After weeks of teasing from creator Mike Fleiss, the next star of The Bachelor was finally announced on Good Morning America Thursday. We thought for the longest time that was going to be Peter Kraus, Rachel Lindsay's runner-up, but in a shocking twist Peter wasn't chosen. Instead, the next Bachelor will be Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Luyendyk is a race car driver who was the runner-up on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette back in 2012. He finished ahead of Sean Lowe, who was made the Bachelor after that season of The Bachelorette. In the five years since, Luyendyk hasn't returned to Bachelor Nation full-time. He appeared in one episode of Lowe's season of The Bachelor in 2013 and did a guest cameo on After Paradise last summer.
Luyendyk said the call was made "pretty recently," though he'd been in talks with the franchise for the past few years.
"This is pretty surreal," the son of a two-time Indy 500 winner told People. "It doesn't really feel real yet, but I'm taking it step by step. The timing is just so perfect in my life. I could not be more excited for this journey I'm about to embark on."
This is by far the longest gap between appearances on Bachelor seasons, but it's the second time in a row The Bachelor has chosen someone who didn't appear on the most recent season of The Bachelorette, after Nick Viall. But Viall was only one Bachelorette season removed, and was coming off a redeeming run on Bachelor in Paradise.
Luyendyk obviously wasn't the franchise's first choice to step into the role this season, but he'll probably be fine.