Becca Kufrin, whom Arie Luyendyk Jr. proposed to on “The Bachelor” finale Monday only to break up with her in favor of runner-up Lauren Burnham, will be the next star of “The Bachelorette.”
Franchise host Chris Harrison announced on Tuesday night’s “After the Final Rose” live reunion special that Kufrin, a 27-year-old public-relations executive with the Minneapolis PR agency Skyya, would headline season 14, premiering May 28 on ABC.
“This is crazy!” Kufrin told Harrison as she took a seat next to him on the circular stage. She went on to say the decision to accept the offer was “easy … once I got past the initial heartbreak” of having Luyendyk end their relationship on camera in January, in footage shown Monday.
“At the end of the day, the show is about finding love,” she continued. “That’s all I want to do. I have so much love to give.” Saying she was “in good hands” with Harrison and the show’s producers, she added that, “I have some big shoes to fill, that’s for sure. I just want to be the best damn Bachelorette I can be. And so, I’m so excited. I want to find love, I want to meet so many amazing guys, I’m just ready to do this.”
Earlier in the special, Luyendyk, 36, had proposed to Burnham, 26. “I’ve made some bad decisions,” he told her. “But the best decision was running back to you. I can’t imagine a life without you. … And I want to do this in front of everyone because I want to show you that I should have done this a long time ago.” He dropped to one knee and proposed, and Burnham answered, “Definitely!”
In a conference call with media Wednesday, Luyendyk took credit for Kufrin being chosen as Bachelorette.
“I wanted everyone to know that that breakup was on me,” he told Newsday about his controversial choice to blindside Kufrin on camera without warning. “It was my fault … and I feel like we started our relationship out on camera and I felt it was appropriate to [end] it on camera as well.” Adding he had not been contractually obligated to alert producers about his change of heart, he maintained later in the call that, “I also wanted [for] her the potential opportunity to be the Bachelorette, and I knew if we filmed it on camera, people could relate to this breakup and also sympathize with her.”
An ABC representative on the call then cut short a question regarding whether Luyendyk had given Kufrin the opportunity not to have the breakup be on camera.