Time and time again, interviews with Mike Johnson showed the charmter Bachelorette alum gently set aside rumors that he was in talks with ABC.
He was -- and is -- a fan-favorite to be the next leading man, even though Peter Weber is the Bachelor.
Now, Mike reveals that he was in talks, that he did want the role, and shares the extremely noble reason why he was hyped for it.
Mike Johnson had already weighed in a little on Peter's selection -- he's a big fan!
But on The Bachelor Happy Hour with Rachel & Ali podcast, he elaborates upon how much he would have liked it to have been him.
"I was 100% in talks to be the next Bachelor," Mike reveals for the first time, having previously claimed to have not been in talks.
He admits that, because of this deception, "People probably didn’t think I was considered to be the Bachelor."
Mike explains that he denied being in talks "because I was trying to be so respectful of the crew at Bachelor world."
"And," he reasons. "I didn’t want to speak about it."
"Even when I went on TV. I thought that was being extremely respectful and a gentlemen of me to the Bachelor world," Mike says.
Oh, he absolutely was.
"And Peter didn’t do those interviews," he acknowledges. "So he didn’t have to go through that."
"I 100% wanted to be the Bachelor," Mike emphasizes. And he tells th eworld exactly why.
He explains: "Reasons being: One, I do want to find a wife."
Mike then adds: "Two, it was bigger than me and I wanted to represent for all people of color."
"Talking about people of color," Mike continues, pointing out that the black community is not the only minority underrepresented on the show.
Having more than twenty seasons but zero black men isn't a coincidence, but there's more to it than anti-blackness.
"They need to have an Asian Bachelor, they need to have an Indian Bachelor," he correctly expressed.
Mike added: "They need to have other people outside of just black and white."
He also goes into detail about how far along, how prepared, he was.
"I had a list of -- a Word document -- of the type of woman I wanted, what I was scared of, what I wasn’t scared of," Mike reveals.
Mike makes it clear that, as important as representation is, he's not bitter.
"They chose the right person for what they want," Mike expresses.
"And there’s nothing wrong with that at all," he emphasizes.
Mike admits: "When I first found out, I’m not gonna lie, I was sad. I was annoyed when I very first found out."
"But then by the end of the night, I wasn’t annoyed no more," he shares.
Mike explains: "because I was appreciative and thankful that they told me 'no' right then and there, because now I could focus on myself."
We can understand why he would have felt annoyed.
Not only did ABC and producers skip over yet another black candidate for leading man, but Mike must have felt strung along.
Hopefully, his date with Demi Lovato soothed some of that hurt.
Unfortunately, as long as a chunk of Bachelor fans decide to tune out when the lead is black -- as they did in Rachel's season -- producers may still make the same choices.