Now they’re the runner-ups. Bachelorette finalists Luke Pell and Chase McNary both took to social media on Tuesday, August 30, after it was revealed that Nick Viall had edged them out for the title of season 21 Bachelor.
The formal announcement was made on After Paradise on Tuesday night, and came as a shock to many fans of the franchise, who believed it would either be Pell or McNary. Instead, the audience audibly gasped when two-time Bachelorette runner-up, Viall, walked out.
While the new Bachelor reveled in the moment, Pell and McNary concealed their disappointment on social media, and wrote that they were continuing their quest for true love. Both suitors made it to the final four on JoJo Fletcher’s season and introduced the Bachelorette to their respective families. Unfortunately, they were sent home back-to-back on the same episode last month.
Pell shared a graphic on Instagram that read: “Trust God’s timing, He has a plan for everything.” The war veteran, who is now an entrepreneur and Gigmasters musician, added an altruistic note of his own. “Thanks for all the love and support over the past few months,” he shared. “Sometimes in life we are faced with unexpected changes. I’m happy to be back home in Nashville and so excited about what the future holds.”
In his original Bachelorette application, Pell shared the meaning of marriage from his perspective. “It means two people who consider themselves best friends, lovers and soulmates, decide to take on life together and build a life and family of their own,” he wrote at the time.
McNary also reflected on losing the Bachelor title on Tuesday — but included a photo of his ripped, shirtless body at the beach. “Unfortunately, I don’t get to be the Bachelor…but my arms and heart are wide open, and I trust the right woman will come into my life at just the right time!” the medical sales rep, 27, shared with fans. He then followed up with a congratulatory tweet for Viall.
A photo posted by Chase McNary (@chase_brody_mcnary) on
— Chase Brody McNary (@cbmcnary) August 31, 2016
Though the Bachelor is typically selected among the finalists of the previous season, longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison explained on Good Morning America on Wednesday why producers ultimately went with Viall.
“At the end of the day, this wasn’t an indictment on Luke or Chase as much as it was more of a compliment to Nick,” Harrison said. “He is that sincere guy that really does wanna make this work.”
The Bachelor season 21 starring Nick Viall will return in early 2017 on ABC.