All’s fair in love and war.
The 35-year-old software sales executive was a surprise choice given the hit ABC franchise’s recent penchant for picking their leads solely from the most previous season only… but it was also a shock for a completely separate reason:
Luke Pell already thought he had the job!!!
Apparently, JoJo Fletcher‘s 3rd alternate was just ten hours away from flying out to El Lay for the LIVE After Paradise announcement when producers told him about Kaitlyn Bristowe and Andi Dorfman‘s runner-up’s casting!
Luke shared his heartbreaking story with Us Magazine on Wednesday, saying:
“We were all satisfied, had agreed to the contracts, and everything was moving forward. I was checked in to my flight to come to L.A. I got a call from producers Sunday night at about 10 p.m. EST. They said ABC had decided to quote-unquote ‘go in a different direction.’ I was supposed to fly out Monday morning at 9 a.m. EST. I had my bags packed and everything. Most dramatic Monday ever!
We had planned for intro filming and had planned to have my sister come on for a date and give advice as part of the show. I met with the wardrobe guys. Everything was moving forward. Everyone on the production level was expecting it to be me, as well.
I’ve come to accept the decision. From all my years in the military, I’ve learned that some things are out of my control. I put it in the past, and I’m moving forward. It was a huge surprise, but the element of surprise and unexpected decisions is what the show thrives off of.”
That’s gotta sting…
Luckily for Luke, hope is not all lost — fans of JoJo’s season started a petition shortly after the reveal Tuesday night to get the war veteran a spot alongside Nick — ├â┬á la Kaitlyn and Britt Nilsson‘s season premiere — writing:
“Let Luke Pell and Nick Viall both be the new Bachelor and let the 25 women choose who they want.
There are A LOT of fans from Bachelor Nation who love Luke Pell as well. Please consider this request. Thank you from a Luke Pell fan!”
Considering the show got dragged for that sexist twist the first time around, we highly doubt anything comes of the Change.org plea.
It does totally suck that Luke — and 2nd runner-up Chase McNary, for that matter — skipped Paradise since he was in the running for the main show while Nick got to do both…
Still, we’re at least excited to see Nick Viall suit up as The Bachelor this January on ABC!
…But are U??
[Image via ABC.]