Colton Underwood is set to make history as the first-ever virgin Bachelor star, but he is also one of the youngest leading men to ever headline the long-running ABC dating show.
Colton Underwood was born on January 26, 1992, so he was 26-years-old while filming his love journey. And even though Colton will turn 27 before he tapes the “After the Final Rose” special later this winter, he remains the second youngest Bachelor in the show’s 23-season history. The only Bachelor star younger than Colton when filming their season was Jesse Palmer way back in Season 5, according to PopSugar. Interestingly, like Colton, Jesse is also a former NFL football player. He also went on to as successful ABC hosting career on Good Morning America and The Proposal.
On the other end of the spectrum, the oldest Bachelor star was Byron Velvick back in Season 6. Byron was 40-years-old when he filmed his season of the show in 2004.
While many Bachelor stars are in their late 20s or early 30s when they film the show, Nick Viall and Arie Luyendyk Jr.— the last two Bachelors before Colton—were in their late 30s when they found love on ABC.
Viall even defended Colton Underwood against naysayers who say he is too young to think about getting married, recently telling Entertainment Tonight he thinks Colton is a good choice for the Bachelor franchise.
“I mean, I was older, Arie was older,” Nick said. “They’re mixing it up, and you get a younger person. Colton’s what? 25, 26? There’s plenty of people who are 25, 26, and get married in this world. I don’t think he’s, like, crazy young. I think there’s a lot of people who get married at a young age.”
Still, before Colton Underwood began shooting his season of The Bachelor, longtime host Chris Harrison told ABC News even he was unsure if the virgin football star was ready to find a wife on the rose-filled reality show.
“I don’t know if he’s ready and I think that’s one of the great and interesting things about him that will make him a good Bachelor. He says he’s ready, he thinks he’s ready, but is he? I don’t know that,” Harrison admitted.
Because Colton Underwood is only 26-years-old, don’t expect to see him surrounded by a harem of older women. Out of Colton’s 30 contestants, nine of them are 23-years-old, according to Entertainment Tonight. The youngest contestant is 22-years-old and the two oldest women are age 30 and 31.
Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor premieres Monday, January 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC.