Last week, Bachelor Nation was stunned when the next star of The Bachelor was revealed to be Arie Luyendyk Jr. and not Peter Kraus. Kraus seemed like a lock from the moment the season finale of The Bachelorette ended. In that episode, he and Rachel Lindsay broke up bitterly when he couldn't commit to getting engaged to her then and there, which clearly set him up for a Bachelor arc in which he found the right person and was able to commit after all.
But that's not what happened for the fan favorite, and the job went to a guy who was runner-up on the show five years ago. Obviously something went wrong on Kraus' journey to Bachelorhood, and ET sat down with him to get some clarity on what happened.
While he didn't go into specifics of how negotiations with producers broke down, he said that ultimately he felt it just wasn't time for him to be the Bachelor, as he was still processing his emotionally intense time on The Bachelorette.
"The conversations that [producers, ABC executives and I] had [about being the Bachelor] were never specific to 'Yes or no?' It was more, 'Are you ready?' and me saying I was not," Kraus told ET. "It was a mutual respect for where each other was at, what I know they need from a Bachelor and what I know I was ready to give at the time of those talks. I would never say it was a clear, defined answer. It was, 'This is where we're at, and we're OK with going in different directions.'"
In social media posts after Luyendyk Jr. was announced, though, Kraus seemed to express regret about not taking the gig, writing, "When you let uncertainty or fear guide your decisions, you risk missing out on what could potentially be the greatest opportunity of a life time." While it's possible he was writing about Lindsay, the timing and the use of the word "opportunity" suggest The Bachelor.
#tbt to the most incredible journey of this life time that has now officially come to an end today. As I sit here writing this, I struggle to hold back the tears as I am overcome with emotion one last time. First and foremost.. Rachel, there are so very many things that I've wished I could say to you since the day we parted ways in Spain, but for everyone's sake, I'll keep it short... You gave me a chance and all that I can say is thank you. I have a heart filled with love for you now and always and wish you nothing but the best in your life and love ahead. ABC, you saw something in me, but something held me back. You treated me with such love and kindness and showed me glimpses of a life I never once dreamed that I could have. I will be forever humbled and grateful and will always look back at these last 6 months with an ear to ear smile, knowing that this has truly been a very special life indeed. Upon leaving the @bacheloretteabc I was asked, "what did you learn about yourself during this process?" And at the time I naively said "nothing that I can think of." Now... looking back... I realize I learned one of the single greatest teachings of my life; When you let uncertainty or fear guide your decisions, you risk missing out on what could potentially be the greatest opportunity of a life time. So live dangerously, live without the fear of the unknown, and continue to live and love with a heart that is truly open to anything. #thankyou #lovealways
In another part of the interview, he said that he hasn't spoken to Lindsay since filming ended except for when they had their uncomfortable reunion during The Bachelorette's finale. This is the opposite of what Dean Unglert did after Bachelor in Paradise, when he continued to string along Kristina Schulman and Danielle Lombard even after the cameras were off.
As for whether or not he'd do The Bachelor next year, he said it depends on if he feels ready. "I think I just have to be emotionally in the right place in my life," he said. "If I'm not ready, I'm not ready. I'm not out there searching for fame or attention or money, so if I were to do it, it would be because it felt truly right at that stage in my life."
The Bachelor returns in January.
(Full disclosure: ETOnline.com and TV Guide are both owned by CBS.)