Three days after ABC’s “The Bachelorette” finale, things are progressing as usual. People magazine reports that star Andi Dorfman and the winner, Josh Murray, are moving in together; another tabloid claims the couple is already on the rocks. Pretty much the norm for the end of any season in ABC’s unseemly reality dating show franchise.
However, this year has an unusual twist thanks to a very special bombshell dropped in the finale on Monday. Runner-up Nick Viall, still stung by the fact that Andi chose Josh, revealed on the live “After the Final Rose” special that he and Andi slept together — just before she accepted Josh’s proposal.
Predictably, that’s all anyone has talked about since the episode, as Nick broke the cardinal “Bachelorette” rule — what happens in the “fantasy suites” (where the two finalists each have a camera-free night with the bachelorette) is a closely guarded secret. Until now, apparently, as Nick uttered the now-famous line to Andi: “If you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure why, like, why you made love with me.”
So, does Nick regret being so honest? He’s been making the rounds to various media outlets this week to do some damage control, and as of Thursday, the answer finally seems to be: Maybe.
After all, his admission was not exactly well-received, as Andi, visibly startled, called the remark “below the belt” and said what happened should have stayed private. Out in the real world, he aftermath was quick and very polarizing. Nick received lots of social media hate as people assumed he was just seeking revenge; Fox News’s Bob Beckel jumped in to call Andi a “slut.” (He later apologized for using the word “about the woman who slept with two guys.”)
Now, Nick is trying to backpedal, and he’s sticking to this story: He had no intention to “humiliate” Andi, and didn’t even know that he was going to talk about their sex lives. Hey, he was just as surprised as anyone when the details slipped out. (Hate when that happens! The producers probably had nothing to do with it.)
Anyway, on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday, Nick — reminding us all that he was heartbroken — sounded even more contrite than in previous interviews. The “GMA” reporter asked if, looking back, he wished he had showed more discretion. Nick at first dodged the question and definitely avoided the phrase “making love.”
“I spent two incredible months [on the show] with Andi, and I shared a lot of meaningful moments with her, not just, you know, what I mentioned,” Nick said, adding that he’s disappointed if the “polarizing, controversial” comment took away from their relationship.
“What I didn’t intend to do was put her on the spot or hurt her feelings,” Nick explained. “And for that — I feel bad about that.”
“You got a lot of backlash on social media,” the reporter reminded him. “People were very upset.”
Nick reiterated that he didn’t initially plan to divulge anything and that yes, it is indeed unfortunate that viewers were angry.
Still, he finally admitted (perhaps realizing this might not be the kind of publicity that he necessarily wants) though he doesn’t think that sex “is anything anyone should be ashamed about” discussing, he knows could have approached his hurt feelings differently. And, you know, possibly not with millions of people watching.
“I mean, I wish I could have maybe been more delicate,” Nick said. “And maybe talked about, you know, everything that was meaningful to me.”
But then, people wouldn’t be still analyzing the finale days later. We’re thinking the whole incident probably worked out just fine for everyone, particularly ABC.
(This post has been updated to reflect Beckel’s later apology.)