Chris Harrison has always been defensive of Nick Viall, but after last week’s raunchy reality TV romp, The Bachelor host admits he had to reel the ABC star in. The Hollywood Reporter posted a video of Harrison’s visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in which the longtime host responded to DeGeneres’ observations that the current Bachelor star “seems like he’s guarded and not sincere.”
Chris Harrison agreed with Ellen’s assessment of Nick’s smug behavior on the first two episodes of the new season.
“You’re right,” Chris admitted. “At the beginning of this show, he’s kind of skating. He’s just going through the paces and the motions and doing probably what he’s always done, his defense mechanisms. Look, he’s a good-looking guy, he’s charismatic, and I bet that’s been enough for him.”
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Nick Viall as The Bachelor was not an easy sell for some fans of the ABC franchise. The two-time Bachelorette runner-up turned up on Bachelor in Paradise last summer where he won over some viewers, but the skepticism has always been there regarding the bad boy best known for blabbing about his Fantasy Suite business with Bachelorette Andi Dorfman.
In his starring stint as The Bachelor, Nick has not yet impressed viewers. He has already come face-to-face with a one-night stand from his past (whom he quickly sent packing), then made out with two topless contestants during a photo shoot date, and his cocky behavior has been apparent. Harrison told Ellen it finally came to a point where he had to have a heart-to-heart with The Bachelor star.
“You will see as the show goes on — as I tell my kids, sometimes you have to have that come-to-Jesus meeting, and I had one of those with Nick,” Chris said.
“[I told him] ‘Look, I need you to show up. You can’t just skate through this.”
While DeGeneres didn’t agree with Harrison’s assessment that “you can’t fake your way through” The Bachelor, the ABC host did tease that Viall is now a changed man. In fact, Chris Harrison even compared Viall’s journey to find love to a rehab stint.
“Nobody comes out of this on the other side unchanged,” Chris said. “You get stripped down, really, emotionally. I know this sounds silly because it’s entertainment and we all laugh and we watch this show.”
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Chris Harrison has long touted Viall’s sincerity, especially after he was chosen as the last minute star of The Bachelor instead of fan favorite Luke Pell. And in the Ellen interview, Chris reiterated that the Season 21 star is “a very sincere guy, and you will see throughout this he was very serious about going on this ‘journey’ and finding love.”
But Chris Harrison’s description of the show’s lead is very different from what some insiders have said about him. During the filming of The Bachelor last fall, a show source told In Touch Weekly that Viall was far from a Prince Charming as he navigated his fourth try at finding love on the ABC reality franchise The insider revealed that the reality star constantly talked to his harem about the importance of sex in a relationship and that some of the women were turned off by his arrogant behavior, which included handing them breath mints before he would kiss them.
“A lot of the girls think Nick isn’t taking the process seriously, that he only became The Bachelor to hook up with multiple women,” the insider told In Touch.
But Chris Harrison has long maintained that his series star is on the show for the right reasons. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Harrison said sincerity is the biggest factor when choosing the male lead of the show.
“We can just only have one person and, at the end of the day, it’s very important for us to have someone who is sincere,” Chris told ET.
“Who is sincerely going to go through this and, I hate to be cliche, for the right reasons try to find love? If we did make that last-minute decision to go with Nick, there’s a reason … at the end of the day, sincerity is huge to us.”
Take a look at the video below to see Chris Harrison talking about the skepticism surrounding Nick Viall.
[Featured Image by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]