Arie Luyendyk Jr. Will Appear on Becca Kufrin's Season of 'The Bachelorette': Here's How the Conversation Goes
By Lauren Zima
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Arie Luyendyk Jr. has said the Bachelor franchise "betrayed" him, but it looks like he gave The Bachelorette another shot.
Earlier this year the race car driver gave fans the most controversial finale in Bachelor history when he dumped his fiancee, Becca Kufrin, and then proposed to his runner-up, Lauren Burnham.
He and Kufrin talked things out during the show's live After the Final Rose special (where he proposed to Burnham just moments later), but ET has learned that the chat wasn't the last conversation they had. Luyendyk, 36, will appear on Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, which premiered Monday on ABC.
ET sat down with her on Wednesday morning, where she revealed the news.
"He will show up, yes," she said. "We do have a conversation and you'll just have to see that unfold. At that point it wasn't emotional, it was just two adults sitting down, wishing each other the best and talking through our experiences. That was our last conversation we've had. I knew that would probably be the last time we had a conversation, and I wish him and Lauren the best."
Kufrin was certainly emotional when Luyendyk told her he was breaking up with her for Burnham; the dumping aired in its unedited entirety, a first in franchise history. But Luyendyk has since slammed the finalein recent interviews, arguing it was actually "edited" because producers were off camera advising him to stay and keep talking to Kufrin.
"His actions were his own," Kufrin said. "I don't think production really had a hand in how long he stayed or didn't stay. I explicitly said 'leave' and 'get out,' and he could have if he wanted to. He's a grown adult."
In a phone call with ET, ABC's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night Programming, Robert Mills, defended production. "There was nothing done that hasn’t been done on any other season," he says. "I have to say in production and the producers’ defense, if this was so unorthodox and felt so wrong, why didn’t Arie say [something]? It’s unedited. You don’t see a cut anywhere. So why didn’t Arie say, ‘No, I don’t want to do this. This isn’t right.'"
Kufrin says there are actually moments during her season that were more difficult than the split from Luyendyk. "I clearly was heartbroken by Arie and that was hard, but what's hard for me is having to break somebody [else's] heart," she said. "It was difficult being in this position, kind of having that power to say goodbye and to hurt people."
In a promo for the season that aired at the end of Monday night's premiere, fans saw Kufrin tell her contestants that she wanted nothing but honesty from them. She says that was a theme for her throughout the season: "I didn't want what happened with Arie to happen again."
Kufrin revealed ahead of her premiere that she is engaged. "I knew that I was going to have to break some hearts to get to, ultimately, what I really wanted out of this," she said.
Just days before her premiere, Luyendyk and Burnham announced they've set a wedding date and will marry in January 2019. After all the ups and downs, would Kufrin attend? "If they [invited] me I probably would," she said. "I would want to support them. Lauren and I were friends when we were together. I mean, if there was an open bar and I got that invite -- hopefully, I can get a plus one!"