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'The Bachelor': Arie Luyendyk Jr. to star in Season 22

UPI News Service, 09/07/2017 

Arie Luyendyk, Jr., will star in Season 22 of The Bachelor.

The 35-year-old race car driver and Bachelorette Season 8 runner-up confirmed the news on Thursday's episode of Good Morning America.

"The timing of this really fit for me," he told host Michael Strahan. "I was a little skeptical, just because we've been in talks for a few years about doing it. I just kind of went in with an open mind, open heart."

Luyendyk, the son of retired race car driver Arie Luyendyk, said he's looking for an "independent" and "strong" but "gentle" woman. He explained he will appear on The Bachelor because he feels it's "time" he finds a partner.

"I'll be 36 in a few weeks, so it's time," the star said. "All my friends around me have kids and have grown up. For me, I feel like I'm the last one of my friends to take that step. And now my little brother got married -- he's 24."

Luyendyk competed on The Bachelorette for the affections of Emily Maynard, who ultimately chose Jef Holm. Luyendyk said in an interview with People he's excited to return to the Bachelor franchise after some time away.

"Now that I've had some time and distance away from it, it feels like the feeling I had before I went into it the first time," the star shared.

"This feels more natural," he explained. "I'm not concerned what people think. I'm just focused on the outcome. I want to find my person and will do whatever it takes!"

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