette Kaitlyn before their fantasy suite date.) “I’m glad that Corinne and I can slow things down and not go to a place where we could eventually regret.”
The rendezvous-snafu left Corinne mortified. “This is so terrible … I’m only human. I can't help if embarrassing things happen to me,” she said in her interview. “I am spinning out of control right now.”
Why go so bold (other than the fact that she is, well, Corinne)? The Floridian missed out on a one-on-one date again this week, making her the only remaining woman who’s never had one. And despite being the “queen of group dates,” Corinne was not on her A-game this time around. Nick cozied up with Kristina and gave the group date rose to Raven, which made Corinne feel “very insecure” and “self conscious” for the first time. The next morning, she admitted to Kristina that she woke up the next day crying.
Unfortunately for her, Corinne does not get any validation from Nick before the episode ends. The Bachelor abruptly says goodbye to Kristina (more on that below), leaving Corinne a total stress case going into next week.
Kristina, 24, dental hygienist from Lexington, KY
No, not Kristina! Nick broke up with the inspiring 24-year-old tonight, just a week after she melted the hearts of Bachelor Nation with her moving adoption story.
There was a small silver lining of the breakup: Nick at least parted ways with the Russian beauty respectfully. Instead of blindsiding her at a rose ceremony, Nick met with Kristina at the contestants’ hotel suite for a private heart to heart. “I have such a love for you, but right now I don’t feel like there's the ‘in love,’” he tells her outside her room. “You deserve someone who doesn’t sit in front of you and say there are stronger relationships. I'm afraid I can't be that person.” Kristina fought back: “You didn't give me a fair chance. I know I have a lot to offer to someone and that could have been you,” she tells him to his face. And later upon exiting the show, she tells the camera, “I did picture my life with Nick. I've never pictured that with anyone else. I know what I deserve … I was falling in love with Nick.”
Did anyone see this breakup coming? Nick was all over Kristina this week; he rubbed sunscreen on her inner thighs, comforted her when she was spooked by nearby sharks and even cried with host Chris Harrison at the thought of losing her. If saying goodbye to Kristina was this hard, we have a lot of drama in store when Nick narrows down the final four.
Danielle M., 31, neonatal nurse from Nashville, TN
The harsh truth: it’s sad Danielle M. thought that she was the one.
The neonatal nurse could not stop crying when Nick broke up with her tonight, but she really should have seen the signs. The chemistry they may have shared on their first one-on-one date was long gone by the time he took the babe out in Bimini. As Nick put it in his interview, they simply “[struggled] to have a more natural conversation.”
The roughest moment of the split? When Danielle told the camera, “The last time I was in love with someone they died … I'm scared to tell Nick how I'm feeling.”
The Bachelor broke up with his fellow Wisconsin native after she poured her heart out to him: “I want to take on anything with you, like good, bad, everything in between. I don't know if that's something that I've ever really felt.” (Does this mean Danielle felt stronger for a man she's known for seven weeks than the man she was engaged to marry?) We're hoping the 31-year-old will find the one who thinks she's "great enough" back home in Nashville.
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