Is ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise getting ready to throw viewers a curveball? While the long running reality romance show typically recycles a cast member from the previous season for the coveted starring role on the next cycle of the show, reports are surfacing that “Bachelorette” alum Arie Luyendyk Jr. (from two seasons ago!) is being considered as the series next star.
On Tuesday, Radar Online reported that the popular race car driver, first seen on Emily Maynard’s season of “The Bachelorette” back in 2012, is definitely in in the running to be the next “Bachelor" star. A source told Radar that footage has already been shot at Luyendyk’s home in Arizona and that he has been working with a personal trainer to get into tip top shape for his possible TV stint.
The Indy series champ is one of the most vocal show alums. After his runner-up stint on Maynard’s season of “The Bachelorette,” he went on to compete on the “Bachelor Pad” spinoff, and he still regularly tweets about the ABC franchise.
But why the two-year wait to sign the race car driver? Following his reign on Maynard's season of the show, Luyendyk had a busy dating life. He’s been linked to show alums Courtney Robertson (Ben Flajnik’s final pick and former fiancé) and Selma Alameri. But he most certainly would have been open to the role in 2012 if producers hadn’t cast one of his rivals instead.
At the time, Luyendyk told CupidsPulse.com, “I think I would [do it] if it didn’t conflict with racing and if I wasn’t dating anyone.” The role eventually went to Sean Lowe, and producers got a bona fide ‘Bachelor” wedding to boot. (Lowe married his finale pick, Catherine Giudici, earlier this year.)
Of course, Luyendyk has some serious competition for “The Bachelor” role once again. Chris Soules, the 32-year-old Iowa farmer who was recently rejected by Andi Dorfman on the current cycle of “The Bachelorette,” is one of the front runners to become the next “Bachelor” star. And he’s already gone on record as saying he’d jump at the chance to meet 25 women on the ABC dating show, even telling Yahoo TV it would be a “no-brainer” for him to sign on.
While Soules maintains that producers “certainly haven't asked me… no one official has even mentioned it,” it will be a close race between these two fan favorites. And following last season’s Juan Pablo Galavis fiasco, producers will definitely want to make sure they pick the right guy.