The Bachelor Season 23 will star Colton Underwood, a virginal 26-year-old retired football player who came in fourth on The Bachelorette last season, and it seems like it's going to be a dramatic season even by Bachelor standards. As we saw during his stints on The Bachelorette (where his odd behavior created multiple headaches for Becca Kufrin) and Bachelor in Paradise (where his on-again, off-again relationship with Tia Booth dominated the entire season), drama surrounds Colton. Whether trouble just finds him or he's a messy boy who lives for drama is hard to say, but maybe we'll get a better sense as the season airs. Here's what we do know for sure about Colton's season, which seems like it's going to be more fun than The Bachelor has been in a while.
It premieres Jan. 7. Monday, Jan. 7 at 8/7c on ABC, to be exact. It will be a three-hour premiere with a live element checking on viewing parties around the country.
There are 30 women vying for Colton's heart. They include a "sloth," "Cinderella," two beauty queens and a woman who's never been kissed. You can meet them in the gallery at the bottom of this post, or you can click here.
The virginity angle will be hammered relentlessly. Host Chris Harrison swears that there will be less virginity talk after night one -- he said during the live stream introducing the cast that all the girls thought they were being original making jokes about it, but they all made jokes about it, because the point of night one is to make corny, obvious jokes -- but in the lead up they're milking it hard. The season's key art features the tagline "What does he have to lose?" And the trailer features lines like "I have not dated a virgin since I was 12," which honestly is a pretty disturbing thing to say. Twenty seconds of the 90-second trailer are about Colton's virginity. I hope the actual season doesn't devote almost a third of its time to obsessing about a grown man's decision to have sex or not. That being said, this 40 Year Old Virgin-referencing key art (shared by Judd Apatow!) is legitimately funny.
There are other things to know about Colton, too. Such as the fact that he never quite made it in the NFL. He was a tight end on the practice squads for the San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, but he never made a regular-season roster before injuries forced him to retire. Nowadays, when he's not working on his reality TV career, he raises money to help kids with cystic fibrosis through his Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation. Before Becca and Tia, he dated Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman. He loves dogs. Like, really loves dogs. Maybe too much. His love of dogs is even part of the season's marketing.
Colton was not Bachelor Nation's first choice. Becca's second and third runner-ups Blake Horstmann and Jason Tartick were more popular in the polls. But Chris Harrison admitted that producers picked Colton because he'll make for better TV.
But at least he has a sense of humor about himself.
He can vault himself over a fence very gracefully. The best moment in the trailer shows Colton, in the midst of an emotional breakdown, launching himself over a fence to escape the production. Not only is the kind of great drama Chris Harrison promised, it also shows off his impressive upper body strength. He barely uses his legs at all after the initial jump! Such feline quickness!
Filming locations this season include Singapore and the Rocky Mountains. Creator Mike Fleiss shared this photo.
Other spots visited include Thailand (where they also went on The Bachelorette last season), Vietnam and Portugal.
Former Bachelor Ben Higgins will make a guest appearance. Ben and Colton both live in Colorado, and Ben will appear when the show visits Denver, advising Colton on matters of the heart. "What I got a sense of from my time on the show is that this season is going to be more genuine, raw and vulnerable than any season in a long time," the 20th Bachelor said.
Celebrity guests include some very funny folks. Happily married couple and card-carrying residents of Bachelor Nation Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman will give advice and unusual performance tips to a group of the women who must share their personal stories with Colton about their "firsts." Billy on the Street's Billy Eichner oversees a fierce summer camp-type competition as some of the ladies relive their childhoods. And Terry and Rebecca Crews put a group of powerful and passionate women through the "Bachelor Strongest Woman" competition, with Chris Harrison and truly random returning guest Fred Willard doing the play-by-play.
The Bachelor Season 23 premieres Monday, Jan. 7 at 8/7c.