"Almost ready to announce your new #TheBachelor !!! Just gotta finish up some paperwork..." The Bachelor creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss tweeted on Monday, suggesting the franchise's next leading man has already signed on the dotted line.
While Bachelor Nation is still awaiting ABC's official The Bachelor announcement as of Friday, August 27, Mike has been getting fans all worked up for weeks now by dropping hints and teasers on Twitter.
Mike recently revealed "the most important qualification" for being the Bachelor "is sincerity" and decisions regarding the next Bachelor have been "complicated."
Mike gave The Bachelor fans a more significant hint back on August 20 when he tweeted, "Our casting choice for your next #TheBachelor will unite #BachelorNation and solve all of the world's problems..."
While Mike insisted at the time ABC had yet to make a final decision on who will lead The Bachelor's 26th season, presumably premiering in early January 2022, 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 August 17. "Well, maybe not everybody ... #TheBachelor."
Mike explained at the time producers were "waiting for final approval" before they could make the "major announcement" to the world.
Both Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone and The Sun reported around the time of Mike's tweets that Katie Thurston's controversial The Bachelorette bachelor, Greg Grippo, 27, was closing his deal with ABC to star on the upcoming The Bachelor edition.
Carbone tweeted on August 19, "(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."
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In fact, protesting on social media began weeks ago, with many The 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.
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.
Another Twitter user 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 that maybe Hannah Brown's The Bachelorette runner-up, Tyler Cameron, has been chosen as the next Bachelor. After all, Tyler teased on Instagram on August 17 that 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 former The 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."
However, it appears ABC is going to announce the Bachelor pick before Bachelor in Paradise's seventh season wraps airing on television.