The Next Bachelor: REVEALED! None of These Guys!

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Arie Luyendyk Jr, may not be a name that fans of The Bachelor will recognize immediately, but it's one they've heard before.

The 35-year-old race car driver appeared on the eighth season of The Bachelorette in 2012, finishing in second place.

Arie Luyendyk, Jr. Image

After Emily Maynard chose Jef Holm in the series finale, Arie lobbied to be the next Bachelor, but producers went with Sean Lowe.

The following season, he was reportedly close to landing the gig again, only to be passed over at the last minute for Chris Soules.

Now, after five years of waiting, Arie is finally getting his chance to be the man handing out the roses on the long-running ABC reality series.

The surprising decision was today on Good Morning America.

"I just kind of went in with an open mind, open heart," Luyendyk told host Michael Strahan moments ago in a live interview.

"It just kind of hit me right now that I’m here."

Luyendyk said the whole process happened so rapidly that he hasn't even had a chance to speak with his family about his decision.

"It’s been such a quick turn of events and my family doesn’t know," said Luyendyk. "So now they know. So they know along with you guys."

Emily Maynard and Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Luyendyk's efforts to woo Maynard earned him the nickname "the Kissing Bandit" during his previous stint with the franchise.

Asked if he would be engaging in more lip-locking on the upcoming season of The Bachelor, Arie said fans will just have to wait and see ...

So, yes, basically.

"Obviously there’s got to be that chemistry there," he said. "Emily and I had it previously and I’m hoping to find that type of love, for sure."

Sounds like a guy who's ready to live up to his nickname.

That can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective. Either way, it should make for an interesting season with Arie at the helm.

While the show doesn't have the greatest track record in terms of creating lasting relationships, Luyendyk says he is there ... wait for it ...

FOR THE RIGHT REASONS.

Arie L

"I’ll be 36 in a few weeks so for me it’s time," he said of finding love, and his motivation for going on the show being 100 percent sincere.

"All my friends around me, you know, have kids and have grown up, so for me, I feel like I’m the last one of my friends to really take that step."

Though Luyendyk was a fan favorite on The Bachelorette, fans were somewhat surprised that he was chosen by producers for a second shot at love.

Especially now, more than five years after he last appeared on the franchise. But there were other factors that led them down this road.

Insiders say as recently as last week, producers were in "full-blown panic mode," as they struggled to find a suitable Bachelor.

One who was up for the job, at least.

Arie Luyendyk Jr. Picture

The past few months saw candidates dropping like flies.

Dean Unglert revealed he was not ready for a relationship, taking the popular contender from The Bachelorette's 2017 season out of the running.

Shortly thereafter, the most popular Rachel Lindsay suitor, runner-up Peter Kraus bowed out, leaving show-runners with few options.

When it was revealed that Eric Bigger wouldn't be the Bachelor either, fans began to express shock and confusion on social media.

So Arie may not be producers' first choice for the job, but he was willing, and we're guessing the Kissing Bandit will prove up to the task.

As always, follow the link to watch The Bachelor online at TV Fanatic to get caught up in time for this season, and sound off below:

Is Arie a good pick?!

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Arie Luyendyk, Jr. Biography

Arie Luyendyk Jr. Picture
Arie Luyendyk, Jr., is a contestant on The Bachelorette. He is wooing Emily Maynard like a madman these days. They've hit it off from the... More »
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Arie Luyendyk, Jr.