The network has officially announced that Hartsock, a 26-year-old bridal stylist from Los Angeles, CA, will serve as the star of the ninth season of The Bachelorette, which has reportedly already begun filming and is scheduled to premiere May 20 on ABC.
"I just can't even believe I'm here and with the support of everyone, it's just such a blessing. I just feel so thankful and so grateful," a teary-eyed Hartsock told host Chris Harrison during The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special Monday night after he revealed her to be the next Bachelorette.
"I am [emotional] because I never could've imagined. I could've never imagined signing up for The Bachelor and having this opportunity. I'm just overcome with happiness I guess!"
"Let me tell you something, if you're crying now, we're in for a long season together," Harrison joked.
"Oh you'll get the best of it though!" Hartsock laughed.
Hartsock was cut by current seventeenth-season The Bachelor star Sean Lowe during the show's February 18 broadcast after he visited the hometowns of his final four bachelorettes and met their families.
Last night's finale broadcast concluded with Lowe picking bachelorette Catherine Giudici and the couple getting engaged. When asked how she felt about the season's outcome, Hartsock said she's "so happy for them."
"I could only hope to have a love that they've found and I'm very hopeful in all of this, and I do hope to meet the man of my dreams. I feel so red! I do [believe in this process]. I do, I do. I'm ready and I'm open and I've seen it happen," Hartsock explained.
"I did realize that the feelings are real and the emotions that you go through. It is a real relationship and I'm going to have many of them! So I know that it can happen and one of them will be, hopefully, my true love -- as cliche as it sounds."
Hartsock also said she's ready to start dating 25 bachelors and can definitely handle them. "Bring them on!" she said with a big smile.
E! News had reported earlier this month Hartsock was in "final talks" to be The Bachelorette's next star and "close" to inking a contract.
Hartsock had admitted she would have interest in The Bachelorette role during a conference call with reporters following The Bachelor's February 18 broadcast of her elimination.
"If I were offered the opportunity to be the next Bachelorette, I would definitely have to think about it and give it some thought and make sure I'm prepared to get back onto that emotional rollercoaster," she said.
"But I do believe in the experience and I know that the feelings firsthand of what I experienced are real, and I do believe that it can work out for the best. So, I'd probably say yes to the opportunity."
She had also insisted that while she told Lowe he was making an enormous mistake when he revealed his decision to send her home, she's completely over The Bachelor star.
"After being let go, I did feel strongly that it didn't feel right for him letting me go, and I was really upset. But, I'm also such a positive person that, you know, I knew that he was doing what he needed to and I've moved on. I'm completely over it," Hartsock said.
"And I just, I hope him the best, and I know that I'll eventually find my Prince Charming... I haven't gone on any dates or been dating. I'm just focusing on myself and getting it together."
"Des is kind of that young -- not that Katie Holmes is old -- but she's got this young, attractive Katie Holmes look and girl next door. It's kind of what the show is built on, with finding that diamond in the rough, kind of like Sean is," he told Reality TV World.
"It's that everyday guy, obviously a great guy, and giving him that chance. And again, Des, the way she comes off on the Women Tell All makes herself a great candidate."