“I didn’t make this decision, right? I was very grateful to accept it and move forward, but listen, regardless of race, of identity or whatnot, everybody is deserving of love. And I’m not the only person,” the pilot, 28, told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on Monday, December 30. “Mike would’ve been a great Bachelor. Tyler [Cameron] could have been a great Bachelor. They picked me and I’m very excited and very humbled.”
“Yes, I wanted to be the Bachelor. Yes, I auditioned to be the Bachelor. I went in there with the right intentions of wanting to find love [and] wanting to be true to myself,” he said on an episode of the “Bachelor Happy Hour With Rachel & Ali ” podcast. “They chose the right person for what they want — and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.”
The following month, the Air Force vet opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about being passed over.
“I think I am a great candidate. I think I speak well. I think that I am fun and energetic. I mean, I’m not the ugliest teddy bear. I’m a decent-looking teddy bear,” the Texas native said at the time. “They chose a great guy in Peter. I don’t want there to be any pressure on Peter nor on me or anyone in the future that becomes the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. It’s about the direction that the show wanted to go in.”
Season 24 of The Bachelor premieres on ABC Monday, January 6, at 8 p.m. ET.