It wouldn't be The Bachelor without a little drama! Sean Lowe stopped by Dish Nation on Friday, Feb. 20, and revealed some juicy gossip about season 19 hunk Chris Soules and Bachelorette alum Arie Luyendyk Jr., who was in the running to be ABC's leading man before Prince Farming got the gig last August.
According to Lowe — who costarred with Luyendyk on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette in 2012, and then went on to find love with Catherine Giudici on season 17 of The Bachelor in 2013 — producers pulled a last-minute switcheroo on Luyendyk after telling him he was their guy for season 19.
"I was campaigning for my race car-driving buddy Arie," Lowe told Dish Nation. "From what I understand, the show, the producers that make the show, they wanted Arie as well. [But] they've got some new execs, and they were getting nervous. Like, Arie hadn't been on TV in two years."
The For the Right Reasons author said they opted for the "safe choice," Soules, who had just come off of Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette and was popular among fans.
"They actually told Arie he was gonna be the Bachelor," he added. "They flew down, had a camera crew, filmed him telling his family he was gonna be the next Bachelor — then pulled the rug out from underneath him and made Chris the Bachelor."
Indeed, as Us Weekly reported last July, Luyendyk was a top contender for the season 19 spot and even went so far as to film promos for the new season. "He already had his packages shot, and they got him a trainer so he could buff up and be camera ready with his shirt off," an insider told Us at the time.
Ultimately, though, Soules' appeal won out. "Unlike a lot of Bachelors, you know what Chris is offering," a second source said. "He wants to find a wife and family so badly, but he's also stuck in a place that he absolutely loves and where he needs to be for his job."
Luyendyk, for his part, tweeted that he was "okay" with losing to Soules and was "happy" to be able to move forward. As fans may remember, his last stint on the franchise ended in heartbreak when Maynard rejected him in favor of Jef Holm on the finale.
Lowe was rejected by Maynard, too — just one week earlier, in fact. "I was so confident back then, thinking I'm the dude she's gonna choose…because she told me, she said, 'Listen, I'm only gonna do this with you, but we're gonna look like we're gonna wrap up the date, but then we're gonna go to the Fantasy Suite and we can just hang out,'" he recalled.
"So that's exactly what we did. I think I walked her back to her place at like four in the morning. But we spent like four hours, no cameras," he told Dish Nation. "So I'm thinking, if she's only doing it with me, then she must want to choose me. Of course, it was that same week she sent me home, and I found out she did it with the other guys [too]."
Asked whether he thought she did more than just "hang out" with the top two contenders, he said, "If I had to guess, I'd say probably."