New "Bachelor" Arie Luyendyk Jr. ready to hand out his own roses

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The announcement of Luyendyk Jr.'s Bachelor status has proved to be a bit divisive so far, as Bachelor Nation viewers seemed to have been overwhelmingly in favor of a suitor from Rachel Lindsay's recent Bachelorette season.

"This is pretty surreal", Luyendyk Jr. I doubt it. But, true to "Bachelor" form, Ben proposed to then-25-year old Lauren Bushnell, and they ultimately split this past May. The 35-year-old race vehicle driver has been the subject of occasional "Bachelor" rumors since he came in second on Season 8 of "The Bachelorette" starring Emily Maynard. For context, that's two full years before Bachelor in Paradise even started. Luyendyk was a runner up on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette, which aired five years ago-but given the response, he didn't make a particularly lasting impression.

"We've kept in touch over the last few years but this just fit flawless, the timing of this really fit", Arie said of his relationship with the the franchise's producers on Thursday morning's "Good Morning America", where the official announcement was made.

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"It's been an ongoing conversation through the last couple of years", Arie told People.

The race vehicle driver, who has followed in his father's career footsteps, was known as the "kissing bandit" on The Bachelorette. I'm going into this with an open heart.

Luyendyk also admitted that his previous experience with the franchise has him calm and not feeling nervous about what he'll encounter along the journey. I think sometimes when you're on 'The Bachelorette' and you jump right into being the Bachelor, for me it would've been too soon. "Really, the producers feel like ANY demands coming from Peter are a bit much; they always think everybody should be falling all over themselves to get this honor". "I just want to find that spark with somebody", he told People. He's handsome and level headed, and he's just a few weeks shy of 36, an age I consider to be appropriate for seeking his future wife. You know, good ol' Arie.

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