While speaking with ET's Lauren Zima at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, Bachelorette favorites Blake Horstmann and Jason Tartick confirmed that they were in serious talks to be the Bachelor -- and revealed that they didn't know the job wasn't theirs until hours before Colton Underwood was announced.
"We got the call the day before and that was it. His name had leaked, if you will, so it wasn't a blindside. It really wasn't. I kind of had a feeling that it wasn't going to be me," Horstmann told ET in his first on-camera interview since the Bachelor announcement. "No bags were packed or anything like that, but yeah, it was weird getting the call and I could hear it in their voice right away. I was like, 'Yeah, OK, it's not me.'"
"I wasn't out there campaigning, doing interviews and that kind of thing. That just wasn't me, that's not who I am," he said. "I thought I kind of was going to be the Bachelor, so I was a little bit more reserved if you will."
Regardless, Horstmann considers both Underwood and Tartick good friends. The Bachelorette runner-up said the three were even texting each other leading up to the Bachelor announcement, and while Underwood's beginning his journey to find love, Tartick has made a great wingman.
"If it was Blake, if it was Colton, if it was myself, I think all of us would bring different elements [to being The Bachelor]. We all would've done a great job with that," Tartick said, adding it was just a "short time" before the official announcement that he found out it was Underwood. "I think it would've been fun. I found love in a place I didn't think I would find it... because of that, I thought I could transition to that role and find love and people would want to see the journey of being heartbroken to finding your person. I think in that forum, I would've done it and I would've done a good job at it."
Jason Tartick Says He Would Have Found Love as 'The Bachelor' (Exclusive)
"I'm very single," he confessed, later revealing that his breakup with Becca Kufrin was too fresh for him to head to Bachelor in Paradise over the summer. "I just wasn't ready. Now I'm ready, so if that opportunity came and I was single at the time, absolutely."
"I think I would [do another show]. If I'm still single come that time, and if I'm in a good place in my life, I'd definitely consider Paradise, absolutely," he said. I think Paradise is incredibly successful, to be honest. There's a lot of couples that come out of that."
"I really do believe in this process. I'll defend it 'til my last breath," Horstmann continued. "I do think you can find your person through that."
For now, Horstmann and Tartick are looking forward to tuning in to watch their buddy, Underwood, find true love.
"This may not be a popular opinion, but I do think that Colton is ready to settle down. I do, and I think he will find somebody, I really do think that and I'm actually excited to watch the season," Horstmann shared, as Tartick predicted Underwood won't lose his virginity in the fantasy suites.
"Colton will do a great job, and he'll find his someone. I told Colton before he went, I said, 'Listen, if there's some of them you don't like, but you know would be a good fit for me, have my back, you know?'" he joked. "Take some notes."
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