Dean Unglert: 751k followers. Peter Kraus: 557k followers. Arie Luyendyk Jr. .: 68k followers.

Guess which one is the next star of The Bachelor? In a move that shocked Bachelor Nation, the franchise announced that Emily Maynard's runner-up Arie, who was on the show in 2012, would be their next leading man, breaking free from their trend of choosing a lead from the most recent season's pool of contestants. The decision was a bold one, as many fans didn't even know who the 35-year-old race car driver was. He has no ties—personal or on social media—with the current cast of contestants, which some viewers feel has become almost too incestuous in the way they only seem to date each other. Hell, they only seem to know each other.

Arie, however, is now the outsider coming to take over the cool kids' lunch table. Is it a risky move? Sure, but it's a gamble the franchise needed to take.

In the era of SugarBearHair vitamins and endless staged-to-look-unstaged photoshoots being a rite of passage for Bachelor contestants, Arie's uncurated feed of race car photos and poorly lit selfies is downright refreshing. (Since the announcement, Arie has gained 46k followers, bringing his total to 114k.) 

The only thing he's selling? His lack of cool, which is kind of what this franchise desperately needs at this point, when the new norm is Robby Hayes' job description being labeled "social media influencer" and a contact for booking opportunities making up part of an Instagram bio.

"The rest of us duechbros in the franchise are so lame now, they had to reach back before IG was a thing to find a clean resume," Derek Peth, a current Bachelor in Paradise contestant, tweeted after the announcement. (Technically, Instagram launched in 2010, two years before Arie's season.)

Evan Bass, who recently had his wedding to Carly Waddell televised as part of Bachelor in Paradise's fourth season after meeting on season three, said, "I like Arie as #thebachelor. He represents a purer time before gummies & laxative tea. (Also pls check out my new ointment line coming 2025)." Danielle Maltby, another BIP vet, said, possibly with a hint of shade, "Way to go @BachelorABC !!! A bachelor with a career...Congratulations." 

Even the difference in responses between more recent franchise alums and the old-school vets is indicative of the divide and transition the show has gone through since social media.

While the new generation's reactions are filled with sarcastic and self-referential quips, the likes of Sean Lowe ("It's about time! Couldn't have picked a better guy.") are far more sincere. "I think this is a FANTASTIC choice!! One of the most charismatic people I've met from the show," Molly Mesnick wrote, while Ali Fedotowsky-Manno wrote to the new Bachelor, "So happy for you...Couldn't be more thrilled with ABC's choice!"

Notice a tonal difference? (It is worth noting that Amanda Stanton, a Bachelor and two-time BIP vet, wrote, "I think it was such a good choice choosing someone who's out of the current Bachelor bubble!")

Bachelor in Paradise

Paul Hebert/ABC

In the more recent seasons, it seems like most contestants go on the show with the hopes of gaining followers, landing sponsorship deals, increasing their daily usage of #ad and becoming a certified member of the Bachelor Nation club. They seem to completely leave their old friends and lives behind in the name of free trips and beach shenanigans on Bachelor in Paradise, making sure to rock their DIFF Eyewear sunglasses on (make sure to use their code for 10% off, OK?!).

But Arie is a lead that could bring that trending-topic fueled train to a screeching halt. He's part of different generation of Bachelor alum, one who still has a link to a Website that doesn't exist anymore in his Instagram bio and probably thinks HelloFresh is a deodorant. (It's a food delivery service, BTW.) He's not hanging with his Bachelor besties every weekend or live-tweeting recent seasons of the show.

We're not deluding ourselves into thinking Arie is not interested in the fame; anyone who signs up for one of these shows is, in one way or another, interested in the exposure, and he just happened to be on the show before the contestants became Instagram-famous. But the current crop's lack of chill and obvious desire to extend their 15 minutes is exhaustive, making Bachelor in Paradise, which was once our favorite guilty pleasure and escape, a chore to watch. 

Now that we have our new Bachelor officially in place after weeks of endless speculation, the most interesting thing to watch will be if the pool of contestants will change, too. Just because the lead isn't thirsty doesn't mean the ladies won't be fighting for that last drop of water come January. 

But until we see Arie posting a boomerang of himself opening a FabFitFun box, we have hope that he's back in the mix for the right reasons.  

Arie's season of The Bachelor premieres January 2018 on ABC.

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