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Aurelie Corinthios
September 01, 2017 10:12 AM

Is Peter Kraus getting another chance at love on the small screen?

Rumors that the 31-year-old Wisconsin native is set to be the next star of The Bachelor have been heating up all week, largely due to a series of tweets from franchise creator Mike Fleiss teasing a “shocking” announcement about the show.

Fleiss spent the weekend asking Bachelor Nation to tell him who they want, tweeting his poll’s results. The latest? Kraus is leading, followed by Wells Adams, Ben Zorn, Eric Bigger and Chase McNary.

But Fleiss later tweeted the mystery man won’t be from JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette, ruling out Adams and McNary.

Indeed, Kraus’ casting would come as a surprise, as Fleiss had previously made it clear that they wouldn’t pick someone to be the Bachelor if they weren’t ready to propose. Kraus, who made it to the final two on Rachel Lindsay‘s recent season of The Bachelorettefiercely resisted the reality show’s tradition of proposing to the leading lady after a whirlwind courtship. After a final heart-wrenching conversation with Lindsay in which he acknowledged that asking her to marry him would be a compromise of his core values, they decided to part ways.

“Do we really want a Bachelor who isn’t ready to settle down with a woman he loves?” Fleiss tweeted mid-August. “Hmmm. Not what #thebachelor is all about.”

At the time, a source told PEOPLE that Fleiss’ tweet was absolutely aimed at Kraus.

“Peter is every Bachelor producer’s worst nightmare: the perfect guy who cannot be coerced into proposing at the end,” said the insider. “The fact that no one could talk Peter into buckling under and just giving her the ring — and that he wouldn’t play along — absolutely enraged the higher-ups at the show. Including Fleiss, definitely. He is totally on their s— list forever.”

“Even if they weren’t so mad, his unwillingness to play by the rules of the game has them afraid he’d be another Brad Womack or, worse, Juan Pablo [Galavis],” added the source.

After Fleiss’ initial subtweet about Kraus, longtime host Chris Harrison told PEOPLE that it seemed like the personal trainer was “still working through some things.”

“I think his time with Rachel exposed some things in his life that he probably has to deal with and needs to handle before he’s ready to settle down,” said Harrison. “In no way does that make him a bad guy or not worthy. He may make a great Bachelor. It’s not like it’s completely off the table. But after seeing him be with Rachel, it didn’t give you that glowing feeling of, Hey, this guy is ready for another chance at love. It would be really hard to spin that.”

Lindsay, who is now engaged to finalist Bryan Abasolo, has also been outspoken about her frustrations with Kraus.

“With Peter, I constantly got this push and this pull,” the 32-year-old attorney previously told PEOPLE. “What I hate so much is that it seems like the reason that Peter wasn’t the one for me is due to the proposal, and I think that it became such a big issue because that’s what happens at the end of this, but there were other deep-rooted issues in my relationship with him.”

Rachel Lindsay and Peter Kraus
ABC/George Burns

FROM PEN: Why Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay Didn’t Choose Peter Kraus

 

However, despite the odds being initially stacked against Kraus, Fleiss’ recent tweets sing a different tune. It appears that Bachelor execs have likely changed their minds about Kraus landing the role — perhaps due to the fact that no other front-runners have emerged. (Robby Hayes and Dean Unglert, two prominent names from the franchise who had been thrown into the mix, appear to be out of the running due to antics unfolding on the current season of Bachelor in Paradise.)

“Hoping to make unbelievably shocking announcement today regarding #thebachelor. Waiting for final approval…” Fleiss tweeted on Thursday, sparking a flurry of responses from fans rooting for Kraus.

While fans are still waiting with bated breath for the official confirmation, at the end of the day, Bachelor Nation is largely in agreement that Kraus is the strongest candidate.

“Peter is a very good man, a great guy,” Harrison told PEOPLE earlier this month. “It’s always hard to talk about who would be a good Bachelor/Bachelorette because then everybody goes off and takes that as, ‘Oh Harrison doesn’t like him.’ That has nothing to do with it.”

“They’re all good people,” he added. “It’s about choosing someone who will make a good Bachelor, good television and who we think is sincerely ready for this moment — ready to be the Bachelor, ready to settle down.”

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