A million hearts were shattered when Mike Johnson wasn’t announced as the next lead for The Bachelor. Throughout Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise Season 6, fans fell in love with Johnson and thought he was bound to be the franchise’s first black bachelor. However, during the Bachelor in Paradise reunion, Peter Weber was revealed as the new bachelor for season 24.
After all the hype built up on social media, the news of Weber’s season stunned most fans. But no one was as shocked as Johnson. Recently, the financial analyst opened up about losing the spot to his former Bachelorette castmate. And not going to lie, it’s nothing short of soul-crushing — especially for those of you who wanted to see that million-dollar smile on limo night.
When was Johnson told about the next bachelor?
On Sept. 19, The Bachelorette‘s Rachel Lindsay sat down with Johnson for her podcast, Bachelor Happy Hour with Rachel & Ali. In the episode, Johnson revealed he found out he wasn’t going to be the next bachelor right before filming the Bachelor in Paradise reunion special on Aug. 27.
“Right before going on stage, they told me I wasn’t going to be the bachelor,” Johnson shared, per People. “And so, you got me out here, flew me to L.A. There was no need for me to be there, and you just told me I’m not gonna be the bachelor. So I just didn’t want to be there at all.”
Ouch. And the news stung, even more, when Johnson explained he truly wanted the title. “Yes, I wanted to be the bachelor,” he told Lindsay. “I auditioned to be the bachelor.”
Johnson also admitted he already started preparing for the role. “I went in there with the right intentions of wanting to find love and wanting to be true to myself,” he said. “You might have seen du-rag king come back. I had a list, a word document, of the type of women I wanted, what I was scared of and what I wasn’t scared of.”
How Johnson felt about not being cast as ‘The Bachelor’ lead
During the one-on-one interview with Lindsay, Johnson explained his initial thoughts when he discovered he wasn’t the new bachelor. And honestly, we can relate. “When I first found out, I’m not gonna lie, I was sad,” he said. “I was annoyed when I very first found out.”
Nevertheless, Johnson held his head high. And now, he seems to be in a better place. “I think by the end of the night, I wasn’t annoyed no more because I was appreciative and thankful that they told me ‘no’ right then and there,” he shared. “Now I can focus on myself. I’m just blessed because I know I’m going to find my wife and find my queen.”
What the Air Force veteran thinks of Weber’s season of ‘The Bachelor’
From the beginning, Johnson has been vocal about his support of Weber as The Bachelor lead. And now that Weber officially has the role, nothing has changed.
“ABC made a great choice with Peter — that’s who they decided to go with,” Johnson told Extra. That being said, ABC’s decision not to cast Johnson as the next bachelor means the 24th season will get — yet another — white-passing lead.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Johnson spoke up about the lack of diversity in the franchise. “I think of diversity more than just black and white. And yes, Peter has a Cuban mom, but let’s just be honest — he’s white, right? And that’s just being completely transparent,” he said. “I think that there should be an Asian lead, an Indian lead… diversity is not just black and white. It’s not just salt and pepper.”
Although Weber will likely be a phenomenal bachelor, Johnson’s reaction cuts deep into the hearts of Bachelor Nation. Not only was the 31-year-old willing to take on the leading role, but he was also ready to challenge the fandom’s views on diversity — with a smile. Who knows, maybe producers will bring Johnson back for The Bachelor Season 25. But quite frankly, they don’t deserve him.
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