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, so we’re back this week and coming off a pretty honest conversation with Vanessa. The pool party had been going great, but clearly took a turn when the women saw Corinne and me in the bounce castle.
It is disappointing to hear so many of the women question Corinne. I’ve been in Corinne’s shoes before so maybe that is why I’m more sensitive to it. I’ve said it before, but Corinne is always putting us first … and just because she’s not always thinking about the other women, doesn’t necessarily make her a bad person. However, I am dating these women and I respect the fact that some of them felt uncomfortable for seeing Corinne and me more intimate in the bounce castle than they would have liked. I would never have intentionally put that in the women’s faces like that. I thought it was a more private moment, and I do regret the effect it had.
Moving forward, I became a lot more sensitive to that, I wanted to make sure that the women knew I understood where they came from. I appreciated Vanessa for taking me aside and speaking her mind and bringing up her concerns. But at the end of the day, I need to be able to make my own decisions on what I feel is right for me — and that meant not sending Corinne home. I still felt a strong connection with Corinne and I wasn’t going to let the women’s personal relationships skew my relationship with her.
TIME FOR A CHANGE! Am I right?!
I know how the first few weeks in the mansion can feel like a hundred years. With tensions running high, it was perfect timing to start traveling. We were all packed up and ready to head south for our first destination. But the day before we traveled, Hurricane Matthew came in and we had 24 hours to reroute. I couldn’t think of a better plan B than to head to my hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
I was thrilled to share my roots with the women. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve lived in Wisconsin, but it’ll always feel like home to me. The leaves had just started turning colors and it was the perfect time in fall to visit. It was important to me that the women experienced Wisconsin in the best way possible, so I made sure that they had a house off of one of the lakes. Growing up, some of my best memories are visiting my grandparents who had a house on a lake not too far from Waukesha. It’s the best way to enjoy the natural beauty of my home state … well that and a cheese hat. Which, only those of you who watched Andi’s season will remember, I refused to copy this time around! NO MORE CHEESE HAT!
It was wonderful to catch my parents up to speed on how this whole journey had been going up until this point. My family has always been my biggest support. It was really touching to see my mom get emotional, and I think we all saw me choke up a little too. I know she just wants the best for me, and hopes that I find that lasting love. My parents are the biggest role models in my life, and if I find a woman that I can have a love like they have for one another, I’d be the luckiest man in the world.
It was so surreal to see the women run up to me in my hometown. If only my high school self could have seen this coming, he would never have believed it. He would also be making fun of how tight men’s pants are these days, but whatever, I used to frost my hair. I think we all gain a bit of perspective with age. With the excitement of being back in Waukesha, I wanted to kick off the first date of the week right away. Danielle L. was someone who over the past few weeks I had felt a stronger and stronger connection with. I was looking forward to getting to know her better and continue that growing relationship.
Walking around Waukesha was super fun with Danielle. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was special to share stories about each other’s hometowns and pop in and out of the old spots. When we came across the bakery, I was dying! I mean on one hand it was awesome, I mean there is a cookie with my face on it. But on the other, I was embarrassed to be a one-man cookie. I couldn’t leave Danielle out of the equation, so it was awesome that they let us go in the back and design our own cookies. Talk about a small town hook-up perk — once you’re a local, you’re always a local.
Running into Amber was totally crazy, but then again, Waukesha is a pretty small town. So, it is only a matter of time before you run into exes, I suppose. We had always had a really good friendship after our split, so it was actually a really great surprise. I just hope Danielle didn’t feel totally awkward, but she was ready with questions! That’s what I like so much about Danielle, she just rolls with the punches in confidence and style.
After spending such an amazing day with Danielle and sharing so much about my past, I was eager to hear more about her. When Danielle opened up about her family and her parents’ divorce, it really struck a chord with me. It came as a shock to her and I know that must have been confusing for her at such a young age. Sitting with her that evening, I knew we wanted the same things, that when we find that person we want to spend the rest of our lives with, we want it to be a lasting love. I think in a way we both use our parents as an example of how we want our future to be.
Danielle really moved me on this date, the whole day had brought me back to thinking about my entire journey. Being in my hometown, thinking about first kisses, dates to dances and teenage breakups. It felt really good to be with a woman I could see such an amazing future with, who also made everything in my past make sense, because I was sitting with her. Ending our night with the Chris Lane concert was just the final touch to what was already an amazing day. The energy from the crowd was electric and made me proud to be from Milwaukee.
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Group Farm Date
Now, I might be from Wisconsin, but I’m hardly what you call farm savvy. I will say, I love the outdoors and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. Wisconsin is all about their dairy farms, and today I wanted to see who would milk the situation and who would have a cow.
With Corrine on the group date, I was worried there could be some tension lingering with the other girls, but I didn’t want to focus on that. I just wanted everyone to enjoy the date. But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but think this day could turn into an udder failure. For a date full of shoveling cow poop these ladies rocked it. I mean Josephine wore WHITE JEANS to the farm, and I’m pretty sure she was the first to dive in. I was crazy impressed to see the women boot-up and get their hands dirty. Having Jaimi school me on milking the cow was also hilarious. I know it looks like I was only trying for a few seconds, but in reality I had been trying to milk the cow for what felt like an eternity. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.
One of the funniest moments of the day that you didn’t see was a little something we called, the cheese roll. Picture this: All of us on top of the hill with farmer Charlie holding a wheel of cheese. Charlie tossed the cheese down the hill, and the second the cheese was tossed, it was a race to the cheese. I mean, I’ve never seen girls move faster in my life. Kristina made it to the cheese first and the other girls victoriously cheered around her. It was seriously the funniest and weirdest moment of the day and Kristina continued to snack on the cheese for the rest of the date.
Heading into the evening, I was looking forward to cleaning up and trading in the milk for a cocktail. But really, I was looking forward to seeing how the women enjoyed the day and continue to grow my relationships. I was so blown away by the book that Vanessa gave me. It was clear that her students and coworkers care so much for her, this gesture was very sweet. Flipping through the book, there were photos from school, events, and they even added family stuff too. It gave me such an inside view into her life, and I appreciated it so much.
Kristina is a woman I’ve been intrigued by from the start of this journey. The first night we met, we never actually spoke after our introduction. But she lit up during the group date that week and I felt an immediate spark. There is a quiet confidence that Kristina possesses. When I’m around her, I feel like our connection is authentic and exciting. I walked away from our conversation knowing I needed more time to hear about her life, especially what she specifically wanted to share. I wanted to make sure Kristina knew how serious I was about our potential and so that is why I wanted to give her the rose. I walked away from that evening feeling really great about what was starting to blossom between us.
My date with Raven was something I was looking forward to all week. I felt like this date was the closest thing to what a real weekend with my future wife could be like. I was a little nervous introducing Bella and my parents to Raven. I knew that my family would absolutely love Raven and embrace her with open arms. I was nervous about Raven feeling like I put the pressure on her and that there would be a chance that she would get into her head. But all of that was melted away the second we hit the field. Raven not only jumped into the action with the girls on the team, but she couldn’t have been more of her charming and amazing self with my entire family. I mean, she asked about spanking!
Skating was by far a highlight for me. I must admit, I couldn’t wait to impress Raven with my skills. Not many people know this, well if you watched the episode you do now, but I am a grade-A roller skater. I might be bold enough to say, I am like the Michelle Kwan of wheels. With Raven by my side and skating to “Kiss Me,” it could not have been a more perfect ending to a day.
When Raven opened up about her last relationship, I felt like I understood her so much more. I too have been cheated on, and I feel like we could relate on how it made us question ourselves. But we both came out of it building up our self-worth. Hearing Raven reflect on how her past made her stronger was very attractive. I know it took a lot of courage to tell that story. I never condone physical violence, but I can’t imagine being a woman put in that situation. I’d known for a while that Raven had a good heart, but that night I learned she is feisty and full of so much more power than I’d ever imagined. When I went to sleep that night and thought about our date, I was so excited about our future. Raven is a woman who would make a fierce partner and her confidence in herself is what I desire most in someone who could be my wife.
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I was looking forward to the cocktail party. There is always a looming sense of grey during cocktail parties because they’re followed by a rose ceremony, but it does allow us all to spend more time together.
It was disappointing to hear some of the women give Danielle L. a hard time about pulling me first. I know she already had a rose, but in this environment, putting your own relationship first is key. I did the same thing during Kaitlyn and Andi’s seasons, and I don’t think pulling first like that should hold so much negative weight. I celebrate bold moves, and I felt like it was great that Danielle pulled me. We came off such a high from our date, and I fully support wanting to end the week on high.
Now, this cocktail party took a fast turn. It’s hard for me to comment on the Corinne and Taylor fight … yet. Trust me, this argument picks up pace and continues into next week. It’s important for me to make sure that we all hear both sides of the FULL argument before talking about it. What we saw here is just the start of what becomes a full on blowout. You’ll have to tune in next week to see how not only Corinne and Taylor hash out their differences — but how I handle their feud as well.
But this fight doesn’t just stop at the rose ceremony, I decided to put all our relationships to the test and have a two-on-one date with them. Believe me, what happens on the two-on-one next week will shock you — it certainly shocked me.
Thanks for reading,
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.