After what felt like forever, Bachelorette alum Arie Luyendyk Jr. was finally announced as the next Bachelor on Sept. 7. But fans will have to wait a little while longer to watch his love story unfold on TV because filming officially started on Wednesday, Sept. 20 — and he just met the ladies who will compete for his heart.
"The first night went really well," a source told Us Weekly after the first night of filming. "The girls are fantastic. Arie is so engaged and sincere."
Although an exact premiere date hasn't been set, the 2018 season will start airing in January — or should we say JanuARIE... Filming has officially started for Season 22, with fans getting their first look on Twitter. "Guess who's back? Back again. Arie's back. Tell a friend," creator Mike Fleiss captioned a photo of Arie, 36, alongside host Chris Harrison in front of the Bachelor mansion.
Guess who's back? Back again. Arie's back. Tell a friend. #TheBachelor #JanuArie pic.twitter.com/XaooVeuZ6U— Mike Fleiss (@fleissmeister) September 21, 2017
Guess who's back? Back again. Arie's back. Tell a friend. #TheBachelor #JanuArie pic.twitter.com/XaooVeuZ6U
If the race car driver does get engaged, it will most likely happen in November, according to Moviefone. However, there's already been plenty of controversy surrounding ABC's choice. Not only has Arie's past behavior with women been called into question, but his former BFF Jef Holm — who he met during Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette — had some not-so-nice things to say about the 35-year-old on Twitter. "Oh the stories I could tell..." Jef wrote shortly after the announcement was made.
He also responded to blogger Reality Steve, who posted a Reddit thread detailing Arie and Jef's alleged exploits in an unnamed sorority house. After a user reported that the twosome "would make regular appearances" at the sorority's parties, Jef replied, "I've actually never even been inside a sorority house. As for him...I stopped being friends with him years ago because he's disgusting." We'd LOVE for him to elaborate.
Arie's ex-girlfriend, Sydney Stempfley, also spoke out about his casting, claiming she was completely blindsided by the news since they had just broken up in late July after a year of dating. "I saw Arie's name being tossed around on Twitter, suggesting he should become the next Bachelor. So I texted him for the first time in awhile, exactly four days before the announcement on Labor Day, and I said, ‘Are you awake?' And he called me within a minute or two," she told Entertainment Tonight.
Arie and Jef in 2012. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"I asked him, 'If you were becoming the next Bachelor, would you at least have the decency to tell me?' and he said, 'Yes, of course,' and then proceeded to tell me that he hadn't been contacted by producers, so he doubts that would even be a possibility," Sydney added. She never ended up hearing from him. Needless to say, Arie's intentions will no doubt be questioned this season.
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