Contestants Who Were Runner up to Be ‘The Bachelor’

A lot of work goes into making it look like people are really falling in love on The Bachelor. That includes lying to make the show look more realistic and effortless. Then there are the lies told to contain potential spoilers. These types of lies are understandable and even necessary. Sometimes producers even lie to potential bachelor candidates by telling them they will be the next bachelor. Some of these contestants have come forward saying they went as far as shooting and signing contracts before finding out they weren’t going to be on the show.

The bait and switch is probably done to cover up for the person who was actually chosen, but it still seems pretty cruel. So who were The Bachelor runners up? Here are 10 men who were in talks to be on the show at some point.

1. Chase McNary

The Bachelorette

Chase McNary and JoJo Fletcher on The Bachelorette | ABC

The medical sales rep failed to win over JoJo Fletcher’s heart on The Bachelorette. But it looked like he was going to get a second chance at love. He revealed to Entertainment Tonight that he might be the new bachelor. “The discussions are there,” he revealed, “But I don’t know — there’s a lot of weight there.” He continued to voice some hesitation about taking on the gig.

“There [are] a lot of expectations, and I’m not scared of it … but I definitely want to make the smart decision and the right decision before I totally accept that position,” he said. In the end, none of the men from that season got  the job, but according to McNary, he was told he was going to be the next bachelor.

“I went through the negotiations, I accepted the offer, I signed the contract,” he told Us Weekly. “I talked to my family friends about being the Bachelor. It was the Monday before they announced it that they told me I wasn’t the Bachelor. So I found out with the rest of the world that it was Nick.” That’s a tough way to find out!

2. Luke Pell

Luke Pell

Luke Pell in After the Final Rose | ABC

The musician also wasn’t able to win over JoJo, however, he was very popular among viewers. It looked like he had the job in the bag until it was announced that The Bachelor would be Nick Viall. Turned out Pell also was told he was going to be the next bachelor, and he told Us Weekly that he almost got on a plane to start shooting!

We were all satisfied, had agreed to the contracts and everything was moving forward. I was checked in to my flight to come to L.A. I got a call from producers Sunday night at about 10 p.m. They said ABC had decided to quote-unquote go in a different direction. I was supposed to fly out Monday morning at 9 a.m. I had my bags packed and everything. Most dramatic Monday ever!

3. Jay Overbye

Jay Overbye and Byron Velvick

Jay Overbye and Byron Velvick | Peter Kramer/Getty Images

This was one of the few times the show decided to have two bachelors on one season of the show. Jay Overbye was one of the bachelors along with Byron Velvick on Season 6 of The Bachelor. However, Overbye was ditched on the first night when the ladies voted to keep Velvick as the season’s bachelor. This time it seemed like the network was at least a little more transparent about the process. Overbye revealed to The Huffington Post how ABC broke the news to him.

I got a call from [ABC], and they said ‘Hey, we have great news for you! You are chosen as the Bachelor! They were congratulating me, and they said, ‘Just so you know, there’s going to be another Bachelor.’ I was like, ‘Wait a second, that’s not fair! I just went through this whole process as the one guy!’

4. Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Arie Luyendyk Jr. on The Bachelorette | ABC

The race car driver was on Season 8 of The Bachelorette. However, he was sent home by Emily Maynard who chose Jef Holm instead. Turns out Luyendyk was in talks to be the next bachelor for Season 17. Instead, Chris Soules got the title. “From what I understand, the show, the producers that make the show, they wanted Arie,” revealed Sean Lowe according to People Magazine, but he claimed the executives “were getting nervous. Like, Arie hadn’t been on TV in two years.”

They also pulled the quick switch on him. “They actually told Arie he was gonna be the Bachelor,” continued Lowe. “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.”

5. Ben Patton

Ben Patton

Ben Patton on The Bachelor | ABC

Ben Patton is JoJo Fletcher’s brother, therefore we got to see him on her hometown date on The Bachelor‘s Season 20. It looks like he was interested in doing more than just interrogating his sister’s date, in fact, he could have been the bachelor himself!

Ben was reportedly contacted in 2008 by the show, and repeatedly after that. But the same report claims that he turned them down because he felt like he was too young. However, chances of that being true are slim since he did appear on NBC’s Ready for Love in 2013, which was canceled. It’s more likely the show went with someone else instead.

6. Chris Lambton


Chris Lambton | ABC

When looking for a Season 15 bachelor, The Bachelor approached Chris Lambton, who was on Season 6 of The Bachelorette. He turned it down because he was upset by how he was previously portrayed.

“I’m not a one-dimensional person,” he explained according to WetPaint. “I know they were like, ‘Go ask him about his mom again.’ They didn’t talk about my teaching. They didn’t talk about anything else. It was good editing.” The Bachelor wanted him so badly that they reportedly offered to have his family close by and gave him the chance to pick the locations for exotic dates. However, he turned them down and Brad Womack was chosen as the next bachelor.

7. James Taylor

The Bachelorette

James Taylor on The Bachelorette | ABC

We saw James Taylor repeatedly serenade JoJo Fletcher on The Bachelorette. He got kicked off the show earlier than Luke Pell and Chase McNary, however, he was one of the first men mentioned to potentially be the next bachelor. “His personality really appeals to viewers,” a source told Life & Style. “Producers haven’t made any decisions yet, but they think he could be a strong and interesting choice. They’re definitely considering him.”

8. Roberto Martinez

The Bachelorette

Roberto Martinez on The Bachelorette | ABC

The Season 6 Bachelorette contestant was seemingly close to making The Bachelor history by being the first non-white bachelor. He reportedly signed a contract to be on the show, but it didn’t work out. “He’s already signed the contract,” revealed a source to Life& Style. “They chose him because he’s very likable, and they hadn’t liked any of the men on Emily Maynard’s season.”

9. Jonathan Scott

Property brothres

Drew and Jonathan Scott of Property Brothers | HGTV/Scripps Networks Interactive

The show tends to pick a former contestant from The Bachelorette to be the next bachelor. However, it would make sense if the show contacted famous people outside of the Bachelor Nation to go on The Bachelor. Turns out they tried this tactic and asked Jonathan Scott of Property Brothers to go on the show.

I had been approached,” he revealed to People Magazine. “I had been asked if I’d be interested in doing The Bachelor. But it’s not my thing. I like to think I don’t need to date 12 women at a time or 30 women at a time.” It’s too bad, Jonathan would have been perfect!

10. Derek Hough

Dancing With the Stars

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars | ABC

A source claims that the dancer is another reality star who producers have been trying to get on the show. Specifically, they wanted him on Season 18, making Juan Pablo Galavis the runner up choice. “Mike [Fleiss] thinks Derek would be the ultimate Bachelor because he’s already a household name,” a source said according to Wet Paint. The source claims the show is “desperate for another famous guy to star on the show, and they always come back to Derek.” They reportedly offered him $3 million, but he didn’t take the bait.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice

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