'The Bachelor' Premiere Isn't Too Far Away

by Jodi Walker

Following The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose special, it will finally (hopefully) be stated what we've all been speculating for weeks: Ben Higgins is going to be the next Bachelor. And what a fine Bachelor he'll be! Ben sweet, charming, well-spoken, and Kennedy-handsome... everything a longtime viewer of The Bachelor could hope for. So, with all this build-up, when will The Bachelor 2016 premiere? How long will it be until we can actually watch the man in cocktail-attire and judge him by his ability to deal with the awkwardness of limo introductions? (Though, my guess is Ben H. has never met an awkward situation he couldn't overcome with his good looks and charm.)

From a quick look back at the past few Bachelor premieres, the answer seems pretty clear: If the new Bachelor is announced in late July on the night of the Bachelorette finale, then their own season of The Bachelor usually begins airing in early January. Even more specifically, Ben Flajnik's season began on January 2, Juan Pablo Galavis' began on January 5 (with a "Countdown to Juan Pablo" special because no one actually knew anything about him), and Chris Soules' also premiered on January 5. It's pretty much like clockwork — if clocks were based on one person's ability to date 25 other people at once — and if the previous first-Monday-of-January standard is to be trusted, we can expect a premiere date of January 4, 2016.

And, that might seem like a long way away, but, really, a January 4 premiere only gives you five months to try to earn a spot on the show once Ben is (probably) officially announced as the Bachelor. Here's a cheat sheet on how to apply for the show to expedite your process:

First: Eligibility

Before you get anywhere near applying to be Ben Higgins' future wife, you have to make sure you're eligible. Are you not an employee of The Walt Disney Company? Are you not running for political office? Are you 21 or older? Are you single?

Then, you're good! Now on to the application...

The Old-Fashioned Way

If you think you're a good-on-paper type, I'd recommend mailing in your application. It's as simple as printing off the official questionnaire from the website, filling it out with your luckiest pen, and smacking some stamps on the thing. Under, "Are you genuinely looking to get married & why?" I recommend the following responses: "Yes," and "Because I luv Ben."

If you have a little extra time on your hands and you're more of a Skype-interview type, you can make a 5-10 minute video of yourself using ABC's very specific guidelines and send it in on a DVD. So grab a camcorder and "Describe your ultimate fantasy date!"

The Easiest Way

But, what is this, the Stone Age? If it can't be done on the internet, it's really not worth doing. And, not surprisingly, the online application is way shorter than the written form and will probably take only as much time as you need to track down 5-15 of your most flattering Instagram pics. Don't be thrown by how low-rent the official Bachelor casting website looks... you already know you're getting into some shady business, so just embrace it.

The Ambitious Way

The way of applying to be on The Bachelor most likely to get you a blog post out of the deal is, of course, to march yourself straight to a casting call. If you're an in-person-interview type, keep an eye on the Casting Calls page of the Bachelor casting site; it is updated frequently and with short notice. The casting cities are also usually announced during new episodes of Bachelor programming, so turn your eyes to The Bachelorette finale or the second season of Bachelor in Paradise and prepare your saddest story of betrayal.

The Passive Way

Of course, if you want to seem like the type who "would never do this kind of thing," but you're totally dying to do this type of thing, your best bet is to have someone send a nomination in for you. If your friends and family members are trying to get you married off, they can send in a simple application and at least one picture of you where they gush about how great you are as you look over their shoulder and make sure they don't mention your tendency to overreact in high-stress situations.

Come on, you know you want to meet Bachelor Ben come the next season. So, apply now, before it's too late.

Images: ABC/Rick Rowell; giphy (5)