It's all about one Benjamin! Kaitlyn Bristowe's second runner-up, Ben Higgins, was officially announced as the Season 20 Bachelor on Monday, Aug. 24, during the Bachelor in Paradise aftershow.
The news was confirmed directly by Higgins, who joined Bachelor host Chris Harrison on Monday night, several weeks after Us Weekly exclusively revealed that the boyish software salesman would be the next Bachelor.
Higgins won over America (and producers) on Bristowe's Season 11 of The Bachelorette, where he was one of the final three suitors, alongside winner Shawn Booth and two-time runner-up Nick Viall. While the Denver native was the obvious front-runner for the role from the moment of his elimination, he was slightly more reserved about the possibility of being The Bachelor this past summer.
"I don’t know, that’s not really for me right now," the dimpled reality star, 27, told Us Weekly at the Men Tell All taping in June. "I want to wait until [the offer] is on the table, because I want to focus on the life I had. I’m not extremely comfortable with the attention. That is something I have to figure out. Right now, I just want to go back to the life I had."
As previously reported by Us, Higgins subsequently turned down a work promotion and put the breaks on a possible romance with Season 14 Bachelor contestant Tenley Molzahn.
Higgins also told Us in June that he was weighing the pros and cons before signing on to be the Bachelor. "I think it’s a great opportunity," he said at the time. "I think it’s something that any man, if asked, should consider. And I’ve been in the process now and I can see that it works."
Prior to the announcement, producers mulled over the idea of having both Ben H. and Ben Zorn, another suitor from Bristowe's season, vie as The Bachelor. One source told Us that if both Bens were chosen, producers would call the season "The Bachelor: All About The Benjamins."
Ultimately, it became singular as Ben H. had the unprecedented support of Bachelor Nation, including Harrison, his fellow suitors, and Bachelorettes — past and present. "I think girls would totally swoon for him," Season 10 Bachelorette Andi Dorfman told Us recently. "I think he just seems like a guy with good values and good morals and somebody that's very pure."
Like Dorfman, Bristowe also endorsed Higgins. "I say to everybody. Every girl. Every man. Every dog. Everyone out there would agree with me right now that Ben H. is the man," Bristowe told Us at the Men Tell All taping. Her fiancé was equally enthusiastic about Higgins becoming the next Bachelor.
"He'd make the perfect Bachelor," Booth told Us in a conference call. "He deserves nothing but the best."
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