Does Arie Luyendyk Jr. Deserve to Be 'The Bachelor'? Breaking Down the Choice No One Saw Coming
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Bachelor Nation was divided when Arie Luyendyk Jr. was announced as the next Bachelor on Thursday, but while he wasn't many fans' first choice (looking at you, Peter Kraus!), he deserves to find love too, right?
ABC executive Robert Mills couldn't have been more complimentary of the race car driver-turned-real estate agent while speaking with ET, calling his desire to find a wife "incredibly sincere" -- but "sincere" isn't exactly the adjective others are using to describe him.
Is Luyendyk really ready to find love on national television, and does he deserve the title of Bachelor? Here are the pros and cons.
Pro: He's Got a Compelling Story
According to Mills, Luyendyk hasn't been in love since being dumped by Emily Maynard on her season of The Bachelorette in 2012.
"He really was head over heels in love with this woman," Mills said. "I mean, he realizes that she's married and he's happy for her. You know, she's about to have her third kid with her new husband. So he's happy for her, but it's been hard getting over it."
Con: He Might Have Some Skeletons in His Closet
So, Luyendyk hasn't been in love since his relationship with Maynard, but he's tried... a lot.
"He's dated a lot of women since Emily," Mills told ET, as those women have come forward to tell their story on the internet.
"The show would be perfect for @ariejr up until it comes to choosing just one," Sydney Stempfley, an ex Luyendyk's, tweeted on Sunday. We can only guess what the circumstances behind that shady tweet might be, but it definitely doesn't bode well for Luyendyk...for now.
The show would be perfect for @ariejr up until it comes to choosing just one 😂
Pro: He's Got the Endorsement of Former Bachelor Sean Lowe
Luyendyk and Lowe became friends while vying for Maynard's heart on The Bachelorette -- and stayed that way even after Lowe beat him in the battle to become the 17th Bachelor in 2013. Years later, Lowe still has Luyendyk's back, and even suggested him for the role before Thursday's announcement.
And if the most wholesome and sincere Bachelor maybe ever has his back, that has to count for something!
Pro: Sounds Like He Knows How to Treat a Woman...Physically
Bachelor season 16 winner Courtney Robertson didn't hold back one bit when writing about Luyendyk in her 2014 memoir, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain. The two have dated on and off for the last several years.
Robertson writes that the pair's fling began after her breakup with Ben Flajnik in 2012, when Luyendyk came over to her house with takeout and wine, and called her his "dream babe." The pair started making out, and Robertson recalled "getting hot and bothered, and needed more." "'Arie, I feel like I’m in high school. I can’t just keep making out with you,'" Robertson wrote of the encounter.
“He was hesitant, for a millisecond, but then we headed into my childhood bedroom, into my canopy bed, for what can only be described as the best sex I’ve ever had,” she continued. “Why was it so good you ask? Arie’s incredibly passionate and utilizes his entire body in his lovemaking. And he knows exactly what positions make a woman comfortable and satisfied.”
Con: But Might Not Know How to Treat a Woman Emotionally
Robertson later described the end of their romance: "I told Arie we were done. He was disappointed and asked me to think about it overnight, and then attend the iHeartRadio concert with him the next day," she said.
"After sleeping on it, I called Arie and told him I'd overreacted and that I'd love to go with him. 'I don't think it's a good idea,' he said. I was surprised and confused, until I checked his Instagram later that night. He'd flown in another girl to take to the show and because he just couldn't help it, Arie posted pictures of them together," Robertson explained.
"I clicked her name and figured out that he was dating this woman, a born-again virgin, the entire time we were together. He'd often seen both of us on the same day," she wrote. "It was all right there on social media, if I'd bothered to check."
At 35, Luyendyk is a little older than the usual Bachelor lead (he'll turn 36 on Sept. 18), with a successful career in racing and real estate.
“For me, it’s time [to find love]," Luyendyk told Good Morning America. "All my friends around me 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."
Mills echoed that sentiment, telling ET, "He has a life now to share with somebody. He wants kids. He wants what Emily has."
Con: But Is He?
Well first, there's his career as a race car driver, which takes him on exotic travels throughout the world and definitely makes the whole marriage/family/kids thing difficult.
And then there is his reputation amongst his exes of juggling multiple women. -- and the girlfriend he seems to have split with pretty recently. While that will definitely help in the early stages of the show, that's definitely not going to be a plus at the end!
So does Luyendyk deserve to be the Bachelor? You be the judge. Either way, his season is sure to bring the drama, and from a show that's produced several controversial Bachelors (Brad Womack, Juan Pablo Galavis and Nick Viall, to name a few), that's all we can really ask for!