Nick Viall did not find lasting love during his time on The Bachelor (nor during his stint on Bachelor in Paradise), but maybe that’s just because he was not looking in the right places. After ending his engagement with Bachelor contestant Vanessa Grimaldi, Nick told Life & Style of his desire to date outside the TV bubble. “I look forward to meeting [contestants] as part of the Bachelor family, but I don’t really date in Bachelor Nation anymore. I stay away from it,” he explained.
Clearly, the decision to date in the real world was a good one, as it led the reality star to his latest love. On Feb. 4, 2021, Nick went Instagram official with a video of his girlfriend that showed her sitting on the sofa with her hair wrapped up in a towel. “Ladies and gentlemen…Her @nnataliejjoy,” Nick captioned the sweet post, which was met with a wave of support from fellow Bachelor alums. Though the duo had previously been spotted out together, this was the first time Nick had officially confirmed the relationship. Undoubtedly, the question on everyone’s mind is … could Natalie be The One? Only time will tell for certain. In the meantime, here’s a look back at Nick’s notable ex-girlfriends.
Nick Viall called out Andi Dorfman on live TV
Bachelor Nation was first introduced to Nick Viall in 2014, when he appeared on Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette. The Wisconsin native made quite an impression on his leading lady and went on to place second to Josh Murray — but as we all know, no season of The Bachelor is complete without its share of controversy. In this case, it was Nick who made waves after he revealed on national television that he had sex with Andi in the Fantasy Suite.
“Knowing how in love with you I was, if you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure why you made love with me,” he said (via CheatSheet), slamming his ex and breaking the cardinal dating rule not to kiss and tell. Andi, along with Bachelor Nation, was shocked by the public revelation. “Did I feel betrayed by [Nick]? Absolutely,” she later wrote in her memoir, It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After (per CheatSheet).
As of 2020, however, the pair have put any bad blood behind them, and were even spotted on a run together in Los Angeles, according to People. “Andi and Nick are friends,” a friend of Andi’s told People, after quashing any potential romance rumors.
Nick Viall placed second on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of 'The Bachelorette'
One go-around on the reality series was clearly not enough for Nick Viall, who followed up Andi Dorfman’s season by crashing Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Bachelorette debut. The pair had struck up a relationship prior to the show — talking “every day, all day” — and their chemistry was strong enough that Nick felt comfortable joining the band of men vying for Kaitlyn’s heart. However, the romantic gesture did not pay off and, once again, Nick fell short at the final hurdle, finishing second to Shawn Booth.
Nick took the rejection hard, both because it was the second time he had proposed on TV, only to be turned down, and because he had believed his connection with Kaitlyn to be special. “It was more personal because of the relationship before and all the things that happened leading up to it,” Nick revealed on his podcast, The Viall Files, in 2019 (via Us Weekly). Despite some ups and downs, Nick and Kaitlyn eventually patched things up and even appeared on each other’s podcasts in 2019, according to Us Weekly. “We talk every once in a while,” Nick told the outlet of his former flames, Kaitlyn and Andi. “We’ve run into each other. We’re friends. Like, we’re friendly.”
Did Nick break up with Jen Saviano to become the next Bachelor?
Nick Viall is most well-known for his time on The Bachelorette and The Bachelor (more on that in a minute), so fans may have forgotten that he also appeared on Bachelor in Paradise in 2016. According to People, the reality star fell hard for fashion boutique owner Jen Saviano, and things developed quickly. Despite picking out a Neil Lane engagement ring for the third time, Nick ended the finale of BIP by dumping his on-screen girlfriend. “My biggest fear is that I’m going to regret it,” Nick confessed to Jen (via People), revealing that, while he wanted to say ‘I love you,’ something was holding him back. “I just feel like you deserve better than me,” he added.
Fans cried foul on the split when Nick was announced as the next Bachelor shortly thereafter. (To be fair, the timing seems a little suspect.) But Nick shot down rumors from his fellow Paradise beach-goer, Lauren Himle, that he had been “dating Saviano as recently as a week prior” to the news that he had landed the Bachelor gig (per Us Weekly). “No, none of that was remotely true,” Nick clarified, once again insisting that he was headlining the show for the right reasons. Which brings us to his reign as the franchise’s lead.
Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi broke off their engagement
After two attempts at finding love as a contestant on The Bachelorette, ABC finally gave Nick Viall his big break as The Bachelor. But just five months after getting down on one knee, E! News reported that Nick and his final choice, Vanessa Grimaldi, had called it quits. “It is with a great amount of heartbreak for the both of us that we have decided to end our engagement,” the exes told E! News in a joint statement. “We gave this relationship our all and we are saddened that we did not get the fairytale ending we hoped for. We will continue to be there for each other no matter what.”
If this statement sounds vague, that’s because it is. Nick and Vanessa did not explicitly address the reasons behind their split for years, since they both “feared” the public’s reaction. But in September 2020, Vanessa appeared on Nick’s podcast, The Viall Files, where she shed more light on the breakup. “I don’t think you really ever understood how I felt and I don’t think I ever really understood how you felt,” she said, via Us Weekly, calling the two of them “puzzle pieces that didn’t fit.”
Phew! After this string of rocky on-screen romances, it’s good to hear that Nick is now dating out of the spotlight. Vanessa got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Josh Wolfe, in 2020, so maybe there will be wedding bells in Nick’s future, too.
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