Friday, June 12th, ABC announced that Matt James will be the new Bachelor for the next season. The 28-year-old real estate broker from North Carolina was picked as the first African American male lead in the hit TV franchise. The decision was made after fans and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay called for more diverse casting in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement. Originally, James was supposed to be cast as a contestant for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley. But production was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A little after the announcement was made, former contestant Mike Johnson, who appeared on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, said he admitted to being upset over the news about the new lead. The fans of the franchise, known as Bachelor Nation, had been trying to get Johnson cast as a lead in the show but it never happened. He claimed he had “no idea” why the network had not given him a chance.
In an interview with fellow Bachelor Nation stars Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti for their podcast Almost Famous, he revealed his initial reaction about Matt James being the new Bachelor.
”Honestly, it is what it is. They picked a great guy and for like 30 minutes I was butt hurt, but after that, you move on with life,” said Johnson. “I know I’m an amazing human being and an amazing person so, therefore, I’m not going to let a few executive producers who didn’t choose me twice make me feel any type of way.”
Johnson had confirmed that he was never in contact with producers from ABC about being cast as the Bachelor.
“I feel that for over a year since I’ve been in the Bachelor Nation family, I have shown my character day in and day out. And I don’t feel that anything I’ve shown is not conducive of what a Bachelor would be,” said Johnson. “I can speculate like anyone else. I’m not seeing anybody. I’m in great shape.”
Back in April, Johnson posted a picture on himself on Instagram posing as the new Bachelor. In the picture, he opens up the left side of his blazer and above the pocket, in red stitching, it reads “Your future baby daddy”. Along with that, there’s a saying under The Bachelor logo which says “Because it’s about damn time.”. Of course, the picture was posted on April Fools day, which was appropriate for Johnson to use the following caption: “Nothing wrong with a good April Fools’ joke!”.
Later in the podcast, Johnson added that he is in a good place at the moment and he is aware that he is one of America’s favorites.
“I think I’m a decent looking guy. I know that I was one of America’s fan favorites. Professionally, I’m in a good place,” said Johnson.
The new season of The Bachelorette will start going into production in July and the new season of The Bachelor will start filming in late September. New changes will be made for filming both seasons.