Nick Viall on the Bachelor Moment He Considered a 'Fiasco' — It Might Not Be What You Expect!
"Sometimes taking two polarizing personalities can help navigate my feelings for each person," Nick Viall writes exclusively for PEOPLE
He was devastated twice on The Bachelorette and had a summer fling on Bachelor in Paradise, and now Nick Viall is looking to find a love that lasts as The Bachelor‘s latest leading man. Read his exclusive blog for PEOPLE every week and follow him at Twitter, @viallnicholas28!
Hey guys! We’re back where we left off with Corinne and Taylor confronting one another at the rose ceremony. To back up a little, let me just state the obvious: This is an environment that is filled with all personality types, so of course it is unrealistic that everyone will get along. It’s clear when watching Corinne and Taylor, that just happens to be the case.
At the time, I never knew their issues with one another was this intense, but of course I was aware of tension. I knew that Corinne’s assertiveness and occasional napping had rubbed some of the other women the wrong way. I was also aware that Taylor is a person who will confidently state her opinion, personal and professional.
Up until this point, Corinne had not wasted any of her energy focusing on how the other women were approaching this environment — while Taylor had seemed to critique Corinne’s every move determining whether Corinne had a right to be here. I didn’t know much at the time, but I did know that with two polarizing personalities, sometimes more comes to the surface if it’s all there right in front of you. While yes, I had questions about these women, I was still very intrigued by them.
Corinne is a woman full of life, and as she states herself, color. I love how assertive she is, and I admire the confidence that she has even under pressure. She never seems to lose sight of who she is. Taylor is a woman who is undeniably impressive. It’s attractive how successful and driven she is in her career, all of which she worked hard for. It’s interesting, for a woman who carries herself like Taylor, to allow herself to open up emotionally. And like Corinne, she is a woman who stands by who she is and what she wants in life. I decided then that a two-on-one date would be the best to navigate these relationships.
Wisconsin had been amazing to share with these women, but it was time to keep moving. Leaving a place I still call home was bittersweet, but I was pretty excited to be heading somewhere I’d never been before: New Orleans. The second I reached New Orleans it felt unlike any other city I’ve ever visited. The unique culture of this beautiful and lively city hits you all at once. The architecture, food, music and people — all full of life. I was excited to kick things off right away and explore this city.
Choosing Rachel for my one-on-one this week was easy. From the very first night we’d had an instant connection and chemistry. Over the past few weeks I felt like we had built something special and this was a date that I felt could really push our relationship forward. This day was pretty much all about exploring New Orleans together, and it felt like something we would do as a couple outside of this world. Of course, helicopters and yachts are romantic and unbelievable experiences — but there is something about just walking through a city with no real plan that makes a bond so much greater. It was also pretty cool that Rachel had just been to New Orleans, so she was giving me the inside scoop on these new experiences for me.
From eating the most delicious beignets to dancing in the streets and listening to some amazing live music, my date with Rachel couldn’t have been more fun. I also have to admit that those beignets were highly addicting. They should really warn you because I didn’t play it cool at all. I think I may have eaten five or six, I can’t lie. But OMG were they worth it. Thinking about it now, I could probably toss back another dozen.
Also, what you guys didn’t see was the show we stopped into. Lolo, is this really cool artist that has an unbelievable voice and stage presence. Not to brag, but I think Rachel and I tore up that dance floor and Lolo loved us! But with Rachel on my arm, who wouldn’t? Am I right? But honestly, I ended up downloading a bunch of Lolo’s music later that day and playing it for Rachel that night as a surprise.
As yummy as the treats were — and Lolo was also really cool, I have to say that the second line was by far the coolest part of our day. What a welcoming feeling, to have a city open their arms to anybody in such a joyous way. This tradition is something that I’d never seen in any city in my life. The music, the energy and the sense of community was intoxicating. I remember feeling such a high this day and reflecting on my decision to give her the first impression rose the night we met. I was reminded of how confident I felt about her then, but on this day, also so confident in what was to come.
The energy of our day carried into the evening. The location where we had dinner was so cool, I wish you guys could have seen more of it. This place is the home to hundreds of Mardi Gras floats that range from traditional to absolute insane. We started the evening off running around like kids playing hide and seek, and stealing a few kisses in private away from the eyes of the floats.
It was really moving when Rachel opened up about the reason she had just visited New Orleans not that long ago. It is tragic to lose someone close, but having that reminder to take advantage of every opportunity that life gives you. Rachel is someone who in the past, had expressed how it was hard for her to open up, but that evening we connected more than we ever had before. I couldn’t help but feel this desire to let Rachel know just how excited I was about our relationship — I was crazy about her! Moments like this can be few and far between and I didn’t want to waste the momentum that we had.
Rachel has a way of allowing herself to be vulnerable without losing confidence or questioning herself. By the time our evening ended, I had almost forgotten that there was a rose on the table, but there was no doubt that I was giving it to her, and there was no doubt that I was starting to feel like this relationship had a big future.
RELATED VIDEO: Why Olivia Caridi Thinks Bachelor Villain Corinne Will Last Longer Than She Did
New Orleans Group Date
When you’re on the road it can feel like your routine is a little off. So, the morning before the group date, I challenged Chris Harrison to a run. We don’t actually see each other that much during filming, so it’s nice when we can find a quiet moment to catch up. We thought it would be more fun to run through the city than the gym. I mean it was a beautiful day and New Orleans is amazing, so why wouldn’t we want to explore? Four or so miles later, I think we were both ready to drop dead… not so much because we weren’t used to running a few miles a day, but we ended up getting a little lost. We had to backtrack and it ended up being a little more of a fiasco than expected. But all in all, I was able to get my workout in and see a little more of the city then I had anticipated!
For the group date, we drove outside the city to one of the most beautiful estates in Louisiana. This was a date I’d been looking forward to for a while. Not only was I excited to see the women who I hadn’t seen since Wisconsin, but I absolutely love history. Knowing how much history was connected to this place, I was excited to explore. Now, I wouldn’t exactly file ghost history in with the usual historical interests of mine, but this place was something else. I’m not the most superstitious person, but I thought it was be fun to do some ghost hunting. I figured if there was ever a place to encounter ghost activity, it would be here.
This place was beautiful, but I have to be honest, it really did get creepy once the sun set. There was some crazy inexplicable stuff happening that night! I mean, come on Jasmine, you should never have touched the hat or the statue! But actually … Jasmine, much like me, went into the evening not quite believing in Mae’s ghost, but I think I can speak for both of us and say that by the time we left, we certainly had a different opinion. I really loved how seriously Vanessa and Jaimi took the evening. Jaimi was nothing but courteous regarding the spirits around her and I respected that. Whereas Vanessa was afraid, ok no, lets be real — terrified, but still took the evening in stride and ended up finding peace with the spirits and the experience enjoyable. This evening could have been a total disaster, but it was like a fun spooky night at summer camp and we all had a blast.
One thing I think that we’ve all seriously enjoyed was finding out that Alexis is terrified of Nicolas Cage, the actor. Alexis had admitted this fear the week before in Wisconsin. So naturally, I immediately went on Amazon and ordered a Nicholas Cage mask. You guys have no idea how much I had looked forward to this moment. Knowing this spooky date was coming up it was the PERFECT time to strike, but I can’t believe when I went to surprise her she felt it coming! It was still totally hilarious, and I think that I may have a small part of helping reduce this fear of hers.
Even though there was a lot of scary things happening that evening, I was able to still get quality time with the women. It had been a week since my date with Danielle L. and it was really great to sit down with her and reconnect. I had such an amazing day with her in Wisconsin, and it was important to me that we still had that spark. After such a great date, I decided to give the rose to Danielle M. Getting the first one-on-one is a great feeling at the time, but it can also be hard as weeks pass. But Danielle was someone I had already connected with, and that evening I had felt like we were still right where we were that first date. I wanted to make sure she knew I still felt that way and was confident in us.
RELATED VIDEO: Caila Quinn & Olivia Caridi Dish On Corinne & Taylor’s Bachelor Face Off
The Dreaded Two-on-One
Now, what I know you guys have all been waiting for ….
Coming off last week, I knew tensions were boiling over between Corinne and Taylor. And as I said before, sometimes taking two polarizing personalities can help navigate my feelings for each person. A two-on-one can be awkward — actually, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be. But I thought it would be the best way to figure out which relationship had potential and which one would be best to say goodbye to.
My relationship with Taylor and Corinne at this point, while different, were probably equal in terms of how far we had progressed. There were things about both women that intrigued me, but also plenty I still had questions about. I had never been to the bayou before, but man, how fitting was it for this date.
I reminded myself going into this date that there are two sides to every story. When Corinne shared her side of the story with me about Taylor, I was shocked. I wasn’t going to fully ingest the information until I spoke with Taylor, but it was still disappointing to hear. Once I sat with Taylor, it became more clear what the issues were about.
When you strip it down, it became clear that Taylor believed Corinne lacked the emotional maturity to get married or really to be dating me at all. Listening to Taylor talk, it became obvious to me that Taylor didn’t realize that she was guilty of the same thing she saw in Corinne. Like Corinne said, Taylor was telling Corinne that she didn’t call her stupid while implying that she was stupid. You can say a lot of things to someone while being pretty clear between the lines.
From my point of view, Taylor either wasn’t self-aware enough to understand how she was coming across or she thought that I wouldn’t notice. Either way, it just felt like at this point that Taylor was too fixated on proving to me that Corinne wasn’t right for me rather than focusing on our relationship. Giving Corinne the rose had just as much to do with saying goodbye to Taylor as it was to validate my relationship with Corinne. After a pretty intense day, I was looking forward to some one-on-one time with Corinne.
I was totally caught off guard when Taylor showed up at dinner to interrupt Corinne and me. What was she there for? Did she want to come back? Did she have more to say to Corinne? Was there something else I didn’t know? A million questions flooded my brain. Saying goodbye is never easy, but having someone come back unexpectedly is no cake walk either. Taylor certainly isn’t saying goodbye without a fight. I think you’ll be interested in what Taylor has to say and how I take it. But that is just the beginning.
Next week the drama heats up as the women and I travel to St. Thomas. There I’m faced with shocking truths and unexpected goodbyes. I find myself questioning, can this journey lead to a happy conclusion? Next week you’ll see how it all goes down.
Thanks for reading,
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.