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Why Michael Allio Turned Down ‘Bachelor’ Offer — And the Crazy Huge Paycheck That Came With It

Michael Allio Claims He Turned Down Huge Paycheck to Be the Bachelor
ABC/Craig Sjodin

Michael Allio could’ve been The Bachelor season 26 lead, but he turned down the offer — and the paycheck he says may well have been the largest ever for the show.

“I was just really scared. I was really fearful of it,” Allio, 39, revealed on a recent episode of the “She’s All Bach” podcast, adding the idea of becoming the star of the show “felt a little bit like a prison.”

The single father, who eliminated himself from Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette in 2021 — and who met girlfriend Danielle Maltby on season 8 of Bachelor in Paradise the following year — explained that even though production was “extremely accommodating with [my son] James,” he decided he was not the right fit for the role.

“I don’t think I can be a good Bachelor. I don’t think I can be a good lead,” Allio, who welcomed James with late wife Laura Ritter-Allio in 2016, explained. “I would have a really difficult time, managing, like, 30 relationships. I would probably know within the first five days who I wanted to spend time with.”

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Allio was also worried how becoming the Bachelor would affect his son. (The ABC star ultimately left Thurston’s season to care for his child, whose mother died in 2019.) “I don’t want to create that unnecessary element in our already complicated lives,” Allio said.

Therefore, Allio explained, he had to walk away from a pretty hefty paycheck.

“I can’t talk about specific numbers, but it was very large,” he said of the offer. “It was the largest one I ever heard or read about. The money was definitely there … but, money isn’t something that motivates me … If I don’t want to do it, there isn’t a price that can get [me] to do it.”

Michael Allio Claims He Turned Down Huge Paycheck to Be the Bachelor
Michael Allio. Courtesy of Michael Allio/Instagram

While Allio “had to call [Bachelor producers] and tell them no” — he said they were upset when he told them — Clayton Echard ultimately scored the top spot, and an eventual relationship with contestant Susie Evans. (The pair split in September 2022.)

Allio, meanwhile, is busy navigating his highly publicized romance with Maltby, 37.

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“I’ll say this. Being in a public relationship, it isn’t fun,” he said on the podcast, stressing they both love each other “very much” but dodging a question addressing rumors they’d split up. “Danielle and I, like, both agree that the only people that should be in our relationship are us two. So we think just the healthiest way to have a relationship is to keep it private.”

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