Mike Johnson would become the first black and first military veteran Bachelor if he were to be selected for the gig

By Brianne Tracy
July 18, 2019 01:30 PM
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Could the Bachelorette’s fan-favorite contestant Mike Johnson be the next Bachelor? Chris Harrison certainly thinks there’s a chance.

After Hannah Brown sent the San Antonio, Texas, portfolio manager home on an episode of the ABC dating show that aired earlier this month, fans started campaigning on Twitter for Johnson to be cast on The Bachelor.

“Of course he’s a contender [for Bachelor],” Harrison, 47, tells PEOPLE. “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.”

“He’s just a sweet guy,” he continues. “He gives the best hugs, the best smiles and the best advice. He’s just a really good man and yeah, of course he’s a contender.”

Chris Harrison; Mike Johnson
Rick Rowell/Walt Disney Television, ABC

In response to all of the support he has been getting, Johnson, 31, tells PEOPLE, “I’m not going to lie, it’s an awesome thing for people to feel that way.”

At the same time, Johnson says he wants people to know that he doesn’t “play with the idea of love at all.”

“I used to listen to — well I still listen to — a lot of R&B music and I’ve always said, ‘I don’t know why I like R&B so much ’cause I don’t get to feel it,'” he says. “But when I got my heart broken, I couldn’t listen to music for so long.”

“I remember in one song, Ne-Yo said he doesn’t want to pick up the phone because his voicemail says her and him,” he says, in reference to the lyrics of “So Sick.”

“I felt things like that,” he continues. “And I remember after my heartbreak, I couldn’t even go to the mall no more, ’cause I went into the mall and I started crying because I saw people holding hands. I take love so seriously and for people to say they want me to be the Bachelor, I am so grateful. I’m appreciative. But I want to make sure that if that was something that I were to do, that the 30 candidates are definitely there for the same reason. I definitely feel like I could find love in this process.”

Johnson would make history as the first black man and the first military veteran to become the Bachelor.

“I don’t get pressure either way,” he says. “It doesn’t phase me. I mean, the most pressure I had was back in high school when I was playing football and I dropped the ball. Haven’t had pressure like that since, so it’s all good.”

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And, if all else fails, Johnson knows he’ll always have the support of one famous fan: Demi Lovato. Since the very beginning of this season of The Bachelorette, the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer has been vocal about her interest in Johnson on social media.

“She would definitely be cool to reach out to, but neither one of us have reached out to each other,” Johnson says. “I think she’s sexy, she’s got a nice little booty on her and she has good voice.”

The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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