And ABC's next Bachelorette is...
OK, so Bachelor Nation still has a few major events, like The Bachelor finale and what not, to get through before The Bachelorette announces its next lead, but that doesn't mean the search hasn't already started, with the current lead even weighing in. Sort of.
"I do," Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. teased when E! News asked him at the taping of the Women Tell All special if he thinks someone from his season would be the best fit for the next Bachelorette, "But that's sort of a TBA, so I'll have to definitely weigh in on that later."
Hm, could that mean one or more of the women in his final three—Becca Kufrin, Lauren Burnham or Kendall Long—could be in the running? Fans will have to wait until the March 5 finale and After the Final Rose special to know for sure, but two fan-favorites with a lot of support for the gig are Bekah Martinez and Tia Booth, with both telling us they are interested.
"Honestly, I wouldn't want to get my hopes up too much about being the next Bachelorette because I know there are some amazing women obviously in the running for it," Tia, who made it to the final four, admitted to us. "but I think it would be great to continue in the Bachelor family, whichever outlet that may be." (Hey, Tia did tell us she was open to Bachelor in Paradise after seeing her BFF Raven Gates find love with Adam Gottschalk!)
But Tia, 26, has seen all the support for her to be the next lead on social media, saying, "It feels very good though to get so much positive feedback from the fans about being the next Bachelorette!"
As for Bekah, the biggest concern some people have is whether or not she's ready to get married, with her age (22 at the time of filming) becoming one of the main storylines of the season. Ultimately, the 14-year age gap between Bekah and Arie, 36, was too big of an obstacle for the Bachelor to overcome despite their connection.
However, Bekah doesn't seem fazed by the age controversy, pointing to another recent Bachelorette's young age: JoJo Fletcher was only 24 when she was the lead (and is still with her final pick, Jordan Rodgers).
"For one, I'm now 23, so much older and wiser now that I'm 23. JoJo was only 24 when she was the Bachelorette, and no one really made a big deal about that as far as I know," she said. "I think Bachelorette would be an amazing experience because you're opened up to so many possibilities, so many kinds of men, and also now going through the experience myself, I must say I was probably the biggest skeptic. I never thought I would actually develop feelings for the man on the show. Just even liking him, I didn't necessarily expect that. But I did develop real feelings for Arie, and so that makes me think, wow, if I was in his position and I had 30 people to choose from and develop relationships with, who knows what could happen? I could genuinely find the man I want to spend the rest of my life with."
To hear more from Arie's contestants, including Bibiana Julian and Seinne Fleming, another contender for the role, about the search for the next Bachelorette, watch our interviews with them above.
The Bachelor Women Tell All airs Sunday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. on ABC.