Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette just got underway, but already, speculation about the next season of The Bachelor is in full swing.
As you may have heard, rumor has it that Clayton Echard has been named the next Bachelor.
That decision hasn't been confirmed yet, but the reports come from the ever-reliable Reality Steve, so it's a safe bet that Clayton will be handing out roses sometime in early 2022.
As for which direction the franchise will go in next -- well, there's a bit more uncertainty on that front.
In the past, a season of The Bachelorette has always been followed by a season of The Bachelor.
Producers broke with that tradition when they shot Katie Thurston and Michelle's seasons back-to-back.
Now, it looks as though they'll balance the scales by filming another season of The Bachelor after Clayton's.
Again, the word comes to us courtesy of Reality Steve, who tweeted about the decision from producers earlier this week.
"Confirmed what I reported this morning. There will be another Bachelor season that airs after Clayton’s season," Steve revealed.
"Starts filming mid to end of February. Will air, most likely, in the Bachelorette spot which is May-July. Hearing this could be the new norm moving forward."
So yeah, we're in for another unorthodox arrangement of seasons.
But it seems that after that, things will get back to normal.
"As for Bachelorette, looks like it might be moved permanently to where it’s been the last 2 years," Steve continued.
"Film July thru end Aug/beg Sept and air Oct thru December like Clare/Tayshia & Michelle’s season."
Naturally, this raises the question of who will step in as the rose-master general after Clayton's time in the spotlight.
Clayton, as you know, sort of came out of nowhere to assume the starring role next season.
And again, no official announcement has been made regarding Clayton, but Steve is batting 1.000 with these predictions.
The spoiler master hasn't weighed in on who will take the lead for the show's 27th season, but fans believe that after two consecutive newcomers (Matt James was also a relative unknown before he news of his casting was announced), producers will choose an established veteran of the franchise.
And no one is more established than Blake Moynes.
Yes, as you've likely heard by now, Blake and Katie have broken up after three months of dating, and the Canadian wildlife manager is back on the market.
After appearing on two back-to-back seasons of The Bachelorette, Moynes became something of a fan favorite, and the consensus in the Bachelor-obsessed corners of social media seems to be that he's the natural choice for the series' next lead.
But Blake is something of a divisive figure, and many commenters have pointed out that there would be some drawbacks to his casting.
For starters, there's a feeling that after two seasons and three Bachelorettes, Blake has had his chance and should probably accept that he won't be finding love on a reality show.
On top of that, Blake is a Canadian citizen who travels frequently for work, and both of those conditions complicated his relationship with Katie.
So Moynes would definitely be a controversial choice, but considering the recent decline in Bachelor ratings, a little controversy might be exactly what this franchise needs!