The former auto racer will be the serial dater for the 22nd season of the show. Wochit
Recognize this ‘Bachelor‘ star? Arie Luyendyk Jr. returns to the reality dating franchise, five years after being a runner up, to find his wife.(Photo: Lou Rocco, ABC)
Arie Luyendyk Jr. would be the first to tell you that he’s “not the typical Bachelor.”
The 36-year-old star of ABC‘s The Bachelor (Monday, 8 ET/PT) says he “might not have a six-pack, and I have some grey hair, but I feel like I deserve this.”
Like most Bachelor stars, Luyendyk is a handsome castoff from its summer spinoff, The Bachelorette. But the race-car driver (also a real-estate broker) last appeared in 2012, when Emily Maynard picked Jef Holm over Luyendyk, so his return.
He‘s older than most previous Bachelors, and far less active on social media.
“No, I won‘t be selling products (on Instagram) after this. So that‘s pretty much a guarantee.”
Even contestants on Luyendyk’s season predicted a different Bachelor would headline the new season: a certain gap-toothed charmer who last season.
Peter Kraus was favorited to become the next Bachelor, after he came in second place on Rachel Lindsay's season. (Photo: Craig Sjodin, ABC)
“I figured it would be Peter (Kraus),” says Jacqueline Trumbull, a 26-year-old now in the running for Luyendyk‘s heart. “But I was not at all disappointed that it was Arie.”
Another contestant, 22-year-old Bekah Martinez, says, “I had a huge crush on Peter watching last season of (The Bachelorette). But it seems like he wasn’t really ready to commit to marriage. So it’s cool that Arie seems like he’s ready to fall in love and ready to find a wife.”
Luyendyk confirms that although he was “pretty far down the road” in being cast as the bachelor in an earlier season, “I think I’m probably in a better mindset now” to find a partner among 29 single ladies on reality TV.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. meets contestant Jacqueline Trumball, on Season 22 of the show. (Photo: Paul Hebert, ABC)
“I’ve slowed down a little bit,” he says, and with his real-estate job he‘s home more often. “I’m a little older. And I think with age comes a little bit more wisdom.”
For Luyendyk, wisdom also comes fromgood note-taking.
“I wrote everything down in a journal, and so I re-read that” before becoming the Bachelor, he says. “I always wanted reassurance” from Emily. “So the women I feel I have a really strong connection with, I’m making sure I’m very present with them and making them feel as comfortable as possible, because this is a high-stress situation.”
Bekah Martinez, here hugging Arie Luyendyk Jr., admits she had a huge crush on Peter Kraus, but she's "feeling great" about spending time with the Bachelor. (Photo: Paul Hebert, ABC)
Is Luyendyk, the heartbroken son of a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Season 8‘s “kissing bandit,” starting to sound familiar?
No? That‘s OK: The star is happy with his relative anonymity.
“I love that, because it gives me an opportunity to reintroduce myself,” he says. “For the women here, a lot of them didn’t watch my season, so we’re building relationships more organically. And I love not going in with a preconceived notion of who I am.”
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