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Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi talk 'The Bachelor' -- I feel "immense guilt" over Raven Gates, says Nick


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/14/2017 

Nick Viall selected Vanessa Grimaldi and proposed marriage to her at the conclusion of his televised search to find love on The Bachelor's 21st season.

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During the finale Monday night on ABC, Nick proved the fourth time is the charm and got down on one knee to ask Vanessa's hand in marriage. The 29-year-old special education teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada couldn't have been more thrilled to accept Nick's proposal in Rovaniemi, Finland.

But with Nick's final decision came heartbreak for the runner-up, Raven Gates, a 25-year-old clothing boutique owner from Arkansas. Nick, 36, could definitely relate to Raven's situation since he had finished as the runner-up twice before on both Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe's seasons of The Bachelorette.

On Tuesday, the happy engaged couple, Nick and Vanessa, talked to Reality TV World about the show's dramatic ending. Below is what they had to say.

Reality TV World: Nick, you told Raven you learned what your heart was telling you the morning of the Rose Ceremony, which was a little surprising since you told her you never fell in love with her. So were you as torn between the girls as the show made it appear and truly decide just that morning? And Vanessa, if that's the case, how does that make you feel? Because you didn't want Nick to propose if he felt your relationship was slightly stronger than another.

Nick Viall: Well, The Bachelor is certainly an imperfect world, and as the Bachelor, I think you really try to focus on trying to be in the moment, right? And so I think sometimes the result of that is that your head tries to convince you of different feelings than maybe your heart is feeling.

And so, I think throughout this journey, there were probably a lot of moments that I was resisting certain feelings.

And while it took me basically the entire time to make my decision, quite frankly as great as Raven was -- I don't want to say it wasn't a difficult decision -- but it was an easy realization for me to realize how in love with Vanessa I was, right?

And I think that had more to do with the fact that once I was completely done with the dating process, I could really let my heart and head come together. And then my feelings became very clear to me.

Vanessa Grimaldi: So, the night before the proposal, I was trying to figure out whether or not I wanted to end up engaged or as a couple with Nick. And at that point, when I knew where my heart was at, I was hoping that Nick was going to propose.

And throughout the process of it, as hard as it was, I wanted him to explore other relationships to see if our relationship could outlast all the other ones. I was just being hopeful that Nick and I were going to end up together as an engaged couple.

Reality TV World: Nick, given what happened to you on Kaitlyn's The Bachelorette season and how much it hurt you, some fans are wondering why you let Raven give her little speech about her feelings at the final Rose Ceremony before you rejected her. If you realized you weren't in love with Raven, why not let her go beforehand, like how you handled Kristina Schulman's elimination? And Vanessa, what are your feelings on the way Nick handled things?

Nick Viall: Yeah, that's a great question. There is no perfect way in that I know when I went through that experience with Kaitlyn, some have their difference of opinions in terms of a guy taking out a ring and kind of proposing vs. the girl trying to find out whether the guy was going to propose or not. But at the same time, I felt immense guilt.

I felt immense sadness for putting Raven through that, and I will always be terribly sorry. There is no great way of doing it. Also, there's that realization of being on the other side, and although it's not necessarily an excuse, there are logistical limitations to The Bachelor that you're just not, quite honestly, allowed to do at the end.

And I said this to Andi in some of our conversations that we've had since filming, and I want to say publicly to Andi and Kaitlyn that I certainly have far more empathy for the situation they were in as the Bachelorette having experienced that.

But at the same time, you know, there's no excuse for putting Raven through that. I know it was heartbreaking and I will always feel some guilt. It's an imperfect world, again, and for that, I will always feel sadness and sorrow.

Vanessa Grimaldi: Yeah, well like Nick said, I was never in the position of being the lead, so I can't completely understand, but I can sympathize and certainly try to understand the process of things.

So like Nick said, it is a tough position to be in, and at the end, I still think he made a good decision in terms of how he went about it.

Be sure to check back with Reality TV World soon for much more from Nick and Vanessa's post-The Bachelor interview with reporters.



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