Why Was Colton Picked as 'Bachelor?' Creator Mike Fleiss Explains

Jessica Napoli

Becca Kufrin followed her heart and chose Garrett Yrigoyen on the finale of The Bachelorette last year, which left runner-up Blake Horstmann brokenhearted.

Becca's season also had Bachelor Nation swooning over two other very eligible single men — proud Buffalo, NY, native, Jason Tartick, and former NFL player Colton Underwood — but out of the three guys, only one could be named the next Bachelor star. And that title when to Colton.

After which, social media went wild and criticized the reality series and its creator/producer, Mike Fleiss, about the decision.

To smooth things over with Bach Nation for Season 23's premiere on January 7, Fleiss spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the highly protested decision.

"It’s always a very difficult choice. And people get angry no matter who we choose. The only person that we ever chose who didn’t seem to piss people off was Juan Pablo! It was like 100 percent approval for the choice of Juan Pablo. So it’s a hard thing to figure," he explained.

"We like this guy. He’s interesting, he’s certainly hunky, he looks the part, he’s an all-American kid, a football player. The virginity thing is interesting. And we think that just the potential of [Colton losing his virginity] creates added stakes for this season," Fleiss added.

Fleiss did admit that he and other producers met with Blake and Jason Tartick, but said that Colton "just won us over."

The veteran TV producer admitted that he is aware of the online chatter and does take into consideration the public's opinion, but also stated that "you can’t look for 100 percent approval, you’ve gotta make your best decision in terms of story potential."

'The Bachelor' Trailer: Colton Underwood Cries, Curses & Runs Away (VIDEO)

'The Bachelor' Trailer: Colton Underwood Cries, Curses & Runs Away (VIDEO)

'Every time I put myself out there I get rejected,' he sobs.

Longtime host Chris Harrison previously told TV Insider that, "It doesn't matter who you choose, you're not going to ever please everybody. We felt at the end of the day, Colton gives us the best TV."

"The whole virgin angle is obviously going to be interesting — how the women handle it, how does he handle it," he added.

The Bachelor, Season 23 Premiere, Monday, January 7, 8/7c, ABC

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