The tenacious DA finally gets her man in a finale that has everything: flop sweat, ugly red pants, and an (almost) Balcony Cry!

By Kristen Baldwin
Updated July 29, 2014 at 06:01 AM EDT
Season 10, episode 11 Number of comments: 1,029 What got you talking? Yeah, Andi picked Josh, but all anyone could talk about was Nick's confessions…
Credit: Javier Pesquera/ABC

As Raymond Chandler once wrote, To say goodbye to a season of The Bachelorette is to watch your soul die a little—and this season, rose lovers, is no exception. But don’t worry; if you still have some soul left, Bachelor in Paradise starts next week, and that should take care of it.

“This is actually happening.” That’s damn right, Nick, and you better put your big boy pants on, because you’re about to meet Andi’s parents, Patti and—dun dun DUNNN—Hy, a.k.a. the dad most likely to make a putz like you pee your pants. “You look a little nervous,” booms Hy by way of greeting. Adds Patti, “He seemed a little reserved.” (Except for the fact that he’s showing way too much baby-smooth chest—button up your Henley, you jackass!)

When he sits down with Patti, though, Nick vomits out so many professions of love for her daughter—”I mean, I love her in ways that I never thought I’d love somebody before”—mama can’t help but get emotional. “Stop saying that! You’re making me cry,” she chides Nick through tears. Andi’s sister Rachel, though, seems over the whole thing already. As the Bachelorette gushes about how Nick “sees my entire self” and “makes me feel like a woman,” Rachel’s all “mmm-hmmm,” “yeah,” “[non-committal ‘I’m listening’ sound].” Hy, as usual, maintains his intimidating poker face as Nick stutters out a request for his daughter’s hand in marriage. “I would really like your permission to do that,” mumbles Nick, blushing and giggling like the schmuck that he is. While it may have been the magic of Team Bachelorette‘s editing, I prefer to believe that Hy did, in fact, stare at Nick in stony silence for six full seconds before offering a reserved endorsement.

Would you like to date our next Bachelor or Bachelorette? Then you need your f—ing head examined.

Another day, another potential life partner. When Andi tells the family that Josh is a former “pro” athlete but not a player, Hy isn’t buying it. “She says it’s different,” he harrumphs. That suspicion soon turns to bemusement, though, when Josh walks in sporting a plastered-on smile and the silky sheen of full-body perspiration. “He is so nervous,” reports Hy, chuckling gruffly. “This poor guy doesn’t have a prayer!” Patti agrees, looking askance at the “loud guy” flop sweating all over her little girl. Rachel continues to be a reluctant participant in her sister’s “journey” to find “love”; after her sit-down with Josh she grudgingly provides Team Bachelorette with the quasi-approval soundbite they need: “I do think he’s taking it seriously,” she reports. “At least, I hope he’s taking it seriously.”

Oh, don’t you worry, missy—Hy will make damn sure of that. After Josh confesses that he’s “totally in love” with Andi, dad counters, “No concerns about this being a camp romance?” The show, continues Hy, “is not the everyday life. It’s not coming home from work and somebody being in a bad mood because they had a bad day.” (No, I am not going to point out that Hy pronounced “Versailles as “ver-sal,” because he is awesome and can mangle the name of any French city he wants.) Josh stays calm—or calm-ish; he’s still talking 100 miles a minute—during this exchange and manages to ask Hy for his blessing without collapsing into a quivering pile of goo like Nick.

NEXT: Nick gives the worst toast ever

This time, Hy only stays silent for three seconds before making Josh’s day: “You’ve got my blessing. The one you’ve gotta worry about is hers.” Josh is so relieved he gives Hy a kiss on the cheek—complete with a “MWAH!” sound effect—when it’s time to say his goodbyes.

Indeed, Josh should be worried about securing Andi’s blessing. Though he told Hy that he believes Andi loves him, the Bachelorette still can’t quite believe that her “journey” is supposed to end with a jock who lives around the corner in Atlanta. “My brain definitely thinks, you know, ‘Is this all too good to be true?'” (I don’t know, honey, I think the question you should be asking is, “Why is Josh’s watch the size of a hot plate?”) Her brain’s question lingers throughout their yacht ride and into the evening back in Andi’s hotel room, where the Bachelorette slowly reveals her worries to Josh. How does Josh know he’s ready for marriage? When the physical spark goes out will there be anything left to their relationship? Why does Josh insist on wearing those salmon-colored pants? “I wish I didn’t doubt so much,” she admits to Josh, who assuages her fears with some good old-fashioned charm. “You really have changed everything for me,” he says, handing her a professionally printed, personalized baseball card that identifies her as “Andi Murray” and lists cute stats like “doesn’t play games” and “Errors: Can’t dance and swears too much.”

Oh don’t worry Nick—this doesn’t make your crudely drawn, infantile fairy tale look lame at all.

Side note: I love how Andi, Josh, and Nick keep talking about all the “obstacles” they’ve encountered during their journey. And here I thought a relationship obstacle was something like being denied the right to marry—turns out real obstacles are things like being asked to take a fake lie detector test on a date or sulking about having to share someone’s attention while miming during an all-expenses-paid trip to France.

Anyhow, Andi and Nick both have the same goal going into their Last Chance Date: clarity. Andi wants to know once and for all which guy she should allow to hand her a rock, while Nick wants Andi to circumvent Team Bachelorette‘s rules and “find some way” to tell him that he’s The One. If only Nick could “find some way” to spit out a coherent toast without sounding like someone doped his bubbly with Tylenol PM: “To… an incredible… nine weeks… To you, to being here with you right now, to our last date, um, with this whole thing but hopefully not our [sharp inhale] last date, you know, between us. Cheers.”

Nick’s nerves, he explains, come from getting the boot from his last fiancee—and now he’s having flashbacks to his ill-fated proposal. “I remember that day and how exciting it was the whole day,” Nick explains with a deep sigh. All the Bachelorette can offer is a totally unconvincing “It’s gonna be all right.” Perhaps out of overconfidence or a desperate, sanity-preserving delusion, Nick feels completely reassured—”she’s given me all the signs”—and now just can’t wait to go grocery shopping with his future bride. Oh, and his parting gift to the Bachelorette? A vial of beach sand hanging on a hotel-gift-shop gold chain. Dude, I don’t know if you’ve met this woman before, but if you expect to “win” tomorrow, you are really going to have to up your jewelry game.

NEXT: “God, I feel like such a fool”

Morning comes, and Nick and Josh greet the day by opening their sliding doors/curtains and letting the Dominican Republic’s sun bathe their shirtless torsos in golden glory. (Damn, Josh has a little bit of a G on him, doesn’t he?) Meanwhile Andi rambles on in voiceover about her “physical” connection with Josh and her “intellectual, mental” bond with Nick. So who’s going to make the choice, rose lovers—Andi’s brain or her lady parts?

We’re going to have to wait a little longer to find out because—knock knock knock!—there’s a purveyor of truly hideous wedding jewelry at the door. He sells Josh on a honking oval diamond, while Nick chooses… Oh snap—that’s not Neil Lane at the door! (Confession: I did actually yell “Oh snap!” at my TV because I am from 2004.) Nope, instead Nick finds himself face-to-face with Andi who is clearly here to Dear John his ass right out of the Dominican Republic.

Seriously, Team Bachelorette—we really, really don’t give a frog’s fat ass what former contestants think about Andi’s situation… or anything, for that matter.

“I was thinking a lot about what you said at night,” begins the Bachelorette, repeatedly running her hand through her hair. “I thought about how you said the last time you got engaged, you woke up that morning and you didn’t feel that something was right. And I woke up this morning and didn’t feel that something was right.”

Putting Nick through that final Proposal Platform rose ceremony, she continues, is simply “not right.” That concludes the “letting him down easy” portion of Andi’s speech, because she then goes on to say, “Honestly, the last date—I wanted to just have fun and wanted to relax, and as hard as I tried I couldn’t do that with you… I feel like a life with you would be me over-analyzing every single moment.” Dayum, girl—that’s cold!

Nick is understandably thrown by the sudden suck spiral his life’s just taken, and dammit Andi, he wants answers! “When I told you I loved you… I don’t know how you could look at me the way you did and react the way you did and be sitting here right now saying this to me,” he says glumly. “When you looked at me the way you do sometimes, and the way you talk to me and the way you respond to me, I just took it that you meant it.” Oh snap again! Andi “took it too far,” he continues. “We were in the water. I just remember after I told you I loved you, and you said ‘I wish I could say things back.'” The prosecution rests, your honor.

Of course, all Andi can say is “I’m sorry,” and with a heavy sigh she leaves Nick’s room and walks slowly through the rain back to the Escape Van. While the camera angle makes it tough to tell if Nick does an official Balcony CryTM, he makes his hurt known by fishing a handful of rose ceremony boutonnieres out of his backpack and throwing them angrily into the wastebasket. “God, I feel like such a fool,” whispers Nick. “I was so confident about us… I really thought she loved me.”

What is this feeling I’m having while I watch Nick cry in the Reject Van? Good Lord, is that sympathy? For the snotty, arrogant d-bag who thought he could be both on a reality show and be the guy who’s too cool to be on a reality show? Knock it off, self. Nick and his scrub-brush hair will be just fine. On to the Proposal Platform!

NEXT: I got you, babe

Harrison—looking sharp with a fresh haircut and a snazzy suit—greets Josh and escorts him to the red brick road that leads to Andi. And even though there’s only one man standing, Team Bachelorette is still going to make Josh sweat—literally and figuratively—by making him speak first. He professes his love yet again, this time in grand fashion: “We shared our first kiss together, and that’s a moment that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life because from that point forward I knew that I wasn’t alone anymore, that it wasn’t just me, that it was us, together,” Josh tells her. “When I look in your eyes, I see so much beauty, I see so much love, so much passion. I see a woman that I want to give the world to.”

And what does Josh get for all of his romantic eloquence? A patented Team Bachelorette fake-out, in which Andi must circumnavigate her true feelings with a convoluted, equivocating speech that lasts a full minute and 28 seconds before finally putting her husband-to-maybe-be out of his misery: “Josh, I loved you since the moment I laid eyes on you!” Then everything is giddy goo-goo eyes and “babes” and cutesy-yet-endearing declarations like “You’re the one that I want to spend the rest of my life with and have babies with…” I’ll admit it, rose lovers, I really hope it works out for these two crazy kids. (I’d also definitely watch a reality show about their married life, since Andi’s gonna get real pouty real fast once she has to start spending every weekend traveling to Aaron’s football games.)

And we’re liiiiiive in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, and it’s time to catch up with Nick (and Nick’s scarf) back in Wisconsin. Oh man, and now they’re bringing Nick’s poor mom into this? “It’s difficult to watch the show,” she tells us, her voice quavering. “I can’t even imagine what it was like for him because it tore us apart.”

Ohhhh, so this is what that mysterious letter was about! Turns out Nick made an “unscheduled” appearance at the Men Tell All and tried to contact her, but Andi shuts it down quick. “She’s not ready for it yet, to see you face-to-face,” Harrison informs Nick, who just happens to have a letter ready for the former Bachelorette. Dear Andi… Was it the hair? It was the hair, right?

Back in real time, Harrison invites Nick—appropriately decked out in a funereal black suit—onto the stage for some good old-fashioned wound-poking. “The weeks and months since then, what have they been like?” he asks Nick, who chokes out an answer about how it’s “tough” and he’s taking it “day by day.” As for his creepy attempt to track Andi down on her vacation in Mexico… well, chalk it up to all of his “emotions and feelings and thoughts” that he just had to express to Andi: “I didn’t think I’d change her mind, per se, but I just wanted the opportunity [to talk].” To his credit, Nick—who previously said he didn’t think Josh was right for Andi—now has nothing but kind words for the man who bested him. “He’s a great guy. He has a huge heart,” says Nick, his voice breaking. “I don’t think he’ll take for granted what a special person she is.”

Honestly, I just can’t with this Bleachable Moments bulls—.

NEXT: Andi makes an unfortunate and unintentional “below the belt” pun

You ready, Nick? “Not really,” he mumbles. Well get ready, dude, because Ms. Dorfman (for now) is here, and she’s ready to face the music. Rather than being defiant or angry, Nick just seems cowed and defeated—he actually thanks Andi for having the common human decency to read the letter he wrote her. Oh my God, now he’s thanking her for helping him believe in love again. Dude, GROW A PAIR. The hard part, Nick says, is the whiplash of going from being so sure that she loved him to living in a reality where she doesn’t. “It’s not like watching it back, I’m like, ‘Oh, that makes sense,'” he explains. “Not to mention the things you think about that you don’t watch.” Psst, you guys: He means sex. No for reals, let him tell you: “If you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure why you made love to me.” Dude, nice job growing a pair!

And she does NOT love it. “First of all I think that’s a little below the belt,” says Andi, her lips pursed in anger. (No pun intended?) “That’s something that’s private and should be kept private.” (Hell no it shouldn’t! thinks the delighted audience in unison.) “The way I kissed you, the way I looked at you, those things were real,” huffs Andi. “It was real for me!” Yeah, sure, says Nick… but, like, it was “fiancee stuff,” and now he has to re-watch that same mental sex tape over and over and over… Why didn’t she just keep her pants on? Rather than telling him the truth—you ain’t gonna buy a car without test driving it, amirite, ladies?—she diverts Nick’s attention to her feelings-sparing efforts on the morning of Proposal Day. “I did know how you felt, which is exactly why I didn’t have you pick out a ring. That’s exactly why I didn’t have you walk down there and think you were going to propose to somebody.”

[Insert reluctant applause from the audience here]

You know what I want to see right now rather than an extended preview of Bachelor in Paradise? I want to see five security guards holding Josh back from beating the holy hell out of Nick backstage. Meanwhile, I’m not sure how to feel, rose lovers, about Team Bachelorette actually acknowledging what we’ve all known for years: PEOPLE DO IT IN THE FANTASY SUITE! I feel like this show just keeps chipping away at its own facade and eventually they’re just going to start filming the producers arguing about stitching the narrative together in the editing bay. Fortunately, Josh gets in a mention of how he’s been “trying” to knock Andi up—just in case you were worried that he hadn’t yet marked his territory.

Man, I hope they got a discount on Grumpy Cat’s appearance fee—that was just… oh, never mind.

So, rose lovers… it’s over! Are you happy? Sad? Angry? Drunk? Spill your guts in the comments below. And stay tuned for Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog tomorrow. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stock up on Purell—we’re gonna need it for Bachelor in Paradise.

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The Bachelorette

Chris Harrison hosts the romantic reality competition series in which one single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs. Will you accept this rose?

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