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The Season 16 Bachelorette Is a ‘Dark Horse’: It Will Be a ‘Surprise’ (Exclusive)

Victoria Fuller, Hannah Brown and Tia Booth The Next Bachelorette
Victoria Fuller, Hannah Brown and Tia Booth.ABC/Maarten de Boer; Shutterstock (2)

Dying to know! Hannah Brown, Tia Booth and more Bachelor Nation alums have been mentioned as possible leads for season 16 of The Bachelorette, but who will accept the rose gig?

Related: Former ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Leads: Where Are They Now?

“This season’s pick will be a huge surprise to fans,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “She’s a complete dark horse.”

For those still rooting for Brown, 25, to get a third chance at reality TV love, the insider confirms that the Alabama native had discussions about returning to the spot she held during season 15. However, she was never officially offered the role and the powers-that-be ultimately decided to go in a different direction.

Related: ‘Bachelor’ Stars Who Returned to the Franchise Again and Again

Good Morning America announced via Twitter on Friday, February 28, that the big reveal will take place during the Monday, March 2, episode of the talk show.

In recent years, the Bachelorette was selected from the previous Bachelor’s season. For instance, Brown competed on Colton Underwood’s season before being named the lead. However, many fans are speculating that the show might take inspiration from The Bachelor’s wildcard picks, including Arie Luyendyk Jr. in 2017 and Nick Viall in 2018. Both men were alums but appeared on The Bachelorette several years before being selected as the Bachelor.

Related: ‘Bachelor’ Alums Who Went Back to Their Day Jobs

Some viewers are still holding out hope that one of Peter Weber’s final three — Hannah Ann Sluss, Madison Prewett or Victoria Fuller — will be the next Bachelorette. Given the timing of the announcement and the fact that they are still in the running for the pilot’s final rose, though, the chances seem less likely. But, as Bachelor Nation fans know all too well, there is a first time for everything.

Host Chris Harrison teased the creative team’s decision-making process earlier this month. “There’s always an opportunity for a curveball,” he told Us Weekly exclusively on February 19 while discussing his partnership with Seagram’s Escapes to create a new flavor called Seagram’s Escapes Tropical Rosé, on shelves now. “Even when there’s somebody who’s really, really obvious from the prior season. There’s always an opportunity for something crazy from left field.”

Despite the intense process that goes on behind the scenes, Harrison, 48, knows what to expect. “It doesn’t matter what we do,” he admitted. “There’s people that are going to love it, and there’s people that are going to hate it.”

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