By this point during Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor, we already knew that Rachel Lindsay would be our next Bachelorette. She hadn't even been eliminated yet, but the announcement of the first black Bachelor/Bachelorette couldn't wait till "After the Final Rose." The last episode of The Bachelorette left us on a cliffhanger in the middle of Rachel's overnight dates, but she's in Spain, where she'll eventually get engaged to either Peter Kraus, Bryan Abasolo, or Eric Bigger. Peter overwhelmingly made the best impression on her family during hometowns, but will Peter be the next Bachelor? We've been tricked by editing before.
For example, during Ben Higgins' season of The Bachelor, JoJo Fletcher got a super lovable edit in the last few episodes, setting her up as the favorite for the final rose. In the end, Ben proposed to (and later broke up with) Lauren Bushnell. In hindsight, it was obvious that JoJo was getting such a positive, flattering edit to drum up fan support for her turn as the Bachelorette. It's why I'm cautious of declaring that there's no contest this season between Rachel's three remaining suitors. Sure, Peter is the most mature, most charming, and has the least amount of suspiciously pro-Trump Instagram posts. I want to see Rachel end up with him as much as anyone with an ounce of relationship intuition.
But he's also clearly the best choice for Bachelor. Eric is sweet and earnest but just doesn't seem like he's grown into himself enough for the task. Bryan already has way too much suspicion cast on him, from shady political perspectives to a questionable ability to hold healthy boundaries with his mom. Dean has already admitted to not being emotionally ready for The Bachelor, so he's out, too. It's possible that a dude from the middle of the pack might be chosen, or we could have another surprise thrown our way post-Bachelor in Paradise, à la Nick Viall's unexpected announcement. (Which like, if that's going to become a trend, let me be the first to nominate Wells Adams for Bachelor, Congress, President...whatever.)
It's interesting that, besides Peter whom everyone hopes will end up with Rachel, there aren't any great options for Bachelor from the head of Rachel's pack, and the last time we were waiting for a Bachelor announcement, it also wasn't someone from the previous suitor pool. Could this point to a growing struggle to find "good men" for The Bachelor around whom fans will rally? To Bachelor Nation's credit, they seem to be less and less willing to support problematic Bachelors (a hard lesson learned from Juan Pablo's season), which is encouraging to see.