Nick Viall on Commitment & Corinne: "Nothing She Did Was Bad"

In advance of Monday's mega-episode, we had a 1-on-1 of our own with The Bachelor’s Nick Viall

Everyone knows by now that we’re religious watchers of The Bachelor (our all-Bachelor, all-the-time hub is a clear giveaway) and we’ve got some strong opinions on Nick and the current season. So when we were offered a 1-on-1 phoner with “the most controversial Bachelor ever” we OBVIOUSLY accepted. While Nick played it preeettyy safe during our convo (The Bachelor franchise has defs got him under some strict contracts), we did find out what he *really* thought about Corinne (and the whipped cream), what “raw” even means in terms of a relationship and whether or not he pulled a Ben and fell in love with two women.

Herewith, our conversation in all its rose-strewn  glory.

So we’re down to Vanessa and Raven (because it’s obviously not Rachel). We won’t ask you who you choose in the end but we do want to know, when it was down to the Final Two were you as torn as Ben Higgins, who realized he was in love with two women? Or was the choice more obvious?
I wouldn’t say my choice was more obvious. I certainly learned a little bit from Ben’s experience but every situation is different. I don’t fall easily, but when I do, I fall hard and I think [that in doing that on The Bachelor] you run the risk of getting into a lot of trouble. You’ve seen the season progress and you know, some people have said, “Nick looked guarded” or “every time someone says ‘I love you’ you send them home.” But it was really important to me to hold back and really know that I was sure of my feelings before I said those words to anyone. Every decision is the most difficult decision until the end, not to sound cliché but that is the reality. So I can’t say it was easier than Ben’s because I don’t know Ben but I can say that I didn’t fall in love with two people. I deliberately held back from allowing myself to feel those feelings until I knew what I wanted to do.

Some of our readers feel that your major relationships on the show wouldn’t make it IRL. Did you have any doubts about proposing?
I don’t think anyone who’s gotten engaged in Bachelor World could say they weren’t taking a leap of faith. It’s hard to explain because obviously that world is such a bubble where all you’re really doing is feeling things. So even being in that moment it’s not like you’re detached from reality, you’re aware that you’re taking a leap of faith but you still feel the sincerity of your feelings. There’s a reason why relationships have succeeded in that world and there’s a reason why relationships have failed. I always kind of laugh a little bit because sometimes Bachelor World gets a little criticism when relationships don’t work. But I think most relationships don’t work in life, not to sound pessimistic. A lot of people have heartbreak and a lot of people have a handful of ex boyfriends and girlfriends before they finally meet someone and I think Bachelor World is no different. It’s certainly a huge risk but sometimes it has worked out and it’s had a fairly decent bit of success recently. So who knows, we’ll see. That’s kind of the great unknown.

Related: An Open Letter to Nick Viall, re: Why This Season Sucks

Can you explain your mid-season breakdown? Were you actually thinking about quitting the show?
Are we calling it a breakdown? [Laughs]. No, I was never going to quit. I think everyone has those moments of self-doubt where you think, I don’t know if I can do this. And sometimes you internalize those fears and sometimes you express them—I’m someone who has a tendency to not internalize my feelings. And I felt in that moment I owed it to the women to let them know where I was. I was really big on transparency. I don’t know if it was the right thing to do because I know I freaked them out, but I felt like in the moment I wanted to be honest with them. But I wasn’t ready to just walk away.

In season 21 of The Bachelor: Nick cries to the girls about his doubts


OK, obviously we have to talk about Corinne. She was sent home this week and it was a sad goodbye. But we all want to know…why did you keep her around for so long? Did you genuinely have feelings for her or did the producers make you keep her on for all the dramz?
Yeah, I’ve heard all that. I mean, I certainly liked Corinne and really cared about her. Ultimately, as we all know, I came to the determination that she wasn’t for me and that took me longer to figure out than, say, Lacey in Week Two. Corinne is obviously beautiful and she’s obviously someone who has a big personality, which I’m attracted to. She took risks and she always went out of her way to move our relationship forward. And I’m not just talking about the group date antics, or the whipped cream, that’s all whatever. But she was always taking the initiative and striking up conversation and trying to talk to me. It sounds like an obvious thing but it’s something that’s taken for granted because it’s a challenging world where time is so limited. And as the Bachelor I’m kind of being pulled in a million different directions so it’s the women who, fair or not, really go out of their way to try and drive the relationship forward. Corinne was definitely one of the women who did that—like Vanessa, like Rachel, like Raven. I always get a kick out of Corinne because while she was funny and certainly everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, nothing she really did was bad. You know what I’m saying? Ultimately I realized Corinne, as great as she is, wasn’t for me. But my bringing her to Hometowns was very sincere.

Did you ever think Corinne’s sexual stunts were… a little too much? Taking her top off, the whipped cream, the bouncy castle, the hotel room visit?
I definitely didn’t think it was too much. When you say it out loud you have to admit it sounds kind of silly if I thought a bouncy castle was too much or if I thought someone I was dating knocking on my door was too much. I knocked on Andi’s door and in my mind time is just so precious in that atmosphere. And kind of falling back on your previous question, do I think I was ready to make that big commitment of getting engaged—again, it is a leap of faith so you need to get as much time as possible. And so for someone like Corinne to take the initiative and try to spend time with me I certainly don’t think that was too much. And obviously there was the sexual aspect of Corinne, but I don’t think she led with her sexuality as much as people might think; actually I know she didn’t. We had a lot of great conversations and obviously sexual chemistry is part of a relationship but it wasn’t the driving force. Clearly nothing happened between us that night and I sent Corinne home, ironically, right before Fantasy Suites. So for me the physical chemistry wasn’t the driving force in our relationship, otherwise I think things would have played out differently. I also don’t think whipped cream in a relationship is all that bad.

Corinne's best moments from The Bachelor: when she surprised Nick with a pink bouncy castle


We have to ask, did you get to keep that expensive outfit she bought you during her Hometown Date!?
I did, I kind of felt bad. I was very thankful for it, it was a very fun day but [it made me] slightly uncomfortable. I don’t spend that much on clothes.

This season did give a lot of time to Corinne and house drama—was there anything that happened while filming that didn’t end up being aired that you wish had?
There’s no one specific event. A lot of conversations don’t make it and even though they’re interesting to me, they’re not necessarily interesting to the viewer. Because some of them are maybe mundane conversations that are pertinent in terms of getting to know someone but from an entertainment value standpoint it may not be as entertaining as a bouncy castle scene or something like that. So there’s no one thing that I’m like, “Oh I wish they had shown that.” Anything really entertaining or crazy is certainly going to make TV, it’s usually the slower moments (and there are so many of those) that don’t make it and I don’t think they affect the overall story.

Related: A GIF by GIF Recap of The Bachelor: Episode 10

You talked about wanting a “raw” relationship on your last date with Danielle L. Can you elaborate what that means to you?
The Internet had fun with that [laughs]. I think Corinne is the perfect example—I’m not interested in the Stepford Housewife thing, I’m not interested in the girl who has the perfect resume. I’m more interested in the person who’s just unapologetically themselves. And that doesn’t mean they’re rude, that doesn’t mean they’re inconsiderate, it just means they’re open to talking about their insecurities and fears. Someone who’s just willing to be themselves, willing to be open, and not afraid of saying the wrong thing. When you really feel the most comfortable with someone is when you know you can be yourself, you’re okay with letting them know your insecurities and fears and I think that’s more raw and authentic. When you start always trying to be perfect and say the perfect thing and never try to rub anyone the wrong way, that to me is kind of dull and it’s not something I’m interested in. And I think that’s what I mean by raw, it’s more uncut. It’s not perfected. It’s perfectly imperfect.

In season 21 of The Bachelor: Nick goes to Rachel's hometown


Some of our readers feel that the girls aren’t as interesting as past seasons, making things a little dull. What would you say in response to this?
Really? I think part of that is you’re seeing a lot of Corinne. There’s only so much airtime so there’s only so much to show. It’s hard for me to say, I hope that they find the overall season interesting. I mean, Bachelor Nation has been watching, the ratings are at an all-time high, and I’m very thankful for that. They were very interesting women but you can only show show much.

What did you think of The Bachelor franchise announcing Rachel as the next Bachelorette three episodes before she gets sent home?
Their decision to announce it, you know, they announced me early so I can’t necessarily be critical of it; those decisions are much higher than mine. Regardless of Rachel and I not ending up together I think we had a nice story and I’m sure from a viewing aspect some people might be frustrated from that spoiler but hopefully people will still be interested in seeing how that relationship played out. But overall I’m very happy that she’s the Bachelorette and I think she’ll be fantastic.

If your fourth shot at this show didn’t work out, would you give it a fifth?
I think I’m very much done. Granted I said that two seasons ago [laughs] but I think my time has come to say goodbye to the Bachelor World. Not that I’m not thankful, but it has run its course.

A GIF by GIF Recap of The Bachelor: Women Tell All
Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelor: Women Tell All
The Bachelor: A GIF by GIF Recap of Episode 9
5 Things We Learned From Rachel’s Appearance on Ellen
Welcome to Our New, All-Bachelor, All-the-Time Hub: The Morning After