Well, well, well, would you look at that? Something of actual significance happened on the general waste of time that is After Paradise, as Chris Harrison (and guests) introduced Ben H. as the next Bachelor.
The 26-year-old Ben, whose H. stands for Higgins, beat out unofficial contenders Ben Z. and twice-the-bridesmaid Nick Viall, as well as sleeper pick Jared Haibon, for the opportunity to have 25 to 30 women vie for his considerable affections. All three competed for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart during the 11th season of The Bachelorette, with Ben H. finishing third to Nick’s runner-up.
The software salesman from Colorado, who I dubbed Buble Ben and named as my post-introduction favorite, is certainly likable enough, but there are questions as to whether he can fill the spotlight that comes with being the center of attention. He’s a bit on the reserved side, and his tendencies once prompted Kaitlyn to ask him if he was a virgin. He is not.
Still, many predict he’ll be a more boring protagonist than Chris Soules, though Ben Flajnik and that one David Gray song he can play on the piano remain the benchmark of suckidity. Juan Pablo (talk about your all-time backfires) comes in at a close second.
The announcement, preceded by a bit of misdirection featuring a special appearance by Nick (which made my heart skip a beat because this article was basically written in advance), happened with just five minutes left of After Paradise, so Ben didn’t have much time to put himself out there.
“It’s incredible,” he said. “I think people like me don’t get opportunities like this, and I never would’ve thought this opportunity would be something I could have. But I’m excited, everything leading up this has been incredible and I’m ready to get this thing started.”
As for how he’s preparing, well, he’s not.
“You don’t prepare for this, I don’t think,” he said. “I think doing the last season helped. I think it gave me a perspective on what happens, the process, in general. But stepping into this role is something you can’t prepare for.”
And is he ready for marriage?
“Yeah, I am,” he said. “I get that question a lot, 26 years old, people think that’s young. A lot of my closest friends are married, they’re staring their families. I have a great example of love through my parents and through grandparents and family. I’m ready for it. I’m excited to start now sharing life with somebody.”
As a straight man, all I can say is damn is this guy good looking. There’s a reason he was my pick for Kaitlyn.
So does Ben H. have what it takes to carry a show? Or would Ben Z., Nick or Jared have been a better choice?
The Bachelor season 20 premieres January 4, 2016, at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)