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Jason as next 'Bachelor'? Buffalo showrunner offers praise but no assurance

A story written last week by Wendy Gould for something called had the headline "5 Reasons We're Convinced ABC Has Secretly Cast Jason as the next 'Bachelor.'"

It was an amusing article, but here's One Big Reason why I know she is wrong about ABC keeping a secret.

Bennett Graebner, the Buffalo native who is one of the showrunners of "The Bachelorette," told me it hasn't happened.

This isn't to say Graebner wouldn't support a decision to make Buffalo native Jason Tartick the next "Bachelor" on the ABC reality series.

"Jason would make a great 'Bachelor,'" Graebner emailed me after being asked about the possibility. "And social media seems to agree. He’s smart, charismatic, compassionate and successful. The guy’s a catch.

"Most important, however, Jason is honestly looking for that one person to complete his life. Will he be the next 'Bachelor?' It’s too soon to say. There are a lot of conversations taking place right now, and a lot more that need to take place before that decision is made."

Of course, Graebner likely would say similar flattering things about other potential "Bachelors" in "The Bachelorette" cast in the same way as Bachelorette Becca Kufrin said nice things about all her potential suitors.

For his part, Tartick spoke highly of Graebner in a telephone interview last week when asked if the producer was "helpful."

Tartick said he was treated the same as every potential suitor for Becca.

"Bennett is an incredible guy and he is such a nice person and such a caring guy," said Tartick. "He is brilliant. He is a really smart, smart man. I don't want to say the word helpful, because he wouldn't do anything or provide anyone an edge over anyone else ever. But he is just a very supportive guy. And when I was having some challenge dealing with things, he was always there then and today if I ever needed to call him and talk through things.

"Most importantly, and what was so impressive to me, was after the breakup I was sitting in Thailand for a good period of time sequestered. The outreach from Bennett was just amazing. Every day he made sure I was doing OK. He came over for breakfast and we talked through things. He knew that it was weighing on me mentally so would take me out at night. We went to a boxing match, did some activities around the city so that he kept me in good spirits.

"He is a great, great person, brilliant guy, good on what he does. Never helped to give me an advantage but was always very supportive of the process of what I was going through."

Now back to some of Gould's reasons for thinking Jason was already cast as "'The Bachelor."

"He might have come out of that limo and into the mansion relatively under the radar, but Jason Tartick quickly won over the hearts of Becca and all of Bachelor Nation as the season progressed," she wrote. "Throughout his journey, we've seen him suavely navigate the muddy waters of drama, have the ability laugh at himself and the absurdity of it all, and put his heart on the line as he opened up and fell in love.

"Watching Jason get sent home wasn't easy, but it did reveal what we suspected all along: that he's a man of strength and character. All these traits we've just listed are reasons we think he'd make an incredible Bachelor. Ahead are a few more reasons we think ABC might just crown him as such!"

Jason Tartick as next 'Bachelor'? Social media, pop sites fuel the fire

Here is her Reason No. 2 for casting Jason:

"Let's take a second to talk about Jason as a potential mate. He has a successful career as a corporate banker, possesses a strong sense of himself, has a solid group of friends, is charitable, is living life to the fullest, and apparently is an incredible kisser. Also, he's approaching 30, at that stage in his life where he's serious about finding partner, and clearly isn't trying to simply fill some hole with fame or a random person.

"Moreover, he's not afraid to speak his mind. We need a bachelor who can communicate what he's thinking in a sincere way, similar to how Becca has. Jason has proven he can do that over and over again throughout the season. Not only does he keep it real, but he's funny, insightful, and just fun to listen to."

And Reason No. 3:

"Fans of the show have been pulling for Jason to be the next Bachelor for weeks now, but after this week's elimination, the pleas and cheers have grown infinitely louder. His Instagram account is ablaze with comments, Twitter users (including former "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" cast members are begging for ABC to crown him the lead, and even Colton Underwood (another suitor) is rooting for him!"

Jason was eliminated last week, but he is back tonight in the tell-all episode featuring all the suitors that airs a week before the episode airs in which Becca decides whether to choose Garrett or Blake.

There also are sneak previews of next week's finale and the upcoming "Bachelor in Paradise."

Here's an edited version of the ABC release about tonight's episode. I just pulled out the parts about Jason.

"In one of the most heart-wrenching moments, a tearful Jason says he was flat out blindsided when Becca said goodbye to him on the eve of the fantasy suite. Is he still in love with her?"

"Becca finally faces the men she sent home. She tries to offer Jason some much-needed closure."

No worries. As we learned in last week's interview, Jason seems to be doing just fine now.

"I am definitely happy for whatever happens to Becca, I am rooting for her happiness," said Tartick. "But I have made a full recovery from the breakup, I'm single and I have yet to start dating."


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