We're finally in the midst of The Bachelor, and there's still so much to learn about this season's suitor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. — apart from the fluffy crap ABC loves to feed us. The 36-year-old's casting caused quite a bit of controversy, mainly because newer fans of the franchise had no idea who he was (us OGs remember him from Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette, though we weren't exactly happy to see him return).
So, what behind-the-scenes details should you be made aware of before the Scottsdale, AZ, native takes over your television on Monday nights? We've answered all your burning questions below — including ones you didn't even know you had!
There's a reason why Arie is called "The Kissing Bandit"!
Arie earned the nickname "The Kissing Bandit" thanks to his frequent on-screen kisses with Bachelorette Emily Maynard. However, former Bachelor and Arie's good friend Sean Lowe has since told Life & Style that Arie "wants to get away from being seen as just a dude who wants to make out." Althought we gotta be honest, so far "The Kissing Bandit" still makes sense.
The Dutch reality star's age makes him one of the oldest Bachelors ever.
The 36-year-old — whose birthday is on Sept. 18, making him a Virgo — was 30 when he first appeared on The Bachelorette, but had to wait his turn to take the lead. Because of the nearly six-year gap, he's now one of the oldest Bachelors on the franchise: Season 6's Byron Velvick was 40, while Brad Womack was 38 during his second go-round on Season 15. Season 21's Nick Viall was also 36. Though Arie's a bit older than most, his net worth more than makes up for it!
Arie's job didn't interfere with his journey to find love.
Following his career as a Formula 1 race car driver, the 6'2" athlete switched his focus to real estate. He now works as a broker in Arizona — but jumped at the chance to have 29 ladies compete for his heart. What about all those people in the southwest who need homes, Arie??
We've already met his siblings thanks to his hometown date on The Bachelorette.
Arie brought Emily home to meet his parents, Mieke and Arie Luyendyk Sr., in 2012, where she was also introduced to his siblings — younger twin brothers Alec and Luca and younger sister Maida. But things didn't go so smoothly. When the family began speaking to each other in Dutch, Emily admitted to feeling uncomfortable. "It's like there's an invisible wall. It was really awkward," she said at the time. Despite that hiccup, we do know his family is incredibly close, often posting pics together on social media.
Arie doesn't have much of an Instagram following... yet!
The former Indy 500 competitor — whose handle is @ariejr — has around 135K followers right now, though that's bound to grow once his season premieres on Jan. 1. But first, he needs to get better about posting (he's only posted twice since he returned from filming last month!) Arie could take a cue or two from his predecessor Nick, who boasts more than 1.2 million followers.
He and Jef Holm are no longer BFFs.
Despite once being "two peas in a pod," Jef and Arie are now anything but. Shortly after it was announced that the Arizona native would be the new Bachelor, Jef — who was buddies with Arie during Emily's season — took to Twitter to share how he feels about him now. After Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss made a comment about how the reaction to Arie has been positive, Jef called his former pal "disgusting," eluding to the fact that he's far from a gentleman. The tweet has since been deleted, but Jef did leave up a simple: "Oh, the stories I could tell."
He once dated Bachelor villain Courtney Robertson ... who said he's great in bed.
Apparently, he's been involved on-and-off with Ben Flajnik's one-time fiancée for years. She even wrote about their time together in her 2014 memoir, I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain. In her book, she says Arie was "the best sex I've ever had." The reason? "Arie’s incredibly passionate and utilizes his entire body in his lovemaking. And he knows exactly what positions make a woman feel comfortable and satisfied." Well, OK then.
Can't wait until the finale to find out who Arie picks? Check out our spoilers here. Love The Bachelor? Be sure to join our Bachelor Facebook group to chat about all the latest updates, exclusive interviews, and juicy gossip!