Chris Harrison Blogs the ‘Bachelor’ Finale and ‘After the Final Rose’

Well, Bachelor Nation, the long, long, long road for Nick is finally over. He came to us three years ago looking for love and hoping to get engaged, and now he finally has found the one. The path to love is not always a straight line — sometimes there are a lot of twists and turns along the way — but the journey is worth it if you find what you’re looking for.

This last week in Finland was pretty magical. We were lucky enough to get a bunch of Nick’s family to come all the way to Rovaniemi to meet the two women he was falling in love with. Chris and Mary and the bunch came a long way and opened up their lives and their hearts to both Raven and Vanessa. This family has been through a lot. They have 11 children and somehow still manage to keep their family together, so I think their advice and consult is something truly worthwhile. It was such a long flight, so the family stayed around for a few days and visited Santa and had a great time. We are very grateful to them for coming out and supporting their son (as always). And Bella, who we’ve watched grow up on TV, got her first visit to Europe out of the deal, so overall I think it was a victorious trip for the Viall family.

Raven and Nick had a very easy relationship in many ways, and Vanessa and Nick have a more difficult relationship, but I think this has a lot to do with how realistic Vanessa is trying to be. Not to say that Raven was not realistic, but as a hopeless romantic, she let herself become totally engulfed in the fairy tale that sometimes really does exist. Vanessa had more questions and was the skeptic and realist in this situation. In this way, she is more like Nick, who has been through some of the worst kinds of breakups. Relationships are hard work, and deciding to get engaged is a huge deal.

I think these approaches were clear this week. Vanessa and Nick met the real Santa Claus (yes, this is the real Santa who gets your mail when you send it to the North Pole) and had a magical day full of horse riding, but of course Vanessa had a lot of questions she needed to have answered before she felt like she would be ready for a proposal.

Raven and Nick ice-skated and listened to Sixpence None the Richer (yes, they were really skating along to that music in Finland! We brought a speaker and an iPod!). Raven didn’t have the questions that Vanessa had.

This in many ways set up a very emotional final day for Nick. Saying goodbye to Raven was saying goodbye to someone who had become a great friend as well as a potential life partner. These days are never easy, but Nick had been rejected himself on this day before, so he knew what he was doing. It’s a tough situation, but Raven, as always, handled it with grace and class. We will miss her, but we won’t have to for long because she will be joining us this summer on Bachelor in Paradise!

And on to the happy couple. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Nick finally proposed to Vanessa. These two have certainly had their ups and downs, like anyone, but the thing that binds them is a passionate love and undying desire to be around each other. There was always a magnetism between these two people, and they are headed for a wonderful journey together. I speak for all of us at The Bachelor when I say we are very happy for Vanessa, who has found the love she was looking for, and we are especially happy for Nick, who found an amazing woman through all of this and finally closed a chapter of his wonderfully interesting life. These two people have all our love, respect, and encouragement and we hope to see them marry and have beautiful children in the near future.

Chris Harrison, Vanessa, and Nick at “After the Final Rose.” (Photo: Chris Harrison)
Chris Harrison, Vanessa, and Nick at “After the Final Rose.” (Photo: Chris Harrison)

Speaking of the future, we did something different last night and started Rachel’s Bachelorette journey a little bit early. During our live After the Final Rose special, Rachel got to meet four of her guys in our makeshift driveway that we built during the commercial break.

She had no idea we were going to do this, and her expression was priceless. As you could tell, she was totally relaxed and natural and knew how to have a great time with the four men she met. This bodes well for the future. We are all so excited to have Rachel as our next Bachelorette, and we will see you in May as we begin her journey to find love. Until then, Bachelor Nation, thank you again for being the best fans a show could ask for. See you this spring!

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