‘Bachelor’ Chris Soules Not Producers’ First Choice For This Season, Says Sean Lowe

Fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette know show producers like to keep it all in the family. Jilted contestants from either show are in the running to star in the following season’s program where they have another shot at television love. The tradition goes all the way back to first Bachelorette Trista Sutter, who came in second place in the first season of The Bachelor. She is still married to the man she chose, Ryan Sutter.

Chris Soules keeps with that tradition, as he was sent home by last year’s Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman. But it turns out ABC producers had another gent in mind to hand out roses this season: Arie Luyendyk, from Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette. That was back in 2012, practically a generation ago for fans who are bombarded every season with a new cast of crazy and attractive characters. That gap of time, according to 2013 Bachelor Sean Lowe, was the problem.

“I was campaigning for my race car-driving buddy Arie. From what I understand, the show, the producers that make the show, they wanted Arie as well. [But] they’ve got some new execs, and they were getting nervous. Like, Arie hadn’t been on TV in two years.

“They actually told Arie he was gonna be the Bachelor. They flew down, had a camera crew, filmed him telling his family he was gonna be the next Bachelor — then pulled the rug out from underneath him and made Chris the Bachelor.”

Lowe made the statements on Dish Nation, which were then reported by Us Weekly. The magazine also confirmed a different source told them last summer Arie was on his way to becoming the new Bachelor. Yet another source revealed what ultimately set Soules apart.

“Unlike a lot of Bachelors, you know what Chris is offering. He wants to find a wife and family so badly, but he’s also stuck in a place that he absolutely loves and where he needs to be for his job.”

That place is Arlington, Iowa, which The Bachelor portrayed as nearly deserted.

An interesting tidbit for Bachelor fans: Producers apparently hired Luyendyk a trainer so he could get in shape for those shirtless shots.

Luyendyk and Lowe became friends when both were competing for Maynard’s heart. They were two of her final three; Luyendyk made it to the finale and discussed his time with Emily on the After the Final Rose special.

The next year, Lowe became The Bachelor and married his final pick, Catherine Giudici. He has been vocal about this season’s Bachelor while promoting his book For the Right Reasons, speaking out on controversial characters such as now-eliminated contestant Kelsey Poe.

The revelation about Arie’s potential to be the next Bachelor isn’t exactly new, although it may surprise some that the choice of Soules was apparently made last-minute. The race car driver tweeted out the news himself last summer and expressed his desire to move on.

Chris Soules is down to his final three. The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC.

[Images: Arie Luyendyk/Getty; Chris Soules/Getty]