Still shocked? Even though we've had a night to sleep on it, the reveal that Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise star Nick Viall will be the new Bachelor is still probably the most unexpected thing that has happened to us in all our years of watching reality TV. It's actually a choice that makes a lot of sense, given Nick's journey from villain to hero and fan favorite. Now, he gets the ultimate redemption, and a fourth chance to find the love of his life on TV.
While it's easy to imagine the Nick we now know and love on Bachelor in Paradise as the star of next season of The Bachelor, we can't forget where the ab-tastic software salesman has been over the past three years. He's done some things right, he's done some things wrong, and at times, he has probably been one of the most polarizing non-Chad characters in the franchise in recent memory.
Let's start from the beginning.
The Bachelorette, Season 10
Nick V., the then 33 year-old software salesman originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin, emerged from the limo pretty casually. He was super nervous, but he didn't try anything crazy—no props, no weird lines, just a smile and a polka dot tie. He didn't make much of an impression on us, but he made a big one on Bachelorette Andi Dorfman. She gave him the first impression rose, and even he was a little confused.
He continued to impress Andi with small gestures, like making his own date card during a cocktail party, and writing her cheesy notes that melted her heart. However, he also made some mistakes. Remember that mime date in France? The guys were supposed to be learning how to mime, but Nick refused to play along.
The other guys complained that he was cocky, and Andi went to confront Nick about his behavior...only to be wooed with a love letter.
Things didn't get much better from there. Nick was one of those guys who seemed to forget the point of the show, and got upset whenever he was not the one on the date with Andi. Andi, however, didn't see what everyone else saw. When he pretended to be her husband at the hotel so he could get access to her room, she thought it was sweet, and ended up making out with him instead of shutting the door in his face, and then worried that the rose she gave him meant he had a target on his back to the other guys.
Of course, we all remember that Nick and Andi had a fabulous time in the fantasy suite, regardless of how we felt about it, but alas, Nick and Andi's love was not meant to be. Andi picked Josh Murray, breaking Nick's heart into a thousand pieces in the process (though at least she did it before he was supposed to propose). Her love with Josh wasn't meant to be either, but that was to be revealed later.
On After the Final Rose, Nick broke The Bachelor's big unspoken rule of "Don't talk about the fantasy suite" by talking about the fantasy suite on live TV. "If you weren't in love with me, I'm just not sure why...why you made love with me," he said to Andi. She was officially displeased, but to be fair, he always felt like she had taken things way too far with him if she wasn't going to pick him in the end.
Andi and Josh called off their engagement a few months later, but don't worry—it was not the last we heard of them.
The Bachelorette, Season 11
After we spent a few months watching a farmer try to find a woman willing to move to Iowa, it was time to follow one Kaitlyn Bristowe on the path to love. Apparently, before she went on the show, she had started chatting with Nick over social media, so he made the genius decision to show up during one of her group dates and ask to join the show.
It went really well for him. Like, so well, for the most part. Kaitlyn was ecstatic. The other guys were furious that he was even there, since they knew all about Nick after watching Andi's season, but Nick and Kaitlyn had a grand old time. They made out everywhere. Nick was the only one who could make us think that maybe Kaitlyn wasn't going to choose obvious frontrunner Shawn Booth after all.
Nick was also right at the root of the most dramatic storyline of the season, after he and Kaitlyn got very hot and heavy during a one-on-one in Dublin. They ended up having sex, regardless of the fact that they were nowhere near a fantasy suite. Kaitlyn immediately regretted not the act itself, but the fact that it was inevitably going to cause problems in her relationships with the other guys.
In the end, Kaitlyn let Nick get all the way to getting the ring out before she let him down, and after a season of very mixed feelings, we actually felt bad for him as he took the world's saddest limo ride.
"I'm the biggest joke in the world," he said, dejected.
Over a year later, Shawn and Kaitlyn are still going strong if their Snapchat accounts are any indication.
In 2016, Andi Dorfman released a brand new book called It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After. While it didn't officially give any names, it pretty clearly detailed her relationships with both Josh Murray and Nick Viall. While what was said about Josh was much less flattering, Nick didn't come off looking all that smooth either.
Probably the most embarrassing revelation was that during their time in the fantasy suite, Nick asked Andi, "Would you rather make love...or f--k?," which actually makes the question he asked during After the Rose a whole lot more entertaining.
Nick later admitted that most of what was said about him in the book was true, so he assumed that most of what Andi wrote about Josh Murray must also be true. Josh claims the book is 100 percent fictional, but we have our doubts.
Bachelor in Paradise, Season 3
Andi's book was a major topic of Bachelor in Paradise, which Nick joined in season three as part of his redemption arc. His official descriptor was "runner-up," and he made it clear from the beginning that his former status as villain was an official part of his story.
He immediately hit it off with Amanda Stanton, but then Josh Murray arrived on the scene. Somehow (thanks to the book), Nick and Josh's roles had switched, and Josh was now the bad guy. He made that especially obvious when he immediately went after Amanda as well, and she fell for him, too.
Nick was sad at first, but he dealt with it well. He spent his time hanging out with Jennifer Saviano and giving advice and support to the other contestants. He warned Amanda about the book, and fully admitted that some of it was true. He did impressions of the other contestants. He became funny, and sweet, and one of everyone's favorite people on the beach, while Josh was the one terrorizing pizzas and throwing fits about sleeping arrangements.
Plus, you know, those abs!
Basically, Nick managed to transform into a guy we're happy to watch try to navigate his way through 25 different relationships over the course of a season. So congrats to him on a journey well-earned. Maybe it will actually work out this time!
The Bachelor will air on ABC in the spring.