Unbeknownst to Grimaldi, her friend submitted a photo to casting in order to get the Italian brunette on the show.
"When I got the call from one of the producers, I was really shocked... My friend asked me whom I would like the Bachelor to be, and I thought you had to automatically choose someone from the previous season."
Grimaldi therefore chose McNary, a 27-year-old medical sales representative from Denver, CO. He was portrayed as a somewhat reserved yet rugged suitor with strong family values who was down to earth and genuine.
"But when they announced who the Bachelor [really] was on [After Paradise], I actually recorded myself with my authentic reaction. When Nick walked out, I couldn't believe it," Grimaldi gushed to the magazine.
"I called my friend and said, 'I wanted it to be him!' I did! But she made fun of me because he's been on the show three times now, so she didn't think they were going to ask him to be the Bachelor."
Grimaldi admitted that Viall first pulled at her heartstrings during his hometown date on Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette a couple of years back.
"I saw him on Andi's season when they went to his family's house for the hometown date, and I just fell in love with how close he is to his family," Grimaldi explained.
"I come from a very traditional Italian family, and I'm very close to mine. He seems real. It was so tempting to research and find out stuff about him before the show, but I told myself, 'I'm coming in on a clean slate, so it's only fair that I do the same for him.'
So from what Grimaldi knew of Viall going into The Bachelor, she liked and was attracted to him.
On the first night of filming, Grimaldi impressed Viall by speaking French. He was also taken with her good looks. The couple later established a deep, emotional connection during a one-on-one date in which Viall surprisingly cried with hope and optimism this process to find love might actually work for him this time around.
At this point in The Bachelor season, Grimaldi is a frontrunner because Viall also appreciates a feisty woman who speaks her mind and challenges him.