October 05, 2016 02:19 PM

Rest assured, Bachelor Nation, that fan-favorite Luke Pell was not looked over by producers.

In an interview with PEOPLE Now, host Chris Harrison reveals that Pell, the 31-year-old war veteran who melted hearts on JoJo Fletcher‘s season of The Bachelorette, almost clinched his spot as the series’ next leading man over Nick Viall.

“He was the front-runner,” Harrison said about Pell. “Early on, he was the guy, for sure, and everybody knew it.”

Luke Pell

However, producers kept coming back to Viall, who previously was the runner-up on Andi Dorfman‘s season and finished second place again when Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe left him brokenhearted. This summer, Viall fell for fellow Bachelor in Paradise contestant Jen Saviano but left Mexico as a single man.

Harrison says the timing simply wasn’t right for Pell to fill the shoes of the show’s leading man.

“That’s no disrespect to him, but we had to make the right call at the right time,” the host explains. “At the end of the day, they just thought Nick was the guy.”

RELATED VIDEO: No Baby Talk! ‘Bachelor’ Nick Viall Reveals His Biggest Turn Offs

However, don’t be surprised if Pell reappears on franchise.

“He’s a good guy, he’s a good man, and hopefully he’ll even come back and be the Bachelor,” Harrison says. “Who knows what can happen in the crazy world of The Bachelor?”

As for other alum who may try for another shot at love, don’t count out some of Viall’s former flames. Harrison admits that although no decisions have been made, Saviano or another one of his love connections may come back on Viall’s season for a second chance.

“I won’t be shocked if somebody very familiar shows up,” Harrison reveals. “We’ve done that in the past when someone’s been on one season. He’s been on basically three. I don’t see how someone won’t rear their head and show up.”

The Bachelor returns to ABC in January.

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