Piping hot tea! Nick Viall spilled never-before-known secrets about his relationship with Kaitlyn Bristowe — including their secret FaceTime conversations and mid-season hotel rendezvous — before he vied for her heart on The Bachelorette.
It was harder for Viall, 38, to say goodbye to Bristowe, 33, rather than Andi Dorfman, whose Bachelorette season he first appeared on. “They were very different [breakups]. The one that was more personal was Kaitlyn. … It was more personal because of the relationship before and all the things that happened leading up to it,” he explained on the Sunday, January 6, episode of his “Viall Files” podcast. “Everyone knows at this point that Kaitlyn and I had chatted before. I haven’t shied away from that.”
The Natural Habits creator noted that he messaged Bristowe on Twitter following her stint on Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor in 2015. “That’s how the seal was broken,” Viall explained, adding that the pair were talking “every day, all day,” on the phone and via FaceTime before Bristowe was offered the role of Bachelorette.
“I remember when she found out [that there was going to be two Bachelorettes on her season] she was really upset,” he explained. “At that point, she was just kind of a friend and we were kind of going down that path of flirting and talking ridiculous things and then that kind of snowballed when she went on [Jimmy] Kimmel. I remember her texting me and saying, ‘Hey, make sure you watch.’ She was like, ‘I’ll throw you signals. I’m going to keep touching my lip with my fingers.’ She did that!”
The former Bachelor also revealed that he and the “Off the Vine” podcast host had a secret conversation before her first night at the mansion, where she and Britt Nilsson would be meeting their suitors, who would in turn choose which woman they wanted to pursue.
“At that point, she was filming her packages and was like, ‘Oh my God, they’re taking my phone away.’ That night, she snuck and called me from her hotel room and we had our goodbye conversation. We were both like, ‘I feel like saying something crazy but I’m not going to say it.’ It was this puppy love thing. The big X fact was, there’s two Bachelorettes,” he recalled. “I remember saying to her, ‘I’m going to be honest, I hope you don’t get picked.’ The thought was, if you don’t get picked, you’re going to fly to Chicago and come visit me. It was a conversation.”
Following his appearance on Dorfman’s Bachelorette season in 2014, Viall was offered a role on Bachelor in Paradise. He declined, telling producers, “Too bad Kaitlyn is your Bachelorette, because then it would’ve been different.”
“I just kind of said that for fun,” he insisted. “The next day, I got a call from a higher-up and they were like, ‘Do you want to meet her?’ I was following the season like a crazy fan, via Reality Steve, with no anticipation of coming back on. And then, from the time the producer called me and said, ‘Do you want to meet her?’ I was in New York two days later.”
When the ABC star arrived, he was “pretty confident” that Bristowe would ask him to stay, but “prepared” himself for the alternative. The Canada native messaged him on Twitter saying, “It’s Kaitlyn, call me. Here’s the number.”
At the time, Viall thought Kaitlyn knew he was in New York — but she didn’t. “She’s talking to me and she’s like, ‘It’s going really well and the guys are really nice but, like I miss you and I feel like it’s different from what we had.’ We talked all night long,” he confessed. “She was like, ‘Just come.’ And I said, ‘Well, what would you do if I come?’ She said, ‘I’ll just fake it with the rest.’ She did say, ‘There is this one guy. I do like him. I have this connection with him.’ Come to realize that was Shawn [Booth] at the time.”
Bristowe invited him to her hotel room after he made his shocking debut on her season. “I put this hoodie on, snuck into her room and we were hanging out all night,” he said. “It was a lot of fun. We did not have sex.”
Viall admitted that he hesitated to speak openly about his former feelings for Bristowe over the years out of respect for her engagement to Booth, 31. However, the pair called it quits in November 2018.
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“She did me a huge favor in picking Shawn. They clearly were a good match. They didn’t work out. They dated for three years. I don’t think Kaitlyn and I would’ve ever come close to that,” he disclosed. “My biggest takeaway in my story with Kaitlyn, sometimes people say things in the moment and we shouldn’t get caught up in those moments.”
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