EXCLUSIVE: Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher is Named Next 'Bachelorette' in 'Last-Minute' Decision
By Raphael Chestang
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The next Bachelorette was announced on Monday during The Bachelor: After the Final Rose and a source tells ET it was a last-minute decision.
Joelle "JoJo" Fletcher will lead season 12 of The Bachelorette!
"She is a woman who the entire country fell in love with and I know that you're all hoping that she is able to fall in love again," host Chris Harrison announced. "So I would like to please welcome our new Bachelorette: JoJo!"
Fans will remember that last week, Bachelor Ben Higgins told JoJo -- a 24-year-old real estate developer from Dallas, Texas-- that he loved her before ultimately proposing to flight attendant Lauren Bushnell on Monday's finale.
Prior to the announcement, Bachelor runner-up Caila Quinn seemed to be a frontrunner for the next season of The Bachelorette. In fact, a source tells ET that both Quinn and Fletcher filmed their Bachelorette intros before producers made their final decision. On After the Final Rose, Fletcher told fans she was "so excited" to return for the next season of the reality dating show.
"With her family’s support, an open heart and a new perspective on the possibilities of finding true love, Jo Jo will embark on finding her 'unicorn' – her once-in-a-lifetime love," ABC said of the upcoming Bachelorette in a release. "Will she face the unpredictable heartache of falling in love with more than one man? All she is sure of is that she found love once with Ben on The Bachelor and feels sure that this second time will be her charm, and wants everyone to come along for the ride."
Fletcher's brothers were particularly confrontational with Ben during The Bachelor's hometown visits this season.
"Ben, you brainwash these girls way too much," JoJo's other brother, also named Ben, warned. "To see my sister like that after two [one-on-one] dates...as a brother, I'm like, 'This guy is not as invested as she is.'"
Bachelor Ben admitted that his conversation with JoJo's brothers left him "unsettled" about the relationship.
"At this point I really don't know," Bachelor Ben admitted to the protective pair. "But I know that JoJo and I will be having some really good conversations and really tough conversations."