January 6th, 2014
10:15 AM ET
ABC is so in love with its newest "Bachelor," Juan Pablo Galavis, it's re-named the first month of the year in his honor.
But as the network kicked off "Juan-uary" on Sunday night with an hour-long special devoted to its first non-white Bachelor, it also seized the opportunity to remember a fallen star from the franchise.
Former "Bachelor" and "Bachelor Pad" contestant Gia Allemand, who died from an apparent suicide last year, was honored during Sunday's "The Bachelor: Countdown to Juan Pablo" with a tribute to her memory. The segment included Allemand's mother, who encouraged those struggling to seek help, as well as clips of Allemand herself.
For those who never got to see Allemand or weren't quite sure who she was, ABC helped to show them her sweet, caring and generous side with the light-hearted footage. At one point, Allemand said she wanted to be remembered for her kind heart.
The tribute was one emotional pause in the midst of the "Countdown to Juan Pablo," which was in essence a warm-up to Monday night's two-hour "Bachelor" premiere. Over the course of hour, viewers got to know a little bit more about the 32-year-old single father and former pro soccer player - who has a hilarious and supportive extended family - and also caught a glimpse of the 27 women who will angle for his attention over the course of this season.
Originally from Venezuela, Galavis describes himself as both "laid-back" and an "all-night" dancer, and judging from the promos he's also a thrill-seeker. Expect this season of "The Bachelor" to include plenty of the requisite bungee jumping, rappelling, and mountain-top kissing.
Oh, and tears, of course:
Juan Pablo starts handing out roses tonight at 8 p.m. ET - are you tuning in?
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