Why ABC Picked Colton Underwood to Be The Bachelor

Inside the decision to pick the former football player as the next man to hand out the roses.

By Chris Harnick Sep 04, 2018 3:00 PMTags
Watch: Colton Underwood Talks "Bachelor in Paradise"

It's a move many saw coming, and one our source deemed safe: Colton Underwood is the new star of The Bachelor.

Colton, 26, was a contestant on season 14 of The Bachelorette where he vied for Becca Kufrin's affection. He was sent home from the competition during the hometown visits. Later, he headed to Bachelor in Paradise season five where he reunited with and later broke up with ex-girlfriend Tia Booth. Tia and Becca were both contestants on The Bachelor season 22 with Arie Luyendyk Jr. handing out the roses.

"Colton was by far the safest pick. He's a virgin and he works in non-profit. He screams wholesome, middle America," a source told E! News.

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"I think, coming after Nick Viall and Arie Luyendyk, producers were keen to pick someone whose intentions would be viewed as sincere. No one wants another questionably shady guy," the source added.

Nick previously appeared on two seasons of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise before becoming the star of The Bachelor. Arie was a contestant on an early season of The Bachelorette and his season was considered tame, until the finale. The race car driver broke up with Becca after giving her the final rose and proposing—all on camera. He is currently engaged to the runner-up Lauren Burnham.
"It also doesn't hurt that, out of all of Becca's finalists, he has the biggest social media following," our source said.

Colton is a pro-football player who previously played tight end for the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers. He was in the spotlight before when he dated Olympian Aly Raisman.

"I'm very excited," Colton told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America. "'Third time's a charm.' That's what they say, right? That's what I'm hoping for."

During his appearance on GMA, Colton said he wants to get engaged and married as a result of The Bachelor. One thing you can expect not to happen: Tia will not be a contestant on Colton's season of The Bachelor.

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The reality star grew up in Washington, Illinois, and is a part of a blended family with seven siblings. His 6-year-old cousin Harper, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which prompted him to start the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation, a charity that provides resources for research and support of people living with the disease.