star is officially Arie Luyendyk
Jr., but that means that somewhere along the way, ABC's talks with The Bachelorette
fan-favorite Peter Kraus
fell through. So what reportedly happened?
One day before Arie was publicly named The Bachelor's
Season 22 star, the show's creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss tweeted on Wednesday, "Unfortunately, Peter probably will not be
Well, according to an insider, producers were in "full-blown panic mode" prior Good Morning America's
Thursday announcement of Arie's upcoming The Bachelor
participation, People reported
"Peter was honestly never [producers'] first choice; they're still mad at him because of the whole [Rachel Lindsay
] situation," the insider said.
"But they knew he's who the fans wanted. And the fact that they went to Peter even after they'd initially said they wouldn't? That let Peter know he had a ton of power going into this situation."
Mike initially tweeted that Peter's chances of becoming the next Bachelor were slim because he had refused to propose to Rachel on The Bachelorette's
thirteenth season when only one other suitor, Bryan Abasolo
Although Rachel has insisted Bryan -- her current fiance -- was her first choice
, viewers speculated she rejected Peter
prior to the final Rose Ceremony only because he wouldn't commit to a proposal.
Since Mike suggested on Twitter that Peter wouldn't make a good
Bachelor because he doesn't seem ready
for an engagement, Peter reportedly had room to negotiate and an ability to play hardball once producers realized they did want him as the next The Bachelor
"Suddenly it was like they needed him more than he needs them -- he didn't think he was going to get it, anyway, so he doesn't care if it all goes away again. He's not bending on what he wants," the insider told People
"Really, the producers feel like ANY demands coming from Peter are a bit much; they always think everybody should be falling all over themselves to get this honor. And Peter just doesn't play that way. He doesn't play by any of the rules -- if he did, he'd have just proposed to Rachel even though he knew it wouldn't work out, and then broken up with her a few months later, like [Nick Viall
] just did. But he couldn't be forced into it."
The insider added, "That might have also been a sticking point: the show likely would want him to promise to propose at the end -- Nick definitely had to say he would go through with it -- and it's highly possible Peter just refused to promise, just like he refused to go ahead with Rachel."
So once Mike disclosed on Twitter that the Bachelor would not be someone from JoJo Fletcher
's season of The Bachelorette
-- which excluded Chase McNary
, Wells Adams
, Luke Pell
and Robby Hayes
-- and Peter was out of the running, the insider said producers had "nowhere to turn."
The insider told People
that Eric Bigger
from Rachel's season lacked "charisma" in producers' eyes and the show might get desperate enough to cast a "B-list actor."
But Arie had always been on the back-burner for ABC since his The Bachelorette
stint in 2012, when he had finished as Emily Maynard
. In fact, he came extremely close to being cast as the Bachelor for Season 17 in 2013, which ultimately starred Sean Lowe
, and Season 19 in 2015, which featured Iowa farmer Chris Soules
For the show's nineteenth season, Arie revealed to Us Weekly
around this same time last year that he had a flight booked to Los Angeles and contracts signed with The Bachelor
only to have the rug pulled out
from beneath him last minute.
"It's been an ongoing conversation
through the last couple of years," Arie told People
. "The timing was never right."
The professional auto racing driver turned real estate agent from Scottsdale, AZ, admitted to the magazine that being chosen as the Bachelor is "pretty surreal" and the "timing is just so perfect" for him now.
"I could not be more excited for this journey I'm about to embark on... I'm not nervous. Now that I've had some time and distance away from [the franchise], it feels like the feeling I had before I went into it the first time," Arie explained.
"I think sometimes when you're on The Bachelorette
and you jump right into being the Bachelor, for me it would've been too soon. This feels more natural. I'm not concerned what people think. I'm just focused on the outcome. I want to find my person and will do whatever it takes!"
Arie added, "I just want to find that spark with somebody. I want to someone to share my life with. I feel like it's my time. I'm going into this with an open heart."