Who Will Follow in Michelle Young's Footsteps as the Next Lead of 'The Bachelorette'?

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Dec. 1 2021, Published 9:52 a.m. ET

Season 18 of The Bachelorette featured several iconic moments, and the last few episodes are bound to up the ante.

As Nayte Olukoya, Joe Coleman, and Brandon Jones gear up to battle it out for The Bachelorette Michelle Young's heart in the Season 18 finale, an increasing number of fans are turning their attention to the next group of singletons. Who will be at the helm of Season 19 of The Bachelorette?

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ABC has yet to unveil the identity of the next 'The Bachelorette' lead.

ABC has recently confirmed that Clayton Echard is the star to follow in Matt James' footsteps as The Bachelor. He will open his heart to the 30 or so contestants ready and rearing to sweep him right off his feet. The announcement caused some tumult, with some The Bachelor fans taking to Twitter to demand a recount.

The cast of Season 18 of 'The Bachelorette'
Source: ABC
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Clayton might have top-notch fort-building skills, but many believe that Olumide "Olu" Inajide is the star who should become the next The Bachelor. Should ABC unveil the identity of the next The Bachelorette, similar reactions might follow. Who is in the mix?

Prospective media personalities and full-time heartthrobs are initiated into Bachelor Nation via an appearance on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Take Clayton, who successfully pulled off a six-episode stint on Season 18 of The Bachelorette before graduating to The Bachelor lead gig. Meanwhile, Michelle Young made it to the finale of Season 25 of The Bachelor, only to lose to Rachael Kirkconnell.

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Long story short, the process of electing the next The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is not set in stone. For what it's worth, the lead is usually a person who experienced first-hand what it's like to film the show.

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"There's a lot of things ... Whoever we choose, it goes to television, story, layers, who's right at the right time. Go back to Tyler [Cameron]," Chris Harrison, previous host of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, told The Cinemaholic in 2019. "If Tyler's bopping around town, dating Hadids, and Hannah [Brown] and all this stuff, maybe he's not going to be a great Bachelor."

"So, maybe he's not our guy right now," he added. "So, again, a lot goes into when we make that decision and who we think is the best at that time."

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The next 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' have to be single and ready to mingle.

As Chris told The Cinemaholic, The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is a singleton with some camera-facing experience.

Producers are likely eager to avoid the Clare Crawley debacle of 2020. She had to face a stream of unfounded allegations that she and Dale Moss started hanging out before the shooting kicked off.

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As such, The Bachelorette has to be single, extremely attractive, and ready to leave singledom behind. Surprisingly enough, the criteria considerably narrow down the list of suspects.

Victoria Larson, Bri Springs, and MJ Snyder are just some contestants from Season 25 of The Bachelor who have yet to post about their beau on social media. But the next The Bachelorette lead could easily come from Clayton's season too. The search (and the guesswork) continues, at least for now.

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