Before America’s beloved trash heap of a reality show returns in January, it’s time for a refresher of this year’s Bach, his storied history on the franchise, and the bios of the thirty (!?!?!) women who have come to win his heart.
The subject of this year’s Bachelor was under much debate. Would any of the white-bread boys of Jojo’s season pull through to be Bachelor? The contestant with the most promise, Jordan, won Jojo’s heart no contest, leaving us with some lackluster possibilities to carry the franchise into the New Year. While I would have loved to see someone like Wells — a polite, interesting, non-traditionally handsome dude — carry the season, it wasn’t meant to be, and seasoned Bachelor veteran Nick Viall was announced as the new leading man in the penultimate episode of Bachelor in Paradise.
For those of you new to the Bachelor franchise, Nick probably carries the record for most appearances on individual seasons of the franchise, save for Dad Chris Harrison or de-facto love expert and former Bachelor Sean Lowe. Nick is also notable for his heel-face turn from villain to understated protagonist. For the cleanly Midwestern version of his bio, see the official ABC website, as we at Minerva have no interest in Nick’s typical Milwaukee upbringing (other than the fact that he has ten siblings, which will make for a FUN hometown date this season).
Nick first made his appearance on Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette. Nick made it to the final two, proposing to Andi, only to be turned down for tried and true scumbag Josh Murray. (Josh and Nick also “competed” for the same woman in this past season of Bachelor in Paradise, though Nick was far less enthused about playing the game this time.) Nick’s real time in the spotlight was on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, where he came in late in the game and won Kaitlyn’s heart, much to the dismay of the other men. Kaitlyn’s season was deftly edited to turn Nick into a villain because he and Kaitlyn had consensual sex before the designated Fantasy Suite episode. Yep. Andi’s tell-all book also paints an intriguing picture of Nick’s sexual habits, but to keep this blog PG-13, I’ll just link to the book on Amazon and let you read it yourself if you are so inclined (sidenote: one reviewer calls this book “the most expensive 310 sheets of toilet paper I have ever purchased” so… you know, maybe get it from the library or your local dumpster). Nick once again proposed to Kaitlyn, and was turned down for the second time.
Nick’s turn on Bachelor in Paradise seemed like a last-ditch effort for him, until it became clear that the Bachelor producers were largely testing the waters for him as a leading man. Nick mostly served as a refreshing viewer surrogate on BiP, pointing out the ridiculousness of the entire affair and enjoying free drinks on a beach rather than indulging in the notion that seventeen days is enough time to meet someone and get engaged (which, yes, is really what Bachelor in Paradise supposes). As someone who found Nick’s vilification on The Bachelorette to be largely unfounded, BiP was a refreshing change of pace for me. With Nick finally taking his turn in the hot seat as Bachelor, I can only hope that he keeps his BiP-realist hat on his head for the course of the season. Plus, I think if Nick has a fourth unsuccessful meeting with Neil Lane, the diamond-eating leather-bound mogul’s immortality might be revoked.
Now that ya’ll have an idea of Nick’s storied history with the Bachelor franchise, it’s time to take a brief look at the women cast as his love interests this season. There are thirty women in the pool, and even just a glance at the group photo this year reveals a pretty racially diverse cast, especially when compared to Ben Higgins’ season, when producers shoehorned Jubilee into the front row as if to shout “SEE? WE CAN BE DIVERSE!” Still, thirty women is a huge amount of people, and there is inevitably some overlap. Five different women listed “dolphin” as their choice for any animal they could be. When asked which fictional character they’d like to be, the majority of the women said either Olivia Pope from Scandal, or one of several Disney princesses. (Special shoutout to Danielle M., the 31-year-old nurse who said she’d most like to be Hermione Granger.) When asked what fruit they would be and why, most of the women gave different answers but followed up with “because they’re tough on the outside and sweet on the inside.” Based on just the bios provided by ABC, none of the women are frontrunners yet.
Worth mentioning is the fact that our Bachelor is 36 — not the oldest Bachelor the show has ever had, but significantly older than the majority of women cast this season. Closest in age are Rachel and Danielle M., who are both 31, but a good chunk of the women are at least ten years younger than Nick. A good number of the women are 23, which I think speaks more to the demographic of people watching The Bachelor than anything else, but as a 22 year old, I have a hard time believing that any of those girls’ favorite movies is really Remember the Titans. If rumors are true, casting for the contestants is largely done before the Bachelor is announced, so I’m hesitant to sling any cradle-robbing words in Nick’s direction, but we’ll have to see how the season pans out.
Tune in this January for a weekly recap of The Bachelor, and whet your appetites with my previous recaps of The Bachelorette here on Minerva.