Bachelor Nation star Nick Viall called The Bachelor season 26 first impression rose recipient Teddi Wright "manipulative" after he watched her conversation with Clayton Echard in episode 2 of the show. Nick is somewhat of an expert on the franchise since he has appeared in four different seasons of the three shows. In 2014 and 2015, he was the runner-up in Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe's seasons of The Bachelorette. Nick then tried to find love on Bachelor In Paradise season 3 in 2016 but left the beach single. In 2017, Nick became the Bachelor and proposed to Vanessa Grimaldi at the end of the season in March, but they ended their engagement a few months later in August.

Nick launched his podcast, The Viall Files, in January 2019, on which he discusses many different topics, including The Bachelor. In a recent episode, he talked about Teddi's episode 2 conversation with Clayton. During a group date, Teddi, the 24-year-old surgical unit nurse from California, spoke to Clayton about her insecurities about their relationship. She said, "Seeing you with other girls does make me very emotional. I don't think I was expecting it to be this intense. Cause I'm just like, 'Does he still like me?'" Clayton told her that he had high expectations for her and there was a reason that he gave her the first impression rose. He said that she did not have anything to be concerned about. Teddi then said, "I'm just gonna need a lot of validation from you." Clayton reassured her, saying, "Well, I will give you a lot of validation if that's what you are wanting. If you just keep being you, that's more than enough. It really is. I promise you." They then shared a kiss.

On The Viall Files podcast, Nick called Teddi "manipulative" after he watched this conversation, shocking his co-hosts, since Teddi has widely been regarded as a fan-favorite and frontrunner to win Clayton's heart. He said, "I'm not saying I'm not Team Teddi...I think she knows she's smarter than him. It came across as insincere." He went on to say that Teddi knows that Clayton really likes her, so it did not make sense for her to say this. He felt that Teddi saying that she was emotional put her in the "driver's seat" because it would elicit a reaction from Clayton. He clarified that what he meant by manipulative was that "she knows what she's saying. And the words she says that come out of her mouth are thoughtful, and it makes Clayton chase her, which I guess is good. But it's not some sincere thing."

Nick drew on his own experiences to explain his feelings. He said that Teddi was talking to Clayton as though it was week 5 of the show. He pointed out that since she was one of 30 women and it was only day 2, it would not make sense for her to be so emotional about it. He explained that when he received the first impression rose from Andi, it validated him and he felt very special, but he still had no connection with her. Even after his one-on-one date, they were still getting to know one another. He said, "I know people are gonna disagree with me on this, but it's not normal what she said in the context in which she said it. And I think she is a very intelligent person. I don't buy the authenticity of what she said to Clayton in that moment, and by definition, I guess you could call that manipulative." Nick clarified that he's not saying that Teddi is a bad or manipulative person or completely disingenuous but that her actions in that moment showed a self-awareness of what she was saying to him knowing that it would get a reaction. He thinks that highly intelligent people can be manipulative, and this does not mean that they're narcissistic but that they know what to say to get what they want. Nick said that Teddi is still one of his favorites and he is rooting for her to win Clayton's heart, but he simply didn't believe her because she and Clayton do not know each other well enough for her to feel that emotional about him.

Nick has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind. These comments about Teddi are sure to be controversial, as so many people love her and want to see her win Clayton's heart. Fans will eventually see whether she was being sincere or manipulative with Clayton. For now, Teddi seems to have made a great first impression on him.

Next: Bachelor: Clayton Echard Says Host Jesse Palmer Is 'Like A Big Brother'

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Source: The Viall Files/Apple Podcast

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