'The Bachelor' creator drops new hints about the next Bachelor, seemingly responds to rumors ABC has picked Greg Grippo
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/23/2021
The Bachelor creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss has seemingly responded to rumors Greg Grippo is going to star on the show's 26th season in 2022.
While Bachelor Nation is still awaiting ABC's official The Bachelor announcement as of Monday, August 23, reports have swirled the network already selected Katie Thurston's controversial The Bachelorette frontrunner and New Jersey native Greg Grippo, 27.
Mike has been dropping hints over the last week about the franchise's next leading man, and his latest tweet was on Sunday.
"When selecting #TheBachelor, the most important qualification is sincerity," Mike wrote.
Mike gave The Bachelor fans a more significant hint back on Friday, August 20 when he tweeted, "Our casting choice for your next #TheBachelor will unite #BachelorNation and solve all of the world's problems..."
One day earlier, Mike revealed on Twitter, "These decisions regarding our next #TheBachelor are complicated."
According to Mike, "no official decision" had been made by ABC as of Thursday, August 19.
While Mike insisted at the time ABC had yet to make a final decision on The Bachelor's Season 26 star, he made it sound like the Bachelor had already been chosen earlier in the week.
"All I can tell you right now is that #BachelorNation will be very happy!" Mike wrote on Tuesday, August 17. "Well, maybe not everybody ... #TheBachelor."
Mike explained early last week that he was just "waiting for final approval" to make the "major announcement" in the coming days.
Both Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone and The Sun recently reported that Greg is closing his deal with ABC to star on the upcoming The Bachelor edition, likely premiering in early January.
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Carbone tweeted on Thursday, "(SPOILER): What I've been hearing the past 5 days or so regarding the next Bachelor are this...been told it's going to be Greg. Obviously it's never 'official' until ABC announces it (whenever that may be), but at this point I would be very surprised if it's not him."
While there are definitely huge Greg fans inThe Bachelor universe, he unexpectedly dumped Katie after hometown dates on The Bachelorette's seventeenth season and was accused of having a big ego and gaslighting Katie during their tense breakup conversation, for which Greg has since apologized.
"They pick who they pick and there will always be people upset no matter what," Carbone wrote.
"He's a polarizing figure that will have people talking, which is what they want," he added of ABC and producers. "But by all accounts and everything I'm being told, he's your next Bachelor."
The Sun, who dubbed Greg a "risky choice," reported that "execs have talked about Greg becoming The Bachelorsince he left the show," according to a source close to the show.
"He would be one of, if not the most controversial pick and they know they will get backlash."
However, the source told The Sun that producers aren't afraid of getting people fired up.
In fact, protesting on social media has already begun, with manyThe Bachelor fans expressing outrage and anger at ABC's alleged decision to have Greg -- a former aspiring actor who has been described as "manipulative" and "fame hungry" -- hand out roses.
"I DONT WANT GREG AS BACHELOR. Why are we rewarding bad behavior? Another f**ked up white guy. WAY TO GO ABC," one Twitter user wrote, according to The Sun.
And another person reportedly complained, "I have given the Bachelor franchise chance after chance after chance, but choosing Greg as the new Bachelor is my last straw."
But the source close to the show reasoned that this type of reaction "happens nearly every season and happened the strongest with [Colton Underwood's] season which turned out to be one of the most-watched."
Greg reportedly wasn't interested in the starring role at first but eventually came around.
"[He's] opened up and has been seriously discussing the matter with execs," the source said.
"Nothing is set in stone until ABC announces it publicly but it's looking like, Greg will be the next Bachelor."
Bachelor Nation has assumed the next Bachelor would either be Greg, single dad Michael Allio, or pro football player Andrew Spencer from Katie's season.
Rumors have also been swirling in the last several days that maybe Hannah Brown's The Bachelorette runner-up, Tyler Cameron, has been chosen as the next Bachelor. After all, Tyler teased on Instagram last week he has "exciting stuff coming" up and "whole lot to smile about!"
Bachelor in Paradise bartender Wells Adams also recently said "there is a big star in Paradise this year" who may be a Bachelor candidate as well.
"I think that everyone should wait for Paradise to air before we anoint anyone the next Bachelor," Wells told formerThe Bachelor star Nick Viall on an episode of "The Viall Files" earlier this month.
"I think that there is one particular person that everyone is going to want to be the Bachelor," Wells continued, "and whether or not they are even available to be the next Bachelor at the end of it remains to be seen."
After watching Bachelor in Paradise's Season 7 premiere on August 16, Nick reasoned on his podcast that Wells must have been talking about Joe "Grocery Store Joe" Amabile because the endearing and quirky 35-year-old Chicago native seems to be receiving "a Bachelor edit."
Nick called Joe honest, earnest, relatable, and authentic, adding, "He's probably one of the best people at owning his awkwardness... and that comes across very charming."
Meanwhile, a source claiming to be Greg's friend for years previously described Greg as an over-confident "schemer" and "fame seeker" who is "phony" and has manipulated women in the past and played with their emotions.
Greg ended up breaking Katie's heart on The Bachelorette because he said Katie had failed to give him the validation and reassurance he needed once he poured his heart out to her and declared his love.
Greg essentially scolded Katie for being too focused on her Bachelorette role when he desperately wanted their relationship to be real and for Katie to fully express her feelings to him. The relationship ended brutally and with apparent animosity on both sides.
Katie ended up falling in love with her ultimate The Bachelorette winner, Blake Moynes, and the couple got engaged during the Season 17 finale and is still happy and together to this day.
Although Greg initially said on After the Final Rose he had "no regrets" about his The Bachelorette stint, he subsequently called himself an immature "ass" and "petulant child" for the way he had treated Katie during a recent appearance on "The Viall Files."
A fair share of The Bachelorette fans, however, believe Greg had every right to speak what was on his heart and expect Katie to communicate her feelings since he was days away from a marriage proposal.