EXCLUSIVE: Why Peter Kraus Didn't Become the Next Bachelor

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Peter Kraus seemed like a shoe-in as the next Bachelor, but there's a reason (or several) why Arie Luyendyk Jr. ended up coming out of nowhere to become the new lead.

From the beginning of Rachel Lindsay's Bachelorette season, Kraus stood out as a man who sincerely wanted to find love, and though he refused to get down on one knee in the finale, fans still saw the Wisconsin native as Bachelor material. 

Sources told ET that Kraus was also open to the role, so why didn't it happen? Here's what went down. 

Following the dramatic season season finale, Lindsay confronted Kraus on After the Final Rose and told him The Bachelor journey wasn't right for him, to which he agreed. But we were all still rooting for him! In fact, a source told ET just one week later Kraus was at the top of producers' minds for the position. 

"Anything could change at this stage of the game. [It's] still too early to tell," the source said at the time. "Producers in this franchise are very good at convincing." 

Weeks later after much speculation, it appeared as if Bachelor producers had succeeded in finding their man, as Good Morning America mysteriously tweeted last Thursday that the Bachelor would be revealed live on "tomorrow's" show. Minutes later, however, the tweet had been deleted, leading fans to wonder what happened. Did Kraus back out? Was it someone else entirely?

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Photo: Twitter

Then, over the past week while producers scrambled to finalize their Bachelor, Kraus went silent. "Peter had been on lockdown for the past week or so, even friends couldn't get a hold of him," a source tells ET.

Going on lockdown usually indicates everything is in the final stages of negotiations. However as that week came to an end, this changed for Kraus.

"It's not looking good for Peter [to be the Bachelor] right now," a source told ET on Wednesday, just hours before the final GMA announcement. According to the source, Kraus had agreed to be the Bachelor, but then wanted more out of the situation with ABC. "After that, ABC lost interest," the source explained. 

On Thursday morning, Luyendyk was announced as the Bachelor -- and Kraus started texting his friends back after being on lockdown. And while much of Bachelor Nation isn't exactly pleased with the Bachelor decision that seemingly came out of left field, another source insists that Kraus is "doing fine." 

"Being the Bachelor wasn't something he was building his whole world around," the source explains. "The major desire wasn't there for him." 

"Peter wasn't in this for fame or fortune," another source adds. "He wouldn't have been the Bachelor just for a platform, and his stance hadn't really changed when it came to an engagement." 

At the end of the day, a source close to production says that they're ready to move on.

"Producers feel like Peter was a great guy, but Arie is really genuine too. Now the focus is on casting the women," the source reveals. "Casting is still underway, and now women know it's Arie, so they can really decide for themselves if they want to pursue him." 

Maybe there's still hope for Kraus, though. Luyendyk was last on The Bachelorette in 2012, so see Kraus in 2022? Hopefully he'll be ready for an engagement by then!

Reporting by Lauren Zima

Luyendyk Jr. didn't even seem like a possibility as the Bachelor earlier this week. Watch below.