Surprise! Bachelor Nation fans got a real shock on Thursday when Good Morning America announced that Bachelorette alum Arie Luyendyk Jr. would be the next Bachelor.
Arie, who will turn 36 in a few weeks, sat down with Michael Strahan, saying, "It just sunk in just right now. For sure, it has been a little surreal,” adding, “I was a little skeptical because we had been in talks for a few years about doing it and so I just kind of went in with an open mind, open heart.”
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He fell for Emily Maynard in season 8 back in 2012, but was rejected at the last moment. The news of his new role was so secret that Arie didn’t even get a chance to tell his parents.
“I kept things under wraps because I didn't know how this would turn out,” he revealed. “It's been such a quick turn of events and my family doesn't know. So now they know, so they know along with you guys.”
He described his ideal woman as: “Independent, strong, but then still gentle.”
Strahan joked about Arie’s nickname, “the kissing bandit,” asking if he planned to keep the reputation.
“With the right woman. With the right woman obviously there has to be that chemistry there. Emily and I had it previously. I'm hoping to find that kind of love.”
It turns out, Arie has been hoping to be The Bachelor for quite some time. In 2016, he told Us Weekly that he had previously been approached to be The Bachelor, just like fellow contestant Luke Pell.
"I mean, [my situation was] almost word for word on that article," Arie said at the time. "Same exact deal. I just knew two days prior, but same deal: suit fittings; contracts that I signed, but they were delayed on signings on their end; booked flights. Maybe this is a common practice now to throw off fans — I don’t know.”
WATCH: Will Peter Kraus Be Our Next Bachelor? Everything We Know
For the past few seasons, The Bachelor has been chosen from the rejected contestants on The Bachelorette, leading to the surprise reveal.
In fact, many fans thought that recent finalist Peter Kraus would be the next one handing out roses.
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