UPDATE: According to Ben Higgins, any conversations about him becoming the next Bachelor "haven't happened yet." As he revealed to Entertainment Tonight, "The opportunity is a great one and from a 30,000 foot view I would have to consider it."
If you're going to make it into the finals of a competition, only to be rejected on national television, getting your very own spinoff out of it is probably one of the only things that can cheer you up. That's what just happened to Ben Higgins, because he's been chosen as the next Bachelor, after being eliminated from Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of The Bachelorette, which is currently airing. Ben made it all the way through the Fantasy Suites, only to be eliminated as the third runner-up before the Hometown Dates, which now will be given to Nick Viall and Shawn Booth, the remaining competitors. Bustle reached out to ABC for comment, and has yet to hear back.
It hasn't been confirmed yet by producers or ABC itself, but E! News feels pretty confident announcing that Higgins is the man who'll be looking for love on the show's 20th season, airing this fall. They stress that he hasn't yet signed his contract, but that he's "pretty much a lock." It's a decision that makes sense, since the show wouldn't want to finalize things before Bristowe had officially eliminated Higgins.
The official announcement naming the 26-year old as the new star of The Bachelor will likely be delayed until Bristowe's final decision has been made public, so as not to muddy the waters with updates from two facets of the same franchise. So this could still all fall through, but you should probably grab yourself an application just in case. Because there's a very solid chance that that adorable smile will be lighting up our TV screens (and maybe your life!) in just a few short months. Congratulations, buddy!
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Images: Felicia Graham/ABC