ABC's New 'Bachelorette' Is Season 15 'Bachelor' Alum Emily Maynard

8:47 AM PST 01/24/2012 by Erin Carlson
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The Southern single mom, who won Brad Womack's final rose on "The Bachelor" last year only to break their engagement months later, returns to the franchise for another chance at love.

As expected, ABC has selected Emily Maynard to star in the upcoming edition of The Bachelorette.

Maynard was a fan favorite while winning Brad Womack's heart -- and final rose -- last season on The Bachelor. He proposed in the May 2011 finale, they made the media rounds as a happy couple, but things soon took a turn for the worst when the couple ended their engagement weeks later.

In keeping with the franchise's grand tradition of recruiting popular and jilted former contestants as the next Bachelor or Bachelorette, the platinum-haired West Virginia native was practically a shoo-in for the gig. See also: Ben Flajnik, who can now be seen fending off the ladies on Monday nights.

VIDEO: Emily Maynard Discusses Breakup With Womack

Maynard, 25, has a made-for-TV backstory: she lost her former fiancee and love of her life, the NASCAR race car driver Ricky Hendrick, when he died in a plane crash in October 2004. At the time, she was pregnant with his daughter, Ricky, who was born in June 2005.

"Emily feels incredibly grateful to have found her first love when she was very young, and despite not having dated a lot, knows what it’s like to be truly in love," read a statement issued by ABC. "In the past seven years, she has been looking for someone with the same spark she has for life, and she believes that she will find her soul mate on 'The Bachelorette.'"

Maynard's season debuts his spring with 25 potential future husbands vying for her attention. The dating show and tabloid gossip staple is produced by Next Entertainment and Warner Horizon Television, and executive produced by Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton.

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