'The Bachelor': Everything We Know About the Next Franchise Lead

A source tells ET that our new Bachelor has been picked -- but that doesn't mean things can't change before the big announcement.

Start watering down the driveway -- our new Bachelor is almost here! 

Bachelor No. 23 will be announced in just a few days, with a source telling ET on Friday that producers have their choice narrowed to three men: Jason Tartick, Colton Underwood and Blake Horstmann -- though according to the source, Blake's chances seem to have weakened. 

A separate source tells ET that a decision has already been made on who the next Bachelor will be, but that doesn't mean things couldn't change. "The top people have made a decision and plan to announce soon, but things have been known to change last minute in the past," the source notes.

It was revealed just after Nick Viall's Bachelor announcement in 2016 that the role was supposed to go to Luke Pell before the unexpected switch-up. The Bachelorette alum revealed at the time that he had his bags packed and was checked-in for his flight to Los Angeles when he got the call they were going in a different direction. 

And in 2017, fans were shocked to hear Arie Luyendyk Jr. announced as the Bachelor, instead of fan favorite Peter Kraus. The personal trainer told ET that negotiations fell through after he realized he "wasn't ready" to find love again. Arie found out he was chosen just hours before the big announcement. 

With this year's Bachelor, a number of things will come into play, such as contract discussions and how producers think the man will behave as the lead, but one thing's for sure: the lucky man will be revealed soon. 

Here's everything we know about the Bachelor franchise's next lead: 

When the Announcement Will Be Made: 

Our mystery Bachelor will make his big debut live on Tuesday's episode of Good Morning America, where he'll also give his first interview about the upcoming season. 

Who Chris Harrison Is Backing: 

Bachelor host Chris Harrison has continually weighed in on this year's candidates to ET, and he'd be supportive of any of Becca's final guys. 

"If you look at the final four, any of them could be [the Bachelor]," he shared. "Here's the thing about Bachelor Nation... what was the last flavor they tasted, that's who everyone is going crazy for." 

"When Colton said goodbye, everybody was going nuts for Colton and people were threatening to storm the castle if we didn't choose Colton, now it's Jason and people are, like, adamant it has to be Jason," Chris continued. "Next week it might be somebody else... so it's kind of like, who did you last see cry in a limo?"

Last week, Chris seemed to hint that Colton was becoming a big frontrunner. "If he’s single, Colton would be a very interesting Bachelor. We look at a lot of things when picking the Bachelor, and good TV and good story is a lot of it. Colton has all that in spades," he said. "There’s the, 'Is he ready for this?' angle with Tia, and is that still hanging over him? Obviously, we’ll see how that plays out in Paradise."

"Then there’s the virgin angle. We have this guy who was brought to tears during "Men Tell All" about dealing with this. If he’s willing to put that on display as the Bachelor, I would find that fascinating in this day and age," he added. "The women having to deal with that -- I think it would be a fascinating story. And that’s a lot of what makes a good Bachelor. It’s a compelling argument if he’s single and willing to do it."

What Colton Has Said About It:

The 26-year-old former NFL star definitely doesn't seem to have a problem with being on camera -- or jumping from one relationship to the next. He went pretty much straight from his breakup with Becca to romancing his former flame Tia Booth on Bachelor in Paradise, where the two are still currently dating. 

While speaking with ET in July, Colton said he was open to the opportunity of becoming the Bachelor. "If the timing is right in my life and if ABC's ready for it, it would be something that you know I would consider. But first, we're gonna have to get through Paradise." 

What Jason Has Said About It:

Last month, fans seemed to be pulling more for Jason to become the next Bachelor -- and he told ET in July that he heard "rumblings" that it just might be true. 

“I would be willing to do it,” he confessed at the time. “This experience has exceeded my expectations in every single way.”

What Blake Has Said About It:

Though his breakup with Kufrin is a little fresher, Blake has also thought about the possibility of finding love again as the Bachelor.

"If I was considered to be the Bachelor, I definitely wouldn’t take it for granted," he told reporters on a conference call after The Bachelorette finale earlier this month. "I saw how hard it was for Becca in that last week, and I know it would be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but... I think it’d all be worth it."

What Becca Thinks:

On that same conference call, Becca and her fiance, Garrett Yrigoyen, revealed they were hoping Jason would nab the job. "For our season, there were a lot of great guys, and as long as they're a good person and they have good qualities about them and good morals, [they'd be a good pick]," Garrett said. "We're both leaning towards Jason." 

"There's so many great guys who would be open to love," Becca added. "Jason, Wills, Colton, Blake, they would all be good contenders." 

What Tia Thinks:

Fans are still watching Colton's relationship with Tia unfold on Bachelor in Paradise, however, and the news that he's in the running for Bachelor spoils that things between them don't exactly work out. 

While chatting with ET at Bachelor in Paradise's finale taping on Tuesday, Tia said she wasn't sure Colton was in the right place to become the Bachelor. "I don't know that he's ready," she confessed. "I don't."

"I mean, it was just about two months ago that I was telling him that he really needs to figure himself out before he can fully be with someone else," she continued, adding that she's pulling for Jason instead. "If there's a chance that Colton is the Bachelor, I would hope that he is fully ready for that experience knowing that he wants to be engaged at the end of it."

Of course, Bachelor producers aren't necessarily taking Tia's opinion into account when making their choice for the next Bachelor. But what do you think? Let us know at ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here


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