‘The Bachelor’ chooses next star: Chris Soules, farmer and small-town millionaire


Chris Soules is the next “Bachelor.” (Matthew Putney/ABC)

After the disaster that was the season of “The Bachelor” starring Juan Pablo Galavis — the soccer player who became known as generally the worst — ABC knew it had to tread carefully for its follow-up choice.

That’s why for the next “Bachelor,” we have a real official Nice Guy: Chris Soules, the sweet, sensitive farmer from the tiny town of Arlington, Iowa. Oh, and he also runs his own multimillion-dollar business.

The news was announced on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday when Chris, 32, showed up with a big grin and roses for the co-anchors, immediately winning everyone over. We were treated to a recap of his “Bachelor” journey so far, which started as the second runner-up to Andi Dorfman on the most recent season of the “Bachelorette.”

“The farmer from Iowa quickly became known for his million-dollar smile and chivalrous ways,” a voiceover intoned, adding that Chris became a fan favorite for his small romantic gestures (love notes) and not-so-subtle moves (having a plane fly overhead that read “Chris loves Andi”).

Then we saw where it all crashed and burned: On the hometown date episode, when Chris brought Andi to meet his loving family and told her that he had no intention of leaving the farm or moving out of Iowa. “What would I do for work here?” she asked. “There’s an opportunity to be a homemaker,” Chris offered. Andi was not impressed.

“Ultimately, Andi would say goodbye to Chris just before the finale, leaving him heartbroken,” the voiceover said, with shots of Chris looking tearful. “…And women all over thrilled.”

Indeed, ABC says plenty of ladies are eager to dive right into life on a farm. “The Handsome Farmer Has Been Besieged by Women Clamoring to Move to Iowa for Love,” a network press release blared shortly after the announcement. It added that Chris, who wants four to six kids, is looking for a woman who is smart, motivated, confident and knows how to drive a tractor.

“Since his stint on ‘The Bachelorette,’ Chris can’t go anywhere without being swarmed by women vying for his attention, all super fans of the man with a subtle charm and a signature twinkle in his eye,” the release said. “One adoring admirer drove hundreds of miles to knock on his door.” (Add this to the long list of creepy things that this franchise considers a cute gesture.)

Generally on reality television, “nice” equals “incredibly boring.” While Chris didn’t show much personality during the “GMA” interview (“My focus is going to be to make the girls that are on the show as comfortable as possible”), the previous season showed that fans might genuinely want a sweet guy instead of the pompous Juan Pablo. But since they do have to spice up the actual drama for TV purposes, we can only imagine the type of women they’re going to cast for this season.

Confirming that he does think he’s ready to find love again, Chris told “GMA” that he’s thrilled to even be on the show.

“Coming from a small town, I had never really expected to have this opportunity to be on either show, let alone be the lead on the ‘The Bachelor,’” he said. “So it’s been awesome.”

On thing is for sure: Get ready to hear the words “small town” countless times. And lots of farmer puns.

Also, this wasn’t really news for anyone who follows former “Bachelorette” runner-up Arie Luyendyk on Twitter — he was in contention as well, and decided to spoil it when it became clear he would not be cast.

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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