Not all Bachelor bonds are created equally. While sitting down with former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, Zach Shallcross and Kaity Biggar reacted to Nick Viall’s commentary on season 27 of the ABC show.
The season 21 Bachelor’s name came up when Zach, 26, thanked Kaitlyn, 37, for reaching out after she initially critiqued the franchise for picking the sales exec as the lead.
“I appreciate that. Thank you for reaching out about that because it means a lot, you know, when you’re someone very prominent [in the franchise],” Zach said on the Thursday, March 30, episode of her “Off the Vine” podcast. “There’s so many negative comments.”
Kaitlyn then interjected: “Oh, my God, Nick was so hard on you.”
“Do I even want to go into that?” Zach responded. “Because he had reached out to me, like, the day before saying, ‘Hey man, I got your back, like, I’ll support you.’ And then he drops his phone number. And I just, like, saw it and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s great.’ The next day, I just see in Yahoo News or whatever, ‘[Nick] Slams Zach Shallcross. … He’s so this and that.’ I was like, ‘Was that just a pity reach out?’ Because it kind of hurt. I’ve never met him. And I was like, ‘It’s kind of an a—hole move.’ Maybe he didn’t mean to — maybe something he said got taken out of context — I don’t listen to his stuff. But from what I could see, it looked a little harsh.”
The season 11 lead agreed. “It was harsh,” Kaitlyn said. “And I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not very nice.’ Because once you’re in, like, you guys are family now.”
Zach responded, “He should know, right?”
Kaity, who got engaged to Zach during the Monday, March 27, finale, concluded, “[It’s] interesting coming from a lead.”
As Bachelor Nation may recall, Nick appeared on seasons 10 and 11 of The Bachelorette — finishing as runner-up for Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn, respectively — and returned for season 3 of Bachelor in Paradise before starring on season 21 of The Bachelor. He recaps the series on his “Viall Files” podcast and sent some not-so-positive tweets about Zach throughout his season.
“That’s 2 weeks in [a] row now Zach was a total d—k to one of the [women],” he tweeted on February 27. “It’s literally all about the one on one. Zach knows that. He made Jess [Girod] feel like she messed up for expressing a valid concern. Zach is acting like the guy who gets mad at his girlfriend for not letting him know she wanted validation on her birthday #thebachelor.”
The following week, he took to the app again and tweeted, “Every time Zach hears any of the woman express an insecurity, instead of showing an ounce of empathy, his face just drowns in disappointment #TheBachelor. … He’s well intentioned, just lack’s experience and probably has had an extremely emotionally comfortable life to date.”
He added in a subsequent tweet on March 6: “Zach is now fully in ‘I’m the Bachelor, and it’s your job to prove to me you’re worthy.’ Mode.”
Later on during Thursday’s podcast, Zach and Kaitlyn alluded to Nick again.
“I have empathy for all previous leads. … There hasn’t been one season where everyone has made the right decision or done everything the right way. There’s literally no right way. And people are very critical,” Zach said, noting that he “totally understand[s]” more about Rachel Recchia, whom he dated on Bachelorette season 19, now. “[With] the pressure and sometimes you just make the decision that sounds right at the moment and then you can always look back and be like, ‘I did mess up. I should have done things different.’ Clayton [Echard], for example, you know, he’s someone that reached out to support me and encouraged me during the negativity. … He made a mistake in a very tough boiling point moment and you can’t completely fault someone or make huge character claims about a single decision. So I have the utmost respect for everyone that have been put in those positions, obviously, if there’s good intent. Unless you’re an a—hole, which there’s a few. … I have a couple on my mind.”
Kaitlyn chimed in: “There’s a few of those! … [I have a couple on my mind] too.”
Nick has yet to respond to Zach and Kaitlyn’s conversation.