LOS ANGELES — In 2014, during “After the Final Rose,” a live TV special that followed “The Bachelorette” finale, the season’s runner-up Nick Viall turned to the bachelorette, Andi Dorfman, and said: “If you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure why you made love with me?”
The backlash was immediate. “I definitely wish I didn’t say it,” Mr. Viall said in an interview in June. “I’ve learned to accept that I said it, owned that I said it and learned from saying it.”
“It’s definitely a butterfly effect,” he said. He’s not proud of that moment of forthrightness, but if it hadn’t happened, he may not have appeared on three additional seasons of “Bachelor” franchises: the Kaitlyn Bristowe-led “Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and, finally, as, actually, “The Bachelor”
Would he have starred in a redemption arc in which he introduced meta-commentary about the shows within the shows themselves, and then on his relationship podcast, “The Viall Files?” “He’s very honest, which is something that you don’t see,” said his friend Rachel Lindsay, contrasting him with others in the world of “The Bachelor.” “People are so often trying to be like another lead.”
Mr. Viall said that he prided himself “on being self-aware.” “I don’t want to be the butt of a joke or whatever,” he said. “The good news from me, from a reality TV standpoint, I can’t not be myself.” Without that inability to not be himself, would Mr. Viall be publishing “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday,” a book of dating advice that comes out Oct. 4?
When we talked in his modern home in Los Angeles, Mr. Viall, 41, expressed very few regrets aside from his confrontation with Ms. Dorfman. One is having the “Viall” in the title of “The Viall Files” rhyme with “file,” rather than how his surname is actually pronounced: Vy-AHL.
Mr. Viall’s home is filled with art, some of which he is more knowledgeable about than others; he chose many of the modern pieces himself, but when I asked about a reproduction print of a painting by Gustav Klimt, Mr. Viall said, “Pardon me?” It emerged the more classic works were furnished by his girlfriend, Natalie Joy, a 24-year-old model and surgical tech who works for a plastic surgeon who specializes in eye lifts.
Mr. Viall lives in the Valley …….