A new season of The Bachelor is upon us and, unless you’ve been avoiding news, you’ve likely read a thing or two (or 300) about new bachelor Colton Underwood and season 23 of the reality dating show. So, really, what can we expect from a season featuring this former pro footballer at the helm? To help you get your Bachelor bearings about you before Chris Harrison cues up this next installment, we’ve put together a handy guide of everything you should know about Colton Underwood’s Bachelor season before it begins.
Who is Colton Underwood?
He was born in Denver, and it would seem Underwood was destined to be a baller — his name, Colton, was inspired by the Indianapolis Colts. He was even born on Super Bowl Sunday! It’s no big wonder he grew up to play in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers. He had to leave football behind, unfortunately, when he got injured.
Also worth noting is the fact that Underwood founded the nonprofit Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation when he was just 23 to fund research and support for people who have cystic fibrosis. His inspiration for creating the charity was a cousin born with the disorder.
Has he dated anyone we know?
Yes! Prior to ever becoming a part of Bachelor Nation, Underwood dated Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. The two of them hit it off after being introduced by friends during a double date, and they dated for what appeared to be a few months before deciding to split in June 2017.
Underwood landed on the Bachelor radar when he competed on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette. However, he’d met fellow Bachelor Nation contestant Tia Booth, who happens to be Kufrin’s friend, before the season began. They dated briefly, leading Booth to appear during Kufrin’s season to say she felt like there was still something there.
Underwood was sent home shortly after, and he and Booth began dating on Bachelor in Paradise. Ultimately, he broke things off with Booth and left Paradise early.
Will Tia Booth be making a cameo, like she did on Kufrin’s season?
Not likely. Booth insists she will not be a contestant on Underwood’s season or make any sort of appearance (you can never rule anything out, though!). However, there will be another Bachelor Nation cameo: Ben Higgins. The fellow Colorado native meets with Underwood when he comes to Denver to give him some romantic advice.
Celebrity cameos will include the always-hilarious Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, comedian Billy Eichner, Terry and Rebecca Crews and, randomly, Fred Willard.
What do we know about his contestants so far?
Well, the women of Underwood’s season have already been creating quite a bit of drama before the first episode even airs. Wardrobe stylist Tracy Shapoff from Los Angeles, California, drew criticism in early December when a slew of offensive tweets she had made came to light. She has since issued an apology via Instagram.
You can brief yourself on the rest of the Bachelor season 23 contestants vying for Underwood’s heart.
Where will this season take Underwood and the contestants?
Filming locations reported so far this season include the Rocky Mountains, downtown Denver, Singapore, Vietnam and Portugal.
— Mike Fleiss (@fleissmeister) October 23, 2018
What’s all this about Underwood’s virginity?
Of course we’re going to mention Underwood’s virginity — how could we not? It’s practically been the main topic of discussion since fans first met Underwood. He first revealed his abstinence to Kufrin on a date during The Bachelorette, and everyone’s been talking about it ever since. ABC and Chris Harrison have leaned into this fact, playing up Underwood’s virginity in promos and first looks.
Harrison, Underwood and everyone else has been famously tight-lipped about the results of his season, but Harrison did tell The Hollywood Reporter, “What I will say is he did a good job. He’s happy with how he did as the Bachelor, I can tell you that for sure. I don’t think he has any regrets.”
When does it premiere?
The new season starts airing Monday at 8/7c on ABC. The premiere will be — are you ready for this? — a whopping three hours long and will include a peek at live viewing parties around the country.