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‘The Bachelor’ Season 21 Finale: The Good, The Bad, and The Viall

All good things must come to an end. Oh, and the season 21 finale of The Bachelor aired on ABC last night. (I’m joking!) I thoroughly enjoyed this season, especially because it introduced the world to Rachel Lindsay who’ll be the first Black Bachelorette in the franchise’s history. I’ll get to her in a second.

The ever awkward bachelor Nick Viall decided that fourth time was the charm and headed back to the Bachelor mansion two and a half months ago in search of love. After weeks of dates, island hopping, and awkward conversations Nick finally whittled down the dozens of hopeful Mrs. Vialls to two ladies— Arkansas boutique owner Raven Gates and Canadian special education teacher Vanessa Grimaldi.

In a move that surprised no one, he eventually chose (and proposed to) Vanessa. I could totally tell based on how the finale set up their relationship that she was the clear winner. Nonetheless, the three-hour Bachelor finale was filled with twists, turns, surprises, clap backs, and some moments that were just plain cringeworthy.

And if you didn’t watch last night, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite highlights from Monday night’s finale of The Bachelor— the good, the bad, and the Viall.

The Good

The Bachelor producers brought it back to 1997 when they chose Sixpence None The Richer’s Kiss Me to set up a scene between Nick and runner-up, Raven. You’d have to be lying to say it didn’t give you all the “She’s All That” feels.

Raven also embodied all things precious when Nick presented her with a series of puppies on their final date. And honestly, who needs a man when you have adorable dogs?!

Two words: Rachel. Lindsay. This amazing and accomplished woman is all the good of The Bachelor season 21 finale, all the good of season 21, and the greatest good of The Bachelor altogether! It would be an understatement to say I’m excited for her season to begin May 22. Even more exciting for her however was that during the After the Final Rose special, Rachel actually met four of her suitors. Some interactions were cuter than others, but one stood out above the rest. (See “The Viall.”)

Source: Refinery29
Rachel Lindsay is the first Black Bachelorette in the history of the franchise.

The Bad

Nick’s family members were a major highlight for the night for us, especially his mother and little sister. Their reactions fall into this category because as people who’ve known Nick for all/or most of his life, their reactions (and hypothetical reactions) to the night’s events were so good, they were actually bad.

If your mom gives this face to your future fiancé, that might not necessarily be the best sign for your relationship.

Though we never saw Nick’s family’s reaction to him breaking up with Raven, we’d like to imagine it went a little something like this. Why let your little sister become best friends with the person you introduce her to during your home visit and then send her home, Nick? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Speaking of Nick, he and Vanessa have such a strange dynamic that we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds for the pair.

The Viall

To be honest, the rest of this post is going to be about Rachel so ~*~* fair warning.~*~*

As mentioned above, Rachel met a handful of the men who will eventually move into the mansion and compete for her heart. One such fellow is Dean. Now Dean looks like a fairly regular Joe Schmoe looking to find love on television in front of millions. When he first meets Rachel, he comments and compliments her on her appearance as is typical and chooses to go for the incredibly uncreative —and lowkey/highkey problematic— opening line of: “I’m ready to go Black, and I’m never gonna go back.”

No. We are not kidding. You can see the moment below.

Yeah. We know.

Why, Sway? In 2017, you’re going to let your first interaction with someone you’d want to be your wife be based on a tired phrase? Really, Dean?

And for those who don’t understand why this joke is offensive, we’ll break it down for you. Black people aren’t venus fly traps, so if you did in fact go Black you could theoretically go back. Also, way to bring the elephant to the room Dean! Of course Rachel is aware she’s the first Black Bachelorette and as such, has a lot of expectations to deal with. You making awkward comments about her difference isn’t cute, it’s weird.

“Once you go Black, you never go back” seems like a harmless phrase but at the root of it it reduces Black men and women to their body parts and is specifically centered on their sexual prowess as a reason for attraction and not their humanity. In short, it reduces Black people to sex objects and body parts. In even shorter, it’s dehumanizing. When making that joke, chances are the reason “you’re not going back” isn’t because you love someone’s personality that much. Don’t believe us? Just check out various definitions of “once you go Black, you’ll never go back” in the Urban Dictionary. (And while Black people do use the phrase that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to, too.)

Though Rachel laughed off his weird comment during the live show, my hope for Dean is that he gets cut early next season. But I will say his off-color remarks about Rachel’s skin color is exactly why it was time to have a Black Bachelorette. I can already imagine the comments Rachel will probably have to endure next season (“wow, you’re not like other Black women,” “is this a hair weave?” “you know, I’ve never been with a Black woman before,” etc.) from white guys who have never been with a Black woman before saying things they’ve probably always wanted to say.  We’re also interested to see how she’ll navigate those waters, in addition to seeing if the racial makeup of the men in the house will (or won’t) more accurately reflect society.

Rachel deserves more than some guy telling her played out and offensive lines, and if she were to meet some problematic Hotep brother down the line I’d hope she’d kick him to the curb, too.

All in all, the finale of Nick’s season just got us super excited for Rachel’s season and you can rest assured we’ll be live-tweeting whatever foolishness happens starting May 22 at 9 PM ET!

Did you watch The Bachelor Finale? Tell us what you thought and remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!