Updated Sept. 7, 2017, 8:25 a.m. PT: Now that we’ve had a full day to wonder what the heck The Bachelor‘s producers were thinking when they cast Arie Luyendyk Jr. as the next season’s lead, we’re finally getting some answers. Granted, those answers are coming from an exec at ABC who sat down with Entertainment Tonight, so take them with a grain of salt since they’re probably PR-approved.
According to Robert Mills, ABC’s senior vice president of alternative series, specials and late-night programming, “[t]he timing seems right,” he explained. Mills went on to add that, “[Luyendyk is] incredibly sincere. He’s dated a lot of women since Emily [Maynard], but he says he’s never been in love since Emily, and that’s a really interesting story to try to bring to completion this season on The Bachelor.”
Mills also explained why fan-favorite Peter Kraus, from Rachel Lindsay’s season, didn’t get the job. “I think at this point in his life, the breakup with Rachel was still very raw,” Mills said. “Sometimes you move on very quickly, sometimes you don’t. I think that, for him, there were still residual feelings there, and it was a very real breakup. They all are, but this was tough.”
OK, that part we just might believe. It makes sense that Kraus was passed over because he wasn’t ready to commit to his own search for love just yet. Despite the rumors that he actually made a lot of demands, know that ABC would meet them because they were desperate to find a new Bachelor.
If it’s actually true that Luyendyk hasn’t been in love since his time on The Bachelorette, that’s a pretty compelling storyline. And since we all watch the Bachelor franchise to see strangers get their shots at love, we can’t help but cheer for him a little more knowing that information.
So, Bachelor Nation, we got some big news this morning. The next Bachelor has been announced, and if you heard his name and had to kind of squint and tilt your head and think to yourself, “Who is that guy?” then you’re not alone.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the next leading man of The Bachelor will be Arie Luyendyk Jr., who last competed on the show during Emily Maynard’s season in 2012. He hasn’t been on Paradise or anything since then. In fact, he hasn’t been on TV at all. Sure, he was a fan favorite by the end of Maynard’s season — again, this was all the way back in 2012 — but, uh, wouldn’t that have been the time to make him the next Bachelor?
We’re not the only ones who are royally confused by this casting decision. Bachelor Nation has been reacting rather strongly to this news on Twitter, and pretty much no one is a fan.
— Ꮃ𝙰𝙻𝙲𝙾𝚃𝚃 ⚒︎ (@JrMoe_) September 7, 2017
— The Bachelor Lady (@BachelorLady) September 7, 2017
— Kelsey Mulvey (@kmulvs) September 7, 2017
— Shayla Smith (@shaylaasmith) September 7, 2017
Moment of silent for all the girls that were already cast for season 22 under the impression it was Peter. #thebachelor
— tierney bricker (@tbrick2) September 7, 2017
Typically, the new Bachelor comes from the previous season of The Bachelorette. Fan favorite Peter Kraus, who was runner-up in Rachel Lindsay’s season, was rumored to be this year’s pick, and honestly, we’re still pretty confused about why it isn’t Kraus. THR revealed that the casting was a last-minute decision and Kraus was planning on taking the job until he was told this week that he no longer had it. It’s also not the first time The Bachelor has done a last-minute switch like that. If you recall, Nick Viall took Luke Pell’s place just days before Pell was set to fly out to begin filming.
We’ll likely still be scratching our heads over this until the new season starts airing. Hopefully, when The Bachelor premieres, some light will be shed on this odd, surprising casting choice.