Even former contestants are baffled by the fact that pilot Peter is the new bachelor when we have military Mike, currently being pined over by the entire internet, still single.
Excellent television crier and makeup applier (That is not snark. I actually purchased products after watching her use them on Bachelor in Paradise.), Ashley Iaconetti recently expressed to People what many fans were thinking when Chris Harrison informed us ABC had picked Peter over Mike, namely, I don’t know her:
“‘I’ll be honest, I feel like I have not for quite some time felt so detached from a choice for the Bachelor,’ Iaconetti, 31, told People. ‘He was very nice on his season, but I don’t know that I know him very well. He’s just been sweet and lovely, but I don’t know him.’”
Peter is fine if you’re horny in a windmill, but for an entire season? His awkward small talk could barely make an entire segment on Hannah’s season of The Bachelorette. We need charming, level-headed Mike. While Peter spent most of his time on camera smiling quietly to himself, Mike might have been the first reality television competitor in history to understand empathy as concept while he resolved issues within the house and patiently allowed Hannah room to talk rather than spending their time together either projecting his bullshit like Luke or obsessing over Luke like Jed.
Even Jared Haibon, who failed to realize for years that it was his destiny to eventually marry Ashley on television can see that Mike deserves this:
“‘I’m a little shocked that he’s not the Bachelor,’ Haibon said about Johnson, but added, ‘I’m not doubting the choice.’”
Well the rest of us are doubting the choice. The fact that Mike was thrown over in favor of both a man with Ted Bundy eyes and a dog food jingle singer who had a girlfriend means that ABC, the universe, and Eros owe this to Mike and the thousands of fans who asked that he be the new lead.
According to Variety, the network was originally interested but eventually went with the whiter choice, as is their wont:
“Sources confirm to Variety that Johnson did meet with Bachelor executives very early in the casting process for Season 24 of The Bachelor, and the network had expressed strong interest in considering him for the starring role.”
While ABC has tried to move beyond The Bachelor as a show in which a Ken doll chooses a wife from a couple dozen identical blonde women, the fact that fans were demanding Mike for the next season of the Bachelor and the network instead chose more of the same is proof that the show has a very long way to go, even if it did include a same-sex couple on the latest season of Paradise.