In what was literally (not figuratively) the most dramatic Bachelor news ever, ABC revealed that Nick Viall — former Bachelorette villain, current Bachelor in Paradise hero — will get his fourth chance at love as the star of The Bachelor this January. The news came as a genuine surprise to much of Bachelor Nation, as all signs pointed to Bachelorette runner-up Luke Pell as the frontrunner for the gig. You might remember Luke as the chiseled war veteran who made it all the way to hometown dates but ended up getting sent home because he was a little too slow with the “I love you,” but we choose to remember him like this:
Pell told Entertainment Tonight back in July that he was in talks to become the Bachelor, and he was seen as such a foregone conclusion that Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss tweeted this last night before the big reveal:
(Fleiss later deleted the tweet.) So why didn’t Luke get the gig? A source familiar with the situation says that aspiring country singer Pell was dragging his feet on finalizing his Bachelor contract, which started to raise questions about whether he was really there for the Right Reasons™. Viall, meanwhile, unexpectedly emerged as a frontrunner thanks to his positive reception on Bachelor in Paradise. Pell tweeted a reaction to the news, which suggests he was surprised by ABC’s decision as well:
Thx for all the love sometimes we are faced w/unexpected changes I’m happy to be back in Nash excited for the future pic.twitter.com/hUgp59sJzk— Luke Pell (@Luke__Pell)August 31, 2016
God has not yet responded to Yahoo TV’s request for a comment.
The Bachelor will premiere in January 2017 on ABC.