8:01am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Chris Harrison on Picking Nick Viall as the Next Bachelor: "It's Just Crazy Enough to Work"
The Bachelor host Chris Harrison acknowledges that Nick Viall may not have been every fan's first pick to be the next Bachelor but insists that the two-time runner-up is sincere in his quest for love.
Harrison appeared on ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday morning to explain why producers chose to go with Viall over other previous contestants including fan favorites Luke Pell and Chase McNary from JoJo Fletcher's recently ended season of The Bachelorette.
"Ultimately, at the end of the day, when we were discussing all the candidates — and Luke and Chase were definitely on the board — it just got down to that final question of: Who is the most deserving? Who is the most sincere? Who have we watched time and time again really come on this show to find love and just come up short each and every time?" Harrison said. "While Luke and Chase were good guys, we all just kept coming back to Nick, and it's just crazy enough to work."
Harrison said Viall has proven that he takes the show and his search for love seriously, given that he's fallen in love twice on The Bachelorette. In 2014, he was the runner-up on Andi Dorfman's season, which ended with Dorfman engaged to Josh Murray (they have since broken up); a year later, he again came in second on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season (she is still engaged to Shawn Booth).
"The good news is that it's worked for him," Harrison said. "He has fallen in love on the show, and he has sincerely tried to make it work. Unfortunately, he's just come up a little bit short each time. But he's done his part. He will give himself to this process. At the end of the day, this wasn't an indictment on Luke or Chase as much as it was more a compliment to Nick in that he is that sincere guy that really does want to make this work."
Harrison acknowledged that some fans weren't happy about the choice but noted that it's difficult to please everyone and urged viewers to "trust us and go on this journey with Nick. I think you'll be happy."
Viall most recently returned to the franchise in this summer's Bachelor in Paradise, where he once again faced off against Murray for the same woman, Amanda Stanton (Murray and Stanton are still dating).
Joked Harrison: "I'm sure [Nick] is relieved waking up this morning knowing that Josh Murray not be there beside him to compete for the same woman. He's free and clear now."
The news of Viall's casting was announced Tuesday night during the live aftershow After Paradise.
"I'm definitely ready for it — I'm really excited," Viall told co-hosts Michelle Collins and Sean Lowe. "I couldn't be more excited about the possibility of it working out."
Viall is also remembered for his behavior on the live special After the Final Rose alongside Dorfman, where he revealed that the pair had sex during the private fantasy suite dates. (Dorfman chronicled the slut-shaming she experienced as a result in her book.)
Said Viall of his time on the show: "I've made my mistakes. I've had an interesting process through this journey, and it hasn't worked so far. Hopefully, things will end up on a more positive note."
For his part, Murray congratulated Viall on Twitter after the news was announced:
Despite our differences I am truly happy 4 @viallnicholas28 everyone deserves love and he is no exception - this is your time, go find her!— Josh Allan Murray (@JoshAllanMurray) August 31, 2016
Although he did retweet his sister's tweet suggesting that Viall was given a more sympathetic edit during this season of Bachelor in Paradise:
And you wonder why the edits have been the way they have in BIP— Stephanie Murray (@stephmurray11) August 31, 2016
Pell also weighed in:
Thx for all the love sometimes we are faced w/unexpected changes I'm happy to be back in Nash excited for the future pic.twitter.com/hUgp59sJzk— Luke Pell (@Luke__Pell) August 31, 2016