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ABC picked Pilot Pete to be the next Bachelor when Mike was right there

Photo: ABC

This season of Bachelor In Paradise ended happier than most could have predicted, with three engagements: Dylan and G., Katie and Chris, and the show’s first same sex couple, Demi and Kristian. It was all going so well… and yet the show announced that the next Bachelor would be Pete Weber, a.k.a Pete the pilot.

Not that Pete the pilot doesn’t have his good points—look at all that windmill sex he had with Hannah Brown on The Bachelorette last season, and he seemed genuinely distraught when Hannah broke up with him. It’s just that there were so many other good Bachelor options. Sure, Tyler C. has since gotten entwined with Gigi Hadid, but what about Mike Johnson, far and away the Hannah B.’s best Bachelorette candidate? Witness how excited every girl was (and how nervous every guy got) when he showed up on Bachelor In Paradise.

Mike is charming as hell, sincere, and strong, and was able to stand up to Luke P.’s frequent bullshit. Also, Mike would have been the first Black Bachelor, a milestone that is long overdue. As Rachel Linsday, who became the first (and so far only) Black Bachelorette in 2017, told Entertainment Tonight: “I think Peter seems like a very nice guy. He seems lovely. This is absolutely nothing against him, but how many Peters have we seen before? What season are we on? 24. So, we’ve seen 24 Peters.” As Lindsay points out, “I want to be hopeful, but when you have a contestant like Mike Johnson, who seems to check all the boxes, how is he not the Bachelor? I don’t understand… the system isn’t working in giving us a Bachelor who is a person of color.” She’s absolutely right: Mike would have been far and away the better choice. Maybe next season, The Bachelor?

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Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.