It's Official! Sean Lowe Is the New 'Bachelor'

We would accept his rose! The hunky Dallas businessman -- one of Emily Maynard's runners-up! -- will star in the next season, airing in January

The new Bachelor may not have any gold medals, but he does have a heart of gold. After much speculation, ABC has confirmed that the new star of The Bachelor will be Sean Lowe, the third-place contestant from the most recent season of The Bachelorette. Sorry, Ryan Lochte fans -- maybe next year!

Lowe, a Dallas businessman, has been a top Bachelor contender ever since Emily Maynard gave him the boot in July. The Texan cutie seemed genuinely shocked and heartbroken when Maynard passed him over for Jef Holm (the ultimate winner) and Arie Luyendyk during her second-to-last rose ceremony.

"It never entered into my thoughts that I was going home that evening," said Lowe, 28, during the Men Tell All special. "I was thinking about being a father and a husband."

Almost immediately, fans began speculating that Lowe would be the next Bachelor. But competition was stiff. Other rumored contenders included Bachelorette alum Roberto Martinez (who would have been the first Latino Bachelor), race car driver Luyendyk (who claims he "passed" on the offer), and even -- in one very optimistic moment -- NFL star Tim Tebow. As for Olympic swimmer Lochte, he told Jay Leno in August that he would "definitely" consider doing The Bachelor -- although he wanted the approval of his family first. (Maybe they talked him out of it?)

Despite his heartbreak, Lowe has always been game for doing a season of The Bachelor. "I'm an open-minded optimist, and I believe the process can work," he told People this summer. "If I found my wife, it would be worth it." We're sure the ladies are already lining up!

The 17th season of The Bachelor begins airing in January 2013.

Click Here to Meet the Women Who Will Be Competing for Sean's Heart!

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