The 24-year-old beauty queen was an unlikely choice to be the Bachelorette after her rocky start and seventh-place finish on Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor, but this time around, we've got several clear options for our next franchise lead. There's Peter Weber, an early fan favorite who has recently made headlines for ex-girlfriend drama, Mike Johnson, the clear leader in the house, and Tyler Cameron, who has won viewers over with his respectfulness (and hot bod) -- as well as a potential wildcard choice in Derek Peth, who first appeared on JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette in 2016, but has captured fans' hearts on Bachelor in Paradise this season.
Host Chris Harrison previously told ET that the race for Bachelor is very much alive. "There's a lot of good contenders and I think we kind of have an embarrassment of riches... I think it's gonna be all of us in a room screaming for our favorite, fighting for our version of TV that we want to make," he told ET's Lauren Zima at The Bachelorette: Men Tell All taping in July.
Our next lead will be announced on Tuesday's season finale of Bachelor in Paradise, so let's get to it. Here's who could be the next Bachelor:
From night one, the 27-year-old pilot had fans thinking he was Bachelor material. He appeared smart, funny and sweet, and seemingly stayed out of the drama this season. Plus, his windmill sex with Brown quickly became an iconic moment in franchise history. Weber would be the first pilot Bachelor since Jake Pavelka, and fans have likened him to former Bachelors Ben Higgins and Sean Lowe. It had been smooth sailing for Weber until July, when his ex-girlfriend, Calee Lutes, came forward to ET alleging he ended their serious relationship to be on The Bachelorette. She claimed they dated for five months before their split in late December, when Weber broke up with her out of the blue, after having allegedly told her "I love you," discussed plans to move in together and met her family.
"He absolutely betrayed me. He interviewed for a reality dating show while simultaneously planning a future with me. I trusted him entirely and he pulled the rug out from under me. Also, if all of this wasn't bad enough, I've had multiple people reach out to me and tell me that he was seeing other women while we were exclusive," Lutes alleged to ET, also claiming that Weber went on the show for fame.
After his elimination from Brown's season, Weber broke his silence on Lutes' claims. "There was a lot of truth to what she said in her story, but there is also a lot of truth that wasn’t mentioned," Weber told People in July. "The show had absolutely nothing to do with me ending that relationship."
"I was very serious in trying to progress that relationship and move it forward," he continued. "And she wasn't on the same page as me. That being said, I wasn't going to waste her time or my time. But the casting process and my first interview was months after we broke up."
Since Brown's finale -- where she revealed they actually did it four times in the windmill, Weber has laid low, spending time on family trips and around Los Angeles. (We can't say the same for our next contender.)
The Jupiter, Florida, native seemed to have been the dark horse this season. He and Brown had a slower start to their relationship, though their physical connection -- and his way with words -- became clear after their first one-on-one date in week four. He showcased his softer side while talking about his family and reuniting with his father at hometowns following his health issues. Brown told ET that she initially thought Cameron was a "f**kboy," but couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, she's standing by her statement that he's the "most respectful" man she's ever been with.
Though at 25 years old, he'd be one of our youngest Bachelors, we were here for Cameron as Bachelor. He's shown maturity, depth, and perhaps most importantly, was scandal-free... and Gigi Hadid took note.
"If Tyler is bouncing around from girl to girl and loving the life and enjoying the limelight -- which, by the way, good on him. That's fine. If that's what you want to do right now, I don't blame him. He's probably enjoying life really, really well -- but that's not someone we're going to want to have as our Bachelor or Bachelorette," Harrison explained. "So, it's about sincerity. It's about where you are in your life. And if that's where he is in his life, then he's not the guy for us."
We thought Big Mike had a big shot at becoming the next Bachelor. The 31-year-old portfolio manager proved he's not afraid of drama with his confrontations with Cam Ayala and Luke Parker on The Bachelorette, so we wouldn't have minded seeing him shut down a fight or two on his season of The Bachelor. He's a natural leader, so being a franchise lead shouldn't have been a problem.
The Bachelorette cast was largely pulling for Johnson to get the gig, which would make him the first African-American Bachelor, but he told ET at the Men Tell All taping that he hadn't been approached yet by Bachelor producers. "I have lots of questions if I were going to be Bachelor. I take stuff like that very seriously," he shared. "When it comes to pieces of the heart, there's no playing with that. I don't care if I'm on TV or not."
By August, it seemed Johnson -- who completed a run on Bachelor in Paradise -- still wasn't in official talks for the gig. "I think the Bachelor would be Peter [Weber]," Johnson told ET last month. "Based on [the fact that] history repeats itself. I think Peter looks the part... when he gets a 5 o'clock shadow, he looks good too."
"He'd be a safe Bachelor, meaning that he won't do anything crazy obnoxious," Johnson explained. "I think it'd be a good, safe, clean season if he were the Bachelor."
Johnson wasn't opposed to discussing the possibility of becoming the franchise's first black Bachelor -- but seemed to think it was unlikely. "[If it happens,] I'll be the first black Bachelor. I'll be the first Bachelor that's a veteran. I'll be the first Mike Johnson," the Texas native shared. "So, it's more than just being the first black Bachelor."
"[My season would be] sexy, sensual -- not the whole season but, like, some days," he said with a laugh. But like Cameron, another woman took note. A source told ET on Sunday that Johnson and Demi Lovato had gone on a first date, and that a second date could happen soon.
Peth first appeared on Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette, before finding love and getting engaged to Taylor Nolan on season four of Paradise in 2017. The pair split a year later, in June 2018, and Peth is back to square one, trying to find his person on the beaches of Mexico.
This season of Paradise was just as emotional for Peth, as he formed an early connection with Demi Burnett, only to have her realize that her heart was with a woman back home, Kristian Haggerty. Weeks later, Burnett cut things off with Peth, though his maturity and respectfulness throughout the situation impressed viewers.
"I will support him whatever he wants to do," Burnett told ET of Peth as a possible Bachelor last week. "I just want him to be happy."
As for whether the New York-based banker is up for the gig, it seems he's open to it. "He's in a good place. He's grown a lot as a person during his time on the shows. He's confident in who he is, so he's open to the idea," a source told ET last month, noting that there's been some chatter by producers about Peth possibly being the right man for the job.
While speaking with ET in August, Harrison said that Paradise has a big impact on Bachelor discussions, and that our next lead will probably be announced toward the end of the season (which means it's coming soon!).
"Someone could come off [Paradise] and either be a complete disaster, and now they are out of the discussion, or now they are in the discussion," he teased. "So, it could be a game-changer."
"Let's see how these guys react. Let's see who really is sincere at the end of the day," Harrison added.