Introducing Colton Underwood, ABC’s Newest ‘Bachelor’

Colton Underwood
Colton Underwood | Jesse Grant/Getty Images

To be fair, ABC’s newest Bachelor needs no introduction. Colton Underwood quickly became a fan-favorite as a contestant and frontrunner of Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette and went on to explore relationships on season 5 of Bachelor in Paradise. And prior to his Bachelor nation fame, he was an NFL player and philanthropist, as well as Olympic gymnast Ali Raisman’s ex-boyfriend.

ABC’s pick of Underwood as the next Bachelor is doing exactly what the network intended — getting people talking (and arguing) over his eligibility, what kind of star he’ll be, and if he’s ready to find love in an increasingly hopeless place.

Underwood is hopeful ‘third time is the charm’

Fans first grew attached to Underwood as the dreamy ex-football player as a heart of gold vying for Becca Kufrin’s heart on The Bachelorette season 14. Kufrin acknowledged serious chemistry between her and Underwood but ultimately sent him home, saying she just felt he “wasn’t ready” and that her other relationships had progressed farther than theirs.

One key storyline throughout The Bachelorette season 14 was Underwood’s previous, short-term relationship with one of Kufrin’s friends in Bachelor nation, Tia Booth. The two reconnected on this season of Bachelor in Paradise and spent weeks exploring their on-again, off-again relationship — only to conclude that they weren’t meant for one another. Underwood and Booth both left Paradise on Monday night’s episode and Underwood was announced as the new Bachelor the following morning.

“We are finally on the same page for the first time in our relationship and we are just good friends,” he told Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan of him and Booth. He also confirmed he’s gearing up for his season with marriage in mind. “That’s what I’m looking for … being engaged and then getting married shortly after that. I’m very excited. Third time’s the charm, that’s what they say, right? That’s what I’m hoping for!”

He beat out two others from Kufrin’s season

Underwood wasn’t the only fan-favorite from Kufrin’s season who had Bachelor potential. As the network teased the upcoming season, they made clear there were three potential leading men: Underwood, Jason Tartick, and Blake Horstmann.

Both Tartick and Horstmann were finalists on The Bachelorette season 14. Tartick was second runner-up and Horstmann was a finalist who ultimately left heartbroken when Kufrin chose Garrett Yrigoyen as her fiance.

While fans and media outlets alike teased Horstmann and Tartick as potential Bachelor stars, neither seemed too upset to leave the franchise behind and supported Underwood’s upcoming journey. “I’ll be watching man! Good luck!,” Hostmann commented on Underwood’s Instagram reveal. The runner-up also posted a photo of his own saying goodbye to Bachelor nation.

While Horstmann is saying goodbye to Bachelor nation, Underwood is ready to take on the process one more time in hopes that his life partner is standing at the end of his journey.

“I think that’s one thing that I took pride in on both seasons, being true to who I am,” he said. “I think it took all of that to get to where I am now.”

The Bachelor season 23 premieres on ABC in January 2019.