Bachelor in Paradise is still playing out, but there's also the next Bachelor season to look forward to after that. There's one standout star from Paradise who shouldn't be overlooked as a potential dark horse in the Bachelor 2020 conversation, and that's John Paul Jones. Yes, really.
While he was more of a comic relief contestant on Hannah Brown's Bachelorette season, he's really coming into his own on BiP. Viewers have gotten to see both his silly side, but also his romantic, serious side. He blew his current partner Tayshia Adams away when he memorized a Shakespearean passage for her on Episode 4. She was impressed by his beauty and his brain, and those are the makings of a wonderful, well-rounded Bachelor. (You know, if shoo-in Mike Johnson turns it down.)
And yes, it's very out of left field to consider JPJ for such a role, especially this early in the season, but the fans are also finding themselves shocked, and on board, for more JPJ:
Even Kristina Schulman, aka season 6's pot stirrer, demands more JPJ:
Warning: Big spoiler about JPJ (possibly) ahead.
The other reason it might make sense to ask the big Bachelor question is that it doesn't seem like he and Tayshia are actually together post-show. Recently, Tayshia went on Ali Fedotowsky and Rachel Lindsay's podcast Bachelor Happy Hour and answered some questions about her status with JPJ. At first, she played coy. "You'll just have to watch and see how it plays out," she told the hosts. But then she later revealed that she is single after the show. If her breakup with JPJ airs on BiP and is significantly heartbreaking, it could have fans clamoring for a JPJ love story re-do on The Bachelor.
It's also worth noting that JPJ has had a lot of screen time thus far this season, showing off his various facets of silliness and seriousness. Nick Viall had a similar trajectory on his Bachelor in Paradise season, which redeemed him from a disliked contestant on Kaitlyn Bristowe's Bachelorette season to a fan favorite who went on to become the Bachelor. Nick was always providing hilarious commentary about the shenanigans in Paradise or doing impressions of the cast, and it quickly won viewers over.
JPJ's time on BiP isn't a redemption story — there's really nothing to redeem him from — but it has been an opportunity for him to show who he really is, aside from the few soundbites and a chicken nugget affinity that he displayed on The Bachelorette.
Plus, it's not unlikely that the next Bachelor will come from Bachelor in Paradise, because it's the show that airs most recently before the decision is made. So, people may have long forgotten about Pilot Pete from Hannah B.'s Bachelorette by the time the Bachelor decision is announced. Mike is of course, still at the forefront of the Bachelor conversation, especially because he's on BiP. And to top it all off, host Chris Harrison admitted to E! News that the team has to take BiP into account these days when choosing the next lead.
"Paradise has gotten so big. It's gotten to be such a huge franchise. It's a needle-mover. Before it wasn't such a huge deal. We didn't need to wait to see what happened on Paradise," Harrison said. "But now, Paradise is such a huge franchise, we kinda need to see what effect that has on the audience and on some of the guys that are there."
It's also worth noting that Harrison seems like a JPJ fan. Ahead of Hannah's season premiere, Harrison called JPJ "a mood" and "a way of life." Obviously Harrison alone doesn't get to pick the next Bachelor, but it can't hurt for him to put in a good word for all us JPJ fans.
Basically, while he's a long shot as long as Mike is in the mix, don't count JPJ out.