The Bachelor is an American dating and relationship reality television series that debuted on March 25, 2002, on ABC. For its first 25 seasons, the show was hosted by Chris Harrison. As the flagship of the original The Bachelor franchise, its success resulted in several spin-offs including The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise, The Bachelor Winter Games, The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart, The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever!, and The Bachelor Summer Games, as well as spawning many international editions of the shows.

On September 28, 2021, the series was renewed for a twenty-sixth season with former season 5 bachelor Jesse Palmer returning to the Bachelor franchise as the host.

The series revolves around a single bachelor who begins with a pool of romantic interests from whom he is expected to select a wife. During the course of the season, the bachelor eliminates candidates (see The elimination process) each week eventually culminating in a marriage proposal to his final selection. The participants travel to romantic and exotic locations for their dates, and the conflicts in the series, both internal and external, stem from the elimination-style format of the show.

The above description is simply a general guideline. In practice, the show does not always follow its designed structure, and those variations are often a source of drama and conflict. They may include, among other events:

  • A candidate who was eliminated returns to the show to plead her case to the bachelor.
  • A bachelor distributes more or fewer roses than planned.
  • A bachelor eliminates a woman outside of the normal elimination process. For example, the bachelor may eliminate both women on a two-on-one date.
  • The bachelor chooses to pursue a relationship with his final selection rather than propose marriage.

Season six was the only season to feature a twist in casting. Since producers could not decide between Byron Velvick and Jay Overbye for the next Bachelor, the 25 women at the time participating had to decide which bachelor would make the best husband. At the end of the first episode, Velvick was chosen

Notable cases where the bachelor violated the premise of the show are Brad Womack, who selected neither of his final two women on his first season, and Jason Mesnick, who broke off his engagement in the After the Final Rose episode and several months later proposed (offscreen) to the first runner-up (Molly Malaney)—who he later married. Like Mesnick, Arie Luyendyk Jr. also broke off his engagement and during the After the Final Rose episode, he proposed to the first runner-up (Lauren Burnham)—to whom he is now married.

# Original run Bachelor Winner Runner(s)-up Proposal Still together? Relationship notes
1 March 25 – April 25, 2002 Alex Michel Amanda Marsh Trista Rehn No No Michel did not propose to Marsh, but instead they entered into a relationship. Marsh and Michel broke up after several months.
2 September 25 – November 20, 2002 Aaron Buerge Helene Eksterowicz Brooke Smith Yes No Buerge and Eksterowicz broke up after several weeks.
3 March 24 – May 21, 2003 Andrew Firestone Jen Schefft Kirsten Buschbacher Yes No Schefft and Firestone broke up after several months.
4 September 24 – November 20, 2003 Bob Guiney Estella Gardinier Kelly Jo Kuharski No No Guiney did not propose to Gardinier, but she accepted a promise ring indicating that they would still date. They broke up shortly after the show aired.
5 April 7 – May 26, 2004 Jesse Palmer Jessica Bowlin Tara Huckeby No No Palmer did not propose to Bowlin. They continued to date but broke up several weeks later.
6 September 22 – November 24, 2004 Byron Velvick Mary Delgado Tanya Michel Yes No Velvick and Jay Overbye started as two candidate bachelors. The women competing had to vote on which man they would like to be the bachelor. Velvick ended up winning the vote. Velvick and Delgado split after five years.
7 March 28 – May 16, 2005 Charlie O’Connell Sarah Brice Krisily Kennedy No No O’Connell chose Brice and did not propose but instead began a relationship. They broke up in September 2007 but got back together in 2008. However, they called it quits again in 2010.
8 January 9 – February 27, 2006 Travis Lane Stork Sarah Stone Moana Dixon No No Stork did not propose to Stone but instead began a relationship. They broke up shortly after the show aired.
9 October 2 – November 27, 2006 Lorenzo Borghese Jennifer Wilson Sadie Murray No No Borghese did not propose to Wilson. They began a relationship but broke up in January 2007. He then dated Murray, the runner-up, but they broke up in March of that same year.
10 April 2 – May 22, 2007 Andrew Baldwin Tessa Horst Bevin Nicole Powers Yes No Horst and Baldwin called off their engagement one month after the finale but continued their relationship. They broke off the relationship in September 2007.
11 September 24 – November 20, 2007 Brad Womack N/A Jenni Croft No No Womack chose Croft and Pappas as the two finalists, but they were both rejected in the season’s finale.
DeAnna Pappas
12 March 17 – May 12, 2008 Matt Grant Shayne Lamas Chelsea Wanstrath Yes No Grant and Lamas broke up in July 2008.
13 January 5 – March 3, 2009 Jason Mesnick Melissa Rycroft Molly Malaney Yes No On the season’s finale, Mesnick had called off the engagement with Rycroft and resumed a relationship with runner-up Malaney. Mesnick later proposed to Malaney in New Zealand, which she accepted and were married on February 27, 2010, in California. Mesnick and Malaney’s wedding aired on ABC on March 8, 2010.The couple have their daughter Riley Anne (born 2013). The couple also shares custody of Jason’s son Ty from a previous marriage (born 2005).
14 January 4 – March 1, 2010 Jake Pavelka Vienna Girardi Tenley Molzahn Yes No Pavelka and Girardi ended their relationship in June 2010.
15 January 3 – March 14, 2011 Brad Womack Emily Maynard Chantal O’Brien Yes No Womack and Maynard broke up while their season was airing but got back together after the show’s finale. However, they called it quits for good in May 2011.
16 January 2 – March 12, 2012 Ben Flajnik Courtney Robertson Lindzi Cox Yes No Flajnik and Robertson originally broke up in February 2012 while their season was airing. However, they were later reconciled and got engaged for the second time but broke up again in October 2012 for good.
17 January 7 – March 11, 2013 Sean Lowe Catherine Giudici Lindsay Yenter Yes Yes Lowe and Giudici married on January 26, 2014. They have three children together; sons Samuel Thomas (born 2016) and Isaiah Hendrix (born 2018), and daughter Mia Mejia (born 2019).
18 January 6 – March 10, 2014 Juan Pablo Galavis Nikki Ferrell Clare Crawley No No Galavis did not propose to Ferrell but instead they decided to continue their relationship. They later appeared on Couples Therapy. In October 2014, they decided to end their relationship.
19 January 5 – March 9, 2015 Chris Soules Whitney Bischoff Becca Tilley Yes No Soules and Bischoff announced their break-up on May 28, 2015.
20 January 4 – March 14, 2016 Ben Higgins Lauren Bushnell Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher Yes No Higgins and Bushnell had their own reality show Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?. The two announced their breakup on May 15, 2017.
21 January 2 – March 13, 2017 Nick Viall Vanessa Grimaldi Raven Gates Yes No Viall and Grimaldi announced their breakup on August 25, 2017.
22 January 1 – March 6, 2018 Arie Luyendyk Jr. Becca Kufrin Lauren Burnham Yes No On the live season finale, it was revealed that a few weeks after filming wrapped, Luyendyk had quickly called off his engagement to Kufrin and started dating runner-up Burnham. The two got engaged during the After the Final Rose special and were married on January 12, 2019. On May 29, 2019, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter, Alessi. They welcomed twins Senna and Lux on June 11, 2021.
23 January 7 – March 12, 2019 Colton Underwood Cassie Randolph N/A No No Randolph initially broke up with Underwood at final three. Underwood then broke up with the remaining two women and asked Randolph to give him a second chance, and she agreed. They announced their breakup on May 29, 2020. On September 11, 2020, Randolph filed for a restraining order against Underwood, alleging that he stalked both her and her parents’ houses, put a tracking device on her car, and sent her threatening text messages Underwood came out as gay on April 14, 2021.
24 January 6 – March 10, 2020 Peter Weber Hannah Ann Sluss Madison Prewett Yes No During the live After the Final Rose special, it was revealed that Weber and Sluss had ended their engagement. Although Weber and runner-up Prewett admitted to still having feelings for each other, they ultimately decided not to pursue a relationship. On May 2, 2020, Weber revealed that he is dating Kelley Flanagan, who finished in fifth place on his season. Weber and Flanagan announced their breakup on December 31, 2020.
25 January 4 – March 15, 2021 Matt James Rachael Kirkconnell Michelle Young No Yes James did not propose to Kirkconnell. Instead they began a relationship, but on the After the Final Rose special, it was confirmed that James had ended the relationship after Kirkconnell’s racially insensitive past came to light. On April 28, 2021, James confirmed that he and Kirkconnell were back together, and they are still together as of December 2021.
26 January 3, 2022 Clayton Echard TBD

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