E! on Monday revealed the top five finalists in each category of the newly minted E! People’s Choice Awards (airing Sunday, November 11 at 9/8c).
REALITY TV STAR OF 2018
Nikki Bella, Total Bellas (E!)
Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation (MTV)
Joanna Gaines, Fixer Upper (HGTV)
Khloe Kardashian, Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!)
Antoni Porowski, Queer Eye (Netflix)
COMPETITION CONTESTANT OF 2018
Nikki Bella, Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Brynn Cartelli, The Voice (NBC)
Eva Igo, World of Dance (NBC)
Cody Nickson, The Amazing Race (CBS)
Maddie Poppe, American Idol (ABC)
On the heels of the most-watched season of Total Bellas, E! Entertainment has greenlit a fourth season of the hit series following the lives of Nikki and Brie Bella. Season 3 of Total Bellas saw Nikki make one of the most challenging decisions of her life in opting to call off her high-profile wedding to John Cena, Brie balancing being a new mom and a successful businesswoman with her sister, and Daniel Bryan’s sensational return to the WWE ring. The third season also gave viewers a glimpse into Nikki and Brie’s continued growth as entrepreneurs as they expand their businesses and launch new brands, from apparel to wine with Birdiebee and Belle Radici.
“Nikki and Brie’s willingness to be open about their struggles and celebrate their triumphs with their fans is what makes Total Bellas such a hit with our audience,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, Executive Vice President, Development and Production, E! “The Bella Twins embody the strong, empowered women that we celebrate here at E!, and we are so excited to see what the future has in store for them next.”
“I’m so excited for another season of Total Bellas and hope our journey continues to inspire, motivate and connect with our Bella Army,” said Brie.
“I can’t wait for our fans to join me in the next step of my life. I promise that it will be a fun, real and heartfelt adventure,” added Nikki.
The Bella Twins will also continue to be featured on E’s hit series Total Divas, premiering its eighth season on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The new season will cover what comes next for Nikki and Brie, the return of Paige and the road to Nia Jax’s highly anticipated Raw Women’s Championship Match.
Nikki Bella and Brie Bella also serve as Executive Producers of E!’s Total Bellas.
Total Bellas Season Finale: “We had this amazing love story and it’s just come to an end”
Nikki Bella has been breaking up with John Cena for the entire third season of E!’s Total Bellas. Even when they got back together, she was in the process of leaving him, transitioning to a life where she can follow whatever ambition or path she sets for herself. Their reconciliation was more a last grasp at a straw she had realized, on some level, she no longer wanted; her wedding prep was less a march toward the aisle than a hurtle toward a brick wall, and each sacrifice she was asked to make was another straw weighing down the metaphorical camel’s back. And on the Season 3 finale, she finally makes the decision she’s been lurching toward all year long: She ends their relationship.
But anybody looking for the tear-soaked drama of their first split will be disappointed. The final choice happens offscreen, and not only is the episode largely split into “before” and “after,” the first half finds its focus not on Nikki but on Daniel Bryan. The Beard’s grueling road back to the ring concludes at WrestleMania 34, where he has his first match back and gets choked up over a photo of his daughter, Birdie, watching him wrestle. He and Brie Bella can finally breathe a sigh of relief now that their trials have come to an end, and he is able to once again pursue his dreams and do what he loves.
For the most part, Nikki isn’t even onscreen during this bit, save for a giddy tour of WrestleMania Axxess and a brief visit to the wedding venue. It’s only when Brie and Bryan are out to dinner for their anniversary that the phone calls start, and we hear that the wedding might be off again. We don’t know what the inciting incident was, or even if there is one, but we don’t really have to: Nikki has been slowly arriving at this decision for a long time. She sacrificed her own desires to be with Cena and, by her own admission, never really told him how heavily the choice to do so weighed on her. They split and she tasted a life that was her own, only to sacrifice that to go back to him. She simply can’t give up anything else anymore, and Cena’s request that she give him a final decision within a few days is more pressure than she’s willing to allow.
It’s no accident that Cena has been shrinking from view for all 10 episodes of the season, and it’s no accident that we don’t see him here. He began the season as a constant, then started slowly appearing less and less as he and Nikki grew apart. In the penultimate episode, he was just a voice on the phone; in the finale, he only appears briefly in the beginning, and then he’s gone. He is out of sight and almost out of the picture, so literally distant from Nikki that everything he says reaches us thirdhand, and we don’t even see her break it off with him.
It feels right, somehow. A season that began about them ends with her, sharing a glass of wine on the beach with Brie, both having put an arduous journey behind them and ready to start fresh. And there’s no better way to do that, of course, than spend some time with your girls.