Mike Johnson would have made history as the first black man and the first military veteran to become the Bachelor

By Jodi Guglielmi
September 18, 2019 02:00 AM

Peter Weber has officially been named the next Bachelor — but not everyone is happy with the decision.

After Weber was announced during the Bachelor in Paradise reunion on Tuesday, fans flocked to social media to express their disappointment in the franchise seemingly passing over Mike Johnson as the next lead.

Had Johnson been cast, he would have made history as the first black man and the first military veteran to become the Bachelor — something fans say they were eager to see.

Fans were especially hopeful that they would see Johnson hand out roses after Chris Harrison said he stood a solid chance of taking the lead next season.

Mike Johnson
Craig Sjodin/ABC

“Of course he’s a contender [for Bachelor],” Harrison told PEOPLE earlier this summer. “How could he not be a contender with that smile? He’s one of my favorite people we’ve ever had on the show. He’s a love of a man. I don’t know him that well, and I consider him a really good friend.”

Johnson even had former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on his side.

“I’m a huge proponent for Mike to be the next Bachelor,” Lindsay, 34, previously told PEOPLE. “I say it anytime I get a platform to talk about it. I just feel like they haven’t had a person of color, well, they had Juan Pablo — they never had a black male lead before.”

But while some were disappointed in the decision, others were thrilled to see Weber get a second chance at love.

Peter Weber
Ed Herrera/ABC

And Weber couldn’t be more ready to take on the challenge of dating 30 women in hopes of finding his future wife.

“It’s still hitting me right now, and I feel so grateful right now just to have this opportunity in front of me,” Weber, 27, told Chris Harrison at the end of Tuesday night’s BiP reunion.

“I feel emotional right now. This is crazy. This is life-changing. I have truly, my entire life, looked forward to finding my girl, and that first person that I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with. … I have all the faith in the world that this can work for me, and I know it’s going to,” he said.

Season 24 of The Bachelor will premiere on Jan. 6, 2020 on ABC.