Following his dramatic exit from Bachelor in Paradise last night, Colton Underwood has stepped into the role of the Bachelor, assuming the lead spot for season 23 of the show. ABC announced Tuesday morning that Underwood, a former tight end for the Oakland Raiders, will take on the search for love. Speaking to Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, Underwood said that he hopes to get engaged by the end of his season — and then he'll get married shortly after.
"That's what I'm looking forward to the most, is being engaged," Underwood admitted.
Underwood, 26, was a strange Bachelorette contestant in that he'd already dated within Bachelor Nation. When he joined season 13 of The Bachelorette this January, he was fresh off a semi-relationship with Tia Booth, who had appeared on The Bachelor. Underwood's journey on the show was plagued by his relationship with Booth, so much so that he had to finish out the relationship on Bachelor in Paradise. He and Booth reconnected on the beachy spinoff, but just last night, Underwood decided that he wasn't interested in Booth. (Booth, meanwhile, has said that she doesn't think Underwood is ready to be the Bachelor. She has, however, already congratulated him on the role.) Underwood left Bachelor in Paradise in a pile of tears, lamenting that he'd never, ever find "the one."
Enter: The Bachelor, the show designed to find love with a pretty limited success rate. Given Underwood's success on the show — he's wooed two women on this franchise and failed both times — the franchise is really putting its eggs in the "third time's the charm" basket. For the record, the franchise has done this before. Season 21 saw Nick Viall, a Bachelorette contestant twice over, take the lead role after a stint on Bachelor in Paradise. Viall got engaged to Vanessa Grimaldi at the end of his season, and the two split not six months later. Viall also appeared on Good Morning America to send good tidings to the future Bachelor.
"It sounds cliché, but you have to be true to yourself and be decisive," Viall advised Underwood. "You really want to make the right decision."
The Bachelor typically begins production in late September and October, wrapping around mid-November. Which reminds us: Will the women of Underwood's season bring absentee ballots for the November election?
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