Jr. will lead The Bachelor
franchise in a whole new, exciting direction, according to longtime host Chris Harrison
"What would make good television? Maybe we want to kind of change things up -- we've kind of been in a rut doing the same thing over and over with the same kind of group of people. Let's mix it up," Chris told People
of The Bachelor
producers' thought process in casting Arie, a race car driver turned real estate agent from Emily Maynard
's 2012 edition of The Bachelorette
"Because when you change the Bachelor, that changes the women as well and it changes the dynamic. It kind of hits the reset button sometimes."
Chris also believes Arie possesses many of the qualities fans come to love about a sincere and successful The Bachelor
"First of all, he's a good friend of mine, he's a good man, he's a gentleman," Chris explained.
"I'm glad he's coming back, and I'm glad he's going to get his chance. He's someone that we've always wanted to do the show with, and I really don't know why [we haven't] -- other than, I guess, just timing. There's always been somebody else."
Chris cited timing as the reason why five The Bachelor
stars -- Sean Lowe
, Juan Pablo Galavis
, Chris Soules
, Ben Higgins
and Nick Viall
-- were chosen before Arie when taking into account the new Bachelor was sitting on the back-burner as an option for five years.
Arie came extremely close to being cast as the Bachelor for Season 17 in 2013 and Season 19 in 2015, which featured Sean and Chris, respectively.
For the show's nineteenth season, Arie revealed to Us Weekly
around this same time last year that he had a flight booked to Los Angeles and contracts signed with The Bachelor
only to have the rug pulled out
from beneath him last minute.
So when ABC officially announced
Arie's The Bachelor
participation on Good Morning America
last week, Emily's runner-up
said the moment felt "surreal" and he couldn't believe it was actually happening.
"What I would really say to people is this: It's not as simple as we take a poll, we look on Twitter and then we make our decision due to popularity," Chris shared with People
. "There really are a lot of layers to this."
The apparent fan-favorite and frontrunner for the leading role was Peter Kraus
, who was hesitant to propose
marriage on Rachel Lindsay
's The Bachelorette
season earlier this year, which was an issue
for The Bachelor
creator Mike Fleiss.
Chris continued, "There's lots of things that go into who the Bachelor is going to be. But at the end of the day, [it's about] good television, what can we produce around, and who is good? Who is a sincere person that we think, possibly, will get engaged?"
Chris also pointed out that Arie is apparently "the best kisser" ever to appear on The Bachelorette
"My mom called me and said he needs to give lessons on how to kiss. Creepy conversation with your mom, but the point was -- I don't know, I forget what the point was," Chris said with a laugh.