ABC confirms 'The Bachelor' renewal, reveals identity of next bachelor
By Steve Rogers, 11/28/2006
Confirming a report from earlier this month, ABC has announced that it has renewed its long-running The Bachelor reality series for a tenth edition -- and in a somewhat unexpected decision, also revealed the identity of the man who will star in the show's still-unfilmed next edition.
"Meet Lieutenant Andy Baldwin... he's a handsome Navy doctor... a super-fit Ironman competitor... and most importantly, he's serious about love," The Bachelor host Chris Harrison announced in a brief segment that aired at the conclusion of last night's The Bachelor: Rome finale.
"I'm at the point in my life where I'm ready to get married," Baldwin -- dubbed "the hottest bachelor ever" by The Bachelor's producers -- explained in his introduction interview. "I want to settle down, I want to have tons of children, a loving family -- I'm a big family man. I'm excited to find the love of my life, where is she? You know I know she's there waiting for me and gosh darn it, I want to find her."
Raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and named ESPN's National Scholar Athlete of the Year when he graduated from high school as his class valedictorian in 1995, Baldwin is a 30-year-old undersea medical officer for a special operations dive unit stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Baldwin grew up in a family modest means and, after working three jobs and saving $25,000 for college before graduating high school, attended Duke University on a full ROTC scholarship. After graduating from Duke with honors and earning a varsity letter on the school's swim team, he attended the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine and was a surgical intern at Naval Hospital San Diego.
Baldwin competed in his first triathlon in 2000 and immediately fell in love with the sport. He has since competed internationally in numerous Ironman, Half-Ironman and other triathlons and marathons, and frequently finished them among the top 5 finishers in his age group. In 2006 he served as group surgeon for a team of fifty military personnel tasked with traveling to Laos to treat villagers in need of medical attention.
"Who doesn't love the movie An Officer and a Gentleman? We're bringing the best parts of that romantic film to real life," The Bachelor executive producer Mike Fleiss gushed in ABC's press release announcement.
According to Monday night's brief clip -- which followed a lengthy closing music montage that looked back on the evolution of the relationship between The Bachelor: Rome bachelor Prince Lorenzo Borghese and Jennifer Wilson, the bachelorette he picked in the ninth edition's final Rose Ceremony -- The Bachelor's tenth edition will film in "all new romantic locations" and debut in "Spring 2007." Earlier this month, ABC confirmed that Dancing with the Stars, the other reality elimination series that was part of the network's fall schedule, will return for a fourth edition in March 2007.