If you’re a fan of everyone’s favorite borderline polyamorous dating show, The Bachelor, chances are you’re familiar with Nick Viall. He’s kind of hard to avoid, even to the casual viewer, because of the sheer amount of times he’s been on different shows in the franchise. Viall began his reality run (maybe more of a slow jog) in 2014 when he appeared on Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette. He then went on to appear on one more season of The Bachelorette, a season of the summer spin-off series Bachelor in Paradise and even his very own season of The Bachelor. At least you can’t say he isn’t dedicated, right?
As most former Bachelor stars do after their 15 minutes are up, Viall also joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars in 2017. He was eliminated the same week as Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan if you need more proof we are, in fact, living in a simulation.
He’s managed to stay relevant after his retirement from Bachelor Nation through his podcast “The Viall Files,” where he interviews new guests every week. Some standouts include Mad Men actress January Jones (we’ll get to why this is important later), and Bachelor Nation fan-favorite Demi Burnett.
(He was also apparently in a holiday movie called The Christmas Cruise in 2017 but that feels like a conversation for another time.)
Making a career out of his dating life may have been the smartest move he’s ever made. Now that Viall’s no longer making out with girls on TV for all of us to see, here’s a roundup of his dating history from The Bachelor to now.
Viall first rose to fame on Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette in 2014, where he was the runner-up to Josh Murray. This weirdly foreshadowed Viall’s unfortunate history both with being runner-up and competing against Murray, but we’ll get to that a little later. Post-break-up, Viall really went to great lengths to make Dorfman’s season the Most Dramatic Season Ever when he revealed the two had slept together during the filming of the show.
“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,” Viall said during After the Final Rose. Dorfman, understandably, wasn’t happy with Viall for letting that intimate detail slip on national television.
“Did I feel betrayed by [Nick]? Absolutely,” she later wrote in her memoir, It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak into Happily Never After. Despite writing a tell-all book partly about their relationship, Viall and Dorfman seem to be on good terms today. “I’m happy for Nick. It’s been a long road for him, but he has always been genuine about wanting to find love. So I’m happy to see him get another shot at it, and I wish him all the best,” Dorfman said of Viall before his stint as The Bachelor.
Next up is Kaitlyn Bristowe, who really cemented Viall as a professional runner-up when she chose Shawn Booth over him in 2015. Viall’s entrance on Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette was a little odd, considering he showed up two weeks into filming having already known Bristowe. “We FaceTimed a lot but we did not meet in person,” Viall said of their relationship pre-Bachelorette. The pair also infamously slept together two weeks after Viall arrived on the show. After the season ended with Viall so close, yet so devastatingly far again, the two threw a couple of jabs at each other since reality stars never really get less dramatic just because they’re not on our TV’s anymore.
During a Bachelorette game of word association, Bristowe was asked what came to mind when the famous words “The Right Reasons” were said. “Not Nick Viall,” she fired back. Not thrilled with what his ex had to say about him, Viall commented “@Kaitlynbristowe dms me two weeks into filming.. asks me to show up. Picks someone else. Makes jokes post-show at my expense in national interviews to cover own ass. 3 years later…..same ole,” in response. Although this seems like something that may end even a normal relationship, the two seemed to have patched things up now, with Viall even being a guest on Bristowe’s podcast “Off the Vine.”
One might see this as a good time to stop appearing on reality TV shows, but for Viall, this was only a stepping stone to get to his ultimate form as The Bachelor. However, as any good warrior knows, he first had to go through one more test of strength: Bachelor in Paradise. Viall appeared on the third season of BIP in the summer of 2016. He was first enamored with Amanda Stanton, but history began to repeat itself when Murray, who had since broken up with Dorfman, also wanted to date Stanton. I told you this theme would come back around— it’s kind of poetic, isn’t it? After losing yet another woman to Murray, he turned his sights to Jen Saviano.
Saviano, an alum from Ben Higgins season, dated Viall for a good part of the season. Before the season ended, however, Viall was announced as being the next Bachelor. Unless this meant ABC was going all-in with the polyamory spin, this meant Viall and Saviano were done for. Despite the audience knowing this wasn’t going to end well, the finale still showcased Viall looking at Neil Lane engagement rings— a staple of the show. “I’ve fallen in love with you, and I want to continue to fall if you’re willing to catch me,” Saviano said right before Viall ended things with her for 30 other women.
Finally, Viall worked his way up the ladder of success to his own season of The Bachelor in 2017. Everything seemed to be going his way— no being chosen as second best, no competing against anyone else and, most importantly, no Josh Murray. Bachelor Nation thought Viall had finally found his wife when he proposed to Vanessa Grimaldi in the finale episode. However, as we now know looking back, the pair did not work out in the long run. After about only nine months in the real world, they issued a joint statement announcing their break-up. Speaking to Bristowe on her podcast, Viall opened up about having some resentment about it not working out with Grimaldi. “I really wanted to go on that show and meet someone and be like, ‘Finally.’ And it didn’t happen and I really felt for Vanessa and really cared about her and it was this like, this could have worked. And I have a lot of resentment about that,” he said.
As to why they broke up, Viall told Bristowe that it was hard for him to handle the drama Grimaldi had with other fan-favorites on his season, Raven Gates and Rachel Lindsay (who went on the be the next Bachelorette). “When I ended up with Vanessa she, for different reasons, she didn’t get along with Rachel and Raven. But I guess we didn’t last as long because I suddenly was like ‘I’m sorry, I’m not gonna like–that’s an insane point of view.’ I would try to defend her. I would definitely not defend her the way she wanted me to defend her,” he said. Another factor that could have played into their break-up was Grimaldi’s move from Montreal to LA, which seemed like something she never really wanted to do.
After his final stint in The Bachelor franchise, Viall revealed he made out with a guy for the first time in a vlog for the “Call Her Daddy” podcast in 2019. If that wasn’t enough, Spinning Out actress, January Jones, revealed that the two did go on a few dates after much speculation in early 2018. Viall basically started the trend of Bachelor stars being cool enough to date “real” celebrities (I’m looking at you, Tyler Cameron and Gigi Hadid). On an episode of Dax Shephard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast in January 2020, Jones spoke about how Viall slid into her DMs after she blasted him on some late-night TV shows. “Nick slid into my DMs and he’s like, ‘I’m so sorry that your perception of me is so negative. I’d love to take you out to coffee and see if I can change your mind,'” she said.
Jones went on to say that, after initially considering saying no, the pair did go on a couple of dates where she grilled him on all things The Bachelor. “That’s all we were talking about really. But I got a lot of juicy inside stuff.”
As if Jones wasn’t impressive enough, Viall was rumored to be dating Hart of Dixie actress, Rachel Bilson in 2019. The two sparked dating rumors after Bilson was a guest on his podcast, leading to many flirty Instagram comments (no eggplant emojis, I checked). Viall also confirmed that he and Bilson went on a dinner date while on the “Brad Behavior” podcast. After Bilson made her red carpet debut with comedian Bill Hader at the 2020 Golden Globes, Viall responded to The Morning Toast’s Instagram post of the new couple. “It makes it easier I’m such a Barry fan,” he wrote, referencing Hader’s HBO series. Even if their love story only exists in comments on social media, it’s still somehow more pure than every season of The Bachelor he was on.
Last, but never least, there have been rumors that Viall is dating the one and only Demi Burnett from Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor. Burnett is best known for hilariously speaking her mind, and for being in the first LGBTQ+ relationship in the franchise while on BIP season six. Sadly, she and her fiancée, Kristian Haggerty, broke up over distance issues, subsequently breaking every heart in Bachelor Nation. However, when one fantasy suite door closes, another rose is ready to be accepted. That’s how that saying goes, right?
Rumors began to swirl in November 2019 that Viall and Burnett were more than friends after pictures of Burnett leaving his apartment were posted to Reddit. Viall quickly shot down these rumors, though, while speaking about her on his podcast. “Demi is a close friend. She’s a dear friend— We’ve become very close,” he said. “I care very much about her.”
So, there you have it, the complete dating history of Nick Viall… as far as we know. Whether you’re praying every night that Chris Harrison will announce they’re giving Viall a fifth shot at love, or you’re pretty much over him by now, you have to admit— he really doesn’t give up on love.