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Months after filming the finale of The Bachelor, Nick Viall and his winner are still engaged.
On Monday’s After the Final Rose special, which aired directly after The Bachelor finale, Viall and winner Vanessa Grimaldi revealed that in the four-plus months since the proposal that viewers had just watched, the couple is still together. But they don’t have a wedding date and things have not been easy.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat things,” Grimaldi told host Chris Harrison when she appeared, at first on her own. “Some days are tougher than others, like any relationship. I’m sure people here can understand that and relate to it. Ours is just televised.”
When Viall stepped out alone onto the stage, he told Harrison, “It feels very new!”
Indeed, the four-time franchise star had twice been a runner-up on The Bachelorette, making The Bachelor finale the third time he would select the show’s go-to Neil Lane brand of diamond engagement ring and propose, on television, to a woman he is in love with. Leading up to the TV proposal, Viall, who appeared on last summer’s Bachelor in Paradise, wavered in confidence and feared he could be rejected yet again.
“I’ve had my heart broken twice and my biggest fear is that will happen again,” he said before Grimaldi’s arrival to the proposal site in Rovaniemi, Finland. “This is the moment I’ve been afraid of from the very beginning. This could all still blow up in my face.”
But Viall did ultimately get down on one knee and, despite airing mutual concerns, Grimaldi accepted with a resounding yes.
Most of their simmering issues, however, reared their head during the After the Final Rose appearance.
“I wished I would have watched an entire season before coming onto the show,” Grimaldi admitted to Harrison. “There were moments where I had to understand ‘Nick the Bachelor’ and Nick the guy that I was dating and the individual relationship I had going with him. It was hard sometimes to separate the two.”
Grimaldi, a 29-year-old special needs teacher from Montreal, said the hardest part about dating Viall, currently living in Los Angeles, has been living in separate countries. Per show rules, they are mandated to keep their relationship a secret, meaning they’ve relied on FaceTime and visits to a secluded home where they stay out of public eye.
Though she said Viall immediately clued her in on the other relationships she will eventually see on the show, their postshow relationship kicked off on an unusual foot: They didn’t even have each other’s phone numbers until filming wrapped.
“Starting a relationship where you don’t get the chance to see each other every day and do normal things,” she explained, “I love him, we love each other, but there have been days that are difficult. Long-distance isn’t too easy.”
Grimaldi, who admitted she isn’t always the easiest person, said that like many other winners of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, watching the show has been difficult. During the finale, Grimaldi struggled with the idea that another woman was still in play and that she didn’t want to win because her relationship was “only slightly greater” than another.
“Like Nick has said in interviews, it’s been easier for him to relate to Raven or people in Raven’s position as opposed to the person who ends up with the lead,” she said of runner-up Raven Gates, 25. “There have been moments where I’ve wanted him to be a little more empathetic toward my feelings. So we’ve had our challenges with that, but at the end of the day we both love each other. We want to make this work.”
Still, Grimaldi circled back to ensure Harrison that the two are in fact a team.
“I speak my mind,” she declared. “But I feel like we’ve been a team and I feel like we are getting stronger as the days go on. I’m just excited for our next chapter in our life and to see what’s in store for us.”
When Viall joined his fiancee and the pair officially made their joint debut, one of the most telling moments was when Harrison pushed them on their fighting and asked if they have had “knock-down drag-outs.”
Their answer? Yes, with smiles.
“Like I said, some days have been easier than others,” repeated Grimaldi. “But at the end of the day we love each other and we’re not just going to call it quits because things get difficult. Going into this, we both realized how difficult things could get and we were aware of it, we expressed it.”
Harrison also wanted to know if Viall still feared that the relationship, in the end, won’t work — again.
“I think even from the very beginning, I’m a realist,” explained Viall. “I can fall hard but I’ve always been a realist. That’s why you saw me have some of those fears and emotional moments and I think Vanessa and I continue to do that. There’s been those moments, we’ve had our struggles, but we’re good communicators. We always talk. We’re still looking forward to having that first normal moment. We’re realistic and it’s something we’re looking forward to tackling together.”
He added, “wee know we have a long way to go. We’re still getting to know each other, that’s the reality”
One of the couple’s biggest points of contention throughout the season was where they would live and if Grimaldi would uproot her life for the Bachelor.
The two discussed their future plans, which doesn’t yet include a wedding date but will see Grimaldi moving from Canada to the U.S., which is also where they plan to get married. When Viall said they are making sure to go through the proper channels, Harrison delivered a quick dig at President Donald Trump and his controversial travel ban: “Not as easy as it used to be.”
Next up for Viall is a run on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, where he will compete alongside partner Peta Murgatroyd during the grueling competition. Grimaldi said he has her full support and that she’s working on bringing the charity she’s passionate about to her, hopefully soon, new life in L.A., which is where DWTS films.
“You chose door A, people will say something. You choose door B, people will still say something,” Grimaldi added. “I’m excited for this chapter in our life that we’re starting together. It’s something we’re both starting together — it’s not like he’s done Dancing four times!”
Viall agreed: “Troubles in a relationship can come from anywhere. Communicating is one thing my parents taught me: You have to be able to face your fears together and there will be ups and downs and compromises, and I know Vanessa and I are willing to do that.”
In the end, Grimaldi, who said she only plans to be engaged and married once in her life, landed on a hopeful note. “I’m very optimistic about what the future holds,” she said.
What did you think of Viall’s and Grimaldi’s appearance as a couple? Did you appreciate the pair’s honesty, or do you worry that they won’t make it? Tell THR in the comments and check back in with The Live Feed for more from the pair Tuesday.
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