Arie's quest for love on The Bachelor's 22nd edition begins Monday, January 1 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.
Shortly after ABC revealed Arie's 29 bachelorettes, the handsome 36-year-old pro racing driver turned real estate agent from Scottsdale, AZ, participated in a media call through which he opened up about his time handing out roses as the Bachelor after getting his heart broken by Emily Maynard on The Bachelorette's eighth season in 2012.
In the Thursday interview, Arie shared his desires, expectations and challenges on the show. He even addressed some juicy rumors out there.
Below is a portion of what Arie had to tell reporters about his journey on The Bachelor and whether the emotional yet exciting process ended happily for him.
How did your The Bachelor participation come about? There are rumors you were asked to star on the show the night before the announcement was made to the public. Was it an instant "yes" for you or something you really had to think about?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: We've been in talks a couple different times since The Bachelorette in 2012. It was something I was always open to; it's just the timing didn't work out. I was in a relationship or they felt it was a better fit with somebody else.
And so, when producers called me, I said, "Okay sure, I'll come meet [with you]."
And then I met them, and a few days later, I was announced. So it did happen really quick, but just where I was at with the timing of my life, it really worked out. I went in with a really open mind, and so for me, it was just a perfect fit.
Going into the season, what were your nerves like? And since the season has wrapped, how have your nerves calmed?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Oh yeah, good question. I was so nervous that first night. I was scared there wouldn't be someone there for me. I was worried about if the women were expecting me or expecting somebody else and how I was going to deal with that.
It had been a long time since I had been on this side of things. And so going into that first night, I was very, very nervous. But as soon as the limo arrivals started, I began easing up a little bit.
And once I had some really good conversations that first night, it sort of just melted away, and then I felt really comfortable. And now I feel great. It was a really great experience for me, and I have a lot of really fond memories.
What Arizona locations can we expect to see on the show? And what went into picking these date spots?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Yeah, I mean, I can't really reveal what we did throughout the season, but there is a moment where I am in Scottsdale. And yeah, Scottsdale is obviously a great city. I love living there. And so, there will be some footage from Scottsdale.
If you could have chosen any bachelorette from a previous The Bachelor edition to appear on your season, who would it have been, and why?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: That's really hard. I don't know! I don't know that actually, because I haven't really followed along the last few years. It'd be really hard to think about that, especially kind of because of where I'm at now. So, I'm going to have to say I don't know.
How did your family and friends react to you starring on The Bachelor, and will they be watching the season right along with you?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Yes. Friends and family are really supportive. My mom was really excited, and a lot of my friends are married and having their first kids now, so they've been ready for me to settle down. So they're excited to watch this journey and how it unfolds.
Now that it's over, what was your favorite part of the entire journey?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Oh man. There's so many good moments throughout the season. It's really exciting. There were some really hard moments. I've got to say the experience was unlike anything else I've ever done in my life, even looking back on Emily's season.
But yeah, it's really hard to pick out a specific moment without really revealing too much. But I will say it was really difficult at times too. There's a lot of drama, but there's a lot of excitement, and I think throughout the whole journey, I had so much fun. And it's going to be really exciting for everyone to watch back.
Bachelor in Paradise changed some of its rules, and we are currently in a climate where allegations are coming out every day in Hollywood. How did you or producers make your contestants feel safe during intimate moments on the set, and were there any new rules in place on your season?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I wasn't really aware of any new rules. I do believe there was a little bit less alcohol involved, but that's okay. That's great! Because with that comes some ramifications. So, yeah, I don't know if anything was done differently except for the limited use of drinking alcohol.
I know there's been some drama between yourself and Jef Holm, who got engaged to Emily at the end of her The Bachelorette season. What ever happened to the friendship you had with Jef?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think when you're on the show with somebody, you really get to know them in that environment. And so, outside of the show, we just realized we weren't really that great of friends. We haven't spoken since [Sean Lowe]'s wedding, so, I think that was four years ago. And so, yeah, we just realized that we probably weren't good friends since then.
To read what Arie had to tell Reality TV World about finding love with two women and his "playboy" past, click here. And to read even more from his interview, click here.