Monday’s three-hour finale of The Bachelor certainly brought no surprises: Nick Viall proposed at the end of the episode, and his pick, the (usually sour-faced) Vanessa Grimaldi, agreed to marry him, even though she seemed hesitant to commit to a man who just days earlier had seriously been considering proposing to another woman.
While the first two hours of the finale went exactly as viewers expected, the final hour of the “Bachelor event”– the After the Final Rose special– was anything but ordinary. While Nick didn’t “pull a Mesnik”, viewers were shocked by how unhappy the “happy couple” seemed.
Viewers weren’t the only ones who noticed that Nick seemed, at times, almost afraid of Vanessa, and that Vanessa was trying very hard to appear happy. Both said a lot of things that made ‘Bachelor’ viewers scratch their heads and wonder if the Nick and Vanessa even still like each other.
Former Bachelor and Bachelorette stars also noticed the couple’s cringe-worthy awkwardness, and many took to Twitter to provide their thoughts.
“They look like me and you know who. Yikes!!” Emily Maynard tweeted, obviously comparing Nick and Vanessa’s ATFR interactions to when she and then-fiance Brad Womack appeared on an After The Final Rose special. (Brad and Emily basically spent the hour talking about how they had broken up multiple times while their season was airing, and both looked totally uncomfortable around the other.)
Former ‘Bachelor’ Sean Lowe didn’t even try to act like he thought Nick had any shot of making it down the aisle with his final lady.
“What’s the winner going to do with her time this summer while Nick is filming [Bachelor in Paradise]?,” he tweeted.
Sean’s wife, Catherine, agreed with Sean’s tweet.
“This is so real it’s kinda depressing,” she tweeted.
Original ‘Bachelorette’ Trista Sutter noticed how uncomfortable and angry Vanessa looked during the special.
“I am always hopeful for happy endings, especially when it comes to my
#bachelornation family, but @VanessaGrimaldi doesn’t seem happy?” she tweeted.
She later added, “I wish
@VanessaGrimaldi & @viallnicholas28 only the best for a beautiful future together.”
Nick later told Entertainment Tonight that he and Vanessa are happy together, despite how it looked on camera.
“Quite honestly, all we did was answer Chris [Harrison]‘s questions and Chris wanted to ask us a lot of questions about how it’s been, so we just decided to be honest,” Nick said, adding, “I think sometimes when you pretend things, you play house, that can set you up for disaster. I have the confidence we’re going to face things head on, and we’re OK to admit that there’s a fear of things not working out, but we’re going to give it our best to make sure that it does.”
Former ‘Bachelorette’ Ali Fedotowsky applauded Nick and Vanessa for being so honest during their ATFR episode, and expressed that she wishes she had done the same thing when she was the star of the show.
“Was it awkward? Well, yes. It’s live TV and that can be awkward in general. But I think people thought it was weird because it was REAL!!!” she wrote on her blog. “People assume that means they aren’t in a good place. I didn’t read it that way at all. I think she is a smart women to question this whole Bachelor world and to hold Nick accountable for everything that happened on the show.
“And she addressed that it’s NOT easy to be a couple after this show,” Ali added. “I think most couples go on ATFR and act like everything is all perfect and easy. I know I acted that way when I was on the show because I wanted people to believe in my love and relationship at the time.”