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Bachelor Nation fans are buzzing about the next bachelor after Matt James. Multiple reports have come out claiming who the new lead will be. So here are some clues, reactions, and theories about the next star of The Bachelor Season 26 in 2022.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains potential spoilers about the next lead of The Bachelor 26 in 2022.]

Who is reportedly the next bachelor for season 26 in 2022?

A sign from ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ from the season 23 premiere at The Grove in Los Angeles
ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ | Aaron Poole via Getty Images

According to The Hollywood Reporter on Sept. 9, the next lead for The Bachelor 2022 will be from the cast of The Bachelorette Season 18 with Michelle Young. The new season will premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Meanwhile, The Bachelor Season 26 is expected to air in January 2022.

The publication also claimed that multiple contestants from The Bachelorette Season 17 with Katie Thurston were considered for the new Bachelor role, including Andrew Spencer, Greg Grippo, and Michael Allio. In the Sept. 8 episode of The Viall Files, Michael A. even revealed that he was “approached” and there were “discussions” about becoming the next lead. But no decisions were made at the time. Now, The Bachelor producers have allegedly made their choice.

Clues about the new season of ‘The Bachelor’ 26

On Sept. 9, the Chicks in the Office podcast was one of the first to report the news about the next bachelor. Co-hosts Ria and Fran also shared clues about the new lead, revealing why The Bachelor Season 26 producers decided to pick him from Michelle’s Bachelorette cast. They said:

“We had a trusted, reliable, credible source come to us and tell us that the next bachelor is not Greg. It’s not anybody who you thought it was. Not Michael. Not Andrew. It’s actually somebody from Michelle’s season. Someone who we have not met yet. But apparently, allegedly, producers fell in love with this guy. They resonate with his story, and they want to give him another chance at love immediately.”

Meanwhile, the hosts suggested that production for The Bachelor Season 26 will start toward the end of September. So it’s likely an announcement is coming soon. They said:

“They’re not waiting, whoever this nice gentleman is that we haven’t met yet. But we have heard that production is supposed to start close to the end of the month. So they’re gonna have to announce it at some point because we know that once production starts, pictures get out, things like that.”

‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ fans react and predict who will be the next lead in 2022

Many Bachelor Nation fans were intrigued by the new reports about the next bachelor.

“Honestly for them to pick him over all of the people from BIP and the past seasons he must really be a star,” a fan wrote on Reddit.

But given past problematic behavior from Bachelor Nation contestants, many viewers are hoping the producers picked their new lead after doing some research. A fan wrote on Reddit:

“i hope for their sake they did a deep deep deep dive on this man because it’s usually when the season starts airing that the major tea comes out about people. i have no faith in them to do their due diligence, but they could be f***ed if they don’t. i’m thankful it’s not any of the other options though lol”

Naturally, some Bachelor Nation fans are also predicting who will become the next lead for season 26. But it seems two names — PJ Henderson and LT Murray — are being thrown around more than others. In July, Bachelor Nation spoiler guru Reality Steve shared details about the two cast members because they have backstories that stand out. 

LT is reportedly Clint Eastwood’s grandson. Meanwhile, PJ is on the board of the Bakari Foundation, which was set up in his brother’s name after he was murdered in Greece in 2017. PJ is also a firefighter and EMT.

Now, Bachelor Nation fans will have to wait and see what the franchise decides for its next bachelor. But many individuals are hoping for an announcement soon. Stay tuned.

The Bachelorette Season 18 premieres Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.