The majority of Bachelor Nation was shocked when Bachelorette Season 14 alum Colton Underwood was named as the new Bachelor on Good Morning America on Sept. 4. While he still has his fair share of admirers, Colton hasn't exactly maintained many fans throughout his never-ending saga of an on-and-off Bachelor in Paradise relationship with Tia Booth. Viewers may be a little skeptical about him as a lead, but the reason ABC selected Colton makes sense. So, why is Colton the Bachelor?
ABC's recent track record of picking likable Bachelors hasn't been the greatest. To be fair, no matter how much you love a contestant on a Bachelor or Bachelorette season, they usually get a little on your nerves as a lead. But with past Bachelors Arie Luyendyk and Nick Viall, there were more lows than highs, and after Colton's fellow Season 14 contestant Jason Tartick made a memorably heartfelt exit from Becca Kufrin's Bachelorette season, the prospect of finally having a fun Bachelor suddenly seemed possible. Even when speculation about runner-up Blake Horstmann becoming the Bachelor started, fans liked the idea of having a more sensitive male lead than usual.
But while the specific pick of Colton is unexpected, his general type and personality is pretty stereotypical in Bachelor Nation. How many beefy, athletic guys have we seen as leads before? Nonetheless, Colton's football past and virginity are stirring up memories of Sean Lowe, the most successful Bachelor so far and the only leading man in franchise history to marry his Final Rose pick. The comparison between the two probably isn't a coincidence. A source tells E! News:
Colton was by far the safest pick. He's a virgin and he works in non-profit. He screams wholesome, middle America. I think, coming after Nick Viall and Arie Luyendyk, producers were keen to pick someone whose intentions would be viewed as sincere. No one wants another questionably shady guy. It also doesn't hurt that, out of all of Becca's finalists, he has the biggest social media following.
Although Nick and Arie were both in their late 30s during their seasons and should've been a little wiser, Arie dumping Final Rose pick Becca for runner-up Lauren Burnham instantly turned Bachelor Nation against him. Nick's Bachelor stint came after he finished in second place for two consecutive Bachelorette seasons. From poorly thought-out decisions to always re-appearing on TV, they weren't exactly the best faces for the fandom. Colton is on the younger side for a Bachelor, but his relatively clean past seems to have been a winning factor for ABC.
With just about three weeks to go until his season starts filming, Colton confirmed on his GMA appearance that he and Tia are "finally on the same page" and that she won't appear as a contestant on his season. Although he has a history as a pro football player, Colton told anchor Michael Strahan that his ideal woman just had to be passionate about something rather than indulge his love of sports just for his sake. But don't worry, I'm sure we can still expect the inevitable touch football group date on The Bachelor.
It's hard to say whether Colton is the next Sean or the next Juan Pablo, but going by ABC's reasoning in this casting decision, here's hoping for a tone of sincerity that the past few years of The Bachelor have missed out on.
Season 23 of The Bachelor premieres in January 2019.