Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Who is Arie Luyendyk Jr., the new star of "The Bachelor?" Here, he is pictured at KIIS FM's 2012 Jingle Ball in Los Angeles on Dec. 3, 2012. Getty Images

After endless amounts of speculation over who would be the next 'Bachelor' to try band find love on ABC's famed franchise, an official announcement has been made. Arie Luyendyk Jr. will be the man searching for love when the show airs in 2018.

Arie confirmed the news himself, telling People Magazine that it felt "surreal" that he was going to be the leading man on the show.

"This is pretty surreal," he said. "It doesn't really feel real yet, but I'm taking it step by step. The timing is just so perfect in my life. I could not be more excited for this journey I'm about to embark on."

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'm not nervous. Not that I've had some time and distance away from it, it feels like the feeling I had before I went into it the first time," he said. "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. This feels more natural. I'm not concerned what people think. I'm just focused on the outcome. I want to find my person and will do whatever it takes!"

The news of Luyendyk being cast comes shortly after it was revealed that the show's producers were in "panic mode" over who they would choose after none of the guys from Rachel Lindsay's season, including runner-up Peter Kraus, really seemed interested or worthy of the title.

Of course, the question on most franchise fans minds is one in particular. Who exactly is Arie Luyendyk Jr.? Here's everything we know about the newest "Bachelor."

1. He First Competed On Emily Maynard's Season

Fans who don't really know him may be confused because Luyendyk actually first competed on Season 8 of "The Bachelorette," where he was the runner-up to Emily Maynard's pick, Jef Holm. Since that season aired back in 2012, he has stayed largely out of the spotlight, even sitting out as the 'Bachelor' for the 2015 season (which went to Chris Soules), when ABC opted not to choose him because he had already been off the air for two years.

2. He's A Professional Race Car Driver

Luyendyk, 35, is a professional race car driver, who's father, Arie Luyendyk Sr., is a two-time Indy 500 champ who is known as "The Flying Dutchman." According to Jr.'s Instagram bio, he is now a former Indy 500 competitor an X-games medalist and IndyLights winner.


This is happening! #TheBachelor

A post shared by Arie _ (@ariejr) on

3. Fans Aren't Overly Impressed With His Being Picked

Fans reacted somewhat negatively to the announcement, with many expressing upset that Peter wasn't chosen, as well as the fact that the show still chose a white Bachelor, despite finally breaking the streak in lack of diversity by making Rachel Lindsay the most recent 'Bachelorette.'

Others also simply were confused because they genuinely did not know or remember who Luyendyk was.

4. He Isn't The First Controversial 'Bachelor' Pick

While fans seemed unimpressed with Luyendyk as a pick because he wasn't an obvious choice, he's not the first one to cause controversy when it comes to who was announced. Season 21-star Nick Viall was not a well-received choice, especially after it was revealed that he replaced Luke Pell the night before he left to begin filming. Similarly, when Brad Womack was given another shot during Season 15, it also enraged fans and caused host Chris Harrison to defend the decision later on.

5. He Has A Huge Legacy To Try And Overcome

Though the 'Bachelor' franchise is about finding love, the show's track record has been less than stellar. Following Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell, as well as Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi announcing splits in the last few months, Sean Lowe, Arie's former castmate, remains as the only 'Bachelor' who actually married the woman he picked in his finale. He has a lo0t to live up to if he hopes to break the curse.