Will ABC Reveal the Next 'Bachelor' Tonight? Who Will It Be?
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Now that the cat's out of the bag (or, rather, ring's out of the box...) about which guy Jillian chose as her one-and-only, Bachelor viewers have quickly turned their speculation skills on the next season of the reality dating show, which is slated to begin filming within months. After three previous cycles of contestants-turned-love-seekers (Deanna, Jason, and Jillian were all rejected on past seasons), it's highly likely that ABC will once again choose a spurned Bachelor from Jillian's cast-offs to try his hand at finding love again as their title character prince charming.

If ABC continues to go with their traditional methods, that also means it's likely the network will announce the lucky (or unlucky, if you ask some) guy at tonight's "After the Final Rose" Special, when host Chris Harrison will catch up with the happy couple (Jillian and Ed), plus allow rejects Kiptyn and Reid to confront Jillian.

Deanna and Jason were each second-place contestants turned Bachelor-stars, while Jillian was third in Jason's affections. This season, with all its ups, downs, and "surprise" returns, several men who didn't place in the top three seem poised to take on the role: besides Kiptyn and Reid, break-dancer Michael Stagliano and pilot Jake Pavelka have also been rumored as contenders.

Which guy is best suited to don the Bachelor crown? And, a slightly different question: who's most likely to show up next season? Let's break it down.


Pros: As runner-up, he got the most screen-time to connect with viewers. He's gorgeous, sweet, heads up a charity, and has 12-pack abs. By all accounts, he's a gentleman through and through. Women swoon wherever he goes. What's not to love?

Cons: Casting someone we universally like could lead to a universally boring season of The Bachelor. Kiptyn needs to show more quirks (even weaknesses) to viewers so they know he's got a unique personality inside that "perfect package."

Chances of being The Bachelor: Good. Rumors about ABC molding him to the role have been around for weeks, if not months. It's likely that the only thing standing between Kiptyn and 25 eligible ladies is whether or not he wants the task.


Pros: You want personality? He's got it. The second runner-up is a talkative, quirky guy with a killer story to start off his season: twice rejected by Jillian (once for not saying how he felt, and then again for saying it too late), Reid is ready to learn from his mistake, and lay it out on the line for the right woman. To boot: he's a successful realtor, and handsome (in glasses, too) as all get-out.

Cons: He's divisive. He has a tendency to talk too much that some viewers found honest and charming, but others found grating and annoying. While a love/hate Bachelor could certainly inspire both sides to tune in (some hope he flops while others want him to flourish), over-exposure is a risk for all of us, especially those who adore Reid right now. Remember--fans loved Deanna and Jason before they carried the weight of an entire season. If you really love Reid now, it could be wiser to wish him well in the offscreen romance department.

Chances of being The Bachelor: Fair. Sympathy for Reid only grew last night when he confessed his love to Jillian and almost won her over. But the franchise's most vocal Next-Bachelor lobbyists have been entrenched in a few other camps for months now, and it might just be too little, too late. Again.


Pros: He's the noble guy who "pulled strings" to return after rejection and tell Jillian that Wes had a girlfriend. He's got the most swoon-worthy profession (pilot), and can certainly go toe-to-toe with Kiptyn in the hotness ring. It also makes a great beginning narrative: this shining knight couldn't save Jillian from one snake in the grass, but now he's ready to ride off into the sunset with his own damsel--this time, one who wants to be saved!

Cons: Same concerns about Kiptyn--without some major roadbumps already set in place, Jake's season could simply be a snore. Plus (and I know this is a hot-button issue for all you die-hard Jake fans out there, so beware--this is my personal opinion) but some of us just can't abide this whole "too perfect" business. He's not perfect (no one is!) and I'm just not sure I can stand a whole season of his laments about what a burden perfection (real or perceived) is. And, amidst rampant rumors that ABC maliciously edited Wes into the ground and used Jake to help do it, it could be in the network's best interest to leave that drama in the past, and avoid any future claims that it's Jake's puppet-strings that are being pulled, not the other way around.

Chances of being The Bachelor: Great. If viewer polls are any indication, Jake is definitely the people's choice. If ABC goes with the most popular candidate, they'll ask him. And he'll say yes. He's already become an advocate for the series, claiming that it's "a terrific way to find somebody."


Pros: He's got tons of personality without the shades of unlikability that Reid has. He's also the most energetic and funny guy in the bunch, which could make for great TV. Plus, Mike's got a secret weapon--a twin brother who could either serve as a co-Bachelor, or an amusing sidekick, a dynamic that would certainly be new and exciting for viewers. And who wouldn't watch 25 women trying to break dance on a Bachelor premiere?

Cons: He might already be taken by another Bachelor alum. If not, there's also a worry that doing a twin season of The Bachelor could take the series into the Ikki (and icky) Twin realm (MTV's latest twin bisexual love-seekers, a la Tila Tequila). Would the brothers pull their dates from separate pools? What if they fell for (and kissed) the same girl(s)? If they're not careful, not only would ABC be risking the boys' brotherly love, but also our collective gag reflex.

Chances of being The Bachelor:
If he's single, they're pretty good. Even Jillian wants to see him on next season. And a twin season might be too enticing to pass up for a show that's already gone through 18 rounds.

Someone New

Pros: A guy who's entirely unattached to previous seasons could breathe fresh life--and a whole different breed of drama--into the rather incestuous series.

Cons: Depends who it is. The mysteries of casting make this a crap shoot for ABC, who might just stumble upon the next Andrew Firestone (a fan favorite) or another Brad Womack (hellooo, fan backlash)... and in this economy, it's fair to assume the network won't be willing to take the risk.

Chances of being The Bachelor: Bad.  If they find a stellar candidate, I hope they take him up on it. There's something to be said about a clean slate. But with four other well-known names on the ballot, let's not hold our collective breath on this.

More Bachelorette coverage:
Bachelorette Finale Recap: Jillian Gets Her Ring!
Bachelorette Diary of the Departed: 'Pissed Off' Reid and Heartbroken Kiptyn
Interview: 'Bachelorette' Jillian Tells All in Media Conference Call
The Bachelorette: Final 3 Questions Remain After Rejected "Men Tell All"
Kiptyn Vs. Ed: Which Man to Wed?
The Bachelorette Final 2: Kiptyn's Greatest Hits
The Bachelorette Final 2: Ed's Greatest Hits

-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Image courtesy of ABC