Aurelie Corinthios
January 13, 2017 12:54 PM


We’re only two episodes into Nick Viall‘s season of The Bachelor — but he hasn’t quite shed his controversial reputation just yet.

During an appearance on Friday’s Ellen DeGeneres ShowBachelor host Chris Harrison was tasked with answering a few questions about Viall, 36, who is currently starring in his fourth stint on the franchise.

“Let’s talk about this situation,” said Ellen DeGeneres, 58. “I liked Nick, but now I’m looking at Nick and it seems like he’s guarded and he’s not sincere. Do you agree that he’s coming off that way?”

“That’s definitely not without merit,” acknowledged Harrison, 45, of Viall, who already sent one contestant home mid-date — and hasn’t held back on the PDA in front of the other women.

“He definitely did a 180° in the public eye, anyway, when he was on Paradise, and I think that’s when people got to see the guy that we already knew and already loved and that’s why we picked him as the Bachelor,” said Harrison. “But you’re right — at the beginning of this show, he’s kind of skating. He’s kind of just going through the paces and going through the motions and doing probably what he’s always done — look, he’s a good-looking guy, he’s charismatic, and I bet that’s been enough for him.”

“You will see as the show goes on … sometimes you’ve got to have that ‘come to Jesus’ meeting,” Harrison continued. “I had one of those with Nick. It definitely gets to that breaking point of: ‘Look, I need you to show up. Like, you can’t just skate through this.’ The Bachelor is a very interesting thing. You can’t fake your way through it.”

DeGeneres also brought up this season’s “villain,” 24-year-old contestant Corinne Olympios, who created drama during this week’s episode after she took her bathing suit top off and had Viall fondle her during a photo shoot in front of the other women.

“Some of this, you have to look at it and go: ‘Okay, this is produced.’ Because it’s good to keep Corinne around because she’s a train-wreck,” said DeGeneres. “But Nick should be protecting her — he should be saying, when he can: ‘You don’t want to act like this, you’re going to come off looking bad,’ — which she is.”

Ultimately, Harrison acknowledged that while Viall could have probably steered Olympios in a different direction, part of the show is allowing the contestants to behave as organically as possible.

“There’s always that gray area: How much do you as the producer or you as the Bachelor get involved?” said Harrison. “Because you really want to see how this person acts. If this is how she really behaves, then that’s [a red flag], maybe.”

The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC and The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs weekdays (check local listings).

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