Arie Luyendyk Jr. Is Dividing 'Bachelor' Fans

With the premiere just three weeks away, fans of of The Bachelor are in two totally different camps when it comes to the show's titular cast member, Arie Luyendyk Jr.

They either think the 36-year-old race car driver is one of the best things to happen to the dating show franchise in a long time, or a total dud, positions which were only confirmed more through ABC's Countdown to Arie special.

Luyendyk, who was rejected by Bachelorette Emily Maynard five years ago, said the heartbreak he experienced is "proof [he] can fall deeply in love" on Countdown to Arie.

"I want my own love story," he continued.

After the break-up, Luyendyk did almost nothing but travel and race cars, but is willing to put himself out there again as he gets older and wants to start a family.

"I really believe I can find love on The Bachelor and I wouldn't be here if that wasn't the case," he said.

And while his detractors say the five-year gap between his seasons makes his irrelevant, Luyendyk sees it as a positive.

"It's kind of nice, because the girls here will have to get to know me for me," he said. "I'm taking a chance just like these women are taking a chance on me, and hopefully there's somebody out there for me."

For some fans, getting to see a little more of Luyendyk was all they needed to fall in love.

Others still aren't sold.

The Bachelor premieres on Jan. 1 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC