The announcement was made during Monday’s live episode of “After Paradise,” the “Bachelor in Paradise” after-show, when Higgins showed up to the taping, following much speculation that he would be the show’s next leading man.
Higgins, a 26-year-old software salesman from Denver, came in third place on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of “The Bachelorette,” which aired this summer.
“I’m excited,” Higgins told host Chris Harrison on “After Paradise.” Famous “Bachelor” fan Amy Schumer also phoned into the episode to chat with Higgins, joking with him, “Don’t do it.” He added, “Everything leading up to this has just been incredible and I’m just ready to get started.”
Toward the end of Bristowe’s “Bachelorette” season, Higgins spoke to Variety at the “Men Tell All” taping, admitting that he would want to become the next “Bachelor,” if the network offered him the gig.
“I think when that opportunity, if it happens, presents itself, it’s something you have to go at. It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I think being in this experience now has taught me…it’s not ideal, but it can work.”
At the same event, Bristowe told Variety that her top pick for the next “Bachelor” would indeed be Higgins. “I think it’s Ben H. I think he’s just God’s gift to women. Not sure why I didn’t see that, but, I mean, men, women, their dogs, they all love Ben H.”
“The Bachelor” Season 20 premieres in January 2016.
Seth Kelley contributed to this report.