The Bachelor has a premiere date — and cheeky new key art featuring leading man Colton Underwood. And by the looks of the “officially official” exclusive new poster, the former NFL player’s virginity is going to be a hot topic all season.
ABC released the first poster for The Bachelor Season 23, which shows Colton Underwood looking seriously dapper in a suit. But it’s the tagline “What does he have to lose?” that really stands out.
It didn’t take Bachelor Nation long to zero in on the tongue-in-cheek tag, which is a clear reference to 26-year-old Underwood’s virginity. Bachelor spoiler King Reality Steve Carbone also weighed in on the ad and called out Underwood for selling his soul to the ABC reality show.
Carbone took to Twitter to share a photo of the new Bachelor poster and captioned it with “Well, when you’ve already sold your soul to the show and are willing to do whatever they say for the sake of ratings, the virginity thing pretty much takes a backseat.”
Carbone also addressed a skeptical fan’s assessment of Underwood’s situation. After a Bachelor viewer tweeted there are “only a few reasons a man his age is still a virgin”— highly religious, an extreme introvert, unattractive by society’s standards and in denial about being gay — Reality Steve replied with “There are other reasons, and they will be talked about this season.”
Of course, Colton Underwood’s virginity will indeed be a major topic on The Bachelor no matter what the reason is. The hunky reality star previously admitted that he didn’t date a lot in college because he was focusing on his football career, and he explained his virginity by saying he’s looking for “the right heart.”
With the new poster, Underwood’s virginity is front and center, and fans should expect it to stay there as he weeds through two dozen women to find the perfect wife.
And as recently as earlier this month, Bachelor host Chris Harrison told Extra that Colton’s “V-card is still intact.” But the ABC host also teased, “Will it be in the next couple weeks? I don’t know. I think it will be put to the test as they head to the fantasy suite overnight dates.”
Harrison also acknowledged that Underwood’s virginity has been the butt of quite a few jokes, but he maintains The Bachelor star takes it very seriously.
“One thing I will also say about his virginity, it kind of became a cocktail joke and we are going to deal with that on the show, and deal with why he is the way he is and why he’s chosen to be the way he is.”
Harrison also made it clear that Underwood’s decision to abstain is not centered around his religious beliefs, teasing, “It has to do with prior relationships and situations.”
Take a look at Colton Underwood’s “pawsitively adorable” new Bachelor promo below.
Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor premieres Monday, January 7, on ABC.