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Nick Viall Confirmed as the Next Bachelor: Two-Time ‘Bachelorette’ Runner-up to Lead Season 21

Back for a fourth show in the Bachelor franchise! In a shocking twist, Nick Viall will be ‘The Bachelor’ season 21 star, ABC announced on After Paradise Tuesday, August 30.

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Viall is currently costarring on Bachelor in Paradise season 3, in which he has been dating Jen Saviano. He frequently butted heads on the beach with his Bachelorette season 10 foe Josh Murray over Amanda Stanton‘s affections.

“I’ve certainly had the practice,” Viall quipped on After Paradise about taking on the big role. “I’m definitely ready for it — I’m very excited.”

Related: PHOTOS: The Bachelorette After the Final Rose: Broken Engagements, Weddings, Babies, and More!

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell appeared via Skype on the show, where the former Bachelor offered his best to the reality TV mainstay. “Buckle up — your life is about to change big-time, but all for the better,” Higgins said.

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The 35-year-old Milwaukee native was the Bachelorette season 10 runner-up, in which he lost Andi Dorfman‘s final rose to Murray. Last year, he came in second behind Shawn Booth for Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s love on The Bachelorette season 11. 

Viall has been a polarizing figure among Bachelor fans, and he even walked onto the set of After Paradise last year just before Higgins was announced as the season 20 Bachelor (which was intended as a joke, playing off of how many fans disliked Viall). However, many fans found him easy to root for on Paradise.

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This is definitely a big twist for Bachelor Nation fans, as The Bachelorette season 12 standout Luke Pell had been seen as the likely front-runner for the job, along with JoJo Fletcher‘s castoffs Chase McNary, Robby Hayes and Wells Adams. Fletcher, 25, selected Jordan Rodgers over runner-up Hayes in her August 1 finale, and the pair are currently engaged and living together in her hometown of Dallas.

Nick Viall
Nick Viall Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

For her part, Fletcher told ET after her finale that both Pell and McNary, 27, would be viable picks, although she was sensing that viewers were rooting for Pell to get the gig. “If you ask me, personally I think both Luke and Chase are great options,” she said August 2. 

“I think Robby is a great choice too. But when I sent Luke home, America died,” she continued. “There was an overwhelming amount of support and love for him, and I totally get it.”

Tell Us: Will Nick Viall make a good Bachelor? Or should someone else have been picked?

Bachelor in Paradise airs on ABC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET. The Bachelor returns to ABC in early 2017.

Christina Garibaldi and Ian Drew dished on all the latest during Us Weekly‘s Facebook Live News Update.  Check it out!

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