The 35-year-old will return as the newest leading man to the ABC reality series in January

By Natalie Stone
September 02, 2016 05:05 PM
Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty

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> Nick Viall is ABC’s next leading man, but even he is still in shock that he was tapped to headline season 21 of The Bachelor.

Three days after it was revealed on Bachelor in Paradise‘s after show that the 35-year-old will have his fourth shot at love on an ABC series, Viall says, “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”

“The look when it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. Couldn’t feel more fortunate. Incredibly thankful for all the support. We are going to have some fun! #thebachelor,” Viall posted to Instagram Friday accompanied by a selfie of him looking surprised.

Viall, who attempted a third shot at love on this season of BiP, said he has no regrets about returning to ABC multiple times.

“I really don’t have any regrets about it. Bachelor Nation has not always been kind, but I’ve never wanted to have past experiences dictate or have a negative effect on how I make future choices. I’ve said no to the possibility of coming on Paradise [before], but once the opportunity came to me, I had a lot of reluctance, a lot of doubts, but then I said, ‘Screw it. Why not?’ ” he told Glamour. “Once I made the decision, I really tried to temper expectations. I think my hope at that point was to go into this with an open mind and an open heart. I figured worse case scenario, I’d get to see some old friends and hopefully make some new ones. And if I was really lucky, I’d meet a girl.”

Throughout his two stints on The Bachelorette and most recent appearance on BiP, Viall has collected both fans and haters along the way, which he realizes. But the newest face of The Bachelor is addressing the many misconceptions people believe about him.

“There are so many opinions about me, I don’t know. You know, I think at least maybe the best way to answer that is that I come in here with a reputation. It’s funny when other cast [members] meet me, they always have a moment of pause, like, ‘I don’t know how I should feel about you. Should I like you or should I hate you? I don’t really know,’ ” he told the publication of starring on BiP.

He continued, “A lot of people say I’m a lot nicer as a person than they thought I was, but I don’t know what that means. I’m definitely snarky; I can be a smart ass. I’m quick to open my mouth before I think sometimes, and I’ll put my foot in my mouth a little bit. I like to think I’m a nice guy and have a good heart, and I’m a loyal person. For the people who do get to know me, they tend to be a little surprised [by that]. Also, people weirdly tell me that I’m a lot taller in person.”

Bachelor

host Chris Harrison is excited for Viall’s journey and told PEOPLE of the decision to choose Viall over fan-favorite Luke Pell: “So many names get thrown around and at the end of the day, as producers, we have to try and think and decide what’s best for the franchise and who is the most deserving and sincere person. At the end of the day, we all looked around the table and nobody could say it wasn’t Nick. You can’t shoot holes at the fact that he is just the most deserving and sincere person.”

Season 21 of The Bachelor returns to ABC in January.

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