It’s always shocking when The Bachelor pulls out a surprise that it hasn’t used before in 20 seasons, considering they can’t get into truly outlandish scenarios like going to the moon or setting a date inside a live volcano. Yet somehow, this Ben Higgins-led season has done just that with its finale, in which it was revealed that the next season of The Bachelorette won’t be centered around second runner-up Caila Quinn, who was heavily rumored to be set to take the spot. Instead, the Bachelorette gig will go to first runner-up JoJo Fletcher.
So yeah, JoJo lost out on making it to the last step, and Ben ended up asking Lauren Bushnell for her hand in marriage. (Not an immediate marriage on live television, like the producers apparently wanted, but at some point.) And although it was bad news for JoJo and her legions of fans, the After the Final Rose special ushered in the news that she is going to be the one doing the dumping and the proposing (perhaps) for her very own season of The Bachelorette, so that was definitely a reason to get cheery again.
But what about poor Caila, who already went through a particularly heinous experience when Ben abruptly dumped her in the middle of a conversation? (I guess we should be happy to not have watched her get this latest bad news on TV like we did when she got jilted.) It’s hard to know exactly how set in stone Caila’s involvement on The Bachelorette was, since it was never officially confirmed by ABC. But show creator Mike Fleiss had been public about plans to add diversity to the show by presumably going with a non-white Bachelorette – Caila is half-Filipino – and different Internet outlets reported on the Ohio native filming earlier this month.
Plus, according to well-known Bachelor spoiler writer Reality Steve, Caila only found on this past Thursday that she was being passed over for The Bachelorette, and that the filming she did was set up after network execs convinced her she was set for the next season. Apparently she isn’t very happy with how any of it turned out, as can be expected, and we can only hope she makes it to Bachelor in Paradise to dish out some details on how that awfulness all went down.
It's also strange that Caila isn’t the chosen one here since most second runner-ups get the gig. JoJo isn’t the first second-place contestant to get it – Season 1’s Trista Rehn has that distinction – but it’s still a rare occurrence. JoJo herself seems to also not be so locked down on prioritizing, as you might remember when she spent part of her hometown date with Ben talking about and talking to her ex-boyfriend. Based on that alone, even, she should make for some interesting TV when she gets to put her Bachelorette duties on display. And maybe they can bring her mom out every once in a while.
Farewell, Bachelor fans. We’ll probably see you again when The Bachelorette, no stranger to twists, starts up again this summer, no matter who ends up actually making it there.