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How Bachelor Nation Reacted to the Next Bachelor

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

More: The Search for the Next Bachelor Is Over, but Who Is It?

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. 

But 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). 

More: Bachelor in Paradise Hasn’t Even Started, & We’re Already Over Tia & Colton

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. 

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.”

More: Raven Gates Just Jumped in a Twitter Feud to Defend Her Bachelor BFF’s Honor

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. 

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