Rumors have been circling for a while that one of Bachelor Nation's recent favorites from Hannah Brown's Bachelorette season, Mike Johnson, would not be chosen as the next Bachelor. Johnson became a front runner in the minds of many earlier this year for his maturity, reliability, positive attitude and megawatt smile. But, as it turns out, those rumors were true, and when the next lead of The Bachelor was announced earlier this week, those behind the show had picked "Pilot" Peter "windmill sex" Weber. Now, though, we know how Mike Johnson feels about not making the cut.
Fan support for Johnson to become the next Bachelor was so strong that ABC and the producers couldn't completely ignore him, and while it turns out that he was under consideration, not becoming the franchise's first African American Bachelor hasn't gotten him down.
I had those conversations. Wonderful crew at Warner and ABC. They chose a different route. I was definitely sad, I wasn’t in the best of spirits for maybe 17 minutes.
Ha! You tell 'em, Mike! You don't need no stinking lead role on The Bachelor to be happy! Really, though, let's look at how gracious Mike Johnson is being in, what some might call, defeat. He didn't even badmouth the network or The Bachelor's producers. In fact, he complimented them, even though he clearly knows what a huge mistake they've all made.
From Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette, there were three top contenders for leading the next run of The Bachelor: Tyler Cameron, Peter Weber and Mike Johnson. Cameron has become well-known in recent weeks for hanging out with supermodel Gigi Hadid, and it can only be assumed he did not want to give up that new relationship to take a chance at love on TV again. And, really, who among us can blame him?
Weber was seen as another level-headed and loving guy from that season, who Brown also happened to reveal was packed with enough stamina to have sex with her four times during their fantasy suite date in a windmill. So, even though we found out during that season that he may have broken up with his girlfriend just to go on The Bachelorette, he was still in contention.
It was hoped that Johnson, who had remained at the forefront of people's minds all this time and during his stint on Bachelor in Paradise, would have had enough fan support to encourage the franchise to name him as the first black Bachelor. This was still true while his fellow BIP co-star, Derek Peth, was broken up with, twice, in very dramatic fashion, but handled each one with grace and kindness.
Franchise host Chris Harrison spoke out about what they look for when choosing leads not long ago, and revealed that not only does the decision hinge on whether or not they believe they have the right person at the right time (Cameron dating so publicly almost definitely took him out of the running), but if that person seems like they will make for good, layered storytelling on a television show. Clearly, they thought that Peter Weber was the better choice right now.
In case you're wondering, Mike Johnson would have loved to lead The Bachelor had he been asked, but, as usual for our Mike, he's got nothing but good things to say about the whole process.
I would 100 percent have accepted being the Bachelor if they had chosen me. I think I would have made a really good Bachelor. I would have been the first black Bachelor, as well as the first veteran Bachelor. ABC made a great choice with Peter — that’s who they decided to go with. I’m a phenomenal man and still am. The point of going on The Bachelorette was to find love, and that opportunity is still there for me.
I happen to believe that Johnson's positive vibes as he talks about the (temporary) disappointment of not being selected for The Bachelor will only continue to fuel Bachelor Nation's upset over him not looking for love as we all watch next season. Though, as Johnson said during his chat with Extra, he's still "a phenomenal man" and can find love outside of the show. Which bodes well for all the flirty conversations on social media that he's been exchanging with pop star Demi Lovato (as well as their date from a few days ago).
Well, Mike Johnson might not be the first black Bachelor (or the first military veteran in that role, as it should be noted that Season 10's Andrew Baldwin was an officer in the US Navy), but Peter Weber is. His season of The Bachelor is due to start filming by the end of this week and will hit ABC on January 6, 2020. We'll keep you up to date on everything about the new season (including rumors aplenty), but until then be sure to bookmark our 2019 fall TV premiere guide for everything you can watch in the coming weeks!