The 5 Best Theories About Who ABC Cast as the Next Bachelor

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Way back in October 2021, Reality Steve reported that ABC was planning to do back-to-back seasons of The Bachelor. Exhausted fans shuddered at the thought, but some were hopeful and started casting their ballots early for who they would want as the lead. While that “back-to-back Bachelors plan is dead in the water, there are still tons of men to choose from between Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adam’s joint season, Katie Thurston’s season, Michelle Young’s season, and Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia’s current season of The Bachelorette whenever The Bachelor *does* pick a new lead for season 27.

It is seriously a full-time job keeping up with the endless happenings of Bachelor Nation (no, for real, it’s literally part of my job!), so we’ve nailed down some of the top contenders who may be up for the starring Bachelor role—or at least who fans want to see in the role. As always, nothing is ~officially official~ till the head honchos over at ABC give the final word. However, the one thing we know for certain is that the network has officially renewed The Bachelor for a new season, so here’s to hoping your fave gets cast!!

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Rodney Matthews

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“Hot Rod,” as many fans lovingly called him, made it to the final four of Michelle Young’s season and was truly adored by viewers for his charm, goofiness, and charismatic personality. Many hoped to see him in the role for Clayton’s season of The Bachelor, and even Clayton jokingly agreed that he hoped Rodney would get the spot instead during a segment on the “After the Final Rose” special. If it’s one thing ABC should note, it’s that fans would turn out in droves to see Rodney again—like, in general—but also to watch him find love wouldn’t be too bad either.

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Greg Grippo

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Before Clayton was announced as the Bachelor, Reality Steve literally all but confirmed that Greg would be the one in the role. According to sleuthy fans, Greg’s uncle cleared the air by saying that ABC “offered [the role] to Greg, but he declined.”

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It doesn’t seem to mean Greg is ruling out another shot at love within the franchise though. In an interview with Us Weekly, he said he’d “do [the show] again if there was somebody I’m genuinely interested in.” Since being the lead obviously offers more control than being a contestant, it wouldn’t be shocking if Greg did decide to pursue to lead spot now that he’s “in a really good spot” emotionally.

Greg strikes a good balance of love and dislike, mainly after all those ~acting rumors~ and the massive fight (and ultimately, breakup) he had with Katie before self-eliminating.

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Way back in February, Greg told Nick Viall on The Viall Files podcast (via Us Weekly) that he was dating someone—but he did not reveal who it was. So much time has passed, though, that maybe that whole thing has fizzled out, especially since the mystery woman lived in Paris.

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James Clarke (aka Meatball)

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IDK about you, but Meatball was a standout from the jump. I mean, talk about adding ✨pizzazz✨ to this latest Bachelorette season! Although he was technically eliminated at the end of week 3 after rejecting Rachel’s rose, she allowed him to come back for week 4 and for that, fans are grateful. While he proved to be instrumental in getting Hayden Markowitz *insert “boo” noises here* sent home that week, once the Belgium trip rolled around, his luck did not continue. Fans of the show then legit sprinted to Twitter to express their sadness over the loss of the unsung hero of Gabby and Rachel’s season, lol.

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More recently, when Bach franchise creator Mike Fleiss asked the Twitter-verse who should be chosen to be the next Bachelor, Meatball—along with other current faves like Tino Franco and throwback contestants like Tyler Cameron—was consistently lauded 🥺❤️. @Mike if ur reading this, please do it for the Meatball stans!

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Ben Smith

A lil semi-throwback name, huh? ICYMI, Ben was Tayshia Adams’s runner up, naturally making him a shoo-in for the lead Bachelor role. Since Tayshia’s joint season with Clare Crawley happened about two years ago now, it was Ben’s latest Instagram announcements that have fans thinking he’s headed to the mansion. As pointed out and collected by @bachelorrabbitthole, Ben recently announced that he’s leaving his gym company Rodeo Athletic in order to “transition into some other professional opportunities.”

Naturally, Ben’s announcement made most of Bachelor Nation go 👀, but the rest wasn’t really buying it and thought it was too farfetched. As one commenter pointed out, “Idk. I don’t think filming the bachelor is something to lose ownership over a company over so I don’t really think it’s that. But who knows. Maybe its blake 😂😂😂😂😂😂.” Or maybeeeee it’s…

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Zach Shallcross

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After a truly heart-wrenching episode last night in which he had a v candid convo with Rachel, Zach was finally eliminated from this season’s Bachelorette. How-ev-er!! If you wanna know whether you might just see Zach land the role of season 27 Bachelor, you could be in luck since Reality Steve announced this via Twitter earlier today:

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How we doing? Have you emotionally recovered yet? Bc I haven’t lol. That said, though the Bach goss king *does* have a penchant for bring right, that’s not to say this is entirely 100 percent true, so def keep your eyes peeled for updates to this story as more theories are bound to emerge!

Associate News Editor Christen is the associate news editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers all things around pop culture, celebrity, and things happening in the world.


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