Another chapter of Bachelor in Paradise is coming to an end, but a new chapter of The Bachelor will soon begin — and ABC has just announced that Colton Underwood, who left Paradise just shy of the finale, will be the flagship franchise’s next leading man.
Appearing on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Underwood seemed ready to find a woman worthy of his final rose. “Third time is the charm. That’s what they say, right?” Underwood told host Michael Strahan.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 4, 2018
some many fans aren’t convinced Underwood really is committed to the process. What they seem far surer of is that the network could have done better in picking the next Bachelor.
When fans first met Underwood, he was vying for Becca Kufrin’s heart on her season of The Bachelorette. He made it all the way to “fourth place” before Kufrin sent him packing shortly after her friend and fellow Bachelor contestant Tia Booth admitted she had feelings for Underwood (the two met when Underwood was being cast for Kufrin’s season).
Underwood and Booth then both showed up on Bachelor in Paradise, and their on-again, off-again relationship became the central storyline of the season. Although Underwood expressed his confusion over his feelings more than once, he felt more confident after a visit from Kufrin gave him closure.
Still, a short time after going “all in” with Booth, Underwood ultimately decided it wasn’t fair to her to move forward when his heart wasn’t fully in it. He broke things off and left Paradise, with Booth leaving immediately after.
The morning after their unceremonious breakup aired, Underwood was tapped to be the next Bachelor. Not surprisingly, the internet felt some kind of way about it.
Colton: “I’m leaving.”
Colton: “Yeah, filming for the bachelor starts tomorrow sooooo…”#BachelorInParadise
— Meg (@meggs_benedictt) September 4, 2018
colton is the worst kinda “good guy” #BIP the type that cries while doing shitty things to women. centering himself and his feeling while hurting women 🤮🤮🤮
— Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez (@priscadorcas) September 4, 2018
Colton…dated Tia when he thought she'd be #thebachelorette, to Becca who he was "not over" while he "explored his options" on #bip, then he's quickly over Becca and "fully in with Tia”…but not really bc his main option is he's #thebachelor? Colton is Mr. Right reasons 😒 https://t.co/WLeTUmFLn2
— Bachelor in Paradise Rose (@RealityRose_) August 31, 2018
— Jessica Manning (@jessica2lovely) September 4, 2018
— C♡ (@chztweets) September 4, 2018
We do not want Colton.
We want Jason.
— Ashlea Van Vranken (@BrownCoww) September 4, 2018
In defense of ABC’s pick, there’s plenty that makes Underwood quote-unquote good TV. A former NFL player, he has all-American appeal — the fact that he formerly dated Olympian Aly Raisman only magnifies this image.
Most notably, though, Underwood revealed to Kufrin that, at 26 years old, he is still a virgin.
Speaking to People this week, he touched on what will very likely be a central topic throughout his Bachelor journey. “I’m going to live my life and do what I’ve always done,” Underwood said. “[Being a virgin] needs to be normalized; it’s just who I am and what I believe in. I hold a lot of value in it and I hold it to a high standard. I’m just waiting for the right heart.”
In fact, during his Good Morning America appearance, Underwood revealed being authentic throughout his Bachelor Nation journey is a point of personal pride.
“That’s one thing that I took pride in on both seasons, just being true to who I am. I think it took all of that to get to where I am at now and know who I am as a person and know what I want in a life partner,” Underwood said.