ABC announced on Tuesday night during the Bachelor in Paradise reunion episode that they've chosen their next lead for The Bachelor season 24. Bachelor Nation matriarch Chris Harrison announced that Peter Weber from Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette will be the franchise's next lead.
To say that Weber was a frontrunner during Brown's season wouldn't be entirely accurate because Brown had strong relationships with a number of the men on the season, but Weber was one of those four core relationships that The Bachelorette lead was torn between. Weber was eliminated during the Fantasy Suites week in Greece, following their infamous fantasy suite involving a windmill. Brown went on to give her final rose to contestant Jed Wyatt, which didn't last very long, and fans thought she might return to Weber, but he's stayed relatively under the radar until this announcement. Fan favorites Tyler Cameron, Mike Johnson, and Derek Peth were all names tossed around by fans ahead of the decision, but ABC had other ideas about who they'd like as their lead.
At the end of the highly anticipated Bachelor in Paradise season 6 reunion episode, Harrison brought out Weber, much to the audience and Bachelor in Paradise cast's delight. In typical Bachelor Nation fashion, the episode was chock-full of drama, including the much-anticipated confrontation between Blake Horstmann and Caelynn Miller-Keyes regarding their Instagram text reveal scandal, which didn't leave much time at the end to actually talk with Weber about what he later described as this "life changing" experience. Weber strolled onto the stage to a standing ovation and the pilot couldn't stop smiling during his brief sit-down with Harrison. Though he didn't find love during his time on The Bachelorette, the 28-year-old said he has "all the faith in the world that this can work for me." The Bachelor Nation host also asked Weber if there was anything he felt he could take away from how Brown behaved during her time as the Bachelorette, and the Delta pilot - who has always spoken highly of Brown, despite her ups and downs on reality TV - said she was "100 percent unapologetically herself," which is something he plans to "carry forward" during his season.
Ahead of the announcement, ABC took to their The Bachelor Facebook page on Tuesday morning to post pictures of 33 women who were cast on Weber's season. In previous years, ABC would always wait to release the photos and bios of contestants until closer to the time of the premiere, once filming had actually begun, but on Brown's season of The Bachelorette, they chose to release them early. Since they've chosen to release the photos, it seems that they're hoping the public will be able to vet the contestants in order to avoid an incident like the one during the former beauty queen's season when producers had to remove contestant Tyler Gwozdz. Filming is set to begin Friday, September 20, but professional spoiler and reality TV blogger Reality Steve has already posted the bios and social media handles for the women he believes will definitely be on the show - including one girl that he thinks will be an early frontrunner or potentially the next Bachelorette lead. That same girl, Sarah Coffin, has since sparked online support on The Bachelor Facebook page, with many speculating she could be the winner of Weber's season despite having very little information to go off.
Though fans online were split between who they wanted to be chosen, and though some have been vocal about their negative feelings towards him, Weber is still beloved by many of the fans watching; and Brown, as well as Weber's fellow contestants, have always spoke highly of him. No matter who ABC chooses, there are always fans who are unhappy with the show's decision, and there are always people who claim they're not going to watch the season, but Bachelor Nation is still going strong. The season is sure to be filled with windmill references and jokes about Weber piloting his own life, and we have no doubt that this will be the most dramatic season of The Bachelor to date - until the next one, of course.