The Bachelor
Genre
Created byMike Fleiss
Presented by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons28
No. of episodes297 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerMike Fleiss
Production companies
Original release
NetworkABC
ReleaseMarch 25, 2002 (2002-03-25) –
present
Related

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 essence 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!, The Golden Bachelor, and The Golden Bachelorette, as well as spawning many international editions of the shows.

On May 10, 2024, ABC renewed the series for a twenty-ninth season.[1]

Production

The series was created by Mike Fleiss. The After the Final Rose and other reunion specials were originally produced at Victory Studios in Los Angeles, California, and CBS Studio Center in Studio City, but are now taped at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.[2] In the most recent run of The Bachelor, it brought in almost $86 million in advertising revenue.[3]

Plot

The series follows a single bachelor who is given a list of romantic interests from which he must choose a fiancée. During the season, the bachelor eliminates candidates (see The elimination process) each week which finally results in his last choice receiving a marriage proposal. 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 description above is simply a general guideline. In truth, the series occasionally deviates from its intended format, which can lead to drama and conflict among people involved in the show. They may include, among other events:

The sixth season was the only season to feature a twist in casting. Since producers could not unanimously 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,[4] 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)[5]—to whom he is now married.

The elimination process

If a woman decides she no longer wants to compete in the Bachelor, she can leave the competition at any moment. Occasionally, a woman gets taken off the show for violating a rule.

The bachelor has wide discretion in choosing how many and when to present the roses. For example, Sean Lowe presented several roses at his initial cocktail party.

It is common for contestants to be accused of not being on the show for the "right reasons," with their aim not to establish a genuine relationship with the Bachelor but rather to garner fame or attention of some kind. These include: become an influencer, become a cast member on Bachelor in Paradise or the new Bachelorette, induce jealousy from an ex-boyfriend or other people in their personal life, or just to simply get free trips to exotic locations.

Seasons

Main article: List of The Bachelor (American TV series) episodes

Season Original run Bachelor Winner Runner(s)-up Proposal Still together? Relationship status
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. They broke up several months later.[6]
2 September 25 – November 20, 2002 Aaron Buerge Helene Eksterowicz Brooke Smith Yes No Buerge and Eksterowicz broke up in January 2003.[7]
3 March 24 – May 21, 2003 Andrew Firestone Jennifer Schefft Kirsten Buschbacher Yes No Firestone and Schefft broke up in December 2003.[8]
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 in December 2003.[9]
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 in June 2004.[10]
6[b] September 22 – November 24, 2004 Byron Velvick Mary Delgado Tanya Michel Yes No Velvick and Delgado split in December 2009, after five years together.[11]
7 March 28 – May 16, 2005 Charlie O'Connell Sarah Brice Krisily Kennedy No No O'Connell did not propose to Brice, but instead they entered into a relationship. They broke up in September 2007, but got back together in November 2008.[12][13] However, they broke up for good in April 2010.[14]
8 January 9 – February 27, 2006 Travis Lane Stork Sarah Stone Moana Dixon No No Stork did not propose to Stone, but instead they entered into a relationship. They broke up in March 2006.[15]
9 October 2 – November 27, 2006 Lorenzo Borghese Jennifer Wilson Sadie Murray No No Borghese did not propose to Wilson, but instead they entered into a relationship. They broke up in January 2007. He briefly dated runner-up Murray, but they broke up in March 2007.[16][17]
10 April 2 – May 22, 2007 Andy Baldwin Tessa Horst Bevin Powers Yes No Baldwin and Horst called off their engagement in June 2007, but continued to date.[18] They ended their relationship in September 2007.[19]
11 September 24 – November 20, 2007 Brad Womack DeAnna Pappas No No Womack chose Pappas and Croft as the two finalists, but they were both rejected in the season's finale.[20]
Jenni Croft
12 March 17 – May 12, 2008 Matt Grant Shayne Lamas Chelsea Wanstrath Yes No Grant and Lamas broke up in July 2008.[21]
13 January 5 – March 3, 2009 Jason Mesnick Melissa Rycroft Molly Malaney Yes No[c] In the season finale, it was revealed that Mesnick had called off the engagement with Rycroft and resumed a relationship with runner-up Malaney. Mesnick later proposed to Malaney in New Zealand, and they were married on February 27, 2010, in California.[22] Jason and Molly's wedding aired on ABC on March 8, 2010.[23] The couple have a daughter, Riley Anne (born March 14, 2013).[24] The couple also shares custody of Jason's son, Tyler, from his previous marriage (born January 25, 2005).[25]
14 January 4 – March 1, 2010 Jake Pavelka Vienna Girardi Tenley Molzahn Yes No Pavelka and Girardi ended their engagement in June 2010.[26]
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 reconciled in time for the finale. However, they broke up for good in June 2011.[27]
16 January 2 – March 12, 2012 Ben Flajnik Courtney Robertson Lindzi Cox Yes No Flajnik and Robertson broke up while their season was airing, but reconciled in time for the finale. However, they broke up for good in October 2012.[28]
17 January 7 – March 11, 2013 Sean Lowe Catherine Giudici Lindsay Yenter Yes Yes Lowe and Giudici married on January 26, 2014.[29] They have three children together; two sons, Samuel Thomas (born July 2, 2016) and Isaiah Hendrix (born May 18, 2018),[30][31] and a daughter, Mia Mejia (born December 23, 2019).[32]
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. They broke up in October 2014.[33]
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.[34]
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?. They announced their breakup on May 15, 2017.[35]
21 January 2 – March 13, 2017 Nick Viall Vanessa Grimaldi Raven Gates Yes No Viall and Grimaldi announced their breakup on August 25, 2017.[36]
22 January 1 – March 6, 2018 Arie Luyendyk Jr. Becca Kufrin Lauren Burnham Yes No[d] During 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.[37] Luyendyk and Burnham got engaged during the After the Final Rose special and were married on January 12, 2019.[38][39] They have three children together - daughter, Alessi Ren (born May 29, 2019), and twins Lux Jacob and Senna James (born June 11, 2021).[40][41]
23 January 7 – March 12, 2019 Colton Underwood Cassie Randolph Hannah Godwin No No Randolph initially broke up with Underwood at the final three. Underwood then broke up with the remaining two women and asked Randolph to give him a second chance, and she agreed.[42] They announced their breakup on May 29, 2020.[43] In September 2020, Randolph filed a restraining order against Underwood, alleging that he stalked her and put a tracking device on her car.[44] The restraining order was later dropped after the two reached a private agreement.[45] Underwood came out as gay on April 14, 2021.[46]
Tayshia Adams
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 in January 2020.[47] Although Weber and runner-up Prewett admitted to still having feelings for each other, they ultimately decided not to pursue a relationship.[48] On May 2, 2020, Weber revealed that he was dating Kelley Flanagan, who finished in fifth place on his season.[49] Weber and Flanagan announced their breakup on December 31, 2020.[50] They got back together in August 2022, but broke up again in April 2023.[51]
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.[52] On April 28, 2021, James confirmed that he and Kirkconnell were back together.[53] They are still together as of June 2024.[54]
26 January 3 – March 15, 2022 Clayton Echard Susie Evans Gabby Windey No No Although the season ended with Evans rejecting Echard, it was revealed on the live After the Final Rose special that they had since gotten back together. They announced their breakup on September 23, 2022.[55]
Rachel Recchia
27 January 23 – March 27, 2023 Zach Shallcross Kaity Biggar Gabi Elnicki Yes Yes Shallcross and Biggar moved in together in Austin, Texas in July 2023.[56] Their wedding is set for October 2025.[57]
28 January 22 – March 25, 2024 Joey Graziadei Kelsey Anderson Daisy Kent Yes Yes Graziadei and Anderson are still engaged as of June 2024.[54]

Ratings

Season Timeslot (ET) Premiered Ended TV season Avg. Viewers
(in millions)
Season ranking
Date Premiere
viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale
viewers
(in millions)
After the Final Rose
viewers
(in millions)
1 Monday 9:00 pm March 25, 2002 9.90[58] April 25, 2002 18.20[58] 2001–02 10.7[59] 44[59]
2 Wednesday 9:00 pm September 25, 2002 11.00[58] November 20, 2002 25.90[58] 2002–03 13.93[i][60] 20[60]
3 March 24, 2003 10.20[58] May 21, 2003 15.10[58][ii] 9.30[58][ii]
4 September 24, 2003 12.55[61] November 20, 2003 18.62[61] 9.30[58][iii] 2003–04 12.53[i][62] 23[62]
5 April 7, 2004 11.08[63] May 26, 2004 13.07[63] 7.50[58]
6 September 22, 2004 8.20[58] November 24, 2004 10.00[64] 10.20[64] 2004–05 8.53[i][65] 62[65]
7 Monday 9:00 pm March 28, 2005 8.23[66] May 16, 2005 9.27[66]
8 Monday 10:00 pm[iv] January 9, 2006 6.24[67] February 27, 2006 11.53[67] 2005–06 9.3[68] 53[68]
9 Monday 9:00 pm October 2, 2006 7.53[69] November 27, 2006 9.85[69] 2006–07 8.5[70] 61[70]
10 Monday 9:30 pm[v] April 2, 2007 9.86[71] May 22, 2007 12.67[71] 8.00[64][iii] 10.3[70] 41[70]
11 Monday 10:00 pm[vi] September 24, 2007 9.23[72] November 20, 2007 11.22[72] 12.30[72][iii] 2007–08 9.72[73] 49[73]
12 Monday 10:00 pm[vii] March 17, 2008 8.58[74] May 12, 2008 8.85[74] 7.90[73] 80[73]
13 Monday 8:00 pm January 5, 2009 8.74[75] March 3, 2009 15.48[75] 17.47[75] 2008–09 11.53[76] 24[76]
14 January 4, 2010 9.54[77] March 1, 2010 15.15[77] 13.91[77] 2009–10 12.22[78] 23[78]
15 January 3, 2011 9.04[79] March 14, 2011 13.86[79] 13.96[79] 2010–11 10.79[80] 35[80]
16 January 2, 2012 7.78[81] March 12, 2012 9.23[81] 9.87[81] 2011–12 8.85[82] 49[82]
17 January 7, 2013 6.92[83] March 11, 2013 10.42[83] 10.81[83] 2012–13 9.48[84] 41[84]
18 January 6, 2014 8.65[85] March 10, 2014 10.10[85] 10.97[85] 2013–14 9.59[86] 32[86]
19 January 5, 2015 7.76[87] March 9, 2015 9.68[87] 9.68[87] 2014–15 9.68[88] 46[88]
20 January 4, 2016 7.55[89] March 14, 2016 9.58[89] 9.24[89] 2015–16 9.53[90] 41[90]
21 January 2, 2017 6.62[91] March 13, 2017 8.40[91] 7.85[91] 2016–17 9.00[92] 33[92]
22 January 1, 2018 5.48[93] March 6, 2018 7.94[93] 7.77[93][iii] 2017–18 7.92[94] 47[94]
23 January 7, 2019 5.13[95] March 12, 2019 8.12[96] 8.21[97][iii] 2018–19
24 January 6, 2020 6.07[98] March 10, 2020 7.70[99] 8.49[100][iii] 2019–20
25 January 4, 2021 5.23[101] March 15, 2021 6.07[102] 5.64[102] 2020–21 6.46[103] 37[103]
26 January 3, 2022 3.54[104] March 15, 2022 4.57[105] 4.73[106][iii] 2021–22 TBA TBA
27 January 23, 2023 2.96[107] March 27, 2023 3.40[108] 2022–23 TBA TBA
28 January 22, 2024 3.18[109] March 25, 2024 4.14[110] 2023–24 TBA TBA
Notes
  1. ^ a b c Between the 2002 to 2005 TV season rankings, the two seasons are listed together in the final rankings together in The Bachelor.
  2. ^ a b The finale aired on Sunday, while the After the Final Rose special aired Wednesday.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g The After the Final Rose special aired the next day.
  4. ^ Three episodes aired on February 6, 13 and 27, airing at the earlier time of 9:00 pm for 120 minutes.
  5. ^ Two episodes had seventy-five minute airings started at 9:45 pm between April 2 and April 30 due to overtime the live show of Dancing with the Stars.
  6. ^ Two episodes had ninety-minute airings between September 24 and October 8, with the first one-third of airing at the earlier time at 9:30 pm and the second one-thirds aired in the regular time.
  7. ^ Two episodes had irregular time airings (late as after 9:30 pm) between March 17 and March 31. The second one-thirds aired in the regular time.

Questions of authenticity

On February 26, 2009, in an exclusive interview between The Bachelor season 13 contestant Megan Parris and Steve Carbone, Megan commented that the producers edit the footage to create a fictional storyline:

I don't think [the producers] showed any real conversation I had with anyone ... The viewers fail to realize that editing is what makes the show ... You'll hear someone make one comment and then they'll show a clip of somebody's face to make it look like that is their facial reaction to that statement, but really, somebody made that face the day before to something else. It's just piecing things together to make a story.[111]

On March 26, 2009, Megan Parris argued that not only was the show scripted, but that producers bullied contestants into saying things to the camera that contestants did not want to say.[112] "There's nothing real about it," she said of the show's trademark "confessionals," in which contestants talk to the camera about the latest goings-on. "It is scripted," she said. "They basically will call you names, berate you, curse at you until they get you to say what they want you to say." Both ABC and Warner Bros., the studio that produces The Bachelor, had no comment.[113]

On March 15, 2010, Mike Fleiss appeared on 20/20 and said that he develops contestants into characters who will cater to his audience's tastes and that they "need [their] fair share of villains every season."[114] Fleiss has come under fire for admitting that The Bachelor has less to do with reality than it does making good television.[115]

On February 24, 2012, during the taping of the Women Tell All episode of The Bachelor, a private conversation between contestant Courtney Robertson and a show producer went public when microphones were accidentally left on in between camera takes. The conversation revealed the producer had a role as a coach, encouraging Robertson to fake certain emotions for the camera.[116]

The audience reactions for The Women Tell All episode are pre-recorded and inserted into the show later.[117]

Lawsuits

This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2018)

In December 2011, a producer of The Bachelor sued Steve Carbone, the proprietor of the website RealitySteve.com, for leaking unreleased information about the show, claiming Carbone encouraged contestants of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to break their confidentiality agreements. Carbone has denied that the source of the leaks are current contestants.[118][119] Despite the first two lawsuits in 2012 being settled out of court,[120] a further lawsuit was presented against Carbone in 2017.[121]

Criticism

Further information: The Bachelor and race

The franchise has long been criticized for its lack of ethnic and cultural diversity, eventually prompting petitions and threats of boycott from the franchise's only black lead at the time, Rachel Lindsay.[122][123] In June 2020, the show cast Matt James as its first black male lead for season 25. James was initially cast for Clare Crawley's season of Bachelorette, which was delayed due to COVID-19.[124] In June 2021, it was announced that long-time host Chris Harrison was stepping down permanently after widespread criticism of comments he had made which excused the past behavior of a cast member who had been accused of racism, saying he was not the "woke police". Harrison acknowledged, "By excusing historical racism, I defended it."[125]

The show has been criticized for stigmatizing virginity, thus reflecting the patriarchal masculinity stereotypes.[126]

Spin-offs

The program's success has led to the creation of various spin-off series;

Parodies

The novelty of the show[147] makes it a ripe target for parody.

The show was parodied in S1E5 of the Comedy Central TV show Nathan for You. Ben Stiller produced a web spoof of the series titled Burning Love.[148]

In 2013, ABC's late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! has parodied the series as The Baby Bachelor, a sketch where the titular role is given to host Jimmy Kimmel's three-year-old nephew Wesley.[149] Later episodes featured follow-up sketches with similar parodies of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise.[150][151]

The Fox network produced a show, Joe Millionaire, based on the premise that the bachelor was a millionaire heir, when in reality, he was not.

On June 1, 2015, Lifetime began airing Unreal, a scripted drama about a producer who works on Everlasting, a fictional reality series similar to The Bachelor. It is based on Sarah Gertrude Shapiro's short film Sequin Raze and her experience as a field producer on The Bachelor.

The series was parodied in the third season of the reality series RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars as "The Bitchelor", where a titular challenge featured the drag performers portraying contestants on a Bachelor-like show with Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman playing the bachelor.[152]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Known as Warner Horizon Television until 2020
  2. ^ Season 6 began with two potential Bachelors, Byron Velvick and Jay Overbye. In the first episode, the women voted Velvick as the sole Bachelor for the rest of the season.
  3. ^ Jason and Melissa were no longer together after the show. He married the runner-up, Molly, and they are still together.
  4. ^ Arie and Becca were no longer together after the show. He married the runner-up, Lauren, and they are still together.

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