Mike Johnson may be a contender for Bachelor — but Chris Randone says he missed a major moment to secure himself the gig.
ET’s Lauren Zima sat down with Randone and his wife, Krystal Nielson, on Monday, where they revealed that they’re pulling for Derek Peth to be the next franchise lead, after seeing how he rose to the occasion on Bachelor in Paradise… and how Johnson didn’t.
“I think Mike would be a great Bachelor… and we can make history with that,” Randone noted, explaining Johnson would be the first black Bachelor. “There was a key moment in Paradise that just took place, where Mike didn’t show that next level what it took as far as the empathy or the emotional side to be vulnerable [as a lead].”
The Paradise alum — who met and got engaged to Nielson on season five of the series last year — said Johnson could have gotten more vulnerable and shared his emotions when his ex, Hannah Brown, arrived on the beach.
“Last year, we saw Colton [Underwood], when Becca [Kufrin] came. What happened with Colton? He broke down crying. He was just heartbroken, and that gave us the side of Colton we never really saw,” Randone shared. “Mike has never given us that, and I think that’s where Mike failed in this process, if he doesn’t become the Bachelor, of not showing us that emotional, deep side that was hard for him to be vulnerable.”
“That would allow us to know he can hit every angle of emotions when it comes to being the Bachelor,” he added.
Also in the running for the gig is Peter Weber, but Randone and Nielson both think that Peth is the more compelling choice.
“We’re very public supporters for Derek, ever since we saw Demi [Burnett’s] relationship unfold with Kristian [Haggerty], and how he handled that with such class and grace, and allowed Demi a safe space for her to open up and show who she was. And I think had she been with someone else, perhaps she wouldn’t have felt so safe to open up her heart and let us into the struggles she was going through,” Nielson reasoned.
“I think it was the understanding that Derek provided, and the emotional intelligence of that situation where he was a listener, not someone who was opinionated. And what that takes… someone who can understand women, that’s a quality we need in a Bachelor, when 30 women are coming through that limo. And he’s a very mature man with stability,” Randone chimed in. “Nothing against Pete the Pilot, I just think there’s some extra layers there.”
“The embodiment of a Bachelor is at a higher level [with Derek] than Pete, when it comes to that,” he expressed.
Nielson did note that Paradise isn’t over, and there’s still a chance for the guys to shake things up or prove themselves as Bachelor material through vulnerability. “When it’s a heartbreak, we’re rooting for you to find love,” she pointed out.
The drama on the beach continues on Monday night, but on Tuesday, viewers will see Randone and Nielson’sParadise wedding.
“There were so many iconic moments,” Randone said.
“Not too many people can say they did this, a televised wedding,” he continued, explaining that he and Nielson truly got everything they wanted from the event. “It was incredible. Honestly, I’m excited to watch it back.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET’s Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.
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