Though many questioned ABC's decision to cast Arie Luyendyk Jr. as the next Bachelor star, the 36-year-old race car driver is reportedly committed to get his happy ending.
"He's very serious about finding love," a source told Entertainment Tonight
, adding that the women are his first priority. "He's not fully focused on the production of the show. He is really focused on the connections he's making with the women."
"The production has cast women this season who are serious about making a connection, and not just wanting to become famous on the show," the source added.
Luyendyk first competed for Emily Maynard on The Bachelorette season 8, where he became the runner-up. Many did not approve of Luyendyk's casting, including season 8 winner Jef Holm, who slammed his former pal on social media-- suggesting that Luyendyk has a habit of hooking up with college girls.
ABC, on the other hand, has defended the reality dating series' next leading man by saying Luyekdyk is in the right place in his life to find love.
"The timing seems right," network exec Robert Mills said of the new Bachelor star
. "He's incredibly sincere. He's dated a lot of women since Emily [Maynard], but he says he's never been in love since Emily, and that's a really interesting story to try to bring to completion this season on The Bachelor."
Meanwhile, former Bachelor star Sean Lowe thinks Luyendyk will thrive on The Bachelor.
"Arie has got a great personality," the season 17 star told Us Weekly
. "He's kind of quirky. He knows he's nerdy, which I think is endearing. He definitely doesn't play the cool guy part. He knows who he is and doesn't put on any fronts. He's just a nerdy race car driver."
Do you think Arie is serious about finding love? Or are the rumors about him too much?
(Image courtesy of ABC)