updated 08/05/2013 AT 11:25 PM ET
•originally published 08/05/2013 AT 10:55 PM ET
It’s official – we have a brand new Bachelor!
Although some may have thought Brooks Forester (who broke Desiree’s heart in Antigua) was a possibility, fellow former suitors Zak Waddell and Juan Pablo Galavis were early frontrunners for the gig. While Desiree expressed her hopes for Zak, PEOPLE.com readers cast their votes for Juan Pablo.
And, sure enough: Felicidades, Juan Pablo! The Venezuelan former soccer player and single dad will be the next star of The Bachelor!
“It was hard to make the decision,” he told Chris. “I’m going to find hopefully the person who is going to join me and my daughter. That’s what I’m looking for.”
The in-studio crowd went wild for Juan Pablo, who turned 32 on Monday.
When asked about what he’s looking for as the Bachelor, the birthday boy said, “That mom for [my daughter] Camila and someone I can spend many years [with] together.”
The Bachelor, Chris said, will air in January.