Nick Viall being named as the next Bachelor might be the most shocking decision in the history of the show.
Following weeks of rumors, many fans expected ABC to announce either Luke Pell or Chase McNary as next season’s lead man. Why did producers pick Viall over everyone else?
According to E! Online, producers kept their final pick a complete secret, and even some of Viall’s closest friends had no idea he was selected to star on the hit reality show.
“In just the last few days, it totally switched,” an inside source told the outlet. “Nick’s closest friends and Bachelor in Paradise co-stars didn’t even know until moments before it was announced on After Paradise.”
At the same time, producers were on the verge of selecting Pell when a last minute change switched everything up. What caused the sudden change in direction?
“It was completely a last minute decision that only came together in the past few days. A very small handful of people knew,” the insider shared. “Nothing has been shot yet. There’s a lot that still needs to be figured out.”
Apparently, Viall’s performance on Bachelor in Paradise influenced producers to select him over Pell.
Viall was not portrayed in the best of lights during his time on The Bachelorette. In fact, he quickly became the villain in both Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s seasons.
Things changed, however, during Viall’s third run in the franchise.
“Nick is a low-key and chill to work with,” the insider said. “He also had a great edit this season on BIP.”
Indeed, Nick Viall gained a large following of fans after his appearance on Bachelor in Paradise and quickly changed how everyone viewed him.
“As Paradise started airing, he became a massive fan favorite. He’s the villain who became a hero. It became a comeback story that was irresistible,” the source added.
After the announcement had been made on After Paradise, Hollywood Life reported that Chris Harrison assured fans Viall deserved to be picked as the next Bachelor.
Considering his complicated history on the show, producers expect Viall to bring something new when The Bachelor returns next year.
“They liked what Nick brings to the table. He’s a little older, more mature. It will be a very different season than, say, [Ben Higgins’],” the insider explained. “He’s comfortable being himself around women. He’s not afraid to have real conversations.”
As far as Pell is concerned, Us Magazine reports that the former Bachelorette star admitted that Viall’s selection was unexpected, but he is looking forward to whatever lies ahead.
“Thanks for all the love and support over the past few months, sometimes in life we are faced with unexpected changes,” Pell shared on Instagram. “I’m happy to be back home in Nashville and so excited about what the future holds.”
Indeed, many fans expected the producers to pick Pell as the next Bachelor, especially considering his successful run on The Bachelorette.
Few thought Viall would land the coveted role. After all, Viall is still starring on Bachelor in Paradise, although it is now clear that his romance isn’t going to last long.
According to Us Magazine, even JoJo Fletcher thought Pell would make a great Bachelor.
“If you ask me personally, I think both Luke and Chase are great options,” Fletcher shared on Good Morning America. “I think Robby is a great choice too. But when I sent Luke home, America died. There was an overwhelming amount of support and love for him and I totally get it.”
Despite being passed over, there is a possibility that Pell will be picked to star in The Bachelor after Viall’s season.
Tell us! Do you think Luke Pell would have made a better Bachelor than Nick Viall? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via ABC]