We totally didn't expect this guy to be the new 'Bachelor'

by Randee Dawn / / Source: TODAY

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There's a certain rhythm to "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" contestants: runners-up of one show generally get to be the stars of the next one.

But that's not always true, and it won't be true for the upcoming 22nd season of "The Bachelor." Producers revealed on Thursday morning that Arie Luyendyk Jr. is the newest lovelorn man-with-the-roses!

"This is pretty surreal," Luyendyk Jr. told People magazine. "It doesn't really feel real yet, but I’m taking it step-by-step. The timing is just so perfect in my life. I could not be more excited for this journey I’m about to embark on."

Luyendyk Jr. first appeared on "The Bachelorette" in 2012, where he was the runner-up. Emily Maynard chose Jef Holm instead, though the pair did not ultimately marry (she is now married to someone else and expecting her fourth child).

Still, while Luyendyk Jr. certainly deserves his moment in the spotlight, it might surprise fans who were expecting someone from the most recent season to be chosen instead. (Like, you know, Eric or Peter.) But there's a good chance that Luyendyk Jr. has some fans who've been waiting quite a few years to have him back!

ABC's "The Bachelorette" - Season Eight
Meet your new man! Arie Luyendyk Jr. ... who some may remember from a previous edition of "The Bachelorette"!Craig Sjodin / ABC via Getty Images

As has Luyendyk Jr., who said that returning was an "ongoing conversation through the last couple of years ... the timing was never right."

Born in the Netherlands, the 35-year-old Luyendyk Jr. is an auto-racing driver whose father was a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner. In addition to "The Bachelorette," he's also appeared on shows like "Wipeout" and "Bachelors vs. Bachelorettes."

"I'm not nervous," he told People. "Now that I've had some time and distance away from [being on the show], it feels like the feeling I had before I went into it the first time. I think sometimes when you're on "The Bachelorette" and you jump right into being the Bachelor, for me it would've been too soon. This feels more natural. 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!"

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.

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