Ben Higgins: Confirmed as The Bachelor!

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ABC's worst kept secret has officially been confirmed, and Kaitlyn Bristowe's third place finisher will dole out the roses: Ben Higgins is The Bachelor.

Higgins

He may not have won Bristowe, but his charm and good looks - combined with no other real options - did win over the franchise's producers.

The baby-faced, 26-year-old software salesman is already freeing up his life to make the commitment to the program ... in more ways than one:

He turned down a promotion at work and put the kibosh on a romance with Tenley Molzahn of The Bachelor and now Bachelor in Paradise fame!

Says the source of Ben and Tenley, "They wanted to hook up but haven’t ... They’re being careful not to jeopardize Ben’s Bachelor stint."

If you watch Bachelor in Paradise online, you know she's not lacking for affection among other single men these days. So she'll live.

As for Ben, expect him to receive a warm response from Bachelor Nation - and hopefully maintain that reservoir of good will all season.

Bristowe's fiance, Shawn Booth, may want to beat the ever-loving f--k out of Nick Viall, but with Ben, he wishes his ex-competitor the best.

"He'd make the perfect Bachelor. He deserves nothing but the best," Shawn said, surely relieved he doesn't have to see Nick in the role.

If Ben has any hesitation, it's the spotlight he will be under.

"I'm not extremely comfortable with the attention," he said.

Season 20 of The Bachelor premieres in January, so he'll have some time to get used to it ... and hopefully rank as one of the best Bachelors ever!

The bar has been set kinda low lately at least. Just saying.

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