Mike Has A Serious Shot At Becoming The Next Bachelor, According To ABC

ABC/John Fleenor

Everything seems to be coming up roses for Bachelorette fan favorite Mike Johnson. Although the Air Force veteran didn't win Hannah's heart, Bachelor Nation fell head over heels for his magnetic personality and megawatt smile. Now, even ABC is laying out the case for Mike to be the next Bachelor, with ABC executive Rob Mills agreeing in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight that the San Antonio native has exactly what it takes.

Should Mike become the Bachelor for Season 24 of ABC's reality dating juggernaut, he would be both the first black Bachelor, as well as the first military vet to fill the role. According to Mills, however, neither of those history-making details factor into what makes him such a strong candidate. As the Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming explained of Mike to ET:

"He’s absolutely in contention to be The Bachelor. … He is just somebody that people really love. He's got a great story. We have somebody who has served our country, has really suffered through heartbreak. … You’ve got a billion dollar smile and he looks great. He's got a following; those are the reasons he's in contention more than, 'Oh, this is so great, we can check that off now.'"
ABC/John Fleenor

Bachelor host Chris Harrison previously confirmed Mike is in contention to front the next franchise installment — and, like Mills, had nothing but nice things to say about the portfolio manager.

"How could he not be a contender with that smile?" Harrison gushed to People in a recent interview. "He's one of my favorite people we've ever had on the show. He's a love of a man. I don't know him that well, and I consider him a really good friend. He's just a sweet guy. He gives the best hugs, the best smiles, and the best advice. He's just a really good man and yeah, of course he's a contender."

ABC/John Fleenor

But, perhaps most importantly, what does Mike think about being the next Bachelor? Right now, he's actually kinda on the fence about the whole thing. Why, you ask? Well, he wants to make sure everyone involved is in it for — what else — the right reasons.

"The hesitation is because I don’t do it for...to be the first veteran Bachelor," he recently explained to Glamour. "I would do it because I feel the 30 potential suitors are there for the right reasons. I know that in Bachelor and Bachelorette, love can happen in this process. I just want to make sure the 30 suitors are there for the right reasons as well."

In a separate ET interview, he added that producers hadn't yet approached him but he'd have "lots of questions" if they eventually do. As Mike shared, "I take stuff like that very seriously. When it comes to pieces of the heart, there's no playing with that. I don't care if I'm on TV or not."

Even so, he's already got the votes of several of his cast mates, including John Paul, as well as Dylan, who called Mike a "teddy bear," who "wears his heart on his sleeve." And, yes, Mike has heard about all the love.

"It’s really cool the guys would like to see me as the next Bachelor," he added to Glamour. "I know that Hannah said I was the leader in the house, which was not something I was trying to do. That was just me throughout. It’s awesome people feel that or say that, whether it’s Bachelor Nation or my castmates. I’m grateful they say that."

With production of the new Bachelor season set to begin in September, fans should find out soon whether or not he'll make franchise history. What's clear though is that they would rightfully be so here for it.