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"The Bachelor" recap: Faced with a sure thing versus an uncertain future, Nick makes a surprising choice

ABC/Terhi Tuovinen(LOS ANGELES) -- On Monday’s season finale of The Bachelor on ABC, Nick Viall proved that even though he’s had his heart broken twice before, the third time may indeed be the charm.

Nick’s family joined him in Lapland, Finland to share their thoughts on the final two women, Raven and Vanessa. While Raven was an early favorite, having bonded with Nick's little sister Bella and the entire clan while visiting Nick’s hometown early in the season, Vanessa was still able to make an impression.

The Canadian beauty managed to win over Nick’s dad during a heartfelt one-on-one, but Nick’s father remained concerned his son might be perpetually chasing heartbreak with his attraction to strong women like Vanessa. Concerns about where the couple would live lingered as well, given Vanessa’s established life in her native Montreal.

On their final one-on-one, Nick took Vanessa horseback riding in the snow, to a cabin where he surprised her with a visit from Santa Claus. Even after their romantic date, Vanessa was bothered by the fact that Nick was weighing his affection for her against what he felt for another woman. Nick was left feeling that even if he did propose, there remained a possibility Vanessa might not accept.

Raven’s final date with Nick seemed to be a perfect one. In a throwback to their roller-skating one-on-one in his hometown, Nick took Raven ice-skating on a frozen lake, even going so far as to lie down on the ice for a mini-make-out session. The fun continued as the Bachelor surprised the Arkansas native with a play date with three Husky puppies.

After picking out an engagement ring, Nick was ready to make his decision. Faced with an almost-certain yes from Raven versus an unknown answer from Vanessa, Nick made a surprising choice. Telling Raven he wasn’t quite sure he was in love, and he was feeling like his heart was somewhere else, Nick let the dark-haired girl from Arkansas go.

Ultimately, Nick embraced his feelings for Vanessa, admitting he’d perhaps been running from his emotions. Nick got down on one knee, and the Canadian bachelorette accepted both his proposal and his final rose. The two rode off in a horse-drawn sleigh.

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