Why I’m Throwing My Support Behind Eric as the Next Bachelor

It’s no secret now that Rachel Lindsay picked Bryan Abasolo over Peter Kraus in the season finale of The Bachelorette, a move that still confuses many. Since then, fans have clung to the hope that fan-favorite Peter would be the inevitable choice for the next Bachelor, redeeming Rachel’s final choice. However, if we’re supposed to read a lot into tweets, then this one from Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss certainly seems to eliminate Peter from the shortlist.

“The fact that no one could talk Peter into buckling under and just giving her the ring—and that he wouldn’t play along—absolutely enraged the higher-ups at the show,” an insider tells People. “Including Fleiss, definitely. He is totally on their s— list forever, and there is no way they will reward him with a shot at The Bachelor. No way.”

With that being said, someone still needs to be the Bachelor for season 22. I’m throwing my support behind Eric Bigger, who came in third on Rachel’s season, as the next Bachelor, and here’s why:

Despite his unpopularity in the first few weeks, Eric has been one of my favorite contestants since the beginning. Ever since he asked Rachel on the first night what love meant to her, he’s shown me a side that was deeper and more insightful than a lot of other contestants from previous seasons. He was the first person that almost fell into Lee’s racist trap, but he somehow managed to make it out relatively unscathed. As time went on, he won more fans’ hearts after he admitted that Rachel would be the first girl he’d ever brought back to Baltimore. Eric knocked his hometown date out of the park as his family impressed all of America by showing that despite not being perfect, they are still the family we all would want to be a part of.

Throughout the season, he was open and personable, charming and caring. The Ringer described him as someone who had “a range broad enough to go between Dean’s giggles and Peter’s seriousness as the situation demands.” He would also bring all kinds of positive energy to the show, which would be a nice change of pace in spite of the inevitable drama that seems to follow the Bachelor franchise.

We really got to see Eric transform and change as a person on television, one of the very few instances I can remember this happening in this franchise. The Undefeated’s Clinton Yates described his transformation perfectly in an article posted right after the episode where the boys met Rachel’s family.

“Eric is about as in touch as anyone I’ve ever seen in terms of being self-aware about his own insecurities regarding his family life and what he wants to get to. I’m genuinely superimpressed by his communication. It’s SO easy to psych yourself out when you see a healthy unit and sabotage yourself for the purposes of not wanting to upset someone else’s seemingly perfect situation… He’s showed his actual self on camera, and perhaps most importantly, as a result he genuinely has become a cooler dude as the show has gone on. You can’t make this stuff up. Sure, edits help. But take it from me: It’s not easy to fake it when you don’t know what it looks like to begin with.”

Eric can only continue to grow from here. It would be a joy to continue watching him find himself and his confidence, only as the show’s lead this time around. And who knows, maybe fall in love and get engaged.

As to whether or not Eric would want to be the Bachelor, he’s played coy about it so far when asked. He said on Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti’s Almost Famous podcast that he would be open to it. “Yes, if the opportunity presented itself and it made sense and it felt right in the moment, absolutely. I’m open to it…because when you’re open, great things happen.”

So I guess we will just have to wait and see who the next Bachelor is. But for everyone’s sake, I hope we get to fall more in love with Eric as the Bachelor for season 22.

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