The time has come: Arie is about to hand out his final rose — and the next Bachelorette is about to be announced as the leader of the next Bachelorette season. The 2018 Bachelorette will be announced in just a day. The Bachelor airs its finale on Monday, March 5 and Tuesday, March 6. And, the ABC press site release for the March 6 episode reveals that who the 2018 Bachelorette is will become clear during After The Final Rose. The press release states: "And in one last surprise, the identity of the new Bachelorette will be revealed!"
It seems like it's been a long wait for the Bachelorette announcement this year, but that may be because Rachel Lindsay was announced as 2017's Bachelorette super early — before she was even eliminated on Nick Viall's Bachelor season (talk about a major spoiler). This year, however, the franchise is waiting until the after Arie makes his final decision between Becca Kurfin and Lauren Burnham. One of these finalists will get engaged and the other will end up as Arie's runner-up — and the runner-up could very well become the 2018 Bachelorette.
Runners-up do often become the franchise's lead on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The very first Bachelorette Trista Rehn Sutter finished as runner-up on the first Bachelor season in 2002. JoJo Fletcher finished as runner-up on Ben Higgins' season and became the Bachelorette. Viall famously finished as runner-up on both Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe's Bachelorette seasons. And of course, Arie finished as runner-up during Emily Maynard's season.
But that doesn't mean we should rule out the rest of Arie's contestants, because you never know. There are plenty of great candidates from his contestant roster: Tia Booth, Bekah Martinez, Kendall Long, Sienne Fleming, among others. And then there's a bunch of popular previous contestants past who could be chosen to hand out roses. Did anyone expect Arie to become the Bachelor six years after he was a contestant during Emily's season? If there's one thing you can always expect from The Bachelor franchise, it's the unexpected.
But it doesn't sound like the producers will be following that pattern and picking the next Bachelorette from another season. Arie recently told Us Weekly that a woman from his season was most likely to be chosen as the 2018 Bachelorette — and he added that the selection may have to do with what goes down in The Bachelor finale. Of course, the ABC promos have been teasing a super dramatic two-night conclusion to Arie's season. Can you feel the suspense?
It feels like fans have already been waiting forever, so it's probably for the best that the franchise didn't choose to delay the announcement of the Bachelorette to do it on another ABC show, such as Jimmy Kimmel Live or Good Morning America (both of which have announced Bachelors and Bachelorettes in past years). But, the Bachelorette is still announced sooner than the Bachelor ever is — since the series usually films right after The Bachelor conclusion in March and starts airing in May. For instance, Rachel's season began filming in March 2017, according to Us Weekly, and JoJo's season started filming in March 2016.
No matter what, don't give up hope if your fave doesn't get chosen. The great thing about The Bachelor franchise is that even if your favorite contestant doesn't get chosen as the next lead, you'll likely see them again on Bachelor in Paradise. And like we've seen with Viall, a good showing on Bachelor in Paradise could land a popular contestant the next lead spot and their very own season on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.
Though the drama of Arie's season is coming to a close, the drama of who will be the next Bachelorette is definitely beginning.