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the bachelorette colton

The Bachelor franchise is going strong, and this summer has seen Becca Kufrin finding love after her heartbreak courtesy of Arie Luyendyk on the Bachelorette, and a whole bunch of other former contestants swapping spit on beautiful beaches on Bachelor in Paradise. Despite all the ongoing action in Bachelor in Paradise, a big question has been looming: who will be chosen as the next Bachelor leading man? Well, we finally have our answer, and it's bound to cause some strong opinions within readers. The notorious Colton Underwood is the next star who'll search for his lady love among a group of gorgeous contestants!

The big and highly anticipated announcement was made during today's Good Morning America, where Colton Underwood was brought out to quite a vocal crowd of eager fans. Check it out below!

The three guys with the best odds of landing the Bachelor gig were Colton Underwood, Jason Tartick, and Blake Horstmann. After a Bachelorette season filled with ups, downs, and twists, Colton was eventually sent home by Becca, partially due to her discomfort with the fact that he'd dated Tia in the past. Colton got over Becca soon enough to join the cast of Bachelor in Paradise and -- after some waffling that caused a social media uproar in Tia's defense -- he seemed set to actually settle on Tia. Sooo...news that he's going to be looking for love on The Bachelor comes as a bit of a surprise. If he doesn't find love there, will The Proposal be next for him?

For what it's worth, Colton seems more dedicated than ever to finding a lasting relationship within the franchise. Here's how he put it to Good Morning America's Michael Strahan.

That's what I'm looking for ... being engaged and then getting married shortly after that. I'm very excited. Third time's the charm, that's what they say, right? That's what I'm hoping for!

Despite the fact that Colton once seemed settled with Tia, the announcement that he's the Bachelor-to-be isn't altogether shocking. In the past, the next leads in the Bachelor franchise were announced shortly after a previous season ended. Meanwhile, Becca was named as the next Bachelorette star during the After the Final Rose special following her confrontation with Arie, and the new Bachelor in Paradise contestants were mentioned well before the end of the latest season of The Bachelorette. Perhaps the delay in announcing Colton's TV future was so that Bachelor in Paradise fans would remain invested in his arc, and could also explain why there was so much focus on Colton and Tia early on.

Besides, Colton was making headlines throughout Becca's season of The Bachelorette due to his confession that he's still a virgin. He's a good bet for a man who could attract an audience for a new season of The Bachelor, even if not everybody will be ready for a triple dose of Colton after back-to-back appearances on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. Hey, we're still allowed to tune in even if it's out of morbid curiosity rather than enthusiasm, right?

The Bachelor with THIS GUY is still a ways off, but you can see plenty of relationship drama with new episodes of Bachelor in Paradise on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For some more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, swing by our fall TV premiere guide.

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