Start gathering the roses! The Bachelorette’s Zach Shallcross has officially been announced as season 27’s Bachelor.

“I’m ready to find my person, my best friend,” Zach told Jesse Palmer on After the Final Rose, noting that he spent “a ton of time” with his family after his split from Rachel Recchia. “I want to tell [my contestants] to come into this ready to love. … Be open to finding love.”

Speculation that the tech executive may be the next star on the reality series began earlier this month when Variety reported that ABC had plans for a season 19 Bachelorette alum to lead the upcoming season.

Rumors continued to swirl, however, when the 26-year-old appeared to be filming an intro video in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, September 17. In footage taken of the clip, Zach can be heard telling producers he’s excited. “This time around it’s going to be different,” he added.

Bachelor Nation first met Zach on the July 11 premiere of Rachel and Gabby Windey’s season of The Bachelorette. He made an instant connection with the pilot, 26, and graciously accepted her rose during the second episode.

Later, Zach made headlines during the hometown dates when he made the decision to exit the season early following an awkward fantasy suite date night — where he claimed that Rachel acted differently behind closed doors.

“It was just her and I talking, and it felt like she was just, like, not showing her true self. It was very inauthentic sometimes,” he told the host at the time. Zach also noted that he felt “blindsided” by many of Rachel’s actions including harping on their six-month age difference and not believing he would follow through with proposing.

After sharing his feelings with the Illinois native, Zach shared how disappointed he was with her lack of compassion toward his reservations.

“Her response — it felt so cold. I thought, maybe, that I meant more,” he said prior to his exit. “One of the things I fell in love with was she made me feel, like, special. And I cared for her, and I question if any of that was real or if that was just an act.”

While Zach may not have found his perfect match in Rachel, he is still looking for a woman who is compassionate, kind and ready for romance. According to his official ABC bio, contestants of The Bachelor season 27 can look forward to him laying it on thick and “planning thoughtful surprises.”

“Zach is serious about finding a love that will lead to marriage, so whatever grand romantic gesture it takes for him to get there, he’s ready to go!” his bio reads.

Scroll down to learn more about season 27’s new Bachelor:

Source: Us Weekly