The man who will star on Season 20 of The Bachelor has reportedly been all but confirmed.

The Bachelor producers want Ben Higgins to serve as their leading guy, E! News reported.

According to multiple sources, the 26-year-old software salesman from Denver, CO, has been selected as the franchise's next star and he is "pretty much a lock" barring any last minute changes.

Higgins, however, reportedly has yet to finalize his contract with ABC, who refuses to comment on casting rumors.

Bristowe's runner-up was considered for the role but producers allegedly believe Higgins would attract more viewers.

Higgins finished The Bachelorette's eleventh season in third place. He'll join a pattern of second runner-up contestants who became stars of the franchise. Andi Dorfman finished Juan Pablo Galavis' edition in third place, Chris Soules claimed third on Dorfman's The Bachelorette season, and then Bristowe placed third in Soules' edition of The Bachelor.

Show producers enjoy casting second runner-ups, according to E! News, because the runner-up is often painted in a negative light in order for fans to be super pleased about a season's "winner."

In a recent interview with TV Guide, Chris Harrison teased Higgins has a great shot at being the next The Bachelor star.

"I think he could be the one. I can pretty much guarantee the next Bachelor will come out of this season, and it's very rare we have so many good choices," the show host said.

"When you look at the front row of Men Tell All, we had [Ben Zorn], Ben H, [Jared Haibon] and [Chris Strandburg], and I was looking at those four thinking any of them would make a great season. We've started those discussions and we'll have a great Bachelor."

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.