After weeks of speculation, the face of ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" franchises, Chris Harrison announced on "Good Morning America" that Emily Maynard will be the next lady looking for love on "The Bachelorette."
Harrison reminded "GMA" viewers that "we fell in love with [Maynard] on Brad's [Womack] season," adding that she's "America's sweetheart." Maynard will be "The Bachelorette's" first single mom, which will create "an interesting social dynamic," Harrison noted.
Reports first surfaced in December that 25-year-old Maynard would be the next "Bachelorette," but the rumors really started flying on Jan. 18 when multiple media outlets claimed it was nearly a done deal.
Maynard received Womack's final rose in Season 15, but the two announced their split in June. Shortly after, in July, Emily tweeted that she did not want to be the next "Bachelorette."
Guess a girl's allowed to change her mind!
The mother to six-year-old daughter Ricki will have her pick of 25 bachelors on Season 8 of "The Bachelorette," premiering this spring on ABC. According to an ABC press release, “she is looking for someone who makes her laugh, doesn’t take himself too seriously and can be her best friend.”
The West Virginia native has had a tragic romantic life thus far, apart from her split from Womack. In 2004, Maynard became engaged to famed NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick, who died in a plane crash that same year, leaving Maynard pregnant with their daughter.
According to ABC's press release, she's "hoping that third time is the charm."
The current season of "The Bachelor" with Ben Flajnik airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Take a look back at previous "Bachelorettes" and "Bachelors":
On Jan. 24, it was officially revealed that Emily Maynard would be the next "Bachelorette," premiering on ABC in the spring of 2012. The 25-year-old former contestant on "The Bachelor" -- who split from Season 15 "Bachelor" Brad Womack in July 2011 -- is the show's first single mom.
The 28-year-old winemaker had his heart broken on "The Bachelorette" when his marriage proposal to Ashley Hebert was rejected during the seventh season finale of the reality series. But he bounded back to become the 16th "Bachelor" and he's currently looking for love on ABC.
This announced their engagement to the world on the Aug. 1, 2011 proposal episode aired on ABC. They are still working on their wedding plans, as of December 2011.
Jason was the runner-up on Season 4 of "The Bachelorette" and then became "The Bachelor" in its 13th season. He proposed to Melissa Rycroft and then revealed that he still loved the runner-up, Molly Malaney. Apparently, he stuck with his second choice: Mesnick and Malaney's wedding aired in a two-hour special called "The Bachelor: Jason and Molly's Wedding" in March 2010.
Melissa Rycroft was the first woman that Jason Mesnick proposed to before ditching her for Molly. (Remember when that drama went down?) She went on to capitalize on being a woman scorned with a contract to be on "Dancing With the Stars," which made her a bit more famous and led to lucrative deals for the sales of photos of her wedding to Tye Strickland and growing family (the couple currently has a one-year-old daughter, Ava Grace Strickland).
For nearly a decade, Trista Rehn has been extending her 15 minutes from her time spent on the debut season of "The Bachelor" in 2002. She next went on to become the first-ever "Bachelorette" and received $1 million from ABC to televise her wedding to firefighter Ryan Sutter. She has since appeared in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial, a Brad Paisley video and on "Dancing With the Stars." She recently became a quasi-spokeswoman for the permanent birth control, Essure. On a more positive note, she and Sutter have used their fame to promote various causes including the American Heart Association.
Travis Lane Stork, who refused to propose on national television to Sarah Stone, actually put his faux-fame to relative good use by taking a spot on the medical talk show "The Doctors" and writing the diet book, The Lean Belly Prescription.
Vienna Girardi and Jake Pavelka were probably the most fame-whorey of all former "Bachelor" couples -- and we say that with love. Though the couple split up in June 2010, both have found ways to keep their names in the headlines...