Bachelor Nation fans had a lot to say when it was announced that Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise alum Colton Underwood will be the next Bachelor in January. However, Underwood reportedly has no worries about how people feel about his casting. He’s taking a “haters to the left” approach to the whole thing, and honestly, we can appreciate his focus on what really matters: finding his future wife.
In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight published on Thursday, Underwood said he had “zero hesitations” about taking on the Bachelor title. “I haven’t paid attention to it too much,” he said of the criticism he’s received. “But I’m not perfect… I’m just focused on finding my wife and being here and living in the moment.”
Had he not gone through his experiences on Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette, Underwood said he might have hesitated to become the next Bachelor. “It finally allowed me to take a step back from the situation and see what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown,” he explained, adding that he’s really “come into [his] own.”
ET notes that some fans were unhappy with Underwood’s casting because of his history with Becca Kufrin and Tia Booth, who are reportedly supportive of him taking on yet another role in Bachelor Nation. Underwood told ET, “I’ve spoken to both of them since being announced, and they’re both super excited. They were very encouraging, and I wouldn’t expect anything less because that’s the type of people that they are.”
He’s also worked things out with Blake Horstmann and Jason Tartick, who were on the shortlist alongside Underwood to become the next Bachelor. “We said going into it, ‘We’re never gonna let this shift our friendship.’ We have such a good support system, that was one thing we knew coming up on Becca’s season, we all shared this weird bond, this weird brotherhood, this friendship, and it was so cool and unique,” Underwood said.
Whether or not fan opinions change once they see Underwood on The Bachelor has yet to be determined, but whatever happens, he’s clearly letting critics’ words roll right off his shoulders.
The Bachelor returns Monday, Jan. 7 at 8/7c on ABC.