6:55pm PT by Ryan Gajewski
It's Official: Ben Higgins Set as Next 'Bachelor'
Another Ben is getting his shot at finding romance on The Bachelor.
Ben Higgins, who placed third on Kaitlyn Bristowe's recently completed season of The Bachelorette, has been selected to star on the upcoming 20th season of the ABC dating series. The official announcement was made Monday by Chris Harrison on ABC's After Paradise chat show.
"It's incredible," Higgins told Harrison. "People like me don't get opportunities like this." The segment also included a call from Bachelor fan Amy Schumer, who asked Higgins, "Do you want to have phone sex with me?" Before Higgins was announced as the pick, Harrison brought polarizing Bachelorette figure Nick Viall on stage to mislead viewers.
Higgins was eliminated by Bristowe following the fantasy-suite dates, just prior to the hometown dates. On their final one-on-one, the software salesman from Denver told Bristowe that he was falling in love with her and also admitted that he is younger than she is — he had just turned 26 while she was nearly 30 when the episode filmed. Bristowe picked Shawn Booth over Nick Viall in the Bachelorette finale, which aired July 27.
Josh Murray, whose split from season-10 Bachelorette star Andi Dorfman was announced in January, was rumored to have been in the mix to be the next Bachelor.
The Bachelorette experienced a viewership revival this season, as the finale topped the night with a 2.4 rating in the 18-49 demo, up double digits from last summer's season ender. The season, which began with the 25 men voting for either Bristowe or Britt Nilsson as the Bachelorette, earned buzz over Bristowe admitting on camera that she had slept with Viall prior to the fantasy-suite dates.
ABC is presumably hoping that Higgins, who follows season 16's Ben Flajnik as the second "Ben" in the title role, has better luck finding lasting love on the show than the most recent selections. The past two Bachelors, Chris Soules and Juan Pablo Galavis, have both since broken up with the recipients of their final rose. Sean Lowe, the season-17 star, married pick Catherine Giudici in January 2014.
The Bachelor, which is slated to air new episodes in January, is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton and Alycia Rossiter serve as executive producers.