2016 ‘Bachelor’ Picks From Former Contestants Show That It’s A Seriously Close Race

While Bachelor in Paradise has done its best to fill the void left by The Bachelorette, it’s now time to once again turn speculation to the show that started it all — the one, the only, the original, The Bachelor. We're all just dying to know who the next Bachelor will be! Throughout the summer, we’ve been teased with an upcoming announcement about which former Bachelorette contestant could be declared as the next Bachelor. Various "sources" have spread rumors to magazines, the Bachelor In Paradise talk show, After Paradise, has teased the big reveal, and even former Bachelor Nation members have spoken up about who the 2016 Bachelor should be.

We all have our favorites (like the Bens, both Z. and H.) and soft spots for the sob stories (like sad Cupcake Chris and poor Nick), but when it comes to choosing the next Bachelor, we, as viewers, don’t really get a say — though we all have a lot of opinions. So, who do the decision makers and people on the inside think could be the next Bachelor? What do former contestants, producers, and hosts have to say? Here’s a guide from the horses’ mouths about who could be our next Bachelor!

Arie Luyendyk Jr.

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Apparently, Arie, from Emily’s season, was the original choice for The Bachelor, not Chris Soules. Arie even filmed an introduction before being replaced, and was endorsed by Bachelor fav Sean Lowe. So, will he finally get his chance to be The Bachelor this time around?

Nick Viall

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When Nick got dumped for the second time on reality television by Kaitlyn Bristowe, he told People there was “zero chance” of him returning to the show. I mean, who could blame the guy? But, in follow up interviews, Nick had change of heart, calling consideration for The Bachelor, an incredible opportunity.”

While franchise creator and producer Mike Fleiss has acknowledged the candidate, he’s not exactly giving him an endorsement on Twitter.

So, will it be Nick? Or, better yet, should it be Nick?

Ben H.

Bustle recently had the opportunity to catch up with The Bachelorette castoff Tanner Tolbert, where he gave his pick for the next Bachelor. Tanner had this to say:

"If the producers wanted to stir the pot, they could choose Nick … Ben H. is my boy. He is a stand up guy, and I would love to see him on my TV next season. Plus, he deserves it and we all know the ladies love him."

And, Tanner isn’t the only castmate who is Team Ben H. for Bachelor. Kaitlyn revealed to People that she also thinks Ben H. is reality TV material.

Tony Harris

Hey, it could happen?! Tony was a memorable Bachelorette contestant from his Bonsai tree to his weird diaper-thing. Let’s face it, he made for good TV. In life, you have to be your own advocate, which Tony has been as he has campaigned online to be the next Bachelor. And, Kaitlyn has supported this candidate on Twitter.

Who Says There Will Only Be One?

From the Battle of the Bens to sentimental castoffs, there are a lot strong candidates for next season. But, who says there only has to be one winner? We are on the heels of a Kaitlyn and Britt season! Host Chris Harrison recently said, “I mean, we had two girls, we could have like five guys. I would do it with any of these guys.”

Whoever they choose, it's going to be an interesting season, for sure.

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin (3), Giphy (1)