Though Bachelor Nation was divided when the 26-year-old former NFL player was announced as our next lead in September -- with many expressing concerns about his young age -- Underwood assured ET that he's serious about the process, and ready to find a wife.
"I'm all in. I want to find a wife, I want to find somebody who I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. I want to find somebody who is going to be a mother to my children," he exclusively told ET's Lauren Zima at his official Bachelor photo shoot before the season started. "My mom had me when she was 24, so I want to be a young, cool dad. I want to have some fun with my kids growing up."
Underwood's season of The Bachelor kicks off in just a few hours, and while fans will have to wait to see which woman steals his heart, he already had a few qualities on his wish list for night one.
"Personality," he confidently said of his biggest turn on, before listing "bad breath" as a huge deal breaker. And coming off of two recent relationships -- first, with The Bachelorette's Becca Kufrin, and second, with Bachelor in Paradise's Tia Booth -- has allowed Underwood to narrow down what he's looking for.
'Bachelor' Colton Underwood On When He Will Lose His Virginity (Exclusive)
"Going through a relationship with both Becca and Tia, there was obviously a lot of things that I like from their personalities and I like from our relationship that I want to take and move forward: the confidence that both of the women have, they're strong independent women. That is something that's very important to me in finding my wife," he revealed. "So, I would take that, but I needed both of those relationships to sort of move on and figure out exactly what I needed."
"I feel like I'm finally able to like be comfortable in who I am, and for me, going through The Bachelorette and going through Bachelor in Paradise was so needed," he continued, before sharing that he plans to show fans a different side of himself on night one. "There's also another side of me that's sort of this fun-loving, loose, full of energy [guy], and I can't wait to just be myself and showcase that too."
Underwood made quite the impact on Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, when he revealed his virginity to her, but confessed that he wasn't sure if his own dad even knew he hadn't had sex yet. Now, however, the philanthropist says his parents couldn't be more excited to see how the season plays out.
"They're both very excited because they do know [that] once I'm in the moment and once I'm present, I'm really focused on it. And for me finding my wife and finding my fiancee and finding somebody who I want to raise kids with and children with for the rest of my life is so exciting," he explained. "They're all so excited too."
While it didn't sound like Underwood was expecting any surprises this time around, host Chris Harrison recently told ET that a particular conversation the Bachelor has with one contestant will "change the course of the show."
"I often joke, 'Oh, it is the most dramatic thing ever.' And I don't want to do that, because it does a disservice to what this conversation is about. Kudos to both of them for her speaking about it and Colton receiving it the right way and then having the conversation that he did," Harrison said of the moment, praising Underwood for being "unbelievably vulnerable, open and revealing." "It was very memorable."