WARNING: The following contains Bachelorette spoilers.
Becca Kufrin has officially taken the reins (literally … keep reading) as the new Bachelorette!
On Tuesday’s After the Final Rose special, host Chris Harrison capped off the evening with a special surprise announcement: Kufrin, 27, would begin her journey on the live stage.
Without further ado, out came the very first contestant from the upcoming season of The Bachelorette: Lincoln, who captivated the audience with his accent.
“I have to say, you are absolutely glowing tonight — you look magnificent,” he told her. “This is a special night. It is all about you tonight, but I have another twist. Tonight is also my birthday, so I can’t ask for a better birthday present. I’m really looking forward to going on this incredible journey with you.”
“I watched what you went through last night and I need to applaud you for how well you handled that,” he continued. “It’s contagious and that energy has inspired me. I cannot speak for everybody, but I can speak for myself, and a few people. Arie is a w—ker!”
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Two other contestants — Chase and Darius — also had something to say about Luyendyk Jr.
“I saw what you went through as well and my heart goes out to you,” said Chase. “I think that everyone agrees with me here that you deserve better than that. When one door closes, another door opens and I hope to be that open door. That smile is beautiful and I can’t wait to see it when I walk out of the limo for the first time!”
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Darius made a point to “formally apologize on behalf of my gender.”
“I’m here for one reason. … I’m here for you,” he said. “‘I’m excited for this journey with you, and you are beautiful.”
But perhaps the most standout entrances were Brian, who came out playing an original song for Kufrin on the banjo, and Blake, who showed up with a horse.
“I want you to know how incredibly brave I think it is that you’re standing here right now,” said Brian. “I really respect that a lot and I can’t wait to get to know you. As the saying goes, when you fall off the horse, you’ve got to get back up again. So I’ve brought you this horse, and I want to be the man to help you get back up again.”
Opening up to PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, Kufrin says she’s welcoming the next chapter of her journey “with open arms.”
“I have so much love to give and I want just a partner in life,” she says. “I’m not afraid to date these guys and find the one who is the best fit for me.”
But there’s one thing she wants to be extra “mindful” of throughout.
“I want to keep in mind, the people who I really do fall for and have strong feelings for, if was them how would I want to be treated?” she says. “And I want think about the bigger picture and the outcome. Is it best to say ‘I love you’ to two people? I don’t know. If I do feel that need, I want to make sure I’m 100 percent sure and keep in mind their feelings. I want to keep their needs and emotions at the forefront.”
Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette is expected to premiere later this year on ABC.