Jason Mesnick was considered the worst Bachelor in history when he dumped his season’s winner, Melissa Rycroft, live on-air during the After the Final Rose special. He asked his runner-up Molly Malaney for a second chance and she agreed. The two later wed in a televised special on ABC and have one daughter together.
Ben Higgins broke a major Bachelor rule when he told both of his final contestants, JoJo Fletcher and Lauren Bushnell, he loved them. When Ben ultimately proposed to Lauren over JoJo, the latter was in a state of shock. Lauren later admitted she could never fully forgive Ben for telling another girl he loved her, and the two split in 2017.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. failed to learn from the mistakes of the men before him. The Bachelor fell for both his final contestants, and, like Jason, he regretted his final pick Becca Kufrin. The 36-year-old real estate agent decided to break up with her in front of the cameras, and then refused to leave her alone despite her repeatedly asking him to go away. ABC aired the footage unedited, and it was the most awkward 30 minutes in Bachelor history.
Juan Pablo Galavis was considered the worst Bachelor ever for very different reasons. The Venezuelan soccer player failed to propose to either of his final contestants, and on the After the Final Rose finale with winner Nikki Ferrell, he refused to say he loved her. The two tried making it work on VH1’s Couples Therapy but split in 2015.
While plenty of bachelors have run into trouble on-screen, others have had their own scandals off-screen. Last year, former Bachelor Chris Soules was arrested after his car rammed into a tractor, killing the driver. Iowa State Police allege that Chris fled the scene, but his lawyers argue he called 911 and waited for emergency personnel to arrive before returning home. If found guilty, Chris could face up to five years in prison.
Season four of Bachelor in Paradise ran into scandal before it even aired. A producer alleged that a drunken sexual encounter between contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson crossed a line. Filming was even halted as ABC investigated the incident. DeMario was later cleared of any wrongdoing, and Corinne says the two are now good friends.
Long before the Corinne and DeMario scandal, contestant Rozlyn Papa found herself in the center of major Bachelor no-no during Jake Pavelka’s season of The Bachelor in 2009. Rozlyn allegedly had a physical relationship with producer Ryan Callahan, and both were kicked off the show.
Bachelor Byron Velvick didn’t quite get his happily ever after when the cameras stopped rolling. In 2007, Byron’s winner and then-fiancée Mary Delgado was arrested for punching him in the mouth just hours after they appeared on a Bachelor reunion special. The two managed to stick together for the next two years, but split in 2009.
Nick Viall became a love him or hate him Bachelor franchise star after he was dumped by Andi Dorfman on her season of The Bachelorette. During the After the Final Rose special, Nick revealed that he and Andi slept together during the fantasy suites episode. “If you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure, like, why you made love with me,” he told her live on air. What happens in the fantasy suite is supposed to stay in the fantasy suite!
Nick’s scandals didn’t end there. During Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, Nick dropped in midway through and asked Kaitlyn, who he’d interacted with only via social media, to give him a chance and let him join the show. She agreed. Needless to say, the rest of the men were less than pleased, and he immediately had a target on his back. Nick made it to the final two but lost to Shawn Booth.
Kaitlyn found herself at the center of another Bachelor scandal when she accidentally revealed her season's winner a month before the finale. The ABC star was sending Snapchats to producers, and accidently made a photo of her lying in bed with Shawn public. Whoops!
While there have been numerous heartbroken men and women on The Bachelor, no breakup was more shocking than when frontrunner Brooks Forester blindsided Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock by telling her he didn’t love her on the 2013 finale. Desiree quickly switched gears and accepted a proposal from Chris Siegfried. Some doubted that the relationship could be real, but the two wed in 2015 and now have a son.
There have also been plenty of Bachelor and Bachelorette stars who rejected both their final two! Bachelor Brad Womack rejected both Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas in 2007. This was right after he called DeAnna’s father to ask for her hand in marriage. He was brought back for another season in 2011, but broke up with winner Emily Maynard shortly after.
Jen Schefft was the first Bachelorette to deny a proposal from both John Paul Merritt and Jerry Ferris on her 2005 finale. She asked Jerry to keep the engagement ring and ask for her hand further down the road. When he did, on the live After the Final Rose special, Jen told him they were better off as friends.
ABC disappointed fans everywhere when they chose this season’s Bachelor Arie over fan favorite Peter Kraus from Rachel Lindsay’s season. Despite seeming like the perfect guy for Rachel, he wasn’t ready to get engaged, and Rachel sent him packing. When ABC didn’t make Peter the next Bachelor, fans were outraged.
Which Bachelor scandal shocked you the most? Sound off in the comments below!