Nicki Sterling hasn’t previously made a big ol’ whomping impression on us. We liked her, we thought she was pretty…. but then the case was closed. However, after all the screen time she got last night, and in getting to see her up-close like that… we’re totally loving this lady. She would be great as the next Bachelorette. Don’t you think?

Nicki took Ben Flajnik home to Texas for the hometown dates episode of The Bachelor 2012. They goofed around, shopped, and visited her parents home.

Although her parents seemed traditional just like Kacie B’s had been*, they didn’t seem quite so strict. Instead, they were pleasant and charming. And while they had some questions, they came across as incredibly loving.

* Nicki’s dad talked about giving permission to her future husband to marry her. This is a custom that many people in modern America see as silly, while others couldn’t imagine not following. Our take on this was that unlike with the Boguskie’s, it was about tradition and respect, not control in being able to withhold a blessing and stop an engagement.

When Nicki talked to her Mom, it was adorable. But when Nicki talked to her Dad, things got emotional.

Ben said of Nicki that he loved her and that he had “great gut feelings about Nicki and her ability to make me happy for the rest of my life” – but that doesn’t seem to be enough for him to pick her as his fiancee.

Who would you love to see as the next Bachelorette: Nicki Sterling, Lindzi Cox or Kacie Boguskie?