Aside from being the first day of 2018, Monday was a the start of Arie Luyendyk's season of The Bachelor. As expected, the fandom was out in full force posting about the premiere. Even the previous Bachelor, Nick Viall, posted about Arie and said what a lot of viewers were thinking when he mentioned Peter Kraus. Nick shared a photo of himself and Arie on both Instagram and Twitter, but the real story was Nick's caption, which was actually a hilarious poem that rhymed.
Nick posted his poem on both social media platforms, writing,
Good luck tonight Arie! I wrote you a poem to break the seal: Roses are red, your eyes are like SO blue, people wanted it to be Peter, but I believe in you. #TheBachelor.
There's a lot to unpack there, but Nick basically read the mind of Bachelor fans with that one. Yes, (almost) everyone wanted the Bachelor to be Peter and expected it to be him, but there's no way that a fandom this loyal is just going to stop watching this season. Whether Arie was the first choice, second choice, or seventeenth choice, fans (and even Nick) are going to watch every episode and root for him to find love.
On Nick's Instagram post, Arie commented, "Haha thanks brotha!" Thankfully, Arie has a sense of humor about the whole situation. After all, Arie was almost the Bachelor during Season 19 when Chris Soules ended up handing out the roses. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Arie's friend and former Bachelor star Sean Lowe admitted, "I’ve been lobbying for Arie forever." He also shared, "I think they actually told him he was going to be the Bachelor the year they told Chris Soules, and they even filmed some of [Arie's] intro package in Arizona, and ultimately pulled the rug out from underneath him in the end." So, if anyone understands how to deal with a last minute switch, it's Arie.
In an interview with Variety, Arie addressed the obvious. He admitted, "I wasn’t what everyone was expecting. I totally realize that and that’s something that I’m fine with." Even though some women went into the casting process hoping for Peter, Arie explained, "I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be the Bachelor and I was really nervous and excited that first night. And, yes, I did have to sort of get through that and see if the women there were there for me, but that’s just part of it. And I was really thankful that was I put in this position.”
Nick was also a surprise choice to lead his season. It was logical to assume that the lead would be from JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette since it was the season before Nick's. JoJo's fourth place finisher, Luke Pell, said he was all set to be the Bachelor and told Us Weekly, "We were all satisfied, had agreed to the contracts and everything was moving forward. He shared, "I was checked in to my flight to come to L.A. I got a call from producers Sunday night at about 10 p.m. They said ABC had decided to quote-unquote go in a different direction. I was supposed to fly out Monday morning at 9 a.m. I had my bags packed and everything. Most dramatic Monday ever!” Seriously.
Even JoJo's third place guy, Chase McNary, admitted that he was also down to be the Bachelor in an interview with Us Weekly. Chase shared, "I went through the negotiations, I accepted the offer, I signed the contract. I talked to my family, friends, about being the Bachelor. It was the Monday before they announced it that they told me I wasn't the Bachelor. So I found out with the rest of the world that it was Nick."
Since the seasons are taped months in advance and there are a lot of public dates, it is possible for spoilers to leak. Since the Bachelor lead has been announced on live TV for the past few seasons, it's one of the few aspects of the franchise that can actually be a surprise for fans. Unfortunately for some of the guys in the running, it seems the announcement has been a surprise for them, as well.
Arie went from being a top choice during Season 19 to being the surprise choice out of nowhere to lead Season 22. He knows what it's like to be on both sides of this scenario, so if anyone is going to get a good laugh out of Nick's post, it's Arie. And the fans, of course.