Chris Soules has made a return to ABC— sort of. The former Bachelor star made a cameo in the Dancing With the Stars audience this week, more than two years after his celebrity status was derailed due to legal troubles.
Soules posted an Instagram photo that showed him sitting with fellow Bachelor Nation stars Joe Amabile and Kendall Long in the audience of the celebrity ballroom competition.
The still-single Bachelor star, whose engagement to his final pick, Whitney Bischoff, ended shortly after his season of the ABC dating show aired, noted in the caption that Bachelor in Paradise lovebirds Joe and Kendall are “relationship goals.”
Fans chimed in to say it’s great to see Soules back in public after his personal troubles. Others suggested that he should date Hannah Brown, an also currently-single Bachelor Nation veteran who is competing on this season of Dancing With the Stars.
Soules, who competed on Season 20 of the show, even surprised his former DWTS partner, Witney Carson, with his cameo in the audience. Carson, who is partnered with actor Kel Mitchell this season, told Us Weekly she was shocked to see Soules in the audience.
“It was so nice to see him. I had no idea he was going to be here. I haven’t heard from him in years, literally. So the fact that he showed up was a shock, but I was so happy to see him. He’s awesome. Great guy.”
Soules and Carson came in fifth place in the 20th season of Dancing With the Stars back in 2015. But two years later, ABC’s popular leading man became embroiled in tragedy when he was the driver in a fatal tractor crash that killed his neighbor, Kenneth Mosher, in Iowa.
Us notes that the trip to the Dancing with the Stars studio audience marks Soules’ first public appearance since he was sentenced to two years of probation for the fatal crash in August.
Soules, who was dubbed Prince Farming during his season of The Bachelor, was originally arrested and charged with a felony after leaving the scene of the fatal crash before police arrived. In August, the ABC reality star received two years of probation after his charge was reduced to an aggravated misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury.
Soules recently told People that he was not drinking at the time of the accident and simply followed his lawyer’s instructions not to speak to police. The Bachelor star also said that he went through some “dark times” in the two years since the crash and often thought it would have been easier if he had been the one who died.
Fans are happy to see Chris Soules back in the spotlight– and with his friends at ABC — as he tries to move on with his life.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.