Chris Harrison Teases His ‘Come-to-Jesus Meeting’ With Bachelor Nick Viall

He has a rosy outlook for Nick Viall — and some shade for Luke Pell. Chris Harrison dished on Viall’s season 21 of The Bachelor and why fan-favorite Pell wasn’t chosen as the lead during a sit-down with Ellen DeGeneres on her eponymous talk show on Thursday, January 12. Watch the clip above!

The comedian, 58, said that she thought Viall came off as “guarded and not sincere” in the first few episodes of the season, which premiered on January 5. Harrison, 45, explained that he had to give the two-time Bachelorette runner-up a pep talk. “At the beginning of this show, he’s kind of skating, and he’s kind of just going through the paces and going through the motions,” he said. “Sometimes you got to have that come-to-Jesus meeting. I had one of those with Nick. It definitely gets to that breaking point of ‘I need you to show up.’"

Nick Viall
Nick Viall ABC/Mitch Haaseth

DeGeneres asked Harrison why Texas-native and war veteran Pell, who was originally the front-runner to be The Bachelor, was ditched last-minute for Viall. Pell exclusively revealed to Us Weekly in September that he got the call about the show’s decision to go in a different direction just 11 hours before his flight out to L.A. for filming.

Luke Pell
Luke Pell ABC/Craig Sjodin

“He was definitely a viable candidate and he was atop the board. There’s always this ongoing debate,” Harrison said of Pell, who came in fourth on JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette. "Luke was definitely a part of that conversation, but at the end of the day, it’s all about sincerity, and when you’re talking to these potential candidates about being the Bachelor or the Bachelorette and their first questions are about money or about potential job opportunities or music careers and they’re not asking about dates, women, love and these things … we really need someone who is actually sincere. I know people think that the show is kind of silly, but we really do take it serious and Nick was a very sincere guy."

The two stars also discussed contestant Corinne Olympios, who made a splash by taking her top off during the first group date and then receiving the date rose. "To a certain degree I feel like she’s my spirit animal, because don’t you want her life? She runs a multi-million dollar company, apparently. She has a nanny,” Harrison joked. “[Viall] probably could have helped her a little bit, but at the same time there's always that gray area of, how much do you as a producer or even you as Bachelor get involved, because you really want to see how this person acts."

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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