If you’ve been rooting for Vanessa Grimaldi to get the final rose from day one of The Bachelor season 21, you’re not alone. You have excellent taste! The 28-year-old Montreal, Quebec native certainly charmed Nick Viall the minute she showed up at the Bachelor mansion and introduced herself in French. For a second, it seemed like Nick was so enthralled that he was ready to call off the entire Bachelor journey right then and there. And before Corinne sauntered in and interrupted their time later in the evening, viewers witnessed some Olitz Scandal-level chemistry that almost ended in a kiss.
But it’s not just physical chemistry that connects Nick and Vanessa. Her passion for her career (Vanessa is a special needs teacher in the adult sector) is a total turn on for Nick, not to mention her willingness to call him out for questionable behavior (“Are you looking for a wife? Or someone to f-ck around with?”).
The day before the premiere, I met with Vanessa to talk about her deal breakers in a relationship, why she was more than content to have JoJo Fletcher cast-off Chase McNary be the bachelor before Nick Viall got the job, and more. Read on.
Glamour: Aside from the California sunshine, why did you leave Montreal to come on The Bachelor?
Vanessa Grimaldi: It’s funny because my friend was the one who submitted my photo. Since my last significant relationship three years ago, she was like, “You gotta go on this show! You’re not finding anyone.” I was always very skeptical of that. I just wasn’t ready. I haven’t done online dating yet or anything. Well, this year she decided to submit my picture without me knowing. When I got the call from one of the producers, I was really shocked. [But] everyone so far here on the show has been really amazing. My friend asked me who I would like the bachelor to be, and I thought you had to automatically choose someone from the previous season. I guess I was really nervous in my interview, so I said, “Chad!” but I meant to say Chase! I was mortified! But when they announced who the bachelor was on [After Paradise], I actually recorded myself with my authentic reaction. When Nick walked out, I couldn’t believe it. I called my friend and said, “I wanted it to be him!” I did! But she made fun of me because he’s been on the show three times now, so she didn’t think they were going to ask him to be the bachelor.
Glamour: Why did you want it to be Nick?
Vanessa: I saw him on Andi’s season when they went to his family’s house for the hometown date, and I just fell in love with how close he is to his family. I come from a very traditional Italian family, and I’m very close to mine. He seems real. It was so tempting to research and find out stuff about him before the show, but I told myself, “I’m coming in on a clean slate, so it’s only fair that I do the same for him.” So far, what I know about him [going into the show] I do like and am attracted to, so hopefully I’ll like him more.
Glamour: What are your non-negotiables in a relationship?
Vanessa: I think the biggest hurdle in relationships is sometimes having to…like, I’m the kind of person that when I’m in a serious relationship, I adopt the mentality of how is this going to affect us? Who I socialize with? Where I go? I always think about the other person I’m dating and how it’s going to affect them. I guess for me, I’m trying to find someone who has that same mentality and can adopt that same mind frame as well. And, definitely, I want someone who wants kids. I’m 28 years old, and that’s something I’m starting to think of. I’m not in a rush. I don’t want to have kids with just anyone. But I definitely want to start a family and have what my family has.
Glamour: Would you be willing to leave Montreal, though?
Vanessa: I am willing to leave Montreal. That’s definitely something that needs to be discussed. We’ll see. We don’t know what the future holds, but I’m here. I’m happy!
Glamour: Who is your Bachelor couple role model?
Vanessa: I love Kaitlyn [because of] her personality. There’s something about her and Shawn that just seems real. When you first meet someone, you’re a little bit fake at the beginning because you don’t know how to act, but I just like people that are real. I like that they are authentic, even on social media and stuff. It’s no BS. That’s just who they are, and they aren’t going to change for anybody else. I think that’s really important to have that quality, and it’s something I definitely look up to. Go her! Go them!
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