You guys! We made it to the end of our Bachelorette road! Now that Becca and Garrett have made their bipartisan love official, we can officially dump this season, and occupy our time with what’s next. No, not Bachelor In Paradise but an even better guessing game: Who will be America's next Bachelor? Unlike past seasons, where producer Mike Fleiss pulled a fast one on us and picked men from seasons long ago, like Nick Viall and Arie Luyendyk Jr., this year I’m very hopeful, and almost certain, that we’ll see one of Becca’s men in the hot seat.
I just have to get this out of the way, because it's probably on your mind too: Despite dropping by last night’s ABC in-studio broadcast, Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding is not eligible to be our next Bachelor. Sources tell me that it’s because he’s both married and a movie star who is out of our league. Since Henry’s out of the running, who’s in?
As of today, Rob Mills, ABC’s SVP of alternative series, specials, late-night programming, told Variety that while they have a short list, the role of Bachelor has not been cast. He said, “There are several candidates, and there’s no consensus from the audience. People have pros and cons on several people. We also want to see when we start talking to girls who will be in the potential cast, who they like.” Mills also admitted that the obvious frontrunners are Blake, Jason, Wills, Colton, and Grocery Store Joe.
Even if Mills isn’t giving up who he’s keen on for next year’s season of The Bachelor, it’s almost like Chris Harrison did last night. As he always does, Chris promised the most devastatingly raw and shocking elimination in the franchise’s history. Of course, Blake was eliminated. And after seeing that double-camera action on Arie and Becca’s breakup earlier this year, Blake’s tears into a towel didn't seem more shocking or raw than any other breakup I’ve seen on the sidewalks of New York City. All the show did was, unshockingly, use hyperbole to further endear the audience to Blake and see how well we responded to his pain. Like Mills admitted to Variety, “The audience is the silent producer of this show. We want to see who people want to see as the Bachelor.” So, if people responded well to Blake’s tears (which they did), there’s a higher probability that he’ll be our next lead.
Blake would make a great next Bachelor, harkening back to the good old days, when there was a clear channel to Bachelor-dom: being the previous season’s runner up. And Blake was genuinely gutted at losing Becca. That’s just who he is, so his connections to a group of women will likely be equally as strong (and worthy of investing in for a season). Like Becca said last night, Blake loves hard, which is part of the reason why she couldn’t see a future with him; she feared his heart would cloud his brain when it came to making emergency decisions about things like their health or kids down the line.
Aside from all of that, Blake’s just super-duper hot, has a great family, and takes this process seriously, and even though he’s still grieving the end of his relationship with Becca, being the next Bachelor is something he’d “consider,” he said. Blake saying he’d consider being the Bachelor while still sifting through his emotional trauma is big for a runner-up. Peter Kraus, the runner up from Rachel Lindsay's season, was approached to be the the Bachelor weeks after filming wrapped and he declined. The pain was still too much, and he couldn’t imagine going through the process again. He told Us Weekly that when asked, “I was so distraught at that time that it was something that I could never see myself doing.”
Meanwhile, Blake is just distraught enough to give out some roses in exchange for more air time and possibly an Instagram brand deal.
Obviously, for selfish reasons I’d love for Blake to be the next Bachelor, so let me head off and prepare my audition tape! See you at the mansion, Blake!