The Bachelorette is a spinoff of the popular dating reality series The Bachelor on ABC. The Bachelorette premiered on January 8, 2003, with Bachelor runner-up Trista Rehn in the title role.
The Bachelorette follows the same format as The Bachelor, with 25 suitors vying for the affections of one bachelorette. The Bachelorette gets to know the bachelors through a series of one-on-one dates, group dates, and cocktail parties. Suitors who receive a rose during weekly rose ceremonies advance to the next round. Four finalists bring the Bachelorette to their hometowns to meet their families. The final three get overnight dates in a “fantasy suite.” The final two meet the Bachelorette’s family. In recent seasons, the show has traveled to increasingly exotic locales for filming.
Trista’s season of The Bachelorette resulted in the franchise’s first and only wedding. Trista and her final pick, Ryan Sutter, were married in a lavish (and pink!) televised ceremony on ABC. The couple have been married 9 years and have two children.
From the start, The Bachelorette has cast previous finalists from The Bachelor in the title role. Trista was the runner-up on the first season of The Bachelor. Producers rightfully predicted that audiences would tune in to see a heartbroken reject of The Bachelor get a second chance at love.
Since then, notable Bachelorettes have included Jen Schefft, who won Andrew Firestone’s season of The Bachelor; DeAnna Pappas, who was rejected by Brad Womack; and Emily Maynard, who was engaged to Brad Womack briefly during his second run as The Bachelor.
Bachelorette seasons and winners:
Season 1: Trista Rehn was the runner-up in Alex Michel’s season. She chose Ryan Sutter. He proposed and the couple were married in December 2003 in a televised ceremony on ABC. They have two children, a boy and a girl.
Season 2: Meredith Phillips was the third runner-up in Bob Guiney’s season. She chose Ian McKee, who proposed, but the couple later broke up.
Season 3: Jen Schefft was the first “winner” of a Bachelor season to return as The Bachelorette. She was engaged to Andrew Firestone for almost a year. She later rejected both finalists on her season of The Bachelorette.
Season 4: DeAnna Pappas was rejected by Brad Womack in his first go-round as The Bachelor. She accepted a proposal from Jesse Csincsak but both are now married to other people they met through The Bachelor franchise.
Season 5: Jillian Harris, who memorably filmed an extremely awkward hot tub scene with Bachelor Jason Mesnick, was the first Canadian Bachelorette. She was engaged to Chicago playboy Ed Swiderski for a year before they broke up.
Season 6: Ali Fedotowsky chose Facebook over Jake Pavelka on The Bachelor, then found love with Roberto Martinez on The Bachelorette. The couple moved in together, but later broke up.
Season 7: Ashley Hebert, another Brad Womack cast-off, is currently engaged to J.P. Rosenbaum after meeting him on The Bachelorette.
Season 8: Emily Maynard, who won Brad Womack’s heart on his second season of The Bachelor, is now engaged to Jef Holm. She made Bachelorette history by dismissing her runner-up the day before the final rose ceremony, clearing the way for Jef’s romantic and heartfelt proposal.