On Tuesday, September 4, ABC Network revealed the next star of hit show “The Bachelor” and, as predicted, Bachelor Nation has mixed feelings about the news. The Bachelor title has been given to none other than Colton Underwood, who stole hearts by being vulnerable, gentle, sweet and level-headed when he appeared on Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette.” But, not only did Underwood steal the hearts of audiences everywhere during this appearance, he also captured the attention of viewers because of his career and past relationships, which stirred things up on the show.

Underwood is a former professional football player, having played college football at Illinois State before signing with the NFL. Since his brief football career ended, Underwood has invested his time into building his nonprofit organization for cystic fibrosis, a genetic autoimmune disease that affects the lungs and usually requires lung transplants. Called “Lemonade for Legacy”, Underwood was inspired to start his foundation after his cousin Harper was diagnosed with the disease.

Outside of his personal achievements, Underwood is well known for having dated beloved American Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. Underwood and Raisman made a picture-perfect couple and seemed to have a very loving, affectionate relationship. Their 2017 breakup definitely sent out some shock waves, and it was even more shocking to see that Underwood became a contestant on “The Bachelorette” following the breakup.

The drama surrounding Underwood doesn’t end there. After making it to the final four men competing for Kufrin, Underwood got sent home, devastating fans everywhere. Just before his departure from the show, Kufrin had a difficult conversation with her friend Tia Booth, who she met when both women were on the 22nd season of “The Bachelor” and competing for Arie Luyendyk’s heart. As it turns out, Booth and Underwood casually dated in the middle period after “The Bachelor” ended and before “The Bachelorette” began. Booth expressed to Kufrin that she still had feelings for Underwood and felt uneasy that he had prevailed into her top four contestants. Although this conversation did not affect Kufrin’s ultimate decision to send Underwood home, it did lead into the next chapter of drama for Underwood.

After “The Bachelorette” finished airing, Underwood, along with many other former contestants on various seasons of “The Bachelorand “The Bachelorette,” made his way to Mexico to take part in “Bachelor in Paradise.” While there, the drama was never ending for Underwood and Booth, who made several attempts to bring back their old feelings. The majority of episodes included roller coaster emotions from Underwood and Booth’s failing relationship. After things were going well for a steady few episodes, Underwood made the decision to end his relationship with Booth for not feeling enough of a spark with her and not wanting to string her along. The two both left paradise separately and, within days, Underwood was announced as the newest bachelor.

Many viewers were disappointed with the decision since Underwood has publically struggled with moving on from Kufrin, was wildly indecisive with Booth for months and revealed that he has some self-figuring out to do as well. Many people felt that Jason Tartick, who made it to the final three with Kufrin and was unexpectedly sent home after a date where Kufrin could not envision a future with him, was the better choice. When Tartick left Kufrin, he did it in the same way that he met her, in the most graceful, respectful and dignified manner.

As for Underwood, hopefully the third time’s the charm in his quest to find love. If this next journey is anything like Underwood’s last two, there is bound to be plenty of drama and emotions swirling around.

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-- Senior| Assistant Vine Editor Emeritus-- English Literature

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