Former Bachelorette contestant Mike Johnson has officially responded since being passed over for Peter Weber as the next star of The Bachelor. While he thinks the pilot will do a great job as the new leading man, the Texas native admitted that the decision didn’t come as much of a surprise.

“I did [say I thought it was going to be him], but that wasn’t because ABC told me,” he explained to E! News in an interview published on September 18. “I just felt that way, and I will always be honest with the way I feel, and I felt that for what they were looking for, that Peter would be a really good fit.” Mike would have made history as the first military veteran and African American man to be the Bachelor.

Mike Johnson the Bachelorette Men Tell All Appearance
ABC/John Fleenor

The Air Force vet confirmed that the pilot is as nice as he seems on TV. However, he also noted that there are a lot of differences between them — including that they like “different women,” despite both of them previously dating Hannah Brown.  “I can only speak on my personality and the wonderful man that I am. I do know that Peter and I are two completely different people — both good people, kind-hearted people,” he continued. “But I do feel that I’m a bit more outspoken than Peter. I’m a bit louder than Peter is. I have tattoos, and the obvious, I’m black, so we are very diverse and different in regards as well.”

Besides many Bachelor Nation fans, former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay was also rooting for Mike. “He would be great! When is the last time you’ve seen anyone who’s been an African American male really be able to say they can be the lead? You haven’t yet, and there’s been 20+ seasons, so when is this going to happen again?” she exclusively told Life & Style during an event in a private home in Southampton, New York while sharing her and husband Bryan Abasolo‘s wedding registry on The Knot Registry.

Demi Lovato Bachelorette Mike Johnson Flirty
Broadimage/Shutterstock; ABC/Ed Herrera

Although the reality stud didn’t find love during his stint on Bachelor in Paradise, he’s been cooking up romance rumors with Demi Lovato. The two started flirting via social media and reportedly even went on a date IRL.

Hopefully, there’s a lot of love in Mike’s future!