Bachelor Nation was shocked — shocked — Tuesday night, when following the latest episode of Bachelor in Paradise, it was announced that Nick Viall was to become the next Bachelor. This was surprising for two reasons: First, we already know that Viall had formed a relationship on Bachelor in Paradise with Bachelor Ben castoff Jennifer Saviano. Uh, spoiler alert?
But the main reason the decision came out of left field is that ever since JoJo Fletcher’s season 12 of The Bachelorette wrapped up in early August, fans have been waiting for the announcement that either Luke Pell or Chase McNary would carry the torch, as it is customary in Bachelor universe to choose one of the finalists from the previous respective season.
In fact, this will be Viall’s fourth appearance on a Bachelor franchise. Viall first competed for Andi Dorfman’s heart in season 10 of The Bachelorette, only to make it to the final two to get dumped for Josh Murray, who Dorfman later claimed was emotionally abusive in a tell-all book. Not letting that get him down, Viall returned to The Bachelorette the next season to try to win over Kaitlyn Bristowe, only to once again make it to the final two and get sent home.
Viewers felt bad for Nick yet again when, after initially making a connection with mother of two Amanda Stanton on Bachelor in Paradise, Josh (who was somehow invited on even after winning his season and having a lot of really bad stuff written about him!) came swooping in and stole her away from him.
So why Nick and not Luke, or Chase, or even runner up Robby Hayes? Host Chris Harrison spoke with People about ABC’s decision:
He has just become that perennial, second place guy who wants to find love and is as sincere, if not more sincere, than anybody about finding it. It’s about giving him his chance to find love. Who deserves it more than him?
Viall, who turns 36 next month, will be one of the oldest Bachelors in the 20+ seasons of the show, considering that Ben Higgins was only 26 when he filmed his season. One person decidedly unimpressed is “Bad Chad,” who characteristically tweeted his displeasure with the choice.
Likewise, we still don’t know why it didn’t work out with Nick and Jen, but all things will be revealed in time.