Luke Pell Confirms He Was Originally The Bachelor 2017: ‘I Had My Bags Packed’
Luke Pell was among the frontrunners to be The Bachelor 2017, until Nick Viall was announced as the new leading man. However, the rumors were apparently true: Luke Pell really was supposed to be The Bachelor!
The news comes from Luke himself, who admits he was all packed and ready to go, before receiving a phone call from ABC mere hours before boarding his flight to Los Angeles to appear on After Paradise for the reveal.
“We were all satisfied, had agreed to the contracts and everything was moving forward,” Luke said in an interview with Us Weekly. “I was checked in to my flight to come to L.A. I got a call from producers Sunday night at about 10 p.m. They said ABC had decided to quote-unquote ‘go in a different direction.’ I was supposed to fly out Monday morning at 9 a.m. I had my bags packed and everything. Most dramatic Monday ever!”
Luke had been among the most popular contestants on the most recent season of The Bachelorette, which featured JoJo Fletcher searching for love. He eventually finished in fourth place, being cut from the competition in one of the season’s most dramatic eliminations.
“We had planned for intro filming and had planned to have my sister come on for a date and give advice as part of the show,” said Luke. “I met with the wardrobe guys. Everything was moving forward. Everyone on the production level was expecting it to be me, as well.”
Still, Luke has no hard feelings about ABC flipping the script on him at the last minute.
“I’ve come to accept the decision,” the country singer and military veteran stated. “From all my years in the military, I’ve learned that some things are out of my control. I put it in the past, and I’m moving forward. It was a huge surprise, but the element of surprise and unexpected decisions is what the show thrives off of.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time the producers of The Bachelor franchise have pulled this before. As mentioned in our report yesterday about Luke’s cryptic tweet, Caila Quinn was originally going to be The Bachelorette 2016, but producers changed their mind after filming introductory vignettes for her, because they felt JoJo Fletcher had the better storyline in the show. By the same token, Arie Luyendyk Jr. was the first choice to be The Bachelor 2014, but the network got cold feet since he hadn’t been on television since Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette in 2012. Ultimately, the show went with Chris Soules, which resulted in a season that really wasn’t that great, and ended in one of the shortest-lived relationships between a Bachelor and his winner in franchise history (well, unless we count Jason Mesnick, who dumped his choice on the After the Final Rose special to propose to his runner-up).
I prefer Nick as The Bachelor, but I can’t help but feel awful for Luke. He seems like such a nice guy, and there was really no reason for the producers to yank his chain like this, especially since they knew Nick was going to be The Bachelor LONG before 10:00 PM this past Sunday, judging by the hints left by producer Mike Fleiss on Twitter these past few weeks. Although some of the clues suggested Luke, the vast majority pointed to Nick. So this was an unnecessary bit of manipulation. I mean, I guess they were trying to keep a back-up option in their pocket in the event that the tide of public opinion turned against Nick on social media. But they really ought to told Luke it was still up in the air, rather than pretending everything was a done deal.
What do you think about the producers changing their mind on Luke Pell as The Bachelor 2017? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on The Bachelor 2017, read up on the official casting of Nick Viall as The Bachelor!