ABC has announced that the next lead man on The Bachelor will be season 8 runner up Arie Luyendyk Jr.


Fans were surprised to hear that ABC and host Chris Harrison announced Luyendyk, a NASCAR driver, as the next Bachelor. “I was a little skeptical just because we’d been in talks for a few years about doing it, so I just kind of went in with an open mind, open heart,” Luyendyk said. “It just kind of hit me right now that I’m here.”

Thank you everyone for all the kind words today! Excited to start this journey ?

A post shared by Arie ? (@ariejr) on

The 35-year-old was a contestant on The Bachelorette in 2012 when he tried unsuccessfully to woo Emily Maynard. He was known as the “kissing bandit” that season. He says he had hoped he’d become the next Bachelor years ago, but it just didn’t work out until now. “It’s been such a quick turn of events and my family doesn’t know,” he said. “So they know along with you guys.”

In an interview on Good Morning America with Michael Strahan, Luyendyk described his perfect woman as someone “independent, strong, but then still gentle.” He says he is ready to find a great love, which he thought he had with Maynard. “I’ll be 36 in a few weeks so for me it’s time,” he said of finding that love. “All my friends around me, you know, have kids and have grown up, so for me, I feel like I’m the last one of my friends to really take that step.”

Season 13 of The Bachelorette just finished airing a few weeks ago, and fans were convinced that runner up Peter Kraus would be chosen as the next Bachelor. If not him, then everyone had someone in mind that they were vying to be the next Bachelor, and it seems none of them were happy with the choice of Luyendyk.

“When you wake up and see Peter isn’t #TheBachelor,” wrote on Twitter user with an accompanying gif of Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office saying, “This is the worst.” Another user posted a gif of Eric from Bachelorette season 13 saying, “Eric was robbed.” And an even more aggressive response from one user – “all offense who is this not-good-looking man that’s going to be the new bachelor? what happened to Peter? im literally so mad.”

Season 22 of The Bachelor will air on ABC in January 2018.