Mike Fleiss does a lot of hands-on work as executive producer of The Bachelor, but one of his most important jobs is choosing who will handle out roses every season. Heading into his 23rd year, Fleiss decided to give Colton Underwood a shot, which did not exactly go over well with Bachelor Nation.
Being the seasoned producer he is, Fleiss recently opened up about the decision to cast Underwood and explained why he picked him over everyone else.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 2, 2019
Talking with Entertainment Weekly, Fleiss admitted that it is always difficult choosing who will become the next Bachelor star. All of the candidates have their pros and cons, and it’s usually the small things that determine the winner.
“We like this guy. He’s interesting, he’s certainly hunky, he looks the part, he’s an all-American kid, a football player,” Fleiss explained about Underwood.
Fleiss added that he thought Underwood being a virgin was a big plus. Not only does it create an interesting narrative this season, but the possibility of him losing his v-card ups the stakes a little.
But there was also something about Underwood’s personality that stood out above the rest. As Fleiss explained it, Underwood has a “big presence” that immediately grabbed their attention.
They also had a chance to see him mature from his days on The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise, which also factored into their decision.
'Cinderella' Leaves a Shoe for Colton Underwood on The Bachelor: 'I'm Here for Prince Charming' https://t.co/GWGXvQ03we
— People (@people) January 2, 2019
Fleiss revealed that other candidates included Jason Tartick and Blake Horstmann, both of whom met with Fleiss about starring on Season 23.
Prior to the official announcement, Tartrick and Horstmann expressed their desire to be on the show on social media, which is why their fans were so mad when Fleiss went with Underwood.
Although fans reacted poorly to the decision, Fleiss revealed that he does not let the negative feedback get to him. He also understands that fans will eventually get over it because they love the show.
The new season of The Bachelor premieres Jan. 7 on ABC.