A little too perseverant? Luke Pell, who exclusively revealed to Us Weekly on Thursday, September 1, that producers led him to believe he would be the season 21 Bachelor, is letting Us know what he really thinks of Nick Viall getting the gig.
Pell, a castoff from JoJo Fletcher‘s The Bachelorette season 12, tells Us exclusively that he recently had a quick encounter with Viall and got a good impression of him. Viall, a two-time runner-up on The Bachelorette and currently a Bachelor in Paradise season 3 cast member, was announced as the new Bachelor during After Paradise on Tuesday, August 31.
“I watched a few episodes of Kaitlyn [Bristowe]’s season,” Pell, 31, tells Us of last year’s The Bachelorette season 11, in which Viall, 35, came in second behind Shawn Booth. “That’s the first time that I saw Nick on screen. I had met him briefly in L.A. this summer. He seems to be a really nice guy. I don’t know much about him.”
“I haven’t gotten a chance to know him as well as some of the folks on Bachelor in Paradise and the folks who have been cast on shows with Nick,” the country music singer continues. “They know him much better than I do. I really do hope the best for him.”
The season 12 standout then squeezes in a quip as he says with a laugh, “If he doesn’t work out for a fourth season, I’m sure he’d be up for a fifth season.” Brad Womack — the show’s only two-time Bachelor thus far — would be proud!
Pell was widely seen as the front-runner to become the next Bachelor, and he told Us on September 1 that not long before Viall was announced as the choice, Pell himself had talked with producers and “agreed to the contracts, and everything was moving forward” for the war veteran to land the gig. Pell added that the show’s staff called him to reject him on Sunday, August 28, just 11 hours before his planned flight to Los Angeles to appear on After Paradise.
Some fans are clearly bummed that Pell didn’t get the gig, as a Change.org petition has been launched to let the season’s eligible women choose between the two guys.
Tell Us: Would you rather watch Luke Pell or Nick Viall as the Bachelor?
The Bachelor returns to ABC in early 2017.