Ben Flajnik: Confirmed as the next star of 'The Bachelor'
Ben Flajnik will be the next star of the ABC dating reality show "The Bachelor," the network confirmed on Tuesday.
"The 28-year-old bachelor has fallen in love three times (Ashley being the third), but has only proposed the one time; that one failed proposal won't stop him from trying again," ABC said in a statement. "He is confident that, having found love on 'The Bachelorette,' he will find his soul mate and a lasting, love-filled relationship this time on 'The Bachelor.'"
The 16th season of the series is set to premiere midseason in 2012. It will see Flajnik choose from among 25 women. He is reportedly going to make an appearance during the season finale of "Bachelor Pad" on September 12.
"A rare, modern Renaissance man, Ben dabbles in a lot of hobbies and crafts, such as crab fishing, sailing, golf, skate boarding, surfing, playing piano and singing in a tribute band," the statement continued. "He is also quite handy with a hammer and saw, and loves fixing and building things, as well as landscaping. The woman who will share his life will also have to share one of his other great loves: his Jack Russell Terrier, Scotch."
Flajnik, a winemaker from Somona, California, was the runner-up on the recent seventh season of the program's spin-off, "The Bachelorette," which saw star Ashley Hebert pick J.P Rosenbaum over him. They are now engaged. (Check out a recap and photos from the finale.)
Flajnik made headlines last month, when several entertainment news outlets linked him romantically to actress Jennifer Love Hewitt. She told Ryan Seacrest's syndicated KIIS-FM radio show in mid-August that she and Flajnik met "totally by coincidence" and that she is "totally single."
Seacrest's co-host Ellen K. said after Hewitt's interview that an "inside source" told her that Flajnik would become the next star of "The Bachelor," adding: "It's happening, and here's why - because, any wavering they had, once they found out this movie star is in 'like' with him, let's lock him."
Hebert, 27, and Rosenbaum, 34, told reporters after the August 1 finale that they would watch the next season of "The Bachelor" if Flajnik or several other eliminated contestants were its star.
Brad Womack headed "The Bachelor" this year and also competed on the show in 2007. He and the winner of the recent 15th season, Emily Maynard, have since broken up.