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Who Will Be ‘The Bachelor’? ABC Executive Weighs in on Next Leading Man

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched the season finale of Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette,” which aired Aug. 6 on ABC.

The Bachelorette” Becca Kufrin walked away from the finale with a fiancé in Garrett, which means one thing — Blake is going to be “The Bachelor.”

Not so fast.

ABC confirms to Variety that the next “Bachelor” has not been cast yet, and while there are frontrunners, no decisions have been made when it comes to the next leading man.

The network isn’t tasked to make any casting decisions until the end of summer because “The Bachelor” does not head into production until this September, ahead of its early 2019 premiere. So the casting team will wait to see the audience’s reception to last night’s gut-wrenching finale, which saw Blake get his heart broken, plus the new season of “Bachelor in Paradise” to see which reality stars may become fan-favorites, just like Nick Viall did a few summers back, which ultimately landed him the top spot as “The Bachelor.”

“The audience is the silent producer of this show. We want to see who people want to see as ‘The Bachelor,’” Rob Mills, ABC’s SVP of alternative series, specials & late-night programming, tells Variety. “There are several candidates, and there’s no consensus from the audience. People have pros and cons on several people. We also want to see when we start talking to girls who will be in the potential cast, who they like.”

Mills suggests that the frontrunners include runner-up Blake and second runner-up Jason, plus Colton, Wills, and even Grocery Store Joe. The executive also says it’s possible ABC could look outside the pool of current contestants.

When asked if the network would ever cast a complete stranger — someone who has never appeared on any part of “The Bachelor” franchise — Mills says, “100%. Absolutely.”

“I think there are some things that are super exciting about that,” Mills continues. “It would be exciting getting to know someone that we don’t know. But there are also some cons there because I think we are able to service the lead better when we know them really well and know who might be the best partner now. But absolutely — we’re only hurting ourselves if we don’t look at every option.”

Here, ABC executive Rob Mills weighs in on the potential frontrunners who could become “The Bachelor” for Season 13…

BLAKE:

The verdict: Blake is certainly a possibility, but he might be too heartbroken to find love right now…

“I think Blake will certainly get some traction. I’m going to be fascinated to see what people think or how Blake even feels about it — is Blake too heartbroken to be ‘The Bachelor?’ He was torn down to the core. He is so beyond heartbroken. I think he needs to ask himself that and we’ll go from there.”

JASON:

The verdict: Jason is definitely in the running…

“Jason, he sort of admitted, he and Becca had insanely strong chemistry and strong feelings, he was a little bit more of a slow burn, so I think he’s ready to jump back in.”

COLTON:

The verdict: If his storyline pops on “Bachelor in Paradise,” there’s a chance…

“I think we have to watch Colton’s arc on ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’ You want to look at everything. When we’ve really been rewarded is when we look at as wide of a net as possible, and look at pros and cons.”

WILLS

The verdict: Wills is absolutely in the running. If anything, for his fashion sensibility…

“Wills had a massive following and had a very different approach. His reactions sometimes to some of the guys was priceless. He really called it like it was, and that could be very interesting to see, in terms of dating 25 women. He is also probably the most stylist person we’ve ever had on the history of the show.”

GROCERY STORE JOE:

The verdict: Actually, there is a chance…

“I mean, do we take a huge left turn? I think everything is a possibility. He’s on ‘Bachelor In Paradise,’ so we’ve got to watch what the reaction is. There was such a huge following for Grocery Store Joe — someone that we really know nothing about, but we will know more after ‘Bachelor In Paradise.’”

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