Was Peter Asked To Be The Next 'Bachelor'? Arie's Selection Raises A Lot Of Questions

George Burns/ABC

Even for a franchise with as devoted of a fan base as ABC's long-running dating show, the network's recent announcement that Arie Luyendyk, Jr. is the next Bachelor raised a lot of questions, furrowed brows, and left people going, "who??" What happened to the pick most fans assumed would star in Season 22? Did ABC ask Peter Kraus to star in The Bachelor? Seriously, who is Arie?

Well, in answer to that last question, Arie was the runner-up on The Bachelorette Season 8 — aka Emily Maynard's season, which aired over five years ago now. Originally born in the Netherlands, he now lives in Arizona and has a career as a race car driver. Arie's selection feels like an unusually deep cut for the franchise, especially considering they typically choose a fan-favorite contestant from the most recent season of The Bachelorette to headline the subsequent season of The Bachelor.

For that reason, many viewers assumed that The Bachelorette Season 13's runner-up, Peter Kraus, would be the natural choice for The Bachelor Season 22. Even typically-reliable blogger Reality Steve went so far as to practically confirm Peter's casting in a tweet sent out at the end of August. Sadly for everyone — except Arie — Reality Steve turned out to be wrong.

Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss corrected these false reports on Sept. 6, tweeting that Peter would definitively not be headlining Season 22.

Less than 24 hours later, Arie's selection was officially announced.

So did Fleiss and ABC ever even ask Peter? According to some sources, the answer is yes… but it didn't work out, given the show's history of tension with the Bachelorette runner-up. Peter famously refused to propose to Rachel Lindsay at the end of Season 13, and the man's stubbornness may be what came between him and the Season 22 title.

"Peter was honestly never their first choice," an anonymous insider told People the day before Arie's announcement, claiming that the network was in "full-on panic mode" over finding the next Bachelor. "They're still mad at him because of the whole Rachel situation. But they knew he's who the fans wanted. And the fact that they went to Peter even after they'd initially said they wouldn't? That let Peter know he had a ton of power going into this situation."

George Burns/ABC

Ultimately, it's the issue of the AWOL engagement that ended any future Peter may have had with Bachelor Nation. "That might have also been a sticking point: the show likely would want him to promise to propose at the end — Nick definitely had to say he would go through with it — and it's highly possible Peter just refused to promise, just like he refused to go ahead with Rachel," the insider claimed.

But, even if all of that is true, don't feel too sad, Peter fans; he may not be the next Bachelor, but at least he's sticking to his guns… and now he's free to move on to bigger and better things. Meanwhile, Arie will have to spend an entire season reminding people who he is and why they should care about whether or not he finds a soulmate.