New Bachelor Announced – Yep, I’m Excited.
There’s a new crown prince of Bachelor royalty and his name is Nick Viall. (In case you didn’t watch After Paradise Tuesday night, Nick is the new Bachelor.)
It’s hard to describe the level of excitement mixed with inner conflict I felt upon hearing the news that Nick will be our next Bachelor.
I literally jumped up and cheered (I think I know now what it feels like when your team wins the Super Bowl) at the same time a little bit of my heart died. I know this is going to be fantastic television but at the same time, I am finding it very difficult to see Nick as the same person whose heartbreak I shared two summers ago when he was rejected by Andi and scorned by the nation for being “different.”
The part of me that wanted Nick to be an iconoclast who prized love above befriending men who competed for the same woman he did and boldly asked her on national television why “she made love with him if she didn’t love him” and seemed to be the very same sort of unconventional/outcast soul that I am, is disappointed and disillusioned.
If he really cared so much about finding love, why doesn’t he just do it? He is a famous and desirable reality TV star. He’s attractive, he has a good family, and, as far as I know, he has a good job. He does not need to go on television to find love. And no matter how much I like of what I see of Nick on TV, I simply cannot escape that very REAL reality.
Some of you may recall, I denounced Nick for returning to the franchise and called him out for being a fame whore. I now see that this was the only way he could ever become a lead and I no longer believe that Nick went on Bachelor in Paradise with the intention of finding love. I think the ABC producers saw an opportunity to give Nick his own season and they went for it.
Why Do I Think This?
First, we had two weak candidates from Jojo’s season to become the next Bachelor. Nick, whether you love him or hate him, sucks you into his story. He’s attractive, articulate, confident, and (seemingly) humble. Luke was the best option from Jojo’s season but now that we’ve been watching Nick all summer, do any of us really remember him?
How anticlimactic would it have been to have invested so much of our energy into Nick this summer and then find out that some guy we mostly liked from a season we barely remember now was going to be the Bachelor?
Second, Nick said after Kaitlyn’s season that he “had no plans” to return to the franchise again and subtly snubbed the notion of being on BIP but there was an implication that he would return if he were given his own season. I do think he is trying to capitalize on his fame but he’s anything but dumb.
Nick had to know that it would appear to everyone that he was desperate for the limelight if he went on BIP as a regular contestant looking for the scraps from this year’s Bachelor/ette seasons. So he probably agreed under the condition that there was a good possibility that he would get the lead.
How they framed Nick so that he could transition from BIP to The Bachelor:
It had to seem that BIP was now for the “cool kids” too so the producers couldn’t send Nick in all by himself. They had to bring in another heavyweight so Nick wouldn’t be devalued. Enter Josh Murray, another person in the big leagues of the franchise who just happens to be Nick’s nemesis from two years ago.
It probably wasn’t hard to get Josh to agree to go on the show by telling him he would have the opportunity to repair his image after the damage Andi’s book did to him. (You don’t think the twins came up with that idea out of thin air, do you? I do think Josh genuinely loves Amanda though but I’m not gonna get into that in this post. If I recap this week, I’ll get into it but I may not have time because I just started school online. But I thought it was important to discuss the Bachelor announcement because it’s huge.)
With Josh on the show, Nick’s perceived value was not decreased. In fact, they flipped their own script from Andi’s season where Nick was the villain and Josh the romantic hero. I thought Josh was a tool from the moment he opened his mouth but that’s the story they tried to sell us. So now, Nick looks like the romantic hero and Josh looks like the villain.
By pitting Nick and Josh against each other the way they did, Josh’s aggressiveness and egoism was the perfect foil for Nick’s calm reasoning and humility. Nick came off looking like a shiny new penny and I’m sure there were many people who doubted Andi’s judgment in choosing Josh over Nick which, to an extent, discredited her rejection of Nick.
Let’s recall he was rejected twice. You discredit one of the rejections and then he was only rejected once for real (not counting Amanda who still cared for Nick greatly after rejecting him) and anyone could say that one rejection might just have been due to individual preference.
I wasn’t completely surprised when Nick was chosen to be the Bachelor.
I started to think it was a real possibility that Nick would be the next Bachelor when he was sitting alone on the beach the night before Jen arrived in Paradise and he gave the long-winded monologue about how he had been searching for love for a long time but just hadn’t found it yet. That to me was was more than just foreshadowing of Jen’s arrival on the show. That was a Bachelor audition.
But I doubted myself because that’s crazy, right? No one has ever transitioned from a summer show to become the lead of the next season. However, I also wasn’t kidding when I said several times that there seemed to be a plan in place to make Nick look like a “mensch” and, more recently, if they kept it up, he was going to be the Bachelor. I posted this image in Monday’s recap, a mere 24 hours before Nick was announced:
It really looked that way to me. I don’t know if I have a sixth sense but I do know that I’m a storyteller and I can see with near crystal clarity when I’m being fed a narrative.
This summer, I was being told the story of a man who is flawed and yet yearns for love, who was once a villain but has now redeemed himself, who has matured before our collective eyes, and is now worthy of finding the love he has sought for so long.
That story does not end in heartbreak. It’s a hero’s journey: from folly to disgrace, onward to redemption, and ultimately to glory. This is a fairy tale so you can look forward to the happy ending in March. There will be one.
Does that mean any of it is real?
No. But it’s the story a lot of us want to hear and so the ABC gods shall provide.
But what about Amanda and Jen? Didn’t Nick like them? Didn’t he propose to Jen?
Nick fell for Andi, an assistant district attorney who basically told Juan Pablo to go f*ck himself after a bad night in the fantasy suite. Then he fell for Kaitlyn, an unapologetic carefree spirit with a foul mouth and a wicked sense of humor. Both were “big personalities”, the kind of women Nick claims to go for. Does that sound like AMANDA???
Then there’s Jen. I like Jen a lot. I said early on during this season of BIP that she was the only one I would approve of Nick getting engaged to (like he needs my permission) because she’s intelligent, self-aware, humble, and has what I call a regal bearing. She carries herself with class and grace and it’s completely innate and genuine. But there weren’t exactly sparks flying between them, were there? Jen accused Nick of shutting down several times. Nick liked her but said she lacked the big personality he usually went after.
Was that really going to be the romantic engagement we would have wanted for Nick? Not really.
All of that combined with the knowledge that Nick likely agreed to be on BIP because the Bachelor gig carrot was dangled before his nose begs the question of whether he led Amanda and Jen on or not. My guess is he probably did to some extent.
I don’t think Nick was heartbroken over Amanda by any stretch and Jen certainly seemed to think he was checked out of their relationship. I think he had more of a connection with Jen but maybe the reason he wasn’t settling into their relationship is because he knew if he played his cards right, he’d become the lead.
I don’t know why Nick proposed to Jen or why he cried when she rejected him if he didn’t feel something for her but did you notice how unaffected he was after the announcement was made that he was the new Bachelor? He said something like, “Jen’s great but…” and then shrugged it off as Michelle Collins continued to ply him with praise and questions.
The rejected proposal seemed not to matter much to him. Maybe we’ll find out more next week when they show us what happened.
How I feel about Nick now that I’ve bought into this conspiracy theory:
If the theory I’ve proposed sounds far-fetched to you, recall that Nick took a leave of absence from his job in Chicago before Kaitlyn’s season started because Kaitlyn was chosen by the ABC producers over Britt to be 2015’s Bachelorette before they even started filming (info courtesy of Reality Steve).
Nick could have been on Kaitlyn’s season on night one but then it would have seemed strange for him to show up in the HOPES that the guys would choose Kaitlyn over Britt, wouldn’t it? Not to mention it would add to the drama to have Nick crash the show mid-season.
So, yeah, I think the theory I’ve concocted about Nick’s journey from BIP to Bachelor is entirely possible and likely. The ABC producers don’t do things on a whim. They didn’t just wake up one day while in talks with Luke to be the Bachelor and think, “Hey, Nick deserves this. Let’s give him the gig instead.” They are a bunch of calculating b*tches (male and female).
I said when I found out Nick was going to be on BIP that I was disappointed in him for slumming it for Twitter followers. I no longer think he was slumming it but I definitely can’t deny that he’s something of a fame whore because what else CAN you call what he’s doing when he probably has women tripping all over themselves to get to him in the real world?
But at least I can say now that he’s a self-respecting fame whore which I couldn’t see when BIP started.
If Nick led Amanda or Jen on, I don’t like it but it doesn’t seem like either of them were hurt by the outcome.
From where I sit, Nick is poised to become the most famous person in the history of this franchise and one of the most beloved. He’s the only person to have ever made it to the final two on a regular season twice. He’s the only person to have ever entered a regular season halfway through and be accepted by the lead. And now he’s the only person to have risen from the ashes of a summer show to the triumph of being a lead during a regular season.
I wonder if ABC will ever be able to top this. I’m pretty sure Bachelor nation collectively lost its sh*t Tuesday night when they heard the news. Did Twitter crash?
But I digress. It’s very hard for me to not like Nick no matter his fascination with the glam sham of Hollywood. He’s unique, intelligent, and charismatic in his own understated, introverted way. I hope one day he gets over his obsession with being in the limelight and returns to real life with a greater understanding of what’s truly important in life because what he’s pursuing now isn’t it.
So regardless of the mistakes I see him making, I’m still going to enjoy watching his season. I had honestly considered not blogging about the show anymore because it requires so much of my time and energy but if you like my blog, you can thank Nick Viall for saving it. There’s no way I’m not going to blog about his season.
And in case any of you wonder, as I do, what Nick is really like and if he’s sincere, let’s not forget this video. I don’t know if it will really answer your questions but it’s the only known footage of Nick when he didn’t know a camera was on him. This is Nick on the plane home after getting rejected by Andi. He’s talking to a friend or family member about what happened during her season:
It’s hard to make out everything he’s saying but he seems pretty level-headed. I don’t know if he actually is but I like to think I’m a pretty good judge of character. It really doesn’t take more than a few words or actions for me to get the gist of who someone is even if I don’t know the specifics about them.
I thought there was more to this video than I saw in the clip I posted originally so I went digging to see what I missed. I remembered a part where Nick was trashing Josh. At the time, everyone accused Nick of being a jealous dick for his comments about Josh but the things he said about Josh seemed totally believable to me. Looking back on the video now, it seems like an even more accurate description of Josh after watching him on BIP (except for the part where Josh would do whatever Andi wanted. Ha!).
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I may not be able to recap this week because I’m taking some classes this semester and school started before BIP ended. This article took longer than expected so I’m probably not going to be able to do a recap too. For those of you who aren’t Nick fans, sorry if I bored you by dedicating this week’s post entirely to him. For those of you who are, I hope I didn’t sully your mental image of him.
I haven’t gotten to responding to your comments from last week and this week. It is at the top of my list of things to do. I’m aiming for tomorrow. You guys are super important to me. I really mean that. I never take your comments or emails for granted and I really appreciate the human contact even if it’s only through my computer screen.
I feel bad when I’m late responding but life is crazy. I love all of you.
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Check out these other blogs I think you’ll enjoy:
Therese Odell’s blog – Spoiler free and if you like snark, you will love Therese. (She has a new site. This is the updated link: foolishwatcher.com)
OfficeStace.com – She does a nice, short and to the point spoiler-free recap.
IHateGreenBeans.com – Thorough, spoiler-free recaps by Lincee. Super nice lady too!
Some Guy in Austin – Spoiler-free guy’s perspective on the shows.
BachelorBurnbook.com – A compilation of the funniest tweets about all things Bachelor.
Reality Steve – SPOILER ALERT! Reality Steve is pretty caustic but love him or hate him, he’s entertaining and he’s the only truly accurate source for spoilers and “dirt” on contestants.
Sharleen Joynt’s Blog – Sharleen Joynt is the absolute bomb. She’s by far my favorite former Bachelor/ette contestant of all time. So glad I was finally able to find her blog to share with you guys. She is unsurprisingly the most insightful blogger about the Bachelor/ette/IP franchise.