Tonight, a blast from Nick Viall’s past is making a cameo on “The Bachelor.” As promos have shown, in tonight’s episode, former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman appears at Viall’s hotel room for a heart-to-heart.
The preview of this conversation is, in typical “Bachelor” fashion, set up as extremely dramatic, foreboding music and all. “The last time Andi knocked on my hotel door, she actually broke up with me,” Viall says. “So what the f— is she doing here now?”
The two appear to talk about what it’s like to have the tables turned: He’s the one doing the breakups now, so and he says he can relate to Dorfman more now. In stopping by, their time on the franchise is coming “full circle,” Dorfman says. Before Dorfman and Viall’s chat, let’s examine how far he’s come.
Viall received Dorfman’s first-impression rose.
Now a seasoned pro on Bachelor Nation — Viall has been a contestant on “The Bachelorette” twice, “Bachelor in Paradise” once and now he’s the lead on “The Bachelor” — he was just a baby contestant in this scene. He mumbled and appeared quite nervous, surprised and, in his words “ecstatic” to be receiving the first-impression rose, an honor that he bestowed on Rachel Lindsay this season. Lindsay will be next season’s Bachelorette, although she’s awkwardly still a contestant on “The Bachelor.” We’ll likely see her let go on tonight’s episode. But Dorfman and Viall’s seasons underscore the importance of getting that first-impression rose.
The week before hometown dates, Viall shows up at Dorfman’s hotel room to surprise her and go for a walk.
“Going into home towns, I need to know where she’s at,” Viall said to the camera while competing on Dorfman’s “Bachelorette” season. “I have a pretty good idea, but this was another opportunity to confirm that.” They go for a walk, hand-in-hand. Dorfman notes that this surprise move is “breaking the rules.” Again, Viall is nervous. In Viall’s season as the bachelor, someone else copies his own pre-hometown playbook of showing up unannounced: Corinne Olympios. After showing up at Viall’s hotel room, Olympios quickly lured Viall into bed, but he told her to slow down. Viewers are led to believe that they didn’t sleep together. This instance of restraint gave viewers the sense that Viall has learned a thing or two from his many seasons of the “Bachelor” franchise.
Viall has made it to the final two — twice. And he’s been dumped on national television — twice.
Dorfman ended things right before Viall would have proposed, choosing Josh Murray instead. (They’ve since broken up, and Dorfman has written a book about her experiences on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”) Then, on the 2015 season of “The Bachelorette,” Viall showed up and became a contestant vying for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s affection. In the finale, however, Bristowe chose Shawn Booth. In his season of “The Bachelor,” viewers can see how Viall’s past breakups have affected his choices. For instance, in the episode before home towns, Viall broke up with Danielle M. and Kristina in separate, one-on-one conversations. They were both shocked and tears followed, but he maintained that it was more considerate this way by skipping the high-pressure rose ceremony. These kind of decisions have the remaining contestants calling Viall “unpredictable,” but he does seem to have learned from his past public breakups.
“If you weren’t in love with me … I’m not sure why you made love with me.”
Viall made this pointed statement toward Dorfman on their “After the Final Rose” special following her “Bachelorette” season, implying that she shouldn’t have slept with him in the fantasy suite if she wasn’t going to choose him. “That’s below the belt,” Dorfman responded, and much of Bachelor Nation was deeply offended. (As my colleague Emily Yahr noted at the time, Viall broke a respected “Bachelorette” rule by talking about what actually happened in the fantasy suites episode, where the two finalists get their own camera-free night with the bachelorette.) It’s taken years for Viall to repair his image after slut-shaming Dorfman for rejecting him. We’ll see what advice Dorfman has for Viall when she shows up tonight. After a tense hometown date where Vanessa Grimaldi’s father refused to give his blessing to the bachelor for a maybe-proposal, Viall clearly has more to learn.