Nick Viall gets the final rose for being the most popular Bachelor ever, at least when it comes to the number of applicants! “About twice as many women applied to Nick’s season versus other seasons,” a Bachelor show insider tells Us Weekly.
“There was definitely a spike in applications when Nick was announced,” the source continues. “And it was a different type of woman, not girls you usually see, just more offbeat personalities. Somebody like Josephine might not have been interested if it weren’t Nick.”
Many of the women this season were cast before producers made the last-minute decision to name Viall, 36, the next Bachelor. Although Bachelor frontrunner Luke Pell didn’t inform casting decisions, “When Nick was chosen at the end, producers had to do a quick 180 and do some extra casting,” according to the show insider.
The boost in applications may have led producers to give Viall a whopping 30 eligible ladies to choose from, as opposed to the standard 25 (Chris Soules also had to pick among a group of 30 women).
In addition to the larger applicant pool, Viall’s season stands out in its diversity. After years of criticism — and a discrimination lawsuit, dismissed in 2012 — Bachelor producers made a “concentrated effort” to include more ethnicities than ever before, creator Mike Fleiss tells Us.
Viall’s options include nine African-American or mixed-race women, up from five during Ben Higgins’ 2016 season. “Nick was open to anything,” according to the show insider. “He said, ‘I love every type of woman.’”
The final barrier may soon be broken. Adds the source, “At some point, the Bachelor or Bachelorette will be African-American.”
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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