Bachelor Nick Viall has a lot of explaining to do. On the January 9 episode of ABC’s reality series, the season 21 lead is forced to face his racy past when confronted by several remaining bachelorettes. Here, The Knot recaps the highs (and lows) of the emotionally-charged episode.
Date Card Debut
Beloved Bachelor host Chris Harrison stops by the mansion to deliver the season’s first date card. Corrine, Vanessa, Sarah, Lacey, Hailey, Brittany, Alexis, Jasmine, Raven, Danielle L., Taylor, and Elizabeth W. are the first lucky ladies to join Nick on a group date. “Always a bridesmaid…” the date card teases.
Awkward First Dates
Nick’s dates meet him at a scenic outdoor location for a wedding photo shoot with renowned photographer, Franco Lacosta. Vanessa is chosen to be the “80s bride,” and Alexis is the “shotgun bride.” Brittany–who is given a leafy bikini bottom–is dubbed the “Adam and Eve bride.” The other women are visibly disappointed when they learn they’ll be dressing as bridesmaids.
The claws come out when Nick kisses the women one-by-one as he poses with them individually for photos. He then changes into a leafy brief to match Brittany’s topless outfit. Corrine wins the bride challenge after taking off her bikini top while posing in the swimming pool with Nick.
The Most-Coveted Date Card
When the next date card arrives, Danielle M. is shocked to learn she’ll be joining Nick on the first solo date. “Our relationship is about to take off,” the card reads.
Nick and Danielle take a romantic helicopter ride to a yacht in Newport Beach. Nick feels a “level of comfort” with his date, as she’s also from Wisconsin.
That evening, Danielle tells Nick that she was once engaged, and her fiance died from a drug overdose. Conversation flows easily between them, and Nick seems sure of his decision when he gives Danielle the date rose.
The Truth Comes Out
Back at the mansion, Liz struggles for perspective as she reflects on her one night stand with Nick months ago. She decides to confide in Christen, who is stunned. Liz explains that she was drunk the night she slept with Nick, and she refused when he asked for her phone number.
When the next date card arrives, Christen, Josephine, Astrid, Kristina, and Liz learn they’ll join Nick for a group date.
The ladies meet Nick at the Museum of Broken Relationships, which is filled with relics from broken-up couples. One of the display cases holds the engagement ring Nick proposed to Kaitlyn Bristowe with.
The museum director explains that the women will be acting out a breakup scene with Nick. In the confessional, Nick admits that his past relationship with Liz has been “eating away at him,” as he doesn’t want to be dishonest with his bachelorettes. Liz becomes emotional when she realizes Nick is seemingly avoiding her.
During her breakup scene with Nick, Josephine jokingly slaps him across the face. When it’s Liz’s turn, she recalls her meeting with Nick at Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert‘s wedding. Her competitors are confused as to whether Liz’s breakup story is real.
In the confessional, Nick shares that Liz made him feel uncomfortable onstage. He realizes he needs to have a serious talk with her to decide on their next step. “I’m living my nightmare,” Nick says.
While chatting with Christen, Nick learns that Liz told her about their past relationship. Nick decides it’s time to resolve the situation.
Nick confronts Liz, telling her he sees nothing wrong with the fact that they knew each other previously. He’s confused as to why she didn’t reach out to him prior to signing up for The Bachelor. She explains that she knew he was busy on Bachelor in Paradise, but Nick questions Liz’s intentions.
Ultimately, Nick chooses to send Liz home. “I just don’t think we have a future,” he tells her. “I think it’s best for both of us if we say goodbye tonight.”
After breaking things off with Liz, Nick feels compelled to tell his remaining 21 bachelorettes about his past with her.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.