Peter Kraus once again lost out to another man when Arie Luyendyk Jr. was crowned the next star of The Bachelor by ABC last week.
The runner-up from Rachel Lindsay’s recent season of The Bachelorette appeared to be a shoo-in for the leading gig while he was on-air. His exit, however, was prompted by a reticence to propose and after the show wrapped, Bachelor Nation debated whether or not he would produce the happy ending they so desire if he were to be named ABC’s next Bachelor.
Still, Kraus’ name was at the top of the list and, as The Hollywood Reporter reported, the 31-year-old Wisconsin native only found out days before the announcement that he had lost out. He didn’t even know Luyendyk Jr. — a choice that came out of left field — was the man he lost out to until the rest of the world also found out on Thursday, says a source.
Kraus had been in talks with ABC from the get-go about the gig, according to the source, but he too was hesitant about the role and what it would entail. Namely, that viewers (and producers) would be expecting a proposal in the end.
“Never let fear hold you back. Lesson learned,” Kraus, who runs a personal training company in Madison, tweeted the night before Luyendyk Jr.’s announcement on Good Morning America — presumably, shortly after he found out he had officially been passed on. The franchise has a history of making last-minute decisions, as another fan-favorite, Luke Pell, famously revealed that he had his bags packed to leave the following day when he found out he had been passed over for last year’s Bachelor, Nick Viall.
Over the weekend, Kraus expanded on his thoughts on Instagram, with a throwback photo from his days on the reality show.
“As I sit here writing this, I struggle to hold back the tears as I am overcome with emotion one last time,” he began, offering a heartfelt note to Lindsay about his regrets. He then wrote, “ABC, you saw something in me, but something held me back. You treated me with such love and kindness and showed me glimpses of a life I never once dreamed that I could have. I will be forever humbled and grateful and will always look back at these last 6 months with an ear to ear smile, knowing that this has truly been a very special life indeed.”
He said the show taught him one very valuable lesson: “When you let uncertainty or fear guide your decisions, you risk missing out on what could potentially be the greatest opportunity of a life time. So live dangerously, live without the fear of the unknown, and continue to live and love with a heart that is truly open to anything.”
#tbt to the most incredible journey of this life time that has now officially come to an end today. As I sit here writing this, I struggle to hold back the tears as I am overcome with emotion one last time. First and foremost.. Rachel, there are so very many things that I’ve wished I could say to you since the day we parted ways in Spain, but for everyone’s sake, I’ll keep it short… You gave me a chance and all that I can say is thank you. I have a heart filled with love for you now and always and wish you nothing but the best in your life and love ahead. ABC, you saw something in me, but something held me back. You treated me with such love and kindness and showed me glimpses of a life I never once dreamed that I could have. I will be forever humbled and grateful and will always look back at these last 6 months with an ear to ear smile, knowing that this has truly been a very special life indeed. Upon leaving the @bacheloretteabc I was asked, “what did you learn about yourself during this process?” And at the time I naively said “nothing that I can think of.” Now… looking back… I realize I learned one of the single greatest teachings of my life; When you let uncertainty or fear guide your decisions, you risk missing out on what could potentially be the greatest opportunity of a life time. So live dangerously, live without the fear of the unknown, and continue to live and love with a heart that is truly open to anything. #thankyou #lovealways
A post shared by Peter J Kraus (@peterkrauswi) on
Franchise host Chris Harrison confirmed that Kraus was “right there” with Luyendyk Jr. as top pick. Harrison said Kraus would make a “great” Bachelor when speaking to On Air With Ryan Seacrest.
ABC’s head of reality programming, Rob Mills, took it one step further by saying Kraus wasn’t “100 percent ready” since his Bachelorette experience was still too raw, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a viable option for the future.
“We’ll always be in touch with Peter, and there might be a time… It might be a year from now, when it’s better for him. It was all about timing,” the senior vice president of alternative series told Entertainment Tonight. “Peter was an incredible fan favorite, which I think was great, but I also think the double-edged sword with that is, if it’s not the season that the fans want, which might have been if Peter might not have been ready to commit 100 percent, that’s also disappointing, and it would have been disappointing for Peter too.”
When speaking to reporters, including THR, the day after The Bachelorette finale aired, Kraus opened up on his reservations about returning to the franchise so quickly. “Consider? Sure. As of right now, am I thinking about it? No,” he said. “This entire process has been tough on me. I know as soon as I get back home, I’m going to jump right back into it to process all of this and not get there just yet with that potential step.”
Kraus eventually spoke out about his hesitations with the gig, explaining that he wasn’t ready (“I was still far too emotional to invest in myself into the next opportunity”), but is open to being The Bachelor in the future. “If the offer were to come up in the future, I could see myself doing it,” he explained to ET. “At this stage in my life, I’m single, I’m happy, business is good, family is good. I’m ready for the next step again, and if that’s what route it took, I’d be okay with that.”
As proven with Luyendyk Jr., ABC has no qualms with dipping seasons back into the Bachelorette pool for its leading man.
Luyendyk Jr., now 35, placed runner-up on Emily Maynard’s 2012 season of The Bachelorette, losing out to Jef Holm (Holm and Maynard ultimately split; she married Tyler Johnson from her hometown and is expecting the pair’s third child). The race car driver was rumored to be taking over the Bachelor gig for the next two years, but he lost out to Sean Lowe and Chris Soules, respectively. Now, he will be returning to the leading role after a five-year TV absence.
“Arie is in the right place in his life to find somebody. He really has a life to go back to. He wants kids. He wants what Emily has. He’s in that place,” Mills continued. “We talked to people, we talked about people from Rachel’s season, from JoJo’s season. I don’t think there was anyone who was as ready for this as Arie is.”
Luyendyk Jr., now a real estate broker in Scottsdale, Arizona, admitted that he was skeptical because of all the back-and-forth in recent years, but said the timing “just fit perfect” on GMA. Still, his casting was met with mixed reviews, highlighting the short attention span of Bachelor Nation and potentially presenting a new marketing challenge for ABC come January 2018 when the new season premieres.
“I’ll be 36 in a few weeks, so for me, it’s time,” he added. “All my friends around me have kids and have grown up. I feel like I’m the last one of my friends to really take that last step.”
Sept. 13, 2 p.m.: Updated with Kraus’ comments on being The Bachelor