For recent fans of Bachelor in Paradise who haven't been following the extended Bach universe for at least a few years now, the ongoing Nick Viall vs. Josh Murray feud might not make any sense. After the two clashed during Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette, they cemented a rivalry that would last, as of Bachelor in Paradise Season 3, multiple seasons of reality television. And who better to explain the Nick/Josh issue than the Bachelorette whom they both fell in love with? Andi Dorfman's book, It's Not Okay , details her side of what happened between the two suitors during the season, and allegedly why her relationship with Josh Murray disintegrated after just a few months.
Before we get there, though, it's worth noting that Josh has denied the claims made in Andi's book with a statement on Bachelor in Paradise. "I can't comment on specific things in any kind of book that my ex has written, because it's a fictional story," he said. "There's stuff that's so ludicrous; how do you comment on stuff like that?"
Andi's book, which is subtitled Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After, starts by detailing her experience on Juan Pablo's season of The Bachelor, and how it led her to look for another relationship on The Bachelorette. Everyone in the book whom you might recognize from television is handily disguised with a number, representing how many "breakups" she went through in a single year, and seemingly as a way for the book to emphasize the impersonal experience she had while competing. Juan Pablo Galavis is nicknamed "Number One," and according to her account, it's no wonder he's almost unanimously declared the worst Bachelor of all time.
Andi then described her season from her point of view, nicknaming Josh "Number Twenty-Six" and Nick "Number Twenty-Five." On the show, it seems like Andi really cared about the guys, and in her book she wrote, "Half of the men I dumped were probably too good for me anyhow. It got harder as, week after week, deeper relationships formed." By the end, Josh and Nick were the last two standing, but it sounds like it was during his Fantasy Suite that things went awry for Nick and Andi. She wrote:
As he opened his mouth to speak, I was certain he was going to tell me he loved me. But instead, he asked, "Would you rather?" ... "Ummm . . . would I rather what?" "Would you rather make love... or f*ck?" he asked, without hesitation or the slightest sense of how bizarre this conversation was.
I would feel bad for Nick, since that might be the most embarrassing hookup story I've ever heard, but he went on to make things even more awkward for himself when he described details of their night together on the After the Final Rose special — which, according to the book, Andi didn't know was going to happen. At the time, she was confident that she made the right choice, and even credited her relationship with Josh for why she didn't give Nick a Juan-Pablo-esque smackdown. "I held back for one reason and one reason only: my fiancé," she wrote.
Nick also responded to the claims in Andi's book during an interview with E! News:
"It's not my favorite book ... I'm familiar with the book, I'm in it a little bit. I don't know Andi to be the most honest person. What Andi does is she has a tendency of omitting information ... That being said, the things that are written about me, as far as like the events that happened and things that were said, a large part of it did happen, right? So I can't say that it's a fictional book. It might be missing some information, but a lot of the things she wrote about did happen. I think Josh would want you to believe that it's a totally fictional book, and it's hard for me knowing what's written about me and what happened that it is fictional."
But Andi is standing behind her story.
Throughout the book, Andi writes about how her relationship with Josh was negatively affected by her former relationship with Nick. In one section, she claims Josh was paranoid and allegedly verbally abusive:
In his own words, I was not only selfish and unappreciative, but the "most miserable person he’d ever met." If we didn’t get invited to a red-carpet event, he’d say it was "because of my actions with Number Twenty-Five." If I talked to another man, I was a "whore." If I disagreed, I was "argumentative." If I defied him, I was a "b*tch."
She also claimed that Josh said, "Let's just have a baby, it will solve all of our problems," and that he called her a "whore" for having sex with Nick on the show. Again, Josh has denied these claims.
While trying to get over the way that both relationships ended, Andi wrote that she happened to run into Nick in Chicago, and when the two took time to catch up, she was able to make peace with his uncomfortable ATFR admission:
Did I feel betrayed by him? Absolutely. Did I think that his revelation caused my breakup? At times. But the truth is, while what he did had a damaging effect on my relationship, he wasn’t to blame [...] God knows Number Twenty-Six always seemed to find plenty of ammo for our fights.
A similar post-breakup reunion helped Andi recover from her split with Josh. They allegedly had one last sexual encounter, which Andi credited for how she was able to walk away from the relationship feeling powerful:
I know I’m supposed to feel some kind of "moral hangover" about this, [but] I feel empowered instead. And the feisty smirk that has finally returned to my face brings with it zero regret, zero remorse, and most of all, the power to move on.
So in the end, Andi was able to walk away from both Josh and Nick with some maturity and closure. But from the sound of Andi's book, Josh and Nick have always been as fixated on one another as they claimed to be on the woman they were pursuing. Nick's ATFR admission, Josh's alleged jealousy — those things had nothing to do with Andi. The heart of this feud is all about competition between the two, which is probably why it's continued onto this season of Bachelor in Paradise. And out of everyone wrapped up in the Nick vs. Josh fight, I think the person in the best position has got to be Andi Dorfman, who is at least getting some nice book sales out of the whole ordeal.
Image: Rick Rowell/ABC