Time to form a support group? With Luke Pell revealing exclusively to Us Weekly that producers led him to believe he would become the season 21 Bachelor, fellow Bachelorette alum Arie Luyendyk Jr. tells Us that he, too, felt blindsided by the ABC dating show's producers when he didn't land the coveted gig several years ago.
Pell, 31, was a standout from JoJo Fletcher's season 12 of The Bachelorette and was widely seen as the front-runner to be the new Bachelor. On September 1, the Burnet, Texas, native told Us Weekly that before Nick Viall was announced as the Bachelor on the Tuesday, August 30, episode of After Paradise, Pell himself had talked with producers and "agreed to the contracts, and everything was moving forward" for the war veteran to land the gig.
He pointed out that the show's staff called him at 10 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, to inform him that "ABC had decided to quote-unquote go in a different direction. I was supposed to fly out [to L.A. for After Paradise on] Monday morning at 9 a.m. I had my bags packed and everything. Most dramatic Monday ever!”
Luyendyk Jr., 34, commented on a tweet of the Pell story that producers had the same surprise change of heart about him when he was in talks to be the season 19 Bachelor, a role that ultimately went to Chris Soules. (Luyendyk Jr. was the season's runner-up to Jef Holm for Emily Maynard's final rose.) Pell showed his appreciation by retweeting the race car driver's message of support.
"I mean, [my situation was] almost word for word on that article," Luyendyk Jr. tells Us exclusively about Pell's story. "Same exact deal. I just knew two days prior, but same deal: suit fittings; contracts that I signed, but they were delayed on signings on their end; booked flights. Maybe this is a common practice now to throw off fans — I don’t know."
The race car driver points out that he's not opposed to seeing Viall hand out the roses next year, although he feels for Pell: "I like the decision to go with Nick, but they did Luke dirty for sure."
Tell Us: Would Nick Viall or Luke Pell make a better Bachelor?
The Bachelor returns to ABC in early 2017.
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