The Bachelor is a reality dating TV series hosted by Chris Harrison. It premiered March 25, 2002 on the ABC network and has aired 16 seasons. The Bachelor franchise has since expanded to include spinoffs The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad.
The Bachelor series revolves around a Bachelor and 25 single women who compete to win his affection, given in the form of red roses at a weekly “rose ceremony.” The Bachelor eventually selects four finalists and travels to their hometowns to meet their families. The final three women travel to exotic locales for overnight dates with The Bachelor. Two women meet The Bachelor’s family, with the final one typically receiving an engagement ring and marriage proposal on the season finale. Bachelor Brad Womack famously chose neither finalist in his first season, but returned as The Bachelor years later and proposed to Emily Maynard. Maynard accepted, but the couple broke up soon after and Maynard eventually became The Bachelorette.
The first Bachelor was New York business man Alex Michel. Since then, notable Bachelors have included winemaker Andrew Firestone, actor Charlie O’Connell, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, NFL player Jesse Palmer, Dr. Travis Stork, and single dad Jason Mesnick.
The Bachelor series has resulted in many engagements, but no marriages. However, Jason Mesnick eventually married Bachelor runner-up Molly Mesnick in a televised ceremony on ABC after infamously breaking up with fiancée Melissa Rycroft on an After The Final Rose special. That dramatic moment in The Bachelor’s 13th season has been credited with reviving a flagging series.
Complete list of The Bachelor seasons and winners:
Season 1: Businessman Alex Michel chose Amanda Marsh, but did not propose. The couple broke up a few months later.
Season 2: Banker Aaron Buerge proposed to Helene Eksterowitz. The couple broke up after several months. Buerge is now married to Angye McIntosh.
Season 3: Winemaker Andrew Firestone proposed to Jen Schefft. The couple broke up after 10 months. Jen went on to become The Bachelorette but chose no one. Both Andrew and Jen are now married to other people and have children.
Season 4: Bachelorette funny guy Bob Guiney began the trend of recycling Bachelors from previous seasons of The Bachelorette. He offered winner Estella Gardinier a promise ring, but the couple broke up shortly after.
Season 5: Football player Jesse Palmer did not propose to his final pick, Jessica Bowlin. They broke up after briefly dating.
Season 6: Pro fisherman Byron Velvick proposed to Mary Delgado. They split after a tumultuous five years that included claims of domestic violence.
Season 7: Actor Charlie O’Connell did not propose to Sarah Brice, but they dated off and on for several years.
Season 8: Dr. Travis Stork did not propose to Sarah Stone.
Season 9: Prince Lorenzo Borghese did not propose to Jennifer Wilson.
Season 10: “Officer and a Gentleman” Andy Baldwin proposed to Tessa Horst, but they never got married. Shocker.
Season 11: Bar owner Brad Womack rejected DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft in his season finale. Bachelor fans were PISSED.
Season 12: British Matt Grant had his teeth fixed before appearing on The Bachelor. He proposed to Shayne Lamas but they broke up.
Season 13: Single dad Jason Mesnick became the most notorious Bachelor ever when he dumped fiancée Melissa Rycroft in favor of his runner-up, Molly Malaney, on live television. Jason and Molly were married in a ceremony televised by ABC.
Season 14: Pilot/douchebag Jake Pavelka proposed to Vienna Girardi, but they split after a nasty battle in the tabloids and a tearful live interview with Chris Harrison.
Season 15: Brad Womack inexplicably returned for a second go-round of The Bachelor, and proposed to Emily Maynard. Emily is now engaged to Jef Holm, whom she met on The Bachelorette.
Season 16: Winemaker Ben Flajnik proposed to Courtney Robertson as all of America screamed at their televisions. As far as we know, they are still engaged.