UPDATE: This story was originally published at 2 p.m. ET on July 30.
Usually the next Bachelor or Bachelorette is relatively easy for fans to predict. After Ben Higgins told JoJo Fletcher he loved her but then dumped her, of course she was going to be the Bachelorette. Same thing when Arie Luyendyk Jr. proposed to Becca Kufrin only to break up with her later, or when Ashley Hebert let Ben Flajnik get down on one knee before turning him down. Both went on to lead their own seasons. But Hannah's season has produced a few contenders. Mike is a fan favorite for Bachelor, and Tyler C. is too. And while Mike definitely seems to have a grassroots campaign going in his favor, there are a few reasons why fans shouldn't consider it in the bag for Mike already, but Tyler C. might have just given him a leg up. Warning: Bachelorette finale spoilers are coming.
On the second night of the Bachelorette finale, after breaking up with Jed in a segment taped after she gave him her final rose, Hannah Brown decided to give her relationship with Tyler another chance and asked him out on live TV. Now, a lot can happen before the next Bachelor starts up in September, but it would seem he might be otherwise engaged.
Original story follows:
"Obviously, Mike, you saw is a huge contender tonight," Harrison said after The Men Tell All. "The crowd was going nuts. But that always happens, you always have that favorite coming out of Tell All. But then, having done this for a while, I know after the After The Final Rose, after the finale happens, they’ll be clamoring for more people, and it won’t just be Mike. There’s a lot of good contenders."
Which brings us to a factor that many Mike Johnson hopefuls haven't planned for: If sweet, sincere, supportive Tyler doesn't win Hannah's heart in the end, fans may have a fresher, more heartbreaking reason to want Tyler as Bachelor. Mike has the disadvantage of having left the show a while ago, whereas Tyler's potential heartbreak will be fresh in viewers' minds. Mike is also on Bachelor in Paradise, though, which could tip the scales back the other way.
Some fans also feared when they saw that Mike was in the Bachelor in Paradise trailer that it doomed his Bachelor chances. That may have once been truer, but, recently, two Bachelors competed on BiP and went on to get the lead spot. Nick Viall earned enough of a positive following after a season of BiP to then become the Bachelor. And Colton Underwood had a thing with Tia Booth in Paradise, which ultimately led to him become the Bachelor.
As long as Mike can stay a fan favorite while on Paradise (see: he doesn't pull a Dean Unglert), he has a shot at the lead spot — especially since the Bachelor usually isn't announced until around September. With Tyler seemingly not being on Paradise, he may not be as fresh in viewers' minds as Mike is when the September decision is made.
However, both Mike and Tyler readily admitted to Hannah that they have a tough time opening up. "It takes me longer than the average person to fall in love," Mike said, adding, "I'm not one to open up to everybody … and I'm even more like that with things of love." Tyler said something similar on a date with Hannah, saying, "I don't really open up to anybody ... My parents got divorced so it was like, seeing what they went through ... I'm not having a relationship. I'm not going through that."
That's a downfall for a Bachelor on an eight-week journey to find love. The lead has to open up, and quickly, in order to form a lasting bond in that short amount of time. Perhaps producers will go with neither Mike or Tyler because of that and go for Pilot Pete instead. A decision won't be made for a while, but ET reported that Harrison said Mike, Tyler, Peter, and Jed (yes, Jed) were all potential contenders. "The finalists are always contenders," Harrison said when pressed about why Jed?
Honestly anyone but Jed (and Luke P.) sounds pretty good, let alone someone as upstanding and beloved as either Mike or Tyler C. As Harrison added to ET, "I think we kinda have an embarrassment of riches," when it comes to potential next Bachelors. And indeed, we do.