Luyendyk was first introduced to viewers back in 2012 when his heart was broken on national television by “Bachelorette” Emily Maynard. So why did Luyendyk decide to return to the reality dating series more than five years later?
“I was the same person before the show and I was the same person after the show, and I just went back to my regular life and tried to date. And when I got approached to do this, I really realized the last time I was really in love and really ready to get engaged was on the show,” Luyendyk said, referring to his TV romance with Maynard while on a recent press call with reporters, including Variety. “So, for me, the timing of everything worked out really well and I just felt like it was the perfect fit. So, I decided to give it a shot.”
Luyendyk says that the entire process of him being cast as “The Bachelor” came together very quickly, though he had previously been in talks with ABC executives since he appeared on “The Bachelorette” in 2012.
“It was something that I was always open to. It’s just the timing didn’t work out — either I was in a relationship or they felt it was a better fit for somebody else,” he explained. “And so, when the producers called me I said, ‘Yes. Sure, I’ll come meet,’ and then I met them and then just a few days later, I was announced.”
Here, Luyendyk talks about his season of “The Bachelor,” which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC…
1. Luyendyk falls in love with two women.
“You’ll definitely have to watch,” Luyendyk teased when asked if he ends the season finding true love.
He added, “I will say that the journey obviously was a great experience and I did find love and I actually fell in love with two people. But, to see the ending, you’ll definitely have to tune in.”
2. Even though he’s been on “The Bachelor” franchise before, Luyendyk is still nervous.
“It’s totally different being the Bachelor,” Luyendyk explained of his experience as leading man on the reality TV show. “I think you just really realize the enormity of the production. And it’s just – yes, it was five years for me. So, it was kind of hard to get back in the swing of things I think at first. I think maybe I was as nervous or maybe more nervous than the girls that first night.”
3. Luyendyk is fully aware that some viewers are not pleased with him being “The Bachelor” — and that many fans were holding out for last season’s “Bachelorette” runner-up, Peter Kraus.
“I wasn’t what everyone was expecting. I totally realize that and that’s something that I’m fine with,” Luyendyk said. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be the Bachelor and I was really nervous and excited that first night. And, yes, I did have to sort of get through that and see if the women there were there for me, but that’s just part of it. And I was really thankful that was I put in this position.”
4. The aftermath of the “Bachelor In Paradise” scandal will impact Season 22 of “The Bachelor.”
The franchise’s summer spinoff, “Bachelor In Paradise,” was subject of one of the year’s biggest reality TV scandals — production was temporarily shutdown after an alleged instance of sexual misconduct between two contestants. After an investigation was launched and no wrongdoing was found, the show was back on the air, but still, Luyendyk says the scandal did impact his season in one significant way: less alcohol on set.
“I wasn’t really aware of any new rules,” Luyendyk said. “I do believe there was a little bit less alcohol involved. But that’s OK. That’s great because with that comes with some ramifications. So, yes, I don’t know if there was anything done differently except from maybe the limited use of drinking alcohol.”
5. Former “Bachelor” Sean Lowe gave Luyendyk advice.
Luyendyk got advice from Sean Lowe, one of the franchise’s biggest success stories, who is still married to and expecting his second child with Catherine Giudici Lowe, who he met on his season of the ABC show.
“I really sort of leaned on Sean just because I know Sean from my season. We’ve kept in touch through the years and he has such success with Catherine,” Luyendyk said. “I think Sean has been a great example for me and I really lean on him and Catherine and their advice.”
He continued, “I think the best piece of advice was just to be present in every conversation and really make the person feel who you’re talking to in that moment feel that they’re the only one there. And I think that was really important for me, just to make sure that I was a good listener and I really was involved in every conversation and felt like – and made them feel like they weren’t just one of 29.”
6. However, Luyendyk did not get advice from the most recent “Bachelor,” Nick Viall.
While he got advice from Sean Lowe, Luyendyk actually only recently met Nick Viall, the most recent Bachelor, who is one of the most polarizing stars from the franchise’s history.
“I happened to be in Los Angeles at a friend’s book signing,” Luyendyk said of recently meeting Viall. “So, we met there and we talked about his struggle post-show.”
7. Luyendyk’s pool of women will be diverse.
“The Bachelor” franchise has received much criticism for not casting enough of a diverse pool of men and women, but Luyendyk says that he informed producers that he was interested in all types of women, despite age and race. “I was open to a variety and that’s something that the producers knew,” he explained, adding, “They’re all very different and I don’t have a type. So, it was really interesting getting to know everyone and where they came from and their different personalities. And I think I’m a type of person who can really conversate with anyone and that’s what was fun. It was kind of getting to know all these different personalities that first night.”
8. Luyendyk says he’s still the same person viewers got to know in 2012.
“I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m very passionate. And, yes, I’m in a place in my life where I am really ready for marriage and I want more than anything to start a family and settle down,” Luyendyk said when asked what he’d like viewers to know about him. “And I think that people who watched Emily’s season could tell that I was very passionate and that I was very romantic, and I’m still that same person.”
9. Luyendyk is not going to let the drama of reality TV get in the way of his search for love.
Each season, “The Bachelor” and “Bachelorette’s” dating experience is interrupted by drama in the house, which is seen by viewers at home, but not always by the entire cast on set. But Luyendyk says that he tried to keep his focus during his season.
“I really try to concentrate on my time with that individual. I think that as a Bachelor, you really don’t see what’s happening in the house. You really only hear kind of through the women telling you sort of what drama is unfolding,” he said. “So, for me, I try to cast aside and really give this person in front of me the benefit of a doubt because it is a difficult experience. It’s not an experience everyone handles the same. And just because they’re popular in the house doesn’t really make them a good life partner.”
10. Luyendyk won’t be giving up his day job after starring on “The Bachelor.”
Luyendyk Jr., a race car driver who is the son of former Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, works in real estate in Scottsdale, Arizona. He says that after his stint as “The Bachelor,” he plans to return to his career.
“I think the great thing about real estate is you can do it anywhere. You can get license anywhere. It’s just about growing your sphere and really knowing your area. I love Scottsdale. I love being in real estate. I did over $13 million in sales this year and it’s so much fun,” he said. “But it is something that I’m open to as far as moving to another place and doing that same – pursuing that same career.”