Is Bachelor Nation living in 2015 or is it just Us? Nick Viall is responding after Kaitlyn Bristowe suggested Bachelorette producers manipulated her feelings about him when he joined season 11.
The 37-year-old former lead raised eyebrows late last month when she opened up about Viall, 42, on the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast.
“They really sexualized Nick to me. … One producer actually said to me, after I would kiss him, she’d come in and, like, wipe my lips and, like, lick her lips and be like, ‘Oh, I just want to know what that tastes like — to, like, make out with Nick,’” Bristowe, who made waves at the time when she slept with Viall before the fantasy suites, claimed. “They really, like, put them on a pedestal to me. … That was part of their tactic. … I was brainwashed.”
The season 21 Bachelor, who joined Bristowe’s cast mid-season after connecting with her pre-production, was informed about her remarks by his “Viall Files” podcast cohosts on Tuesday, February 7.
“Was she suggesting because someone asked her, I guess, what my breath smells like or how I tasted, that from that moment forward, she was incapable of decision making?” Viall asked.
The Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday author added that he believes Bristowe may be telling the truth but doesn’t think what she described was “brainwashing.”
“I can picture who it was. I know [which producer] it was, if it’s true,” he said, adding that he doesn’t think it was as sexual of a reaction as Bristowe implied.
During the same interview, Bristowe noted that she didn’t congratulate Viall on his recent engagement to Natalie Joy because of his previous advice not to reach out to exes. She also joked that he would only invite her and fiancé Jason Tartick to their nuptials “for headlines.”
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Viall said on Tuesday, confirming that he has no plans to invite Bristowe to the ceremony and wouldn’t expect to be invited to her wedding either. “I think the whole thing is kind of dumb. … I don’t, like, defend the show. [But] it’s cherry picking that some of my peers seem to do when it’s beneficial to them to criticize certain things, when I tell you who felt really manipulated and brainwashed on Kaitlyn’s season — this guy. And it wasn’t just from producers.”
The Wisconsin native concluded that he’s “eternally grateful for how things played out” and has expressed that before.
“While angry and brainwashed and manipulated in the moment, I have said thank you to people — including Kaitlyn — about how things played out,” he continued. “Whether they were deserving of that thank you or not, or whether they had my best intentions in the moment or not, I’m still grateful for all of it. And so, I just try to look at it from that level and that lens from, like, 30,000 feet [away], rather than, ‘Today, I’m going to play the victim because it serves me well and tomorrow, I’m going to pretend when it’s affecting someone else that it’s a TV show.’”
Back in 2015, Bristowe got engaged to Shawn Booth. The twosome split in 2018. Viall, for his part, was briefly engaged to Vanessa Grimaldi after his 2017 season. He and Joy got engaged last month.