Arie Luyendyk, Jr. is the next Bachelor! This reveal was met with an understandable amount of confusion. Luyendyk hadn't been on a Bachelor-related show in years. Moreover, he wasn't a figure of Bachelor Nation Twitter or Bachelor Nation Instagram. He hailed from the prelapsarian days of The Bachelor, when contestants didn't live tweet the show Monday nights and FabFitFun had yet to wrap its plastic tentacles around the former contestants.
In other words, who? Luyendyk seems like a desperate choice, if not a last resort. If The Bachelor wanted to capitalize on the many fans who have leapt on the show's bandwagon since Kaitlyn Bristowe's season in 2015, the show should choose a recent contestant, such as Ben Zorn, who appeared on Bachelor In Paradise this summer. Or perhaps Peter Kraus, the contestant who told Rachel Lindsay to "find someone to have a mediocre life with" during the last season of The Bachelorette. Some speculated that the show was struggling to find a recent contestant who even wanted the role.
But it's all for the best.
Arie Luyendyk, Jr. is a surprising choice, but he's not a bad choice. Before you publish your 140-character despair, think about the following:
Bachelor Nation is an array of dental hygienists, real estate agents, bartenders, and executive assistants, with the occasional smattering of doctors, lawyers, and nurses. Nick Viall, the last Bachelor, was a software salesman before he went on The Bachelorette. Then he was a Bachelor-adjacent-something until he became the Bachelor. Now, he operates a subscription service for men's grooming.
Luyendyk is a racecar driver — like a bonafide driver. He competed in the 2006 Indianapolis 500. (He came in 28th place, but still.) He also dabbles in real estate, but most importantly, he doesn't make money on the internet. His career doesn't depend on how many Instagram followers he has, and his feed is absent of the now iconic Bachelor sponsored content.
2. Luyendyk is known as "The Kissing Bandit."
That's the nickname he earned on his season of The Bachelorette, because he was known for sneaking kisses with Emily Maynard (the Bachelorette at the time). Name a recent contestant that has a nickname.
3. He doesn't have a stake in the current Bachelor hierarchy.
Arie's been out of the game long enough that Bachelor 'verse doesn't matter. He might actually — gasp! — function like a real person. That is to say, he's not that famous, at least not to a subset of Bachelor fans. Without the burden of celebrity, Luyendyk might have the freedom to actually fall in love.
When Nick Viall took the reigns in season 22, Bachelor fans were delighted. He was a veteran of the show, and well beloved. But ultimately, his season was too manicured, too plotted, for us to enjoy. Viall went on to compete on Dancing with the Stars. He and Vanessa Grimaldi, the winner of his season, broke up in August.
4. For longtime fans, Luyendyk is iconic.
Longtime fans know Luyendyk — some are excited to see him, some are dismayed, but most seem intrigued. If you watched his season, you remember Luyendyk. He was scruffy and challenged the definition of "Bachelor contestant." While most of the men on his season looked like the high school jock, Luyendyk looked like he could live in Brooklyn. (So did his direct competitor, Jef Holm. Holm won the season, and now lives with Robby Hayes in Los Angeles.)
5. He's Dutch American.
He was born in The Netherlands! Just a fun fact.
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