The new Bachelor has been announced, and it’s not who fans of the franchise thought it would be. Amid weeks of rumors that Rachel Lindsay’s Bachelorette runner-up Peter Kraus was a frontrunner for the coveted leading man role, ABC has announced that Arie Luyendyk Jr. will be the next Bachelor star. Arie, a professional race car driver, was first introduced to Bachelor fans when he appeared on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette back in Season 8.
The announcement of Arie Luyendyk Jr. as the star of The Bachelor Season 22 goes against the usual “formula” of the ABC reality show, which usually takes its next leading man from the previous season of The Bachelorette. Arie had previously been in talks to be The Bachelor after Emily Maynard’s season of the female-fronted show, but he lost the role to Sean Lowe. Now, five years later, Arie Luyendyk will be doling out roses as he searches for his future wife in front of ABC’s cameras.
Luyendyk told Good Morning America he went into the decision to become the new Bachelor with “an open mind, open heart” and that he’s looking for a woman who is “independent, strong, but then still gentle.”
Of course, it’s no surprise that Bachelor Nation went ballistic over the news that Arie Luyendyk Jr. will be the new Bachelor. Some fans think Luyendyk is too old for the role. It should be noted that Arie is only 35 years old and the most recent Bachelor star, Nick Viall, was 36. In addition, many fans are complaining that they would have been excited to see Arie as The Bachelor five years ago, while others think his casting marks the end of the long-running show. And newcomers to the ABC reality franchise have no idea who Arie is.
While reviews on the return of Arie Luyendyk Jr. are mixed, the pro race car driver told Good Morning America he feels it’s time for him to settle down.
“All my friends around me, you know, have kids and have grown up, so for me, I feel like I’m the last one of my friends to really take that step,” Luyendyk told GMA.
Take a look at the video below to see the announcement of Arie Luyendyk Jr. as the new star of The Bachelor.
[Featured Image by Lou Rocco/ABC]