On last week’s Bachelor in Paradise, host Chris Harrison made a promise. Next week, on the companion show, After Paradise, loyal viewers would finally learn who of Kaitlyn Bristowe’s cast-offs would next be handing out roses on The Bachelor.
Speculation has run rampant since the Bachelorette finale about the men who are in contention for the Bachelor spot. One of them is not Harrison — he told HuffPost Live in May he would never be handing out roses because “you have to have a little sense of naiveté and innocence coming into this. I just know a little too much.”
Two names consistently come up: Ben Higgins and Nick Viall. Viall seems like a dark horse in the race, as public reaction was swift and largely negative when his name started to float the rounds in social media. USA Today reported that some Twitter users threatened to not watch the show if Nick was in charge. But Viall does have some fans.
— Stuart Brazell (@stuartbrazell) August 12, 2015
E! Online reported at the end of July that the show was in discussions about Viall’s possible involvement in a future Bachelor or Bachelorette program. But even then it seemed unlikely Viall would get the gig.
The more likely choice is Higgins, who has been widely reported as the confirmed Bachelor. US Weekly reported on August 12 that sources confirmed the news and Higgins even halted a burgeoning romance with Tenley Molzahn in order to make way for his Bachelor role.
Bachelor in Paradise fans will remember Tenley showed up on the island this summer, five years after she was runner-up on Jake Pavelka’s season. Tenley was spotted on social media with Higgins and other Bachelor in Paradise gents in late July, as the group was hanging out in Denver. E! Online called it “pulling a Kaitlyn,” in the sense of becoming chummy with old contestants. Of course, during Kaitlyn’s season, that “old contestant” was Nick Viall.
As for what the men are doing as the After Paradise announcement approaches, both gave possible clues about their whereabouts. Viall said he was flying in to Los Angeles and Higgins joked about playing some golf this week.
It’s way too early for Cheetos… ✈️✈️✈️ ORD —> LAX
— Nick Viall (@viallnicholas28) August 23, 2015
— Benjamin Higgins (@benhiggi) August 23, 2015
Of course, that is not conclusive evidence. That conclusive evidence will happen during After Paradise Monday night at 9 p.m. on ABC, when the new Bachelor is officially named.
[Left image: Ben Higgins / Instagram; Right image: photo by Jeff Schear / Getty Images Entertainment]