And the next Bachelor is... Arie Luyendyk Jr? Yeah, that happened. Not exactly what we all expected. But, wait -- you might be sitting there asking, "Where have I seen this guy before? Is he in my spin class? Was he an extra on 'SVU'? Did I swipe left on him on Tinder?" Not that we know of. In case you forgot, in addition to being a race car driver, he's an alum of the Bachelor franchise. So, what season of Bachelorette was Arie on? Think back to 2012. "Gangnam Style" was on the radio... And? America's upcoming Bachelor was competing for love on Emily Maynard's season. Ah, it's all coming together now.
Arie wasn't just any old contestant, he was the runner-up, though he ultimately lost Emily's final rose to winner Jef Holm. Many expected him to take on the role as the next Bachelor back then, but the job went to Sean Lowe. Juan Pablo Galavis handed out roses the following year, so when would it be Arie's turn? According to Sean Lowe's 2015 interview with DishNation, his pal Arie was next in line back then, but at the last minute, Chris Soules got picked. Well, five years after his intro to Bachelor Nation, Arie is getting his chance at being the leading man.
ABC's choice came as a bit of a surprise to the show's fans, considering Arie's name hasn't exactly been on the lips and minds of Bachelor Nation as of late. Rachel Lindsay's runner-up Peter Kraus was a top contender until Twitter-happy show creator Mike Fleiss ruled him out just the other day. Nick Viall, who recently broke his engagement to Vanessa Grimaldi, seemed like another option until that was crossed off the list, too. Fleiss teased GMA's big reveal last night with a series of tweets that kept everyone guessing.
It will be interesting to see this formerly familiar face in the spotlight again, so many years later. Arie admitted on GMA that he was “skeptical” when he got the news about the huge gig, but “went in with an open mind and an open heart.” You may recall he was nicknamed "the kissing bandit" on Emily's season. Time to stock up on breath mints and chapstick, Arie.