Warning: Spoilers ahead for “The Bachelor” season 21.
“The Bachelor” may have ended in a cliffhanger last night and without a rose ceremony, but one of this season’s already disliked contestants was sent home by Nick Viall — Elizabeth “Liz” Sandos.
Sandos was chosen to be one of ABC’s “controversial” contestants in the house. She was someone with a secret past with Viall who was edited to come off as a little crazy, a little desperate, and only interested in the cameras.
After the premiere episode, many “Bachelor” nation fans did not like Liz, but I felt a lot of sympathy towards her, especially after last night’s episode and her elimination.
Let’s break down her story, Nick’s reaction, and what her best friend (and former “Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant) Jade Tolbert says really happened behind the scenes.
How they met
Throughout the first two episodes, Sandos really laid it all out on the table with regards to how Viall and she met.
They were both at a wedding for her “Bachelor in Paradise” co-star, Tanner Tolbert. Sandos and Viall’s hookup went how most wedding hookups go: They saw each other, got drunk, danced, and eventually went back to a hotel room where they had sex.
Viall said he tried to get her number the next morning, but Sandos said she didn’t know him well enough to give it to him:
“Maybe you asked for my phone number, but I didn’t really know you,” Sandos told Viall on Monday’s “The Bachelor.” “And that’s why I’m here, because I want that opportunity. You were off shooting ‘Paradise’ and doing your own thing … I knew you had stuff going on.”
Nick’s reaction and Sandos’s elimination
“My number is very easy for you to get,” Viall told her outside the mansion on night one. “Jade [Tolbert] has my number.”
But Sandos’s best friend Tolbert pointed out that he could have just as easily have gotten Sandos’s number, but chose not to.
“I’ll say I’m a little disappointed [in Nick],” she told ET Online. “He could’ve gotten her number, too.”
In his confessional, Viall said he was concerned that this woman, who had turned him down in the past, was now only trying to get on TV, not actually pursue her connection with him. It was obviously something “Bachelor” fans thought as well:
But in reality, the inciting incident that got Sandos sent home was that she had confided in one of the other women in the house about her past with Viall. He seemed visibly shaken when confronted, and perhaps worried what the women would think of him for not revealing his previous encounter with Sandos sooner.
“Now I have to do the hardest thing of all, I have to tell the women everything,” he said on Monday’s episode. “I’m just afraid that these women are going to think I’ve been lying to them. I can’t help but be totally terrified that this is all going to blow up in my face.”
So while Viall told Sandos he had to send her home because he didn’t see a future with her, his chief concern appears to be admitting the situation to the other women and risk appearing like the bad guy.
Sandos attempted to meet Viall before the show
Viall accused Sandos of not making an effort to contact him before the show even though he would have been “very easy” for her to reach, but that’s not the full story.
Sandos’s best friend Tolbert told Us Weekly that Sandos did try to meet up with Viall by running into him at a charity event.
“She was like, ‘Why don’t you invite Nick? I kind of would like to see him again,'” Tolbert said. “And I was like, ‘OK!’ So I sent him a text, and he was like, ‘You know what, I have some things in the works,’ which was the show. He was like, ‘I don’t know if I can make it,’ and he couldn’t.”
“So she had tried to kind of reach out, in a passive way,” she summed up.
Tolbert also told Us Weekly she was one of the people that told Sandos it was a good idea to compete for Viall on “The Bachelor,” and tried to help Sandos figure out what to say to Nick.
“I encouraged her to go on when I found out she wanted to pursue a second chance with Nick,” Roper said on Twitter. “No what-if’s left before he finds his wife.”
So behind the scenes, Sandos was making moves to see Viall again, albeit in a very passive way. Eventually, she was convinced that competing on “The Bachelor” was her best option.
As to why Sandos waited months before contacting Viall again, Tolbert said it was a combination of Viall shooting “Bachelor in Paradise” for a month and that Sandos had started seeing someone else not long after the wedding.
What viewers think
Most people were thrilled that Sandos was sent home Monday night by Viall. In this competition-based show about finding love, fans despise when someone has a leg up.
Ironically, this is exactly why Viall was considered a villain on his second go-around on “The Bachelorette” with Kaitlyn Bristowe. Already a part of the “Bachelor” family, Viall had joined the show in week four after previously texting with Bristowe during the off season.
This may also be why he was so concerned by Sandos. Viall, who has been controversial character in the past, is now beloved by “Bachelor” fans after a stint on “Bachelor in Paradise.” He may not have wanted to go down this road with Sandos and risk making himself appear to be a villain on his own show.
Ultimately, I find myself sympathizing with Sandos. She regretted not giving Viall her number, attempted to meet up with him again, and was ultimately convinced to go on the show, either by Tolbert or a persuasive ABC producer.
I also understanding why Viall felt compelled to eliminate her. After coming off as a villain in both of his “Bachelorette” seasons, Viall was sensitive to the fans’ and contestants’ reactions to his previous relationship with Sandos.
Either way, I’m guessing we’ll see Elizabeth “Liz” Sandos on “Bachelor in Paradise.”
Liz is only on the bachelor to get tv time. ????
— Caroline Hunter McC (@SweetCMcC423) January 3, 2017
Liz wants him now bc he is on tv
— The Bachelor Buzz (@TheBachelorBuzz) January 10, 2017
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