arie the bachelorette

After Rachel Lindsay's turn on The Bachelorette and all of the not-actually-scandalous stuff that went down for Bachelor in Paradise, the franchise's producers likely figured the next star for The Bachelor itself had to be someone worthy of equal-sized fanfare. And it looks like they nailed that decision, as The Bachelor Season 22 has officially named the fan-favorite former Bachelorette runner-up Arie Luyendyk, Jr. as the next rose-presenting star. We haven't seen him in years!

Fans are likely going to be even more interesting in tuning into The Bachelor's next season now that we know Arie Luyendyk, Jr. will be the person trying to find his true love. The news was announced during Good Morning America, with Michael Strahan getting a few minutes to chat with Luyendyk about things, such as how he apparently kept the news a secret from his parents -- including Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, Sr. -- who were likely just finding out about it along with the rest of the audience. Here's what the race car-driving offspring had to say about coming back into this franchise.

I was a little skeptical, just because we've been in talks for a few years about doing it. But I just kinda went in with an open mind and an open heart. And yeah, it just kinda hit me right now that I'm here.

It's been a full five years since we last saw the race car driver in this world, and perhaps that isn't too shocking considering how things went on his season of The Bachelorette, which had single mother Emily Maynard as the star. To many, Luyendyk seemed like a shoo-in to beat out fellow finalist Jef Holm, but after Maynard and Holm's final date for the finale, Maynard chose to eschew her final date with Luyendyk, stating her love for Holm was already in stone. That came as a complete shock to the rejected contestant, who had actually concocted a love potion for Maynard, and was fully prepared to ask for her hand in marriage after the date.

Things got even more complicated when the heartbroken Luyendyk actually flew to Emily Maynard's home in Charlotte, North Carolina following the show's taping, but before actually confronting her, he backpedaled on his decision and just left his emotionally informative diary there instead. (That diary was returned to him, unread, on the "After the Final Rose" episode.) And then Maynard and Holm split up just a few months after getting engaged.

The "kissing bandit" clearly wasn't done with the franchise, though, as Arie Luyendyk, Jr. later popped up on Wipeout for the themed episode with Bachelor contestants taking on former Bachelorette hopefuls. This, however, will be all the more notable. Especially since rumors were flying all over the place last week that Season 13 runner-up Peter Kraus was going to be the one chosen. Some probably still thought that would be the case even after creator Mike Fleiss announced that Kraus wouldn't be the choice.

The Bachelor Season 22 doesn't yet have a specific Arie Luyendyk-filled premiere date locked down, but fans can expect to see it making its big debut at some point during the midseason in 2018. Until then, there are tons of other things to get interesting in on TV, and our fall premiere schedule lays it all out accordingly.

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