We have a new Bachelor!
The ABC gods have spoken, and it's Colton Underwood who will get another chance at love as our next Bachelor franchise lead, the network announced on Good Morning America on Tuesday. The news comes after the former NFL player's appearance on Bachelor in Paradise.
Following the announcement, Underwood sat down with GMA co-host Michael Strahan to talk all about his upcoming season.
"I’m very excited. Third time’s the charm. That’s what they say, right? That’s what I’m hoping for," he said.
Underwood also shared that he has no regrets about being open on his Bachelor franchise appearances thus far, a strategy he plans to continue during his season.
“I think that’s one thing that I took pride in on both seasons, is just being true to who I am," he revealed. "I think it took all of that to get to where I’m at now and know who I am as a person and what I want, and I want a life partner.”
In fact, finding his life partner and eventually tying the knot is how he hopes his season will come to an end. "That’s what I’m looking forward to the most, being engaged and getting married shortly after that,” he gushed.
While the former NFL pro has made his love of sports no secret, he assured fans that a love of football is not a prerequisite to winning his heart.
"You just have to be passionate about something. Sports was my passion growing up just because I saw how it transformed my life, but just be passionate about something. Have a passion," he said of his dream girl. "And just, you know, be a good person.”
Also on hand for the big announcement were former Bachelor franchise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert -- who tied the knot and welcomed a daughter after meeting on Paradise -- and former Bachelor, Nick Viall.
“Look for someone that fits into your life," Tolbert advised Underwood. "It’s one thing to fall in love with someone with all the cameras and excitement, but if you can find that person that you can actually do your everyday, normal life with that’s what will last in the long term. So I’d go for that.”
Viall also offered up some advice to the newest Bachelor star.
“You have to be willing to be yourself even though it’s very public," Viall said. "It sounds cliche, but you just have to be true to yourself, be decisive. Just be very upfront because you really want to make the right decision. Try to hold back those tears a little bit and you’ll be alright.”
It's the second time the network has chosen a lead from the Bachelor spinoff, after Viall served in the leading role for the show's 21st season. Our season 22 Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr., was chosen five years after appearing on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette.
Of course, things didn't work out for Underwood, 26, in Paradise, despite his attempt at a romance with Tia Booth. The pair's romantic history was a big focus on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, as Underwood and Booth broke things off before he went on the show, but she later returned to tell Kufrin she still had feelings for him. That drama, combined with Underwood's reveal that he's a virgin, quickly made him one of the season's standouts.
On GMA, Underwood assured viewers that he and Booth are finally "on the same page" in regards to their relationship, before shutting down the idea that she could appear on his season of The Bachelor.
“I would like to say we are finally on the same page for the first time in our relationship and we’re just good friends,” he said.
In a recent interview with ET, Bachelor host Chris Harrison entertained the idea of Underwood as our next Bachelor.
"If he’s single, Colton would be a very interesting Bachelor. We look at a lot of things when picking the Bachelor, and good TV and a good story is a lot of it. Colton has all that in spades. There’s the, 'Is he ready for this?' angle with Tia, and is that still hanging over him? Obviously, we’ll see how that plays out in Paradise," he said. "Then there’s the virgin angle. We have this guy who was brought to tears during Men Tell All about dealing with this. If he’s willing to put that on display as the Bachelor, I would find that fascinating in this day and age."
"The women having to deal with that -- I think it would be a fascinating story. And that’s a lot of what makes a good Bachelor. It’s a compelling argument if he’s single and willing to do it," Harrison added.
While chatting with ET at the Men Tell All taping last month, Underwood revealed that becoming the next Bachelor had definitely crossed his mind.
"If the timing is right in my life and if ABC's ready for it, it would be something that you know I would consider," he said. "But first we're gonna have to get through Paradise."
The Bachelor returns in January. What do you think of Underwood? Tell us at ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.
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