Last night on the season finale of The Bachelor we all watched Nick Viall *finally* get his happily-ever-after as he got down one one knee and asked Vanessa to marry him, leaving Raven heartbroken. And earlier this afternoon, just a few short hours after all three made appearances on After the Final Rose, we hopped on a media call with Nick and Vanessa—and then, later Raven—to ask a few questions about the finale and their adventures ahead.
So Nick, obviously Bachelor Nation took to Twitter last night to express their feelings about the finale. And a lot of people felt that you made a mistake in choosing Vanessa over Raven—how would you respond to that?
Nick: “I respectfully disagree. The show is set up that way—at the end of every season you’re always going to have people rooting for both women. Bachelor Nation is very loyal and opinionated and I’m very thankful, and I’m sure Vanessa is, for all the overwhelming support she’s gotten along the way and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Another thing that was circling on social media last night were theories that you two won’t last. What would you say to the people who think that?
Nick: “I feel like people say that every season about every couple. So I mean, that is what it is. And I think you saw last night; Vanessa and I are not pretending that we don’t have our challenges ahead of us. We don’t pretend that we dated for a year before we got engaged. There are some obstacles that come with starting a relationship while I date 29 other women (and having to relive that experience). So we’re going to give it our best shot and we’re going to treat each other with respect, we’re going to put each other first and we’re going to do everything we know we should do to make this work.”
Vanessa, during the last few episodes you made it pretty clear that moving away from your family wasn’t something you would compromise on. But you’ve mentioned that you’re moving to L.A. to be with Nick. What changed?
Vanessa: “Well [when] I had that discussion with Nick, I wanted to see what he was open and willing to do. I love my family, I love work, I love my life back in Montreal but like we discussed, relationships are built on compromise. And I was willing to uproot and move to the United States for the relationship and I’m very happy with the decision. My family and my coworkers are very supportive about it too. And right now I’m currently working on putting together a charitable organization for people living with learning disabilities, so I’m bringing a part of my life back in Montreal to my new life here in the States.”
Nick, you said a few times during the finale that you were fighting your love for Vanessa. Why were you fighting it?
Nick: “Well, because there were other women there. And that’s just kind of the name of the game. I think out of not only respect for the other women, but out of respect for Vanessa, you just have to do that. Again, Bachelor World is not normal; there is nothing normal about it and sometimes I think people try to compare the outside world to the Bachelor World. You just can’t do it. I owed it to Vanessa and I owed it to the other women to really make sure about my feelings. And the one benefit of that very imperfect world—the fact that you don’t get a lot of time with any of the women—challenges each relationship and really helps you figure out the genuineness of your feelings. And that I think that alone really helped me (and the other Bachelors and Bachelorettes) be confident in that leap of faith we were taking because we put [our] relationships up against so many challenges and they still came out on top.”
Vanessa, before the proposal you were very unsure if you were going to say yes. Did you still have those doubts while Nick was proposing to you?
Vanessa: “It was a process for me to understand how I wanted things to end up. I was hoping to have those questions cleared for me before proposal and I remember having those conversations with Nick at the end of my last date with him, I wanted to go to bed knowing that I was going to wake up wanting to say yes to the proposal if he was going to propose. I was also scared that something might have shifted in his relationship with Raven and that maybe he wasn’t going to propose to me, but I was confident going into the [final Rose Ceremony] that I was ready to say yes if he was going to ask.”
And Nick, watching it back did it hurt seeing that Vanessa was questioning whether or not to accept your proposal?
Nick: “No. Vanessa and I have had a lot of conversations and in our relationship; one thing I really appreciated was how open we were. Again, I think back to the differences in Bachelor World and I think sometimes people take certain things for granted. And I really appreciated not only Vanessa’s realism, I went into it being realistic as well, but the fact that we were even considering an engagement after not even knowing each other for a very long time is a crazy proposition, so the fact that Vanessa was willing to consider that, as well as ask each other the tough questions, I didn’t take it personally. In fact, I find it very refreshing and it actually gave me a lot of confidence that if I were to ask Vanessa I’d be asking someone who actually really considered it, that really thought about the pros and cons and and about the risks that she’d be taking and what was ahead. Because the last thing I wanted to do was get engaged to someone who was caught up in the moment and didn’t think about all those things only to get engaged and then think, Holy crap what is ahead of me? So I appreciated all of our conversations and I think it has played a lot in terms of how our relationship has been able to move forward since then.”
Raven, during your AFR appearance you were so mature and put together, and there seemed to be no hard feelings between you and Nick. But how long did it take for you to get to that place after the breakup?
“You know, I have so much respect for Nick I don’t think I could ever be mad at him for making a decision when he’s just following his heart and his gut. The worst that he could do, and I told him this, is choose me but not be all into me or 100 percent for me. I just have so much respect for him so that came very easy for me.”
If someone could have told you this was how everything was going to work out, would you still have gone on The Bachelor anyway?
“Oh yeah, absolutely. I think heartbreak, even though it hurts, can be worth it. And I have nothing but great and wonderful memories associated to the experience and to Nick himself, except that one night he broke up with me! [laughs]. But he’s a wonderful person and I would have always wondered, “What if?” And one thing that I can’t do in life is leave a “What if?” lingering, so even if someone would have said I would get my heart broken, I still would have done it because it was worth it.
You seemed pretty confident that Nick was going to propose to you. So in what moment did you realize he wasn’t choosing you during that final Rose Ceremony?
“I think it was when he started to talk, I could read his facial expressions. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, so while I was telling him how I felt I could kind of tell by his face that things weren’t looking good for me. But I had to say what I needed to say and when he was speaking back to me it kind of just solidified what I was thinking. And even though he was saying favourable things, I was getting the gist of it before he even said that I wasn’t the one.”
You mentioned last night on AFR that you’ve officially signed on to do Bachelor in Paradise, which we’re really excited about! Are you going into Paradise with any strategies or are you just open to whatever happens?
“I’m totally open, I have no strategies. I’m just going to be on the look out for somebody that wants to get to know me. I feel like I don’t really have a type so we’ll see what happens.” [That said, when chatting to another outlet, she *did* name-check Evan and Carly as relationship goals. AGREE.]