So far, former Bachelorette heartthrob Mike Johnson hasn’t had the most successful time on Bachelor in Paradise: He went on a date with Caelynn, only to have her turn her attentions to homeless Paradise lothario Dean. But none of that matters, because Mike’s true destiny — if a vocal contingent of fans has its way — is to be the next Bachelor. Johnson called EW to chat about tonight’s episode of Paradise, as well as his future in the franchise.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tonight we’ll see the results of the Jordan/Christian fracas. Did you think you might have to jump in and pull them apart?
MIKE JOHNSON: Nope. I think that the Bachelor Nation producers and the staff does a really good job of protecting us, so they can handle it.
What did you think when you saw it escalate like that?
“I’m just gonna sit back and drink my mimosas.”
Wait, you were drinking a mimosa? It was nighttime!
No, I wasn’t drinking a mimosa, it just sounded good. I was probably drinking Chardonnay. [Laughs]
What can you preview about your Paradise experience this season?
I can say my heart is open and I have lots more smiles to display.
Why did you decide to come on the show?
I literally have not found love in San Antonio where I live right now. My dad told me to try online dating before, but that didn’t work. And I had this opportunity.
I launched my own personal Mike for Bachelor campaign on May 20, when you stripped down to a Speedo during the Bachelorette pageant date. Would you want the job?
It really does put a smile on my face. I’m sorry, I’m getting my beard edged right now. [To stylist] Yes, ma’am, just follow the lines. [To EW] It’s amazing that people even consider me to be the Bachelor. That’s really all I know about it. I’m just grateful and I think that I would be a good Bachelor.
Just because my mom has taught me good things in life. [To] truly listen and pay attention and not just have an agenda of my own. I think those are some key points, and just communicate effectively.
What are you looking for in a partner?
The same old things everybody else does. Long walks on the beach… no, I’m playing. Someone that can teach me some things, someone that could help me grow as a person, and of course continue to be goofy and have fun. And someone that’s ambitious.
Mike, as your campaign manager, I need to know about any skeletons in your closet that could hurt your chances of becoming the Bachelor.
Sometimes I walk out of the house and I don’t put lotion on, so there might be pictures of me [looking] really ashy. [Laughs] I’m certain I have skeletons, but nothing I can think of.
Would you be up for the kind of public scrutiny a Bachelor endures?
Yes, that is very true, and I’ve considered that and I’m ready for it. I mean, I don’t want to be scrutinized, but it’ll happen. I know.
You’re very active on social media. Given that you’re in the running to be the Bachelor, do you think twice about what you tweet and post?
No. My last couple of tweets were about poop. [Laughs] I wasn’t thinking at all. I just did it, talking about poop on Twitter.
Mike, I also need to know how it felt to see Caelynn choose Dean — who lives in a van and has a porn star mustache — over you on Paradise?
He definitely does have a porn ‘stache. [Laughs] I remember thinking that’s what the point of Paradise is. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m 31 years old, I’ve lived a little bit when it comes to relationships and life, and not everyone’s meant for each other. I just hope the best for them.
Most of us at home were screaming at our TVs.
Hey, he’s a vagabond, and I love that he’s so honest, and that’s all you can ask from someone.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.