Would Ben Smith Return for ‘The Bachelor’? ‘Bachelorette’ Fans Are Wondering Whether They’ll See the Contestant in 2022

When Ben Smith first appeared on The Bachelorette Season 16, some fans wondered whether the new cast member would become the next bachelor for 2022. The contestant received a relatively positive edit throughout the season, even before the Tayshia Adams and Clare Crawley switch-up. But would Smith return for The Bachelor in the future? Here’s what he said.

Ben Smith’s journey with Bachelor Nation so far

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At the start of The Bachelorette Season 16, Smith remained subtly in the background — sort of. While the main focus was on Crawley’s relationship with Dale Moss, Smith would pop up on occasion. 

For one, Smith was the first man out of the limo in the season premiere. Then during the second group date, the editors aired Smith’s touching “words of affirmation” to Crawley. Meanwhile, the contestant was the only suitor who Crawley applauded during The Bachelorette roast group date, as many jokes targeted Moss. 

That said, Smith truly came out of his shell when Adams became the new bachelorette. Smith opened up about serious life experiences, such as his battle with bulimia and previous suicide attempts. The contestant also fell in love with Adams. However, Smith wasn’t able to articulate how he truly felt during Hometowns. So Adams sent him home.

Nevertheless, Smith came back to reclaim Adams’ heart in part one of The Bachelorette finale. So now, Bachelor Nation fans must patiently wait and see what happens next.

Ben Smith answers whether he would return for ‘The Bachelor’

Bachelor Nation star Ben Smith
Bachelor Nation contestant Ben Smith | Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

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Ahead of the two-night Bachelorette finale, Smith joined Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast. In the Dec. 2 episode, Smith opened up about his overall experience with the franchise. Then by the end of their conversation, both Lindsay and Kufrin claimed Smith had a good shot at becoming a future Bachelor lead.

“I’m going to say it, Ben,” Lindsay said. “You have the makings of a good bachelor.”

Then Smith replied, “I don’t know what that means, but I appreciate it.” He also jokingly said his hair was the source of his appeal. “It’s my hair,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kufrin asked Smith whether he would accept the bachelor role if he were asked by the franchise. “I don’t know,” Smith said. “I don’t know what happens at the end of the season. I guess we’ll have to watch it.”

How Ben Smith feels about his ‘Bachelorette’ experience now

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Whatever happens between Smith and Adams on The Bachelorette Season 16 finale, it seems the contestant is choosing to remain coy about The Bachelor in the future. That said, the next season already has its lead. 

Back in June, the franchise chose Matt James to headline season 25, which will air in January 2021. So who knows what could happen by the time 2022 rolls around. At this point, it’s just as likely our future bachelor will be from The Bachelorette Season 17.

But regardless, Smith seems to be adjusting back to normalcy just fine. Still speaking on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Smith pointed out that he’s got a life outside of the reality TV bubble.

“I have a life outside of this experience, and I think some people don’t see it that way,” Smith said. “I contribute to my community in a way that I’m incredibly proud of. So I can’t let this experience — although it was incredibly important and something I’m extremely proud of — take away from my ability to be the person that I am.”

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The Bachelorette cast member also delved into his experience, noting he had no expectations. And while he seems open to future opportunities, The Bachelor franchise isn’t exactly a priority.

“Going into the experience, I had no expectations,” Smith said. “I showed up completely as myself, I challenged myself in a way that I’ve never challenged myself before. So there were no limits on what happened there. The same applies to coming home. I had no expectations to what will ultimately be shown on TV. I know the experience that I had, I know the relationships that I built, the friendships that I cultivated.”

He continued, “For me, the only thing that matters is what mattered before going on the show. So the community that I live in, the people that I love here, that’s what matters now. And ultimately, there will be opportunities and things that come of this experience. New friends, things like that. But I care deeply about what I do. So I don’t think I’m going to lose whatever I’ve got going here.”

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