Ben Higgins and Nick Viall aren’t fans of the two-lead “Bachelorette” format. ET spoke to the former franchise stars ahead of their appearance on E!’s “Celebrity Beef”, and they revealed why they haven’t enjoyed Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia sharing the current season of “The Bachelorette”.
“I think we’ve seen them pit women against each other before. I think it’s happening this season… If you have two leads, it’s just going to be natural that it’s going to turn into a competition,” Nick noted. “The Bachelorette doesn’t expect to ever get rejected. It certainly has happened in the past and when it does, it’s a big deal, but throw in another lead other people get to choose from, it just completely changes the dynamic of the show. It definitely puts, I think, Rachel and Gabby in a tough spot.”
“I hope for them that they can focus on the connections that they seem to be forming and not worry about being rejected,” he added. “I think they both have some nice connections and I’d like to see them really prioritize those, but that’s easier said than done sometimes. We’re all human.”
Ben said he would “agree with everything” Viall said, before adding another point of his own.
“Gabby and Rachel are doing a really good job managing and handling and processing all of this,” he said. “It’s a lot better than if I was the Bachelor with Nick. I don’t know if Nick and I would be sitting at night being like, ‘Oh, that was so cute what she did that. I like her. You like her too? That’s cool.’ Maybe we would, we’re not in that situation, but I do think the two of them are handling it well.”
“I sure would like to see it with two men and see how they handle competing against one another,” Nick said. “It would be, I think, only fair and then a little entertaining to give some of the women in the cast the power, like the men have this season.”
“I would love to see how two Bachelors do it, but then I would like it to stop. I don’t want this to be a trend. I don’t want this to be like a thing that happens year over year,” Ben concurred. “I don’t want it. It’s too much chaos for me. I’m not in tune enough with the show. I don’t pay enough attention to figure out how there’s 32 guys and what side they’re on. I don’t get it.”
Despite not loving the format of the current season, both Viall and Higgins are invested in the leading ladies’ love stories. For Rachel, Nick and Ben like Tino or Aven, while they both consider Erich to be a wildcard on Team Gabby.
As for who would make a good Bachelor, Nick pointed to single dad Nate, who’s currently competing for Gabby’s heart.
“I think it’s obvious that Nate would make a good Bachelor. I think being a father is a good storyline. He is obviously a very attractive man. I think he seems very charismatic and he’s outspoken,” he said.. I just really like how he is handled all the situations… I have been impressed with Nate.”
While both Ben and Nick agree that Tino is another good Bachelor contender, they’re hoping that he ends up with Rachel in the end.
“We all know Tino can’t be the Bachelor, because if he doesn’t… If Rachel doesn’t pick him, I don’t,” Nick said, seemingly at a loss for words at the prospect.
“That might be the clearest relationship that I’ve ever seen,” Ben added of Rachel and Tino. “I’m in it for them. If they don’t work out, I’ll be in tears on my couch.”
Ahead of the end of Rachel and Gabby’s journey, Nick and Ben offered the women some advice for navigating love in the public spotlight.
“I would just tell them to stay off the internet and enjoy the experience,” Nick said. “And if they’re lucky enough to be in a relationship, to just focus on that relationship and do whatever they can to protect the people they’re in a relationship with.”
Nick added that the ladies should also “stay off Reddit,” something Ben wholeheartedly agreed with.
“People were so mean to me on there. I was like, ‘I can’t do this ever again. This is not healthy for me.’ There was not one positive thing said, and I know somebody thinks at least one positive thing about me, so that was brutal,” Ben said, before offering more words of wisdom for Gabby and Rachel.
“Enjoy the experience. Part of that is never letting your head get too big or your head get too small. People are going to criticize you. People are also going to celebrate you. It’s not going to make sense on either direction,” he said. “A year later, it’s all going to kind of shake out, and you’re going to find your way, hopefully, and it’s going to be really fun.”
Also really fun was Nick and Ben’s experience on “Celebrity Beef”, in which they tried to settle once and for all who was the better Bachelor by cooking up sausage in the kitchen under the guidance of host Joel McHale.
“It was a fun environment and it’s always fun to compete with Ben,” Nick said, before Ben added, “It was a really enjoyable afternoon of filming and it’s fun to cook.”
“With ‘The Viall Files’, I have a large audience of women and I’m grateful enough to hear many of their stories,” Nick said of his popular podcast. “Obviously, unfortunately, domestic abuse is something that happens all the time. Being from Wisconsin, I wanted to support my home state… I think we can never bring too much awareness and support to the victims of domestic abuse.”
“It’s an international healthcare non-profit that does a lot of work building hospitals and healthcare clinics in areas of the world that are either struck by disaster or are infiltrated with some unfortunate disease,” Ben said of Project Hope. “Project Hope is a large nonprofit, so I’m learning a lot from being able to be a part of it.”
While fans will have to wait to see which of the guys comes out victorious, Nick feels comfortable conceding the Best Bachelor title to Ben.
“I think Ben and I both like to say that the other person was the better Bachelor, but we all know Ben [was]. We all know what everyone thinks. No one’s ever told me I was on the Mount Rushmore of Bachelor Nation,” he joked. “We all know Ben’s the best… Ben will always be a friend. I value his friendship and I think we’ll probably be able to put our feud to bed after all the sausage.”
Higgins and Viall’s episode of “Celebrity Beef” will air Tuesday at 10 p.m. on E!