Why Luke Pell Is Returning for 'Bachelor Winter Games' After Being Snubbed on 'The Bachelor' (Exclusive)

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Luke Pell is in a better place to find love. 

The 33-year-old veteran is returning for The Bachelor Winter Games on Tuesday, over a year after he was snubbed for his spot as Bachelor No. 21. The role ended up going to Nick Viall in a last-minute switch up, with Pell later revealing that he had checked into his flight to L.A. when he got the unfortunate call. 

"As much as it was shocking for me to end up not getting cast as the Bachelor the direct season after I was on The Bachelorette, it came and went pretty quick. So I moved on, and went to Nashville and just kind of picked up where I left off in life," he told ET's Lauren Zima, who visited the Winter Games set in Manchester, Vermont. 

Pell may have moved on pretty fast after Viall was announced as the Bachelor, but he made headlines for weeks after the decision when rumors surfaced that he was playing the field, recruiting girls to appear on his unconfirmed season of the show. 

"I went through a phase where I learned a lot about how intentional you have to be about who you talk to, who you begin to date or not date, or not trust," Pell admitted. "I began to hold my cards a lot closer to my chest, because I went through a phase where I talked to  people [after The Bachelorette]. I dated some girls for a very short time, that really just ended up being two girls over the course of like, four months, and [it] got blown out of proportion. I was like, 'Wow, that is really publicly damaging.'" 

Pell, or course, quickly recovered from the tabloid drama, telling ET last December that he had learned that fame had "its own different set of pitfalls." But, he's still looking for love. 

"My relationship runs pretty deep with all the folks in the Bachelor world, so we've talked year to year," he said. "Seasons of other shows have come up, and there's been a few different seasons now; The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise have all come and gone. Now this one came up, and I was at a point where I said, 'Hey, this sounds like fun. You got me. Let's do it.'" 

Pell was planning to go to Paradise last season, but started a relationship just before production began. The romance didn't last, but the musician couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out. "It was good, but another, six, seven, eight months go by, and this came up. I was single, so I said, 'Hey, OK. Here we go,'" he shared. "It's not on a beach... but whatever, it will be fun." 

While he hasn't been to Paradise, The Bachelorette favorite has been hanging out with other Bachelor stars -- and told ET that he's become "very good friends" with fellow Winter Games star Ashley Iaconetti over the last year and a half. 

"Would I kiss her? Yeah, sure, I would kiss Ashley I," he shared. "I think I've learned to just live more in the moment and take each day for what it is. [I've learned] not to overthink things too much." 

Bachelor Winter Games premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. 


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