Chace's Reaction to Being PEOPLE's Hottest Bachelor: 'It's Surreal'

06/18/2009 at 01:00 PM EDT

Chace's Reaction to Being PEOPLE's Hottest Bachelor: 'It's Surreal'
Chace Crawford
Chace Crawford was happy to be named PEOPLE's Hottest Bachelor, but the Gossip Girl star says it wasn't until he considered his competition that the honor really sunk in.

"We were trying to watch the college games last night," Crawford, 23, told Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS-FM radio show Thursday morning. "Me and my friends are flipping through and Access Hollywood, they're like x-ing out the other guys. When they're x-ing out [George] Clooney, that's when it hit me. I go, 'Wow, that feels pretty surreal.' "

Part of the reason for his delayed reaction? The actor had to keep everything under wraps for a while. "I told my parents and that's about it," he said. "It's such a big deal. It's funny I didn’t really realize how massive [it] was going to be."

Up next, Crawford, who spoke to Seacrest from vacation, will star in Footloose a project he's excited about despite its physical demands.

"I've started prep for that and I'm extremely sore," he said. "I've been training four days, but I'm extremely sore. . . . It's really intense. We're getting the gymnastics and doing some workouts. I'm learning some basic moves. I've got a little rhythm. I'm realizing everyday how much of all the nine months [of prep] I'm going to need.


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