Say hello to your new salt and pepper suitor.
Arie Luyendyk Jr., who was a runner-up on The Bachelorette in 2012, during Emily Maynard’s season, has officially been named ABC's newest Bachelor gentleman after weeks of anticipation. The news comes from a surprise announcement on today's Good Morning America, where Luyendyk Jr., a race-car driver, spoke with Michael Strahan about his pretty low-key casting process.
"I was at home and it was pretty recent. We've kept in touch over the last few years, but this just fit perfect. The timing of this really fit for me," he explained. "I was a little skeptical, just because we've been in talks for a few years about doing it, so I went in with an open mind and open heart and, yeah, it just hit me right now that I'm here.… I kind of kept things really under wraps, just because I didn't know how this would turn out. It's been such a quick turn of events, and my family doesn't know. But now they do!"
The announcement of Luyendyk Jr.'s Bachelor status has proved to be a bit divisive so far, as Bachelor Nation viewers seemed to have been overwhelmingly in favor of a suitor from Rachel Lindsay's recent Bachelorette season. (Just look at the responses to GMA's tweet.) Dean Unglert, Peter Kraus, and Eric Bigger were names that were excitedly floated around by fans before Thursday's announcement, although Luyendyk Jr. seems like a nice guy by all accounts.
"I'll be 36 in a few weeks, so for me, it's time," he said on GMA about finding a woman and finally settling down. "All of my friends around me have kids and have grown up. So for me, I feel I'm the last one to take that step." But perhaps most important, what does he look for in a woman? It's simple: "Independent, strong, but then still gentle. A little mix."
Luyendyk Jr.'s season of The Bachelor will premiere in early 2018.