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The Bachelor Season 26 Spoilers: Why Fans Might Not Be Happy About The New Bachelor

ABC

the bachelorette season 17 greg grippo katie thurston abc

(Image credit: ABC)

Warning: potential spoilers ahead for the upcoming Season 26 of The Bachelor on ABC

The current cycle of the Bachelor Nation franchise is more than a little unusual, as Matt James' season of The Bachelor is being followed by The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and another season of The Bachelorette before finally getting to The Bachelor Season 26 in 2022. There's no shortage of Bachelor candidates for the next season thanks Katie Thurston's run as Bachelorette, plus whatever castoffs are still looking for love after Michelle Young's search for her soul mate concludes, but now spoilers suggest that ABC has already landed on the next Bachelor: Greg Grippo. And fans might not be happy.

The report of Greg Grippo becoming the next Bachelor comes from reliable Bachelor Nation spoiler guru Reality Steve, who took to Twitter to share this:

What I’ve been hearing the past 5 days or so regarding the next Bachelor are this…been told it’s going to be Greg. Obviously it’s never 'official' until ABC announces it (whenever that may be), but at this point I would be very surprised if it’s not him.

Reality Steve did note that Greg Grippo as the next Bachelor isn't confirmed until ABC makes the news official, but since his spoilers tend to hit the mark, it's a pretty safe bet that Grippo will indeed be the next man distributing roses on a season of The Bachelor. And honestly, for most of Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette, Grippo seemed like he would be a pretty great Bachelor lead if Blake Moynes was going to win her heart, as Grippo was a frontrunner until pretty late in the game.

Then everything suddenly and heartbreakingly went sideways after hometowns when Greg Grippo dropped some tough comments on Katie Thurston and left before the next rose ceremony. He said he took issue with her treating their relationship too much like it was part of a show and competition (which it obviously was) and wasn't getting what he needed from her, devastating her to the point that she was ready to leave.

Then, at the "After the Final Rose" portion of The Bachelorette finale, Katie Thurston confronted Greg Grippo with heated accusations of gaslighting, and informed the viewers that Grippo actually went to acting school, suggesting that his entire farewell was one big performance. While there were plenty of viewers who were on his side rather than hers after their confrontation in the finale, he is still a divisive choice at best, and perhaps not the ideal pick as the follow-up to the relative mess that was Matt James' season.

That's not to say that any amount of fan anger over Greg Grippo's rumored role as the next Bachelor will result in anybody at ABC changing their minds and recasting. Reality Steve doubled down on Grippo as the most likely to star in Season 26, posting on social media:

He’s a polarizing figure that will have people talking, which is what they want. But by all accounts and everything I’m being told, he’s your next Bachelor so, I guess let’s get the hot take machine fired up. Because here they come in full force.

I'm a little surprised at the suggestion that "what they want" is a polarizing figure to get people talking, since Bachelor Nation has already delivered plenty of polarizing developments over the past year, ranging from the announcement of Matt James as Bachelor despite never appearing on The Bachelorette to Chris Harrison's firing to the naming of two Bachelorettes before another season of The Bachelor. Plus, Blake Moynes showing up in Katie Thurston's season at all was the subject of contention online that wasn't always pretty.

All of this said, Season 26 of The Bachelor – with or without Greg Grippo handing out the roses – is still a ways off. New episodes of the current (and unconventional) seventh season of Bachelor in Paradise air on Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC starting at 8 p.m. ET, and Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette is to follow as the final Bachelor Nation season of 2021. The Bachelor will be back in 2022.

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Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.