by Free Britney at

Break out the wine, roses, ridiculous group dates and emotional baggage.

Beloved Bachelorette runner-up Ben Flajnik will begin his starring turn as The Bachelor when ABC premieres its 16th season of the reality romance show January 2.

The 29-year-old California winemaker says he's been in love three times in his life, but it wasn't until The Bachelorette finale that he proposed (to Ashley Hebert).

She turned him down and got engaged to JP Rosenbaum, but Ben has turned the corner - and will turn the tables this winter as the man doling out the roses.

Ben Flajnik on The Bachelorette

Ben Flajnik loves crab fishing, golf, skateboarding, playing piano and surfing. One must-have trait in his soulmate? A love of Scotch ... his Jack Russell Terrier.

Taking the show seriously enough to be crushed by Ashley's rejection, and likable to pretty much everyone, Ben was a natural fit to succeed Brad Womack.

"They think he'll be ratings gold!" an ABC insider said.

"Everyone wants to realize the man he really is," Bachelor host and pimp in charge Chris Harrison has said of Flajnik. "He's in the right place to find love."

Ben Flajnik as The Bachelor: Good choice?

 

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by Free Britney at

Ben Flajnik is ready to come into his own as The Bachelor.

The runner-up for Ashley Hebert's heart on The Bachelorette was devastated by her season finale rejection, but credits her for allowing him to grow emotionally.

Now, the tables have turned and the 28-year-old Napa vineyard owner is ready to dole out the roses ... and the wine, obviously. We sense a theme with ABC's first promotional photo for the new season, beginning in January ...

Ben Flajnik: Bachelor Pic

ABC's press release for the new season (premiering January 2) describes Ben Flajnik as "a rare, modern Renaissance man." What makes him such a rarity?

"Ben dabbles in a lot of hobbies and crafts, such as crab fishing, sailing, golf, skate boarding, surfing, playing piano and singing in a tribute band."

"He is also quite handy with a hammer and saw, and loves fixing and building things, as well as landscaping. The woman who will share his life will also have to share one of his other great loves: his Jack Russell Terrier, Scotch."

Get ready to swoon away, ladies. Swoon away.

Ben F.: Good choice for The Bachelor?

 

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by Free Britney at

The Bachelor star Ben Flajnik was seen filming the upcoming season of the hit ABC show this weekend. He and his bikini-clad babes were skiing. In California.

Shooting is currently underway for the 16th season and Ben was spotted in his home city (shirtless, obviously) skiing down one of SF's famous hills.

Here's a look at the hunk gripping his poles ...

Ben Flajnik Shirtless

The people at ABC managed to turn a San Fran street into a ski slope, filled with snow and ski bunnies, as seen in photos posted by Reality Steve.

Since it's not actually winter, there were no North Face parkas to be found. Ben Flajnik went shirtless and his suitors made for quality bikini photos.

Ben, as fans know, was passed over by Ashley Hebert on The Bachelorette finale, but was then tapped for The Bachelor, airing in January 2012.

We obviously wouldn't miss it.

  • Bachelor Buns
  • Ben and His Babes
  • Skiing in San Francisco
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by Free Britney at

Last night on Bachelor Pad, after the dust settled from ABC blindsiding Michael Stagliano and handing him a $125,000 parting gift, Ben Flajnik was formally introduced as the handsome, leading man of the upcoming season of The Bachelor.

The California winemaker proposed to Ashley Hebert on the The Bachelorette finale, only to be rebuffed. Next time around, he'll be doling out the roses.

The new season kicks off January 2. Here's Ben's introduction:

Ben Flajnik seems perfect for the role in the sense that he takes the dating show seriously enough - even crediting his recent stint on The Bachelorette with helping him grow as an individual - while remaining pragmatic about it.

What do you think? A good choice for The Bachelor?

 

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by Free Britney at

Ben Flajnik will star as The Bachelor this January.

He will also appear on the season finale of Bachelor Pad next week in some capacity. The winner of ABC's summer guilty pleasure will be revealed then.

As we told you last month, the 28-year-old winemaker who was turned down by Ashley Hebert on The Bachelorette will dole out the roses come winter.

Ben and Ashley

Before starting his own Sonoma winery, Ben Flajnik attended the University of Arizona, where he majored in music production and minored in business.

After his father – to whom he was very close – died in 2007, he moved back to Northern California, where plans to stay for the foreseeable future.

Flajnik is a fan of outdoor hobbies, including fishing, skateboarding, golf, sailing and surfing. He currently lives with his Jack Russell terrier, Scotch.

ABC will presumably announce Ben as The Bachelor next Monday night on Bachelor Pad. Four couples remain on that show after last night's episode.

Ben Flajnik as The Bachelor: Good choice?

 

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by Free Britney at

Ben Flajnik, whose marriage proposal Ashley Hebert turned down on the season finale of The Bachelorette, will be the next Bachelor, sources confirmed yesterday.

With one possible exception (Ames Brown) Ben was the guy most fans seemed to want in the starring role, especially after the final few Bachelorette episodes.

Similar to Chris Lambton a year ago, however, we question whether the show is actually beneath Ben Flajnik. Will it end up tarnishing our opinion of him?

Moreover, will producers actually find 25 women worthy of him?

Ashley Hebert, Ben Flajnik

Much as we're fans of Ben, part of us feels he'd be better off going back to his (admittedly awesome) old life in Sonoma, leaving the contrived nonsense behind.

You know, let the fame whores like Jake Pavelka or Brad Womack to entertain us, while continuing to be the man. We could accept that if it were his decision.

It's not, though, and while we have reservations, it's still way better to genuinely like The Bachelor than not, which will be the case for the first time since Jason.

He the show seriously enough to get upset when he was rejected, but not so much so that he couldn't reflect on it with a sense of clarity and self-awareness.

He cried while discussing his late father, apologized to his mom on TV, and even thanked Ashley for helping him open up. Okay, we're sold. How about you?

Ben Flajnik as The Bachelor: Good choice?

 

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by Free Britney at

Ben Flajnik won over many hearts this season on The Bachelorette.

Ashley Hebert shattered his on the season finale, leaving the Californian dazed after he got down on one knee to propose to her. It was difficult to watch.

He's back on his feet emotionally, however, and will soon get a second chance at reality TV love: Sources report Wednesday that he's the next Bachelor!

The 28-year-old winemaker is the next star of the ABC hit, Us reports. The new season will begin early next year, with Ben doling out the roses.

Ben Flajnik on The Bachelorette

Ben was noticeably surprised - and upset - when Ashley rejected him.

Though ABC has yet to announce its choice, Ben's strong popularity with fans made him a consensus top pick despite other worthy contenders for the spot.

"They think he'll be ratings gold," says the insider of Flajnik, a favorite of viewers. "His [August 6] date with Jennifer Love Hewitt was icing on the cake!"

Shortly after The Bachelorette finale, Ben Flajnik posted a Tweet that implied (though didn't directly say) he'd been offered the chance to star on The Bachelor.

Looks like he took it. January can't get here fast enough.

Talk to THG: Is Ben the right choice for The Bachelor?

 

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by Free Britney at

Sorry, Jennifer Love Hewitt. You may soon have plenty of competition for the affections of 28-year-old Sonoma, Calif., winery owner Ben Flajnik.

Show insiders say that Flajnik, who proposed to Ashley Hebert but was turned down on The Bachelorette finale, may turn to reality TV again for love.

He's the frontrunner to be ABC's next Bachelor, but unlike Mitt Romney, he's popular with the show's base and not merely leading a weak field by default.

Ben and Ashley

"Everyone wants [Ben] to find the woman of his dreams," an insider said. "He loved Ashley," and millions fell in love with Ben Flajnik in turn.

Even host Chris Harrison is eager for Flajnik to find Mrs. Right. "Our fans would love to see him as the Bachelor," he said. "He'd be great."

Also being considered? Hebert's other rejected suitors Ames Brown, a portfolio manager, and Ryan Park, a solar energy executive, both 31.

Hebert, who rejected Flajnik, Brown and Park in favor of J.P. Rosenbaum, thinks any one of the three guys would make a great Bachelor.

What about you? Who would you like to see as The Bachelor?

 

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by Free Britney at

Sonoma winery proprietor Ben Flajnik may not have won Ashley Hebert's heart on The Bachelorette finale August 1, but he won over millions of viewers.

Jennifer Love Hewitt among them.

"OMG! Ben F [accept] my final rose!!!" the star excitedly Tweeted after Ashley dumped Ben for JP Rosenbaum. "Gotta book a flight to Sonoma!!"

The funny thing? She wasn't kidding.

Ben Flajnik Picture

The actress/serial dater flew out to San Francisco August 6 for a sexy date with Ben Flajnik. The two hung out at San Francisco hot spot Lion's Pub.

Apparently it went well. "Ben from The Bachelorette is making out with Jennifer Love Hewitt," one eyewitness claimed. That about sums it up.

Another fan who saw the two even said they may be a couple already, exclaiming, "Oh yeah, Ben and Jennifer Love Hewitt appeared to be dating."

Ben, a prime candidate to star as The Bachelor, recently teased on Twitter that he has a lot to ponder. Wonder if JLH has something to say about it.

Who should be the next Bachelor?

 

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by Free Britney at

With Ashley Hebert engaged as of The Bachelorette season finale, J.P. Rosenbaum is officially spoken for. But four good catches from this season are not.

Will one of them be selected as the star of The Bachelor this winter?

Already a fan favorite, runner-up Ben Flajnik would surely be a strong choice, having won over viewers on the finale and After the Final Rose special last night.

Ames Brown would be great, too. Everyone loves Ames! Don't discount the Greek God, Constantine Tzortis, either. Ashley even suggested Ryan Park somehow.

  • Ames Brown Picture
  • Ben Flajnik Picture
  • Constantine Tzortzis Picture
  • Ryan Park Picture

Of course, as we saw last time when runner-up Chris Lambton turned down the gig, ABC could go in a different direction. Third time's the charm, Brad?

We kid ... mostly. Stranger things have happened. Odds are that the show goes with one of these four, however. Which, if any, would you like to see? Vote:

Who should star as The Bachelor next season?

 

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