Yes, Caila Quinn Was Almost the Bachelorette: What Went Wrong

Exclusive: Sources tell E! News what's next for Ben Higgins' second runner-up after producers chose JoJo Fletcher as the next Bachelorette

By Tierney Bricker Mar 15, 2016 3:54 PMTags
Caila Quinn, The Bachelor, The BacheloretteABC

The search for the next Bachelorette is over and it was a nail-biter. 

While Ben Higgins' second runner-up Caila Quinn was this close to being named the Bachelorette, with producers even filming in her hometown of Hudson, Ohio earlier this month, the ABC hit franchise ultimately pulled a last-minute change, choosing to name runner-up JoJo Fletcher season 12's Bachelorette during Monday's After the Final Rose ceremony.

So what happened? Why did producers choose JoJo over Caila? 

"It was nothing against Caila, but JoJo's storyline was just so compelling," a source exclusively tells E! News. "After seeing how she fell in love with Ben and then had her heart broken, there was no doubt that everyone's going to be rooting for her as Bachelorette." 

As for how Caila is dealing with not being picked as the next Bachelorette, another source tells us the 24-year-old software sales rep is "doing great. She really is."

So while she won't be temporarily moving into the Bachelor mansion, a move is ahead for Caila. "She's moving to New York and she's excited about it," our source spills. "It's a new journey for her."

And there's no bad blood between Caila and JoJo—or Caila and Lauren Bushnell, who Ben proposed to in the finale. "Congratulations to these beautiful girls!" Caila captioned a photo of the three girls she posted on Instagram on Monday night. "From dancing in our pjs in the Mansion to Mexico City mimosas, can't help but smile at all of the fun memories. Sending love as the journey isn't over, it's only just beginning."


When E! News chatted with Caila at the Women Tell All taping in February, she said she was "ready for love" and was definitely open to being the Bachelorette. "Because I fell in love before I could see myself falling in love again, so yes, I would consider it," Caila told us when we asked if she would consider becoming the one to hand out the roses. "But I definitely need to take a deep breather for myself and kind of take some me time."

And even though she said she needed a "breather," she stressed that she was ready for marriage, saying, "I'm ready for the one and for my best friend and I'm still looking for that."

An early frontrunner during Ben's season, Caila was left heartbroken when the Bachelor sent her own during the Fantasy Suites episode, after she told him she loved him. While he was able to say it back to the other two women, he wasn't able to say it back to her.  "Driving home in the car, I felt an immense, consuming sense of loss because I really did fall hard for Ben," Caila told us of her emotional departure. "And it was just a really cold water shock that it's over. I had to deal with it, so it took a lot out of me."

JoJo's season of The Bachelorette premieres Monday, May 23 on ABC.