In another life. Caila Quinn, Chase McNary, Tia Booth, Luke Pell and more former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants met with producers for the lead role over the years.
“They all have their pluses and minuses. … It’s always a very difficult choice. And people get angry no matter who we choose,” Mike Fleiss told Entertainment Tonight in 2018. “The only person that we ever chose who didn’t seem to piss people off was Juan Pablo [Galavis]! It was like 100 percent approval for the choice of Juan Pablo. So, it’s a hard thing to figure.”
A year later, producer Robert Mills gave more insight into the decision.
“It’s a combination of not [only] who everybody wants in the moment and thinking this is it, but also seeing ‘OK, who can really carry 20 to 22 hours on their back,” he told E! News in 2019. “It’s certainly not for everyone. That’s really the hardest part.”
Chris Harrison has also been candid about how difficult it is to pick the next Bachelor or Bachelorette, citing the decision to pick Nick Viall over Luke in 2016.
“Luke was definitely the front-runner,” he told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “It’s not an indictment on Luke that he’s not the Bachelor. That doesn’t make him a bad guy. We can just only have one person and, at the end of the day, it’s very important for us to have someone who is sincere. Who is sincerely going to go through this and, I hate to be cliche, for the right reasons try to find love?”
Four years later, the longtime host reiterated his point about sincerity.
“It is normal for us to have multiple candidates coming in. First of all, we have to find who is available and who is really sincere, and we bring them in for interviews,” he told the outlet in 2020. “There is a vetting process that goes all the way up to the top of the network, so there is a lot that goes into it.”
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Scroll through for contestants who nearly landed the big role over the years: