Juan Pablo Galavis named the new 'Bachelor"

This March 2013 publicity photo released by ABC

This March 2013 publicity photo released by ABC shows Juan Pablo Galavis, a contestant on the past season of "The Bachelorette." Galavis will star in the 18th edition of "The Bachelor" which returns in January of 2014 on ABC. (Credit: ABC)

Former professional soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis will be the first minority star of the dating competition "The Bachelor," ABC announced Monday night.

Galavis -- who became a fan-favorite on the just-ended ninth edition of "The Bachelorette," lasting through episode six -- told host ChrisHarrison on Monday's "After the Final Rose" special, "It was hard to make the decision" to become the new "Bachelor" star. "It's a great responsibility," he added "because I'm going to find, hopefully, the person who's going to join me and my daughter. That's what I'm looking for."

Galavis, who turned 32 on Monday, has a 4-year-old, Camila.

The new "Bachelor" was born in Ithaca, N.Y., but at 2 moved to Barquisimeto, Venezuela, with his family. Returning to the United States to attend Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y., he studied business administration and played soccer. Beginning in 2001, he played professionally on numerous Venezuelan teams before joining Miami FC (now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers) of the North American Soccer League. He played there in 2008 and 2009 before retiring to pursue a career in music promotion.

His season of "The Bachelor" begins production next month and premieres in January.

Meanwhile, on "Good Morning America" Tuesday, bachelorette DesireeHartsock explained her abrupt about-face to accept Chris Siegfried's marriage proposal after having told the voluntarily departing Brooks Forester that he was her choice.

"Sometimes you have to get through the hard to get to the good," Hartsock said. "I think that helped me, getting past the hurt of Brooks leaving and being able to see all that was clear in Chris." She added of her fiance, "I would marry him tomorrow if I could."

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