Nothing is official until it’s official, but sources tell Variety that ABC is all-but-set on Zach Shallcross being its next star of “The Bachelor.”
Two individuals familiar with “The Bachelor” search have told Variety that Shallcross is the network’s pick to lead Season 27, which will likely air in early 2023.
Shallcross is expected to be announced as the new “Bachelor” on next week’s season finale of “The Bachelorette,” during “After the Final Rose” on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Shallcross was a contestant on the current 19th season of “The Bachelorette,” which stars two women: Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey.
He was one of Recchia’s finalists, and was given a prime “Bachelor edit” on last night’s episode. ABC gave him ample airtime, showcasing his heartbreak, soft side and polite manners, as Recchia and him had a cordial moment of closure after a bumpy road. Shallcross’ relationship with Recchia took a sudden turn for the worse after the Fantasy Suite episode, and his storyline became a key arc in the season, leading up to his likely announcement as the next “Bachelor.”
Shallcross is a 26-year-old tech executive from Anaheim Hills, Calif. During his breakup on “The Bachelorette,” Recchia questioned whether he was ready for marriage at his young age. (Recchia, also 26, is less than a year older than Shallcross.) His bio on ABC’s website describes him as an “old-fashioned romantic” who has “a huge heart that he is so ready to share forever with the right woman.” The reality star’s uncle is actor Patrick Warburton, which was revealed on “The Bachelorette’s” Hometown Dates episode as the “Seinfeld” alum casually appeared when Shallcross introduced his family to Recchia.
Insiders tell Variety that numerous contestants were considered to be the next star of “The Bachelor,” including Nate Mitchell, a fan-favorite single father who dated Windey on “The Bachelorette.”
While he was in consideration to be the next “Bachelor,” Mitchell became embroiled in a mini off-camera tabloid scandal when his exes spoke about his dating behavior on social media, leaving Bachelor Nation questioning his “good guy” character portrayed on the dating series. On the episode of “Men Tell All,” Mitchell addressed the rumors, including his ex’s claim that he dated two women at once. “I’m deeply sorry for the way that I acted,” Mitchell told host Jesse Palmer on “Men Tell All.” There was also a rumor that he kept his daughter a secret from one of his former girlfriends, to which he explained, “The one thing that I protect most on this earth is my daughter. I would never bring her into a situation that I feel is dangerous, a situation that I feel is unstable, and so it just made me put a wall up, protecting my daughter from the instability of my dating life.”
ABC declined to comment on Shallcross as “The Bachelor” when contacted by Variety.
On Tuesday, blogger Reality Steve tweeted, “As we know plans can always change last minute…but I feel confident in reporting that the next Bachelor is going to be Zach Shallcross.” (ABC typically does not comment on any casting rumors on “The Bachelor” franchise.)
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