In the first few weeks of The Bachelorette, group dates are usually fun and frivolous. However, Katie switched it up and had one of the deepest group dates in the series’ history, aided by her friend and former Bachelor Nick Viall.
Rather than play casual games, Katie’s men sat in a circle with a bright spotlight on them as Katie and Nick encouraged the men to get brutally honest about their red flags and the women that they’ve hurt in the past.
Nick recently spoke out about how this group date idea came to be and how Jed Wyatt from Hannah Brown’s season seems to have partly influenced the devastatingly deep date.
Nick wanted Katie to avoid Hannah Brown’s heartbreak
Having been in the men’s shoes, Nick told Katie’s guys that the exes of contestants from The Bachelor franchise DM him all the time to air out castmates’ dirty laundry. Nick wanted to remind the men that whatever harm they caused in the past will usually always come to the light.
To save them the trouble of getting “exposed,” Nick and production decided to push the men to own who they are and tell Katie directly about the mistakes in their past rather than have her learn them from someone else.
Nick suggested that his thoughts on how Jed and Hannah’s relationship fell apart helped him see the necessity of Katie’s men being 100% honest with her.
The Bachelorette breakout star, Hannah Brown, ended up choosing Jed at the end of her journey and the two got engaged.
However, their relationship quickly went downhill when Hannah learned that Jed had allegedly not been honest or loyal in their relationship. Many fans felt Jed wanted to build a platform for his music more than actually fall in love and find a wife. Jed admitted to entering with those feelings but revealed that he truly found himself falling for Hannah. He was then caught with a girlfriend back at home.
Nick recently told US Weekly, “I genuinely believe [that] Jed really fell for Hannah Brown, but at the moment when he fell for her, he decided to lie to himself and lie to producers and lie to Hannah, as opposed to just, you know, maybe pulling a producer to the side and [saying], ‘I don’t know what to do.’”
Nick went onto say that had Jed felt he could be honest about his initial intentions and the way his superficial intentions potentially grew into love, he wouldn’t have ended up in such a messy predicament. He wanted Katie’s men to be able to own who they were in a way that Jed felt he couldn’t and thus avoid Katie being lied to and hurt like Hannah B. was.
Almost all the men took the heartfelt exercise seriously
Many of the men on Katie’s group date took the exercise to heart and got extremely vulnerable about ways in which they weren’t always the “good guy” in relationships. Their honesty motivated Katie to get honest about a dark time from her own past and take a step towards releasing the heaviness of being involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent.
Nick was proud of all the men who got open and owned their flaws, stating that being honest and vulnerable about one’s past is freeing. Nick stated, “It was good that the guys really embraced that, and they definitely stepped, you know, Thomas not so much, but [the rest of them] did a good job.”
Thomas was one of the few who still felt he was putting on an image as the other men bared their hearts and he was called out on his performative inauthenticity by the men in the house.
It remains to be seen if Thomas will put his guard down and be real going forward or if he’ll be more like Jed and continue to mask his true colors.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on Lifetime.