Sean Lowe: Chris Soules was producers' second choice for 'The Bachelor' star
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/20/2015
Chris Soules might've seemed like the obvious choice for this season's Bachelor, but ABC producers apparently picked someone else first and then changed their minds last minute.
Soules, a 33-year-old farmer and businessman from Arlington, IA, was depicted as a sweet gentleman and burly outdoorsman during his stint on Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette. His portrayal made it seem like he was a shoo-in to become Season 19's Bachelor -- especially since the franchise was coming off the heels of Juan Pablo Galavis, who will likely go down in history as the most controversial Bachelor ever.
"I was campaigning for my racecar driving buddy Arie," Lowe told Dish Nation of Luyendyk Jr, who had competed against Lowe for Maynard's heart in 2012 and finished as the season's runner-up.
"From what I understand, the show -- the producers that make the show -- they wanted Arie as well. [But] they've got some new execs and they were getting nervous, like, 'Arie hadn't been on TV for two years. We want to go with the safe choice,' which would've been Chris because he had just been coming off The Bachelorette," Lowe said.
Lowe, who landed in third place during Maynard'sThe Bachelorette edition, said producers went as far as to begin taping Luyendyk Jr. for the series.
"So they actually told Arie he was going to be the Bachelor. They even flew down, had a camera crew, filmed him telling his family he was going to be the next Bachelor, and then they pulled the rug out from underneath him and made Chris the Bachelor," Lowe revealed.
Lowe suggested the network might regret their decision now, as Soules has certainly "taken some heat" this season on the show. For example, many viewers aren't happy about how many girls Soules has opted to kiss and how quickly he started making out with some of them.
According to an Us Weekly source, Luyendyk Jr had been "pissed off" about the chain of events, which prompted him to prematurely tweet the fact he wasn't selected as the new Bachelor back in August 2014. He had made the announcement before Soules' participation was officially disclosed.