Bachelor Season 22 Announced: Race Car Driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. Is the New Lead

Arie Luyendyk Jr. Is The Bachelor Season 22INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 26: Arie Luyendyk, Jr. attends the 2013 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 26, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

It’s finally his time to shine. Arie Luyendyk Jr. is, at last, the Bachelor. The handsome race car driver, who first found franchise fame as the runner-up on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette, ultimately lost the final rose to Jef Holm back in 2012.

Despite the heartbreak, Luyendyk–who’s racing royalty–was the front-runner to be the season 19 Bachelor in 2015. The Bachelorette alum, who was dubbed “the kissing bandit” on Maynard’s season, turned out to be the runner-up with that opportunity too. Luyendyk lost the opportunity to “Prince Farming” Chris Soules.

“I was at home, it was pretty recent. We kept in touch over the years,” Luyendyk, who’s turning 36 in a few weeks, said on Good Morning America on Thursday, September 7. “I was a little skeptical because we’d been in talks… I went in with an open mind, open heart. It just hit me right now that I’m here.”

Former Bachelor Sean Lowe, who befriended Luyendyk on Maynard’s season, previously revealed what exactly happened with the gaffe. “From what I understand, the show, the producers that make the show, they wanted Arie,” Lowe told the Dish Network. “[Executives] were getting nervous. Like, Arie hadn’t been on TV in two years.”

Luyendyk had even filmed introductory segments at the time. “They actually told Arie he was gonna be the Bachelor,” Lowe added in the same interview. “They flew down, had a camera crew, filmed him telling his family he was gonna be the next Bachelor–then pulled the rug out from underneath him and made Chris the Bachelor.”

It’s now been a five-year saga for Luyendyk, but he finally gets his time after all. He told Michael Strahan on GMA that he’s looking for someone who’s “independent, strong and still, gentle. A little mix.” He added that he believes it’s time to settle down and meet the love of his life.

“I feel like I’m the last one to take that step,” he noted, sharing that his 24-year-old brother recently got married.

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.