7:10am PT by Christina Schoellkopf
10 Takeaways After Revisiting Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s Turn on 'The Bachelorette'
Bachelor Nation is ready for another ride with Arie Luyendyk Jr.
The Bachelorette alum and former professional race car driver is set to return to the franchise Jan. 1 on ABC, five years after his first lap on The Bachelorette. Fans were introduced to the Indy 500 racer turned realtor on season eight of the franchise's female spinoff, which starred Emily Maynard. After making the final two, Luyendyk Jr. left the show brokenhearted when Maynard accepted a proposal from Jef Holm, though they ended their engagement a few months later.
Now it is Luyendyk Jr.'s turn to lead the elimination ceremonies when 29 women embark on a rose-pedaled journey to love with the 36-year-old Scottsdale resident. Ahead of night one in the Bachelor mansion, The Hollywood Reporter revisited his time on The Bachelorette. Here is a look back at the standout moments from his first turn on the franchise.
1. He once had a "romantic relationship" with a Bachelor producer.
Halfway through The Bachelorette, viewers learned that Luyendyk Jr. had a brief romantic relationship with one of the show's producers, Cassie Lambert. After Maynard found out, the Bachelorette star says she felt like an "idiot" that both Lambert and Luyendyk Jr. did not bring it to her attention. Even host Chris Harrison got involved, with the host filming a special segment addressing the situation in the interest of full disclosure. Ultimately, Luyendyk Jr. explained that their relationship was so long ago he did not think to mention it.
2. Maynard was not the first single mother he dated.
A year before his reality TV debut, Luyendyk Jr. was seriously dating a single mother who had two kids, a 4-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son. They lived together, and Luyendyk Jr. even got a tattoo of his ex-girlfriend's name (though he later had it removed). He says they split because she did not want to have more kids, and he reminded her too much of her ex-husband.
3. Luyendyk Jr. provoked a few fellow castmembers.
Luyendyk Jr. was not afraid to push some buttons back in 2012. He slammed contestant Ryan Bowers for being "narcissistic," and he teased Doug Clerget for being nervous ahead of his first one-on-one date.
4. He introduced Maynard to his Dutch parents.
When Luyendyk Jr. took Maynard home to meet his family in Arizona, he was incredibly nervous, describing his parents as Europeans with "different values." His dad, Arie Luyendyk Sr., also a professional race car driver, moved the family from the Netherlands to the U.S. when his son was 6. The hometown date began in full Dutch, while an awkward Maynard sat there confused. Ultimately, his parents gave their approval of the Southern belle.
5. Luyendyk Jr. was at the center of what Maynard considered a "double standard," as one guy felt it was inappropriate for them to kiss in front of others.
Maynard could not get enough of Luyendyk Jr.'s kisses (after his season aired, he was referred to as a kissing bandit, a nickname that has resurfaced in ABC's marketing). But one jealous contestant called her out for smooching in front of the other guys, telling her it was not classy. Maynard shut the opinion down as a double standard, explaining that she would not be attacked the same way if she were a male star on The Bachelor.
6. He did not initially stand up for Maynard when some of the men felt she had "baggage."
Maynard's daughter, Ricki, was a central theme of her season. Fans of the show were first introduced to Ricki on season 15 of The Bachelor with Brad Womack; Maynard learned she was pregnant days after the death of her fiance and shared her story when she was a contestant. After breaking off her engagement with Womack, Maynard made it clear on The Bachelorette that she was looking for someone ready to be a father. But not every guy in the house had a positive outlook about potentially becoming a stepdad. Some described Maynard's situation as "baggage," culminating in an argument between Maynard and contestant Kalon McMahon in front of the others. Maynard was disappointed that Luyendyk Jr. did not stand up to defend her, and he later apologized.
7. The new Bachelor star never imagined leading his own show.
A week before the season finale, Luyendyk Jr. sympathized with Maynard over the difficult decision she was in, telling her, "This has got to be tough on you, and I could never be in your shoes."
8. He has never experienced an overnight date in a Fantasy Suite.
During Fantasy Suite week, the star has the opportunity to spend the night with his or her final three contestants with the cameras turned off. Maynard chose not to spend any nights alone with her final three in order to "set an example" for her 6-year-old watching the show.
9. He earned the coveted parental approval.
When Maynard's family met Luyendyk Jr. in Curacao the week of the finale, no one had anything negative to say. In fact, her mother, father and brother were all torn about who would be best suited for Maynard. Luyendyk Jr. asked her father for his daughter's hand in marriage, marking the first time he had ever taken that step in a relationship.
10. Luyendyk Jr. did not see his Bachelorette breakup coming and never got the chance to get down on one knee.
Luyendyk Jr. was visibly devastated when Maynard broke up with him, on what was supposed to be their final date together before his potential proposal. After going on her final date with the competition, Jef Holm, Maynard made up her mind that Holm was the one for her. Luyendyk Jr. told her, after hearing the news, "I feel stupid. I feel naive that I had that dream for us." After one last kiss on the cheek, he expressed in his limo ride home, "I just feel like I give so much, and I'm so open. I feel like I deserve that back. I feel like I give way more than I get back. I misjudged. It felt really good to fall in love, and it just makes me realize it's so hard to find that person." Luyendyk Jr. told reporters last week he has yet to fall in love since his Bachelorette bow.
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