If you were surprised by ABC’s recent announcement that two-time Bachelorette runner-up Nick Viall will serve as the forthcoming Bachelor, you’re not alone.

Fan favorite Luke Pell -- who appeared on JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette -- says he was the initial pick for Season 21 of The Bachelor, but the network rescinded their offer hours before he was due to board a plane to Los Angeles.

“We were all satisfied, had agreed to the contracts and everything was moving forward,” Pell told Us Weekly. “I was checked in to my flight to come to L.A. I got a call from producers Sunday night at about 10 p.m. They said ABC had decided to quote-unquote go in a different direction. I was supposed to fly out Monday morning at 9 a.m. I had my bags packed and everything. Most dramatic Monday ever!”

The way Pell tells it, the casting was pretty much a done deal, and he was completely blindsided by the network's last minute switch.

"We had planned for intro filming and had planned to have my sister come on for a date and give advice as part of the show,” he continued. “I met with the wardrobe guys. Everything was moving forward. Everyone on the production level was expecting it to be me, as well.”

But Pell maintains he won't dwell on the disappointment.

“I’ve come to accept the decision,” he said. “From all my years in the military, I’ve learned that some things are out of my control. I put it in the past, and I’m moving forward. It was a huge surprise, but the element of surprise and unexpected decisions is what the show thrives off of.”

Pell, an aspiring singer-songwriter, says he’s ready to move on with his life and return to Nashville, and he’s officially closed the chapter on any possible Bachelor appearances as well.

“I probably wouldn’t do [the show if asked again],” he said. “I don’t want to wait in the wings for what decisions they can make for my life. I want to head back into taking control of my own destiny.”

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