The Bachelorette alum Michael Allio has claimed he turned down three separate offers to star on The Bachelor, even when offered an alleged "very large" sum of money.

Michael became a fan favorite on Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette, which aired in early 2021, after the single dad shared how he had lost his late wife, Laura Ritter-Allio, to breast cancer in 2019.


Michael voluntarily chose to leave the show in fourth place because his young son, James, missed him terribly at home, but producers were left wanting more.

Michael claimed conversations about starring on The Bachelor's 26th season began "two or three weeks" after he quit Katie's season.

"[Producers and I] had tons of conversations about being the lead -- not just after Katie's season, but they asked me three separate times," Michael revealed during the August 2 episode of the "She's All Bach" podcast.

Michael clarified how these talks were full-blown meetings with "top ABC executives" and that contracts were on the table.

"It was very real. I mean, they had production crews in [my hometown] of Akron [in Ohio] scouting out places [to film]. There were discussions that they were going to move the mansion to Akron so that I didn't have to be away from my son James," Michael explained.

The Bachelor producers were apparently going to accommodate Michael's parenting needs similar to how they did for Emily Maynard, who filmed The Bachelorette's eighth season in her hometown of Charlotte, NC.

And The Bachelor had also allowed its Season 13 single-dad star, Jason Mesnick, have his young son stay with him for some of the season's time in Los Angeles and then partially filmed the season in his Seattle, WA hometown.

But Michael insisted he was the one who turned down The Bachelor offers and it wasn't a matter of the show choosing to go in a different direction.

"Yeah, yeah, 100 percent [I turned them down]. I had all the contracts. I had to call them and tell them, 'No,' and they were very upset," Michael claimed.


Michael even alleged on the podcast that ABC executives kept offering him more and more money to accept The Bachelor position.

"I can't talk about specific numbers, but it was very large," Michael claimed.

"I mean, it was the largest one that I've ever heard or read about. The money was definitely there, but they understand, too, that money isn't something that motivates me. It really isn't."

Michael did own up to the fact he's "doing ads on Instagram for God knows what sometimes" in order to make a living and raise his son, but he clarified, "It's just, like, if I don't want to do it, then there isn't a price that can get you to do it."

Since Michael wasn't interested in the opportunity of starring on The Bachelor, he confirmed that the show went with its second choice, Clayton Echard, for Season 26.

"Yeah, that would be the situation, and honestly, I felt kind of bad for Clayton because he was put in a tough situation," Michael said.

"[It was] one that I actually felt a little bit guilty for because, you know, it took me some time to figure out if I wanted to be the lead."

Michael had apparently made producers wait until the last minute for his answer, which in turn rushed Clayton's casting.

"I think a lot of people want to be asked and they want to be the lead because it's, like, an exciting experience. And there is an element of excitement, but for me, I was just really scared," Michael admitted.

"I was really fearful of it. It felt a bit, like, a prison. I remember speaking with Katie about it, and she had a really rough time, with a lot of things."

Michael said after having a conversation with his The Bachelorette ex, he didn't think it seemed "too exciting" after all.

Michael made sure to note he's "blessed" to have had his experiences on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise's eighth season -- and that producers were very "kind" and "accommodating" to him.

"But it went back to two things," Michael said, before explaining why exactly he had turned down The Bachelor role multiple times.

"I don't think I can be a good Bachelor. I don't think I could be a good lead," Michael confessed.

"And I think the main reason behind that is I would have a really difficult time managing, like, 30 relationships. I probably would know within the first five days exactly who I wanted to spend time with... and you do [have to fake it with the others]."


Michael admitted "it's a bummer for the lead" to have to play that part "but some people can do it really, really well."

Michael said he applauds those leading men and women of the franchise who can pull it off, but he apparently can't imagine being in their shoes.

"Think of yourself in that situation: Night 1, you would know who the Top 3 are, or at least the Top 4," Michael said.

"And surprisingly, you don't get a lot of time with people. I think Katie and I, over the span of maybe 30 days, maybe spent a total of 10 hours together."

Given the show moves quickly and fans expect a season to end with a marriage proposal, Michael admitted, "At the end of the day, I was like, 'I don't think I can get engaged to somebody that I barely know.' And if I were to be the lead, I signed up for this, but you know, James didn't."

Michael continued, "And so I wondered how having this documentation on TV for eternity would impact him later in life."

Michael said he didn't want to create any "unnecessary" drama, exposure or tension in their "already complicated lives."

The business owner, however, told a different story in September 2021.

Shortly before Clayton was officially announced as The Bachelor's Season 26 star, a fan asked Michael "why" he wasn't selected for the job during a Q&A session via Instagram Stories.

"Hm. I don't know," Michael replied, according to Us Weekly. "But I'm sure the next one is going to be a really good one."

While Michael didn't want to be the Bachelor for its early 2022 season, he did appear on Bachelor in Paradise's eighth season last summer.

Michael fell for Danielle Maltby on the ABC spinoff and admitted during the reunion show in November 2022 that he was "in love" with her.

Danielle proceeded to move from Nashville, TN, to Cleveland, OH, to be closer to Michael and his son James, but breakup speculation began swirling last month when the couple noticeably stopped posting about each other on Instagram.

Michael was asked about the current status of his relationship with Danielle on the podcast, but he dodged the question and said they'd like to keep things private going forward.


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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.