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Raven Gates’ Big ‘Bachelor’ Secret Could Break Nick Viall’s Heart (EXCLUSIVE)

Raven Gates may be a front-runner on this season of The Bachelor — but there’s a good chance she’s not there for the “right reasons.”

An insider tells In Touch that the brunette beauty was originally cast to fight for former Bachelorette contestant, Luke Pell‘s heart before he was replaced last minute by this season’s lead, Nick Viall!

MORE: Does Vanessa Grimaldi Win Nick’s Final Rose? Find Out!

“She was chosen to be Luke’s Southern belle,” says the source, adding that because she’s a “cute girl,” they kept her around for Nick.

luke pell nick viall

Luke and Nick.

Despite the last minute switch-up, the 25-year-old fashion boutique owner is still a stand-out contestant this season. During week 4, Raven got a one-on-one date at a roller rink, which Nick later referred to as one of the best dates he’s ever been on.

MORE: See All the Instagram Accounts for All of This Season’s ‘Bachelor’ Contestants

“It’s so much fun to goof around with Raven and really just kind of embrace the moment and act like we’re kids again,” he told the cameras at the time.

For more Bachelor secrets, pick up the latest issue of In Touch on newsstands now — and click below to find out if Raven gets Nick’s final rose!

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