'The Bachelorette' star Katie Thurston's reaction to Greg Grippo's love declaration slammed by Nick Viall -- I'd have gotten the f-ck out of there too!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/09/2021
The Bachelor alum Nick Viall has admitted Katie Thurston's reaction to Greg pouring his heart out made no sense at all and was in fact "surface level," and Nick says he would've left the show too had he been in Greg's shoes.
"Greg was pouring his heart out... and she just goes, 'I love looking at you,'" Nick recalled on the August 3 episode of his The Viall Files podcast when he was joined by Bachelor in Paradise bartender Wells Adams.
Nick insisted he's not "Team Greg" or "Team Katie" and that he hasn't picked a side, but he can definitely see where Greg was coming from with his outburst and breakdown following his hometown date.
"I think Greg's weakest moment was he came close to maybe being mean. He was certainly cold at the end... [but] what I heard from Greg is, 'This is real to me. I'm terrified. I love you. I need some validation... Greg is at his most vulnerable in years, maybe forever," Nick said.
After Katie met Greg's family, Greg expressed to the Bachelorette through tears how he was madly in love with her and wanted to propose marriage. He said Katie had filled a hole in his heart from his father's passing, but then Katie stared at him longingly and said in reply, "I just love looking at you."
Greg became frustrated and angry that Katie wouldn't acknowledge his declaration of love and/or share the depth of her feelings for him in return, and he scolded the Bachelorette for treating him like "a number" and being more focused on the show and giving out roses than on their "real" relationship.
Nick said Greg had in no way provided a perfect response but Katie's reaction -- a blank stare, essentially -- was definitely disappointing and "superficial."
"Katie's response is surface level," Nick said. "And again, I wouldn't have reacted [like Greg]. I wouldn't have done what Greg did. But I'm trying to empathize and put myself in Greg's shoes to understand what his logic was."
Nick continued, "And then Katie once again for, like, the fourth time this season is just like, 'You don't seem happy.' And I'm like, 'He just talked about his father and he's crying!' I'm just like, 'What? What the f-ck?!' It didn't add up."
"I didn't understand Katie's response, like, at all," Nick complained.
"And while I wouldn't have handled myself like Greg, I can get why he's just like, 'I can't f-cking do this.' I felt Greg was just like, 'I'm so fragile right now and so vulnerable that I can't get down on one knee and propose and not know, it's me.'"
Nick said while he understands Greg had signed up for a reality TV show, he understands why Greg suddenly flipped out and chose to quit The Bachelorette.
"It felt like Greg was just like, 'I don't know what I signed up for, but I need this to be real and it doesn't feel real to you. It feels like you're going to pick me but you're more into your [Bachelorette role].'" Nick explained.
Nick admitted he couldn't imagine pouring his heart out to a woman who's just sitting there with "a glazed look on her face."
"When Greg is saying this and Katie is like, 'Oh, I'm sorry, I just love looking at you'... This guy is bonding over the loss of a parent and he's just like, 'What the f-ck?!'" Nick said.
Nick acknowledged Katie is a huge fan of The Bachelor franchise and her knowledge of the show probably didn't help her handle the situation with Greg.
"I think she's just very hyper-aware of her role as the Bachelorette, and I don't fault her for that because I do empathize with Katie on how hard it is to be in her position, but I think in these situations, it's catching up with her and it's hurting her," Nick explained.
Nick's female podcast co-host also mentioned how it seemed Greg thought he was above the rules because he felt his relationship with Katie felt so special and so he in turn judged her with unfair standards.
While Nick said he felt for Katie because she had a role to play, he added, "but we are talking about real feelings and real people."
"You saw Greg having real feelings, and why didn't Katie just say, 'F-ck it, I love you!'" Nick suggested.
Wells pointed out how Katie was probably just trying to protect and show respect for her other two remaining bachelors, Justin Glaze and Blake Moynes.
Nick agreed and said he could relate because he had been so stressed out when he starred on The Bachelor's 21st season and was down to his Final 3 bachelorettes: Rachel Lindsay, Raven Gates and Vanessa Grimaldi.
"But that solidifies Greg's point of view," Nick said. "All Greg is saying is, 'I just don't care about the show. Don't come at me for saying I should've known what I signed up for.'"
Nick went on to explain, "If [my ultimate winner] Vanessa pulled a Greg and forced my hand, I would've been like,'F-ck it! Show, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, this is my life and I love her and I'm not letting her leave.' I love her, I don't care, sue me... I literally would've done whatever I had to do to get Vanessa to stay."
"And we can criticize Greg for not playing by the rules and f-cking up the show and maybe being selfish and all of these things, 100 percent, or throwing a temper tantrum, but it's also proving his point that as strong as he feels for Katie, Katie doesn't feel the same way to Greg. And that was ultimately Greg's point."
Wells thought Katie had given Greg more positive affirmation and reassurance throughout her season than he's ever seen from a lead before. Katie, for instance, kept telling Greg to trust her because it would all be worth it in the end.
But Nick threw out Season 23 The Bachelor star Colton Underwood with Cassie Randolph, when Colton revealed Cassie was his pick before Fantasy Suites even filmed.
Nick showed more support for Greg in subsequently saying, "Greg's not there to win. He's there to fall in love."
"How can we fault a guy for trying to make what is often criticized as 'a not real experience' real?" Nick questioned.
Nick reasoned, "If I was completely in love and felt vulnerable and stripped down of all my walls and the person I was saying this to made me feel like they were playing a role and prioritizing being the Bachelorette over their relationship, I would be like, 'I've got to get the f-ck out of here. What am I doing? Why did I just do that? She doesn't give a sh-t.'"
Nick reiterated how Greg didn't want Katie to pick him; he wanted her to fall in love with him.
And Nick said if Katie claims to be happy on The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose with either Justin or Blake, then she justified his reason for leaving.
Nick expressed concern Katie is going to "go after Greg" on the After the Final Rose special because she feels "scorned."
"I think it's going to backfire," Nick noted. "I think it will leave a bad taste in Bachelor Nation's mouth about her relationship with [the winner] and I think it will validate Greg even more. And I hope I'm wrong! But I don't think I will be."
Nick hopes Katie will tell Greg something along the lines of, "I didn't realize this at the time, but you were right about us and it got a little ugly because we cared about each other... but thanks, because now I'm so happy... and I can't wait to start my life with [the winner]."