EXCLUSIVE: Luke Pell Doesn't Want to Return to Bachelor Nation, Says Nick Viall Switch-Up Left 'a Bitter Taste
By Desiree Murphy
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Luke Pell may not be the Bachelor, but he's still looking forward to finding love -- just not on a reality TV show!
ET caught up with the 31-year-old war veteran, who appeared on JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette, on Friday, where he revealed fans probably won't be seeing his face on any Bachelor-related shows in the future after he was "blindsided" by ABC's recent Bachelor casting switch-up.
"At this point, I really don't want to go back into working on and in this franchise," Pell, who says he was all set to star as season 21's leading man before the network went with Nick Viall, explained. "If I was asked to do Paradise, I don't think that that's something I would be interested in. If I was asked to be on The Bachelor [in the future], I really wouldn't be interested at this point."
"It's just that -- I do have kind of a bitter taste in my mouth about the whole process," he continued, later adding that after this week, "that's just not something that's going to work for me."
Despite the shocking casting, Pell has remained positive and is excited about what's to come.
"I'm happy to be back in control of my own destiny, and kind of in the driver's seat for what's next," Pell continued. "I'm excited about who I'm going to meet, and who I'll end up with. I know that there is the right person out there for me, and I'm so excited about what that future might be and I can't wait to get started!"
"It definitely helps me to look forward and know that I've got so many people that support me and are backing me," he said, thanking his friends, family and fans. "I'm excited for my future."
Pell told ET his new outlook actually began when he returned home to Nashville, trying to put the pieces of his broken heart back together after Fletcher said goodbye to him on The Bachelorette. But a part of him was hoping he'd get to be the one handing out roses this time around, which distracted him from fully settling into his normal Nashville life.
"Over those few months after the [show wrapped], I got back to a place where I was happy -- I was happy for JoJo and Jordan [Rodgers] and their future," he dished. "I was ready to move on, and I started getting more excited about what the future might hold for me, who might be in my future."
"The opportunity to be the Bachelor and meet someone through that process -- although it can be stressful, it did work for me -- so I started really looking forward to that," he continued. "Being very hopeful about what the future held and how that might work for me."
Pell said that he was "excited" and "ready" to be announced as the new Bachelor during the Bachelor in Paradise post-show, After Paradise. He had already checked into his flight online, and was preparing to make the journey to L.A. the following day when, all of a sudden, his world turned upside down. Just hours before he was supposed to leave for the airport, Pell got a call from the network, and everything came to "an abrupt halt."
"I had finally got to the point where I thought, 'This is going to happen,'" he explained. "I didn't have to worry about the rug being pulled out underneath me … there was just all those preparations I had made mentally, that I had made emotionally, and just had really, you know, decided to put my life on hold to fully engage back in this process and be in it 100 percent. I was willing and happy to do [that]."
"Sometimes with this business, things completely change," Pell added. "I'm almost getting used to these dramatic swings of relationships and commitments. So, almost in the same manner I left The Bachelorette in such a shocking way in my relationship with JoJo, I almost have the shame shock -- you know, feeling like I'm getting hit by a freight train and blindsided."