'The Bachelor': Who is Arie Luyendyk Jr.?

Kristen Baldwin
Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Entertainment

For casual fans of The Bachelor, the announcement of Arie Luyendyk Jr. as the new Bachelor was followed by one pressing question: Wait, who? The racecar driver was last seen on The Bachelorette in 2012 — which is like 25 years in Bachelor Nation time — so we could all probably use a little refresher. Here are five “fun” facts about ABC’s new leading man.

1. He’s an aggressive kisser. Though he didn’t end up getting Emily’s final rose on The Bachelorette, it wasn’t due to a lack of passion. Over the course of the season, Arie and Emily’s make-out sessions became stuff of Bachelorette legend — thanks to Luyendyk’s intense smooching style and frequent use of walls to pin his prey.

2. His hometown date with Emily was awkward. I’m just going to go ahead and quote myself here, from my July 2012 recap on EW.com:

“As soon as the door opens on Casa Luyendyk, there’s really only one thing to focus on — and it’s not Arie’s adorable twin brothers. It’s the fact that his mom, Mieke, is essentially Emily in 30 years. This is going to be one interesting Battle of the Network TV Blondes. Mama bear marks her territory early, launching into a conversation with her son in Dutch — and Arie Jr. just chats away as Emily looks on dejectedly. ‘We’re talking about you,’ growls Arie Sr. genially.”

3. Since getting dumped on TV in 2012, he’s stayed largely out of the Bachelor spotlight. This might be because Luyendyk was already passed over for the role of Bachelor once. Luyendyk told Us Weekly last year that after his season of The Bachelorette, he went so far as to sign a contract with the Bachelor team, only to learn at the last minute that ABC was going with Sean Lowe instead. So he returned to his career in racing without ever making a pit stop at the franchise’s spinoff, Bachelor in Paradise. Not to say that he completely renounced his citizenship in Bachelor Nation: In 2016, for example, Luyendyk appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire “Bachelor Fan Favorites” week and hosted a viewing party with former The Bachelor minx Courtney Robinson. (Ms. Robinson, it should be noted, claimed that she and Luyendyk were friends with benefits.)

4. Though he went all the way to the final two on The Bachelorette, he never made it to the Proposal Platform. About midway through the Season 8 finale of The Bachelorette, Emily decided that her mind and heart were made up: Jef With One F was the man for her. So rather than going on her Last Chance Date with Arie, the Bachelorette used that time to break up with him instead … slooowly. (The conversation was made only more painful by the fact that producers filled time before Emily arrived by having Arie make a “love potion” with a local woman at Curacao’s Den Paradera botanic garden.) Watch and wince, rose lovers:

5. When he’s not racing cars, he’s selling houses. Arie is on staff with the Re/Max realty team in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Bachelor premieres January 2018 on ABC.

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