As Bachelor head honcho Mike Fleiss predicted, not everyone is happy with the person rumored to be the lead for the 2022 season. In fact, the possible casting sparked a petition that’s garnered thousands of names in just one day of the leak. Who has Bachelor Nation up in arms? Plus, view the petition against the rumored Bachelor lead.
Bachelor Nation Still Recovering From Season 25 Drama
Fans of the Bachelor franchise were hopeful in 2020 when the announcement came that Matt James would serve as the first Black lead after 25 seasons. However, Season 25 quickly went off the rails after its January 2021 premiere. Instead of focusing on Matt finding love, the bullying drama between the women took center stage.
Then came the off-screen drama. Photos leaked of frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell attending an Old South-themed party. Longtime franchise host Chris Harrison’s attempt to defend Kirkconnell received so much backlash that he ultimately chose to leave the franchise.
Matt did choose Rachael as his final rose pick. However, filming was complete by the time the photos hit the internet. The two split by the time the Season 25 finale aired, with Matt James unsure of how their relationship could ever continue.
They rekindled their romance a few months following the After The Final Rose discussion.
So, with so much drama surrounding Season 25, fans of the show were hopeful that the next Bachelor would be less problematic.
Mike Fleiss Teases New Bachelor Announcement
Matt James’ season DID give fans not one, but TWO Bachelorette leads. Katie Thurston’s season just wrapped up earlier this month. If you missed it, she’s now happily engaged to Blake Moynes. Michelle Young’s season of Bachelorette premieres later this fall.
In the meantime, viewers can head to the beach for a new season of Bachelor in Paradise. The mastermind behind the franchise, Mike Fleiss, was very busy during the show’s Season 7 premiere on August 16. He took to Twitter to tease an announcement for the next Bachelor.
However, the announcement never came, which he later chalked up to not wanting to take away from David Spade’s debut as BIP host. In one of his teaser tweets, he promised that Bachelor Nation would be happy with the choice, but “not everyone.”
— Mike Fleiss (@fleissmeister) August 18, 2021
Reality Steve Scoops ABC, Leaks Rumored Lead (SPOILERS)
Needless to say, his tweets caused a flurry of rumors and speculation to fly. The general consensus is that the next Bachelor will be a contestant from Katie Thurston’s season.
However, before Mike Fleiss or ABC could make an announcement, spoiler guru Reality Steve got the inside scoop. He posted the name his sources have given him as the next Bachelor.
According to Reality Steve, the Bachelor Season 26 lead is Greg Grippo. Viewers will remember Greg as one of Katie’s final three. He sent himself home after a blowout argument with Katie.
Petition Against Lead Gains Traction
Shortly after Reality Steve’s spoiler announcement, a Bachelor Nation fan created a petition on change.org. The petition calls for ABC to reconsider Greg Grippo as the lead, if the rumors are true. (Mike Fleiss took to Twitter to deny the rumors.)
Many viewers reacted harshly to Greg’s treatment of Katie during their argument, calling him emotionally manipulative and accusing him of gaslighting her. Even Katie herself seemed to agree that his behavior was gaslighting.
The petition notes that having Greg as The Bachelor would be a “major set back for the gender based violence movement and a stain on the franchise’s already sordid history.” According to the petition, there have been multiple allegations of physical and emotional abuse from Greg’s ex-girlfriends.
Over 3,000 Bachelor Nation fans have already signed the petition in just a few hours of it being live on change.org. Click here to view or sign the petition to keep Greg OUT as the next Bachelor.
If the rumors are true, do you think ABC should reconsider having Greg Grippo as the Season 26 lead? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Don’t miss Bachelor In Paradise, airing Tuesdays on ABC.