How’s that for redemption, rose lovers?
After teasing us for over two weeks, The Bachelor overlord Mike Fleiss finally announced the big news tonight via Twitter — and no, it wasn’t who you think:
Two-time Bachelorette runner-up and current Bachelor in Paradise contestant/narrator Nick Viall will be the one handing out the roses come January. And this time, he can’t lose! The news came as a surprise, as up until this point former Bachelorette contestant Luke Pell appeared to be the Bachelor frontrunner — but on the bright side, now he’ll have more time to focus on his fledgling country music career.
It’s been a long “journey” for Nick, who earned the wrath of Bachelor Nation at the 2014 After the Final Rose special when he shamed Bachelorette Andi Dorfman for getting physical with him in the Fantasy Suite.
His villain role thus secure, Nick turned up a few weeks into the next season of The Bachelorette to sweep Kaitlyn Bristowe off her feet — both on and off camera.
Unfortunately for Nick, his sexual chemistry with Kaitlyn could only take him so far as the final two, and he found himself dumped yet again on national TV.
Humbled yet clearly still starved for attention, Nick once again showed up on our TV screens this summer as a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise — and it was there that his image-rehab began. He proved himself to be quite witty (“I feel like God mailed it in the day he made Chad”), and he wasn’t afraid to offer blunt-yet-potentially life-changing advice to Paradise’s resident stage-five clinger, Ashley: “This isn’t love, it’s infatuation, it’s an obsession… You will never be with Jared.”
Nick’s most redeeming moment, however, involved the discussion of Andi Dorfman’s tell-all book, It’s Not Okay. The book became a hot topic on Paradise when Dorfman’s ex, Josh Murray, joined the show — and promptly stole single-mom Amanda from Nick. Given that Dorfman portrayed Josh in her book as emotionally abusive and jealous, many of the contestants tried to warn Amanda about him — including Nick. Rather than use the opportunity to trash his ex (as Josh has, many times), Nick gave Amanda some very thoughtful yet even-handed advice. “I was in Andi’s book — some of it is true. It happened… But there’s a lot of inaccuracies about me,” he told Amanda. “I don’t know if [Josh] is a good guy or a bad guy. I don’t know if what was written is true or false. I think you’re a smart girl, and I think you’ll figure it out. But ask the right questions.”
So what say you, rose lovers? Are you happy with Team Bachelor’s choice? Cast your vote below!
The Bachelor will premiere in January 2017 on ABC.