The Bachelor is a competitive reality show that premiered on the ABC network in 2002. The show was created by Mike Fleiss and has been a runaway success. Since its debut, the show has completed nineteen seasons and is presently running its 20th season. The success of the show has inspired many spin-offs which include The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and Bachelor Pad.
The concept of the show is pretty simple. Each season has one bachelor, who gets to choose from a group of eligible women, who are interested in him, his most suitable partner. In an ideal scenario, at the end of the show, the bachelor gets engaged to one of the girls and subsequently get married. Of course, this is not always the case. Sometimes, there is no proposal made in the finale or even when there is a proposal, the couple sometimes breaks up even after getting engaged on the show. The group stays together for multiple weeks, with a girl getting eliminated each week, until finally there are only two left. The group visits beautiful destinations and live in a mansion together, which is interesting to watch.
The bachelor decides everything on the show. There are different kinds of activities that the couples indulge themselves in – the traditional one-on-one date, the interesting two-on-one date and the awkward group date. However, all these give the bachelor a good picture of how any girl really is and helps him in making a decision. There are parties, fun contests, and interactions between the bachelor and the girls in each episode. The Bachelor makes a judgment on the basis of everything that he observes and feels. Then, at the end of the episode, he offers roses to the contestants. Those who get the rose continue to stay, while those who don’t have to leave.
After weeks of spending time together, towards the final episodes, the bachelor visits the family of each of the girls. At this time, four girls are still in competition. After getting acquainted with the families, the bachelor eliminates one of the girls.
Now, it is the time for one-on-one dates. This usually happens at an exotic location and luxurious suite. During this time, the couple spends some real alone time with each other, away from the cameras for the night. At the end of this round, the bachelor selects the two finalists. At this time, it is the turn of the girls to meet the family of the bachelor. This is the point when the bachelor gets the chance to consult his family for help in choosing his fiancé.
This is followed by the final rose ceremony, where the actual proposal takes place. In the history of the show, almost 50% of the seasons have not resulted in the proposal. Also, the girls are free to leave the show at any point in time, if they lose interest in getting hitched to the bachelor. It is a rare event, but it can also happen that a particular girl is evicted from the house for not following the rules.
The first season of the show started airing in 2002 with Alex Michel as the first ever bachelor on the show. The management consultant was not sure enough to choose any of the girls to be his wife, but did enter into a relationship with Amanda Marsh. It was a wise decision on his part, as the couple parted ways only months after the show. Alex later married a childhood friend. The very same year in September, Aaron Buerge came on air to find a life partner. He was the VP of a chain of family owned banks. This bachelor did propose to Helene Eksterowicz at the end of the show. Surprisingly, they broke up only weeks after the show culminated. They are now married to different people.
In 2003, Andrew Firestone, a sales executive came looking for his life partner on the third season of the show. In the finale, he did propose to Jen Schefft, but the relationship did not work out. He is now married and is father to three kids. Bob Guiney became the next bachelor in the fourth season of the show. The entrepreneur did not find a wife on the show. But, he left the show with a relationship with the finalist, Estella Gardinier. But, this relationship also met the same fate as all “The Bachelor” love stories. Jesse Palmer, the college football player and The Bachelor of season five did not have any different luck either. He did not make a proposal and his relationship with Jessica Bowlin bit the dust almost immediately after the show ended.
There was a slight tweak in the format of the show in the sixth season. Apart from having 25 bachelorettes, the show also featured two bachelors, Byron Velvick and Jay Overbye. The women had to choose a bachelor at the beginning of the show and Velvick ruled the votes. At the finale, he proposed to Mary Delgado. The relationship seemed solid, but after five years together, this couple also decided to go their separate ways.
The seasons from seven to nine did not see any proposals from the Bachelors. The tenth season did break the jinx with the naval officer Andrew Baldwin’s proposal to Tessa Horst. However, they could not break the jinx of the show and called off their engagement within a month. The bachelor of the eleventh season actually rejected both the finalists.
It was seasons twelve to seventeen that brought really good news. There was a proposal at the finale of each of these seasons. Season 13 came with a surprise of sorts when the account executive Jason Mesnick broke the engagement he had with Melissa Rycroft on the show and started a relationship with the runner-up, Molly Malaney. They eventually got married, which was a first for The Bachelor. Season 17 gave the audiences the moment they had all been waiting for. A proposal in the finale by Sean Lowe was accepted by the finalist Catherine Guidici. They stuck to the commitment and got married in 2014. Season 18 saw no proposal, while Season 19 witnessed the engagement of Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff. However, it was called off later.
The twentieth season of the show is yet to conclude and it will be interesting to see if the software professional, Ben Higgins, is able to find his perfect bachelorette.