The return of Nick Viall
Though many former contestants such as Becca Tilley or the notorious Chris Bukowski have joined or attempted to re-join the franchise in later seasons, none have made as big of a splash as Nick Viall did joining Season 11. At that time, Nick was mostly known for being the “villain” (give me a break) of the previous season of The Bachelorette.
Kaitlyn and her troop of men were in New York, doing a live a rap battle on a group date. After the date, Kaitlyn ran over to a corner of the club to say hello to Ashely Iaconetti, and who should materialize out of thin air other than Nick Viall. I’ve never seen a lead look so shocked in my time watching this show. As Nick did not exactly have the greatest experience on Andi Dorfman’s season, especially given the post-season backlash, it was a surprise that he would make a second appearance on the show. However, give the backstory, it’s not so surprising after all.
As we came to find as Nick and Kaitlyn talked at the club, they had spoken (text, call, video chat) before Kaitlyn was chosen to be the Bachelorette. How much romance had been between them, we didn’t know at the time, but it made for a very intriguing look behind the curtain at the “real lives” of the leads/contestants, at a time when such a thing was not so common on the show. After a couple more meetings in New York, Kaitlyn decided to invite Nick to stay on the show.
Needless to say, Kaitlyn’s men were. not. happy. about Nick coming to the show. Chief among them was frontrunner Shawn Booth, who immediately mistrusted Nick and saw Kaitlyn’s decision to invite him on the season as a sign that their connection wasn’t enough. And so began the storyline that would fuel The Bachelorette Season 11 from there on out.