In case you tuned out during the first hour of the premiere, this season of “The Bachelor” is Nick Viall’s fourth — and hopefully, final — attempt at finding love on reality TV. After being applauded for rehabbing his image during his stint on “Bachelor in Paradise” — a not-so-impressive feat when you consider he was pitted against dudes like aggressive Josh and even more aggressive Chad — but nonetheless, Viall was given the ultimate gift from the ABC producers: Jan.2, he makes his debut as the leading man of “The Bachelor’s” 21st season.
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Viall’s new personality may pull the wool over over many of his suitors’s eyes, but he’s not fooling us. This man’s mission in life has been to continue on this reality series fame train for as long as possible, so it’s hard to take anything he says as genuine. All you have to do is look past his new hot guy makeover.
Appearance wise, Viall looks bloody fantastic standing there all dapper in his suit and tie. He’s been working out like crazy since “Paradise,” and the results show. But then Viall opens his mouth. There’s that slight lisp, and a clear huge difference between the words that he says aloud and what he’s really thinking. Viall is not a complicated man. His is language simple to decipher. And his lying skills aren’t great — although we do give him credit for at least trying to be nice this time around.
That said, here are the best Nick lines from the premiere, along with their true translated messages.
What Nick says: “That’s a keeper.”
What Nick means: “That’s to be kept around until fantasy suites.”
Explanation: Viall says this as Vanessa walks away. The thirst is real. He wants her bad. Vanessa is officially a front runner.
What Nick says: “I love the creativity!”
What Nick means: “Why are you doing this? It’s really weird and I’m actually freaked out. You will be going home tonight.”
Explanation: Sorry, Christen!
What Nick says: “I can’t wait to meet your friends!”
What Nick means: “I can’t wait to never meet your friends, because I’ll die before handing you a rose.”
Explanation: Taylor wins the award for the worst meet-and-greet, and that’s on a night including this, complete with weird orca calls:
This a ultimately dating game show, and you can’t win if the first words out of your mouth are: “Before coming here, my friends were like ‘No! He’s a complete piece of sh*t!’” Even a normal person would not take that well, and though Nick is a lot of things he is not that.
What Nick says: “You are athletic.”
What Nick means: “I didn’t understand that you running in with sneakers represented that I was never ‘runner up’ material. But now that I do, it’s actually pretty cute. And now that I look at you, I see you’re really hot. All is forgiven.”
Explanation: Sarah’s creative entrance was indeed cute and witty, but it needed to be explained for anyone to get it — a bad sign for any joke or costume. But the effort is appreciated. Such a beautiful girl could get away with doing nothing special during her initial meeting, so the fact she went for it is kind of endearing.
What Nick says: “I think I’ve met her before.”
What Nick means: “I think I’ve slept with her before. Or someone who looks just like her. Or maybe I hooked up with her sister? Nah, pretty sure I tapped that.”
Explanation: As we know, he most definitely hooked up with her. This whole situation with Elizabeth aka Liz is so awkward. She’s trying to pull off the whole “I’m so cool I can have a one night stand with Nick and not care” thing, but then why would she be here on “The Bachelor,” trying to win his heart? We don’t doubt the validity of their past relations, but their attitudes toward it all feel very contrived.
If producers are giving Elizabeth aka Liz the direction of taking the long hair/don’t care vibe, Viall gets to play the whole “I was into you but you left me hanging” card. This could’ve played out well — if Elizabeth aka Liz hadn’t admitted the reason she had a change of heart after seeing such a change in him on “Paradise.” It’s been nine months. Most people who don’t bother to call for that long after a drunken hookup at a friend’s wedding, are not actually interested.
It’s okay, Liz. There’s no shame in wanting to just check off nabbing a “Bachelor” stud of your bucket list. But you don’t have to keep pretending to like him.
What Nick says: “That’s impressive.”
What Nick means: “That’s impressive.”
Explanation: If someone showed up on a first date riding a camel and proudly announced, “I hear you like a good hump!” well, most folks would run for the hills. Not Viall. Lacey wants some action — and given his track record, Viall will not let her down. He’s hooked up with the most women in Bachelor Nation history, and so Lacey’s showstopping entrance is going to work for her. He’s not one to turn down a sure bet.
“The Bachelor” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.