In what could actually have been the most dramatic season of The Bachelorette ever, Demi was almost chosen to be the next Bachelorette, as ABC Senior Vice President Robert Mills revealed in an interview with E! News. Of course, Hannah B eventually earned the Bachelorette gig, but, even so, Mills called Demi "a strong contender" and possibly even the runner-up. She was up against some stiff competition, too.
"We had an embarrassment of riches in terms of potential leads," added the ABC exec. "This is probably the widest field we've had yet." Also on the short list, he added, were three other women from Colton's season: Hannah G, Tayshia, and Caelynn. (ABC confirmed on Instagram that Hannah G and Caelynn will be on Bachelor in Paradise this summer.)
Demi, of course, was the most surprising choice, given that she didn't exactly fit the mold of the oft-chosen America's sweetheart type during her time on The Bachelor. As fans well remember, the Texas-born interior designer made a name for herself thanks, in part, to her tell-it-like-it-is demeanor, which earned her more than a couple of enemies in the Bachelor mansion.
As E! pointed out, even her first introduction to Colton after exiting the limo on night one had shock value. "So, I have not dated a virgin since I was 12, but I'm excited to give it another shot," Demi told the former NFL pro in his season's premiere episode.
During Demi's time on the show, viewers quickly learned that the outspoken "country girl," who emotionally revealed that her mother was in federal prison, had no qualms about going toe-to-toe with her fellow competitors. Anyone who's seen pretty much any season of the Bachelor franchise is well aware that the person in the house who stirs up the most drama usually also plays the role of the season's villain. Demi blurred those lines a bit, however, according to Mills.
"With Demi, we thought she was going to be a villain," he added to E!. "She's like a Corinne Olympios or she's like a Tierra [LiCausi] or one of these other sort of classic villains, and then you thought, no, she's not like that. She speaks her mind and she's very open."
That's why he's sure that, had they chosen Demi instead of Hannah B, it would've been "a really interesting season." His stance is a marked change from the past, too, with Mills adding they would "reject it out of hand" in that past if a polarizing contestant happened to be up for the job.
In the end, however, producers chose Hannah B to lead Season 15 of The Bachelorette (premiering on Monday, May 13). Beginning her journey to find love during Bachelor Colton Underwood's After the Final Rose finale episode on March 12, she gushed to host Chris Harrison: “I feel all the emotions, but honestly, I’m just really grateful for this opportunity.”
In a new interview with People, Hannah B admitted that she's ready to get engaged, too. “This is something I really believe in,” she told the magazine. “And at the end of the day, I want somebody who loves me and chooses me. I’m ready for my moment.”
As Bachelor Nation excitedly gears up for Hannah B's season, they also now know that her moment almost could have been Demi's moment also.