Arie Luyendyk Jr. has plenty of support as he embarks on his journey as The Bachelor, but he has his share of critics, too. The 36-year-old Bachelor star, who was first introduced to fans when he was runner-up on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette, made his long-awaited debut as ABC’s leading man on New Year’s Day. Arie met 29 eligible bachelorettes in a supersized limo meet and greet, including one woman, Bekah, whose age remains a mystery. (Note: She looks really young.)
While it remains to be seen if any of Arie’s women will be wife material, Bachelor Nation had plenty to say about the race car driver turned realtor’s harem. Several Bachelor and Bachelorette alums took to social media to react to Arie Luyendyk’s Bachelor premiere, including last season’s star, Nick Viall, who pointed out that fans really wanted Peter Kraus to headline the new season of the ABC reality dating show. Nick posted a tongue-in-cheek poem directed at Arie in which he joked that while some Bachelor fans wanted Peter, he believes in him.
“Good luck tonight Arie!” Viall tweeted. ” I wrote you a poem to break the seal: Roses are red, your eyes are like SO blue, people wanted it to be Peter, but I believe in you.”
In addition, Bachelor alums Sean Lowe and Kaitlyn Bristowe poked fun at Arie’s reputation as a “Kissing Bandit,” while franchise star Tanner Tolbert noted the plethora of women named Lauren on Arie’s season of The Bachelor. Other Bachelor stars noted the young ages of some of the contestants. It has already been revealed that age will play a big factor in the new season of The Bachelor.
When Arie was on the Bachelorette he was 31 and when Maquel was watching it, she was 18. And we don’t even know how old Bekah is! It’s a storyline this season (according to teaser) & her age isn’t listed on ABC’s website. She was prob a minor when he was on the Bachelorette????— Ali Fedotowsky-Manno (@AliFedotowsky) January 2, 2018
Tune into The Bachelor tonight and watch Samuel try to convince Arie to ditch the nickname “The Kissing Bandit”.— Sean Lowe (@SeanLowe09) January 2, 2018
Drink every time they say Kissing Bandit tonight and you'll end up on the floor. #TheBachelor— Jade Tolbert (@jadelizroper) January 2, 2018
even though she used a fake ID to get on the show, Bekah is definitely in my top 5. #thebachelor— Diggy Moreland (@diggymoreland) January 2, 2018
While most of Bachelor Nation was optimistic about Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s role as The Bachelor—Emily Maynard previously gave her former flame her blessing, per a report from People—one of Arie’s former castmates still remains skeptical. Shortly after The Bachelor premiere aired, Jef Holm, who was Maynard’s short-lived fiancé after her season of The Bachelorette, offered a $5,000 donation to the charity of Bachelor host Chris Harrison’s choice if Arie Luyendyk Jr. actually remains in a relationship his final pick for a year. It is clear that Jef Holm does not think Arie Luyendyk Jr. signed on as The Bachelor for the “right reasons.”
You can see Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s debut as The Bachelor in the video below.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.