After the announcement was made on Tuesday's Good Morning America, a source close to production for the long-running ABC series told ET that producers just couldn't say no to Underwood.
"Producers knew a lot of fans were into Jason Tartick and Blake Horstmann, but Colton's whole narrative was just too good to pass up," the source reveals. "He's a virgin, he's handsome. He's a former football player who now runs a charity."
In addition to his career, personality and virginity, producers also appreciated how vulnerable Underwood had been on TV thus far.
"He knows how to bring the drama and tears and proved that over and over on both Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise," the source notes. "And he's been a pretty good guy to work with for them."
While production knows that not all fans will be pleased with the pick, they think that, ultimately, Underwood will make for an entertaining season.
"Producers definitely expected some backlash from certain fans, but that always happens and they think Colton will make for a good season," the source says.
Horstmann and Tartick -- the first and second runner-ups on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, respectively -- both took to social media on Tuesday to congratulate Underwood on his new leading man status.
"I wanna thank you all for the support over the last few months! It has been incredibly humbling and it means the world," Horstmann gushed on Instagram. "There really is nothing like #bachelornation. I wouldn’t change the man I am if I was the bachelor and wasn’t going to change the man I am to become the bachelor. I am excited to close this chapter and see what the future holds!"
Horstmann continued, "I have nothing but respect for these two and I wanna wish @coltonunderwood luck on his Journey. I really truly hope you find the woman you wanna spend your life with! Good luck man! #thebachelor"
"To have great friends, you have to be a great friend," Tartick wrote on Twitter. "@coltonunderwood is a class act, generous man, and hell of friend. So happy for you brotha! Let the Bachelor Party Planning commence! #TheBachelor"
Other Bachelor franchise alums reacted to the news as well, including Underwood's ex, Tia Booth, who wished him a season full of "protein powder, puppies, and naps," before confirming that she would not appear on his season of The Bachelor.
Congratulations @Colt3FIVE 🌹 I hope your season is full of protein powder, puppies, and naps! #TheBachelor