The Bachelor

the bachelor

The cultural phenomenon known as The Bachelor has been going strong ever since eligible businessman Alex Michel handed out the very first rose in Season 1. 

Now, 25 Bachelors later, Matt James is the lead as the franchise's first Black Bachelor, as he and his contestants film the season in Farmington, Pa.

The reality dating competition has grown to include several spinoffs, including The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, and The Bachelor: Winter Games

So, how long has The Bachelor been on? 

The Bachelor premiered on ABC in 2002 when Alex Michel was presented with 24 ladies to choose his future wife from. The show introduced audiences to the concept of group dates, one-on-one dates, and the always popular overnight date known as the Fantasy Suite. 

Over time, the number of women increased to 30, international destinations were added to the itinerary, and Neil Lane popped up to gift one-of-a-kind engagement rings to the lucky winners. 

However, the now iconic Bachelor mansion and Chris Harrison have been a constant on the series since Day 1.

Is The Bachelor scripted? 

Audiences just need to watch one season of the Lifetime series Unreal, to wonder that very thing. Created by former Bachelor producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, the show spilled behind-the-scenes secrets from the ABC series. And while the show isn't scripted, per se, it is heavily manipulated by producers. 

"There are five or so main producers who each have a certain amount of girls," former contestant Olivia Caridi explained to The Real Pod. She recalled how her producer was like her "best friend" but ultimately manipulated her behind the scenes. "There are people from the franchise who have remained friends with their producers, but I will never speak to [my producer] again ... I wonder how they sleep at night, honestly," she added. 

According to former Bachelor executive producer Scott Jeffrees, the show also asked the Bachelor to keep certain contestants around just for drama. "We would say, 'We'd like you to keep this one because she's good for TV, and this other one we'd like you to get to know better," he explained. 

And don't get us started on the editing... 

Who won The Bachelor

  • Alex Michel — Winner: Amanda Marsh 
  • Aaron Buerge — Winner: Helene Eksterowicz
  • Andrew Firestone – Winner: Jen Schefft
  • Bob Guiney — Winner: Estella Gardinier
  • Jesse Palmer — Winner: Jessica Bowlin
  • Byron Velvick — Winner: Mary Delgado
  • Charlie O'Connell — Winner: Sarah Brice
  • Travis Stork — Winner: Sarah Stone
  • Lorenzo Borghese — Winner: Jennifer Wilson
  • Andrew Baldwin — Winner: Tessa Horst
  • Brad Womack — No Winner
  • Matt Grant — Winner: Shayne Lamas
  • Jason Mesnick — Winner: Melissa Rycroft 
  • Jake Pavelka — Winner: Vienna Girardi
  • Brad Womack — Winner: Emily Maynard
  • Ben Flajnik — Winner: Courtney Robertson
  • Sean Lowe — Winner: Catherine Giudici 
  • Juan Pablo Galavis — Winner: Nikki Ferrell
  • Chris Soules — Winner: Whitney Bischoff
  • Ben Higgins — Winner: Lauren Bushnell
  • Nick Viall — Winner: Vanessa Grimaldi
  • Arie Luyendyk Jr. — Winner: Becca Kufrin
  • Colton Underwood — Winner: Cassie Randolph
  • Peter Weber — Winner: Hannah Ann Sluss

Do Bachelor contestants get paid? 

No. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Bachelor contestants are spending thousands of dollars to appear on The Bachelor.

The ladies are given a packing list of clothing items to bring with them, and it includes at least 10 rose ceremony dresses. According to E! News, "female contestants spent four times more than their male counterparts." 

This was proven by former contestant Marikh Mathias, who admitted to spending $3,500 ahead of the show on everything from dresses to false eyelashes, and former Bachelorette Jillian Harris, who spent $8,000. 

Meanwhile, the Bachelor is paid anywhere north of $100,000 to appear on the show. 

Where's The Bachelor mansion? 

The mansion is located in Agoura Hills, Calif. And surprisingly, it is not owned by ABC. Instead, the network rents it out for six weeks at a time from the Haraden family — who, at this point, is used to unexpected visitors outside their gates. 

"Sometimes, you know, he’s not having it. They have got to turn around," Nick Haraden said of his father letting fans get a look inside. "Other times he’s like, 'Yeah, come on in, I’ll show you around.'"

Bachelor couples who are still together: 

In 2019, there are just four Bachelor couples still going strong. 

  • Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney: Jason famously dumped Melissa Rycroft for his runner-up on the After the Final Rose special. Jason and Molly tied the knot in 2010 and welcomed daughter Riley in 2013. 
  • Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici: After getting engaged on national television, the couple went on to tie the knot in front of cameras as well in 2014. They welcomed their first son, Samuel, in 2016, and their second boy, Isaiah, in 2018. 
  • Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Bushnell: Arie also dumped his first choice Becca Kufrin for his runner-up Lauren Bushnell — and it looks like he made the right choice. The pair got married in January 2019 and are currently expecting their first child. 

Latest The Bachelor News and Updates

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  • The Bachelor
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  • Clayton Echard
    Reality TV

    Some Contestants Have Rejected Roses on 'The Bachelor' — Find out Who

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  • Clayton Echard attends attends iHeartRadio 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2021
    Reality TV

    'The Bachelor' Lead Clayton Echard's Net Worth Is Higher Than We Expected

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Teddi Wright for 'The Bachelor' Season 26
    Reality TV

    Teddi Snagged the First Impression Rose, but Does She Win 'The Bachelor'? (SPOILERS)

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Salley Carson
    Reality TV

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    By Shannon Raphael
  • Jesse Palmer
    Reality TV

    Long Before He Was Hosting 'The Bachelor,' Jesse Palmer Was Playing Football

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    By Joseph Allen
  • Jesse Palmer hosts 'The Bachelor' Season 26
    Reality TV

    Is Jesse Palmer Getting Paid as Much as Chris Harrison Did for Hosting 'The Bachelor'?

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  • Clayton Echard
    Reality TV

    It Looks Like Clayton Echard Found Love on Season 26 of 'The Bachelor' (SPOILERS)

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    By Pretty Honore
  • Clayton on 'The Bachelor' Season 26
    Entertainment

    Clayton Echard Was a Free Agent for the Seattle Seahawks Before 'The Bachelor'

    Clayton Echard began his football career at the University of Missouri before making his debut on 'The Bachelor'. What we know about the pro athlete.
    By Pretty Honore
  • Clayton Echard and Jesse Palmer during 'The Bachelor' Season 26
    Reality TV

    Bachelor Nation Pokes Fun at "Twins" Clayton Echard and Jesse Palmer on Twitter

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Claire Heilig
    Reality TV

    Claire Heilig Is the Latest Country Singer to Appear on 'The Bachelor'

    Claire Heilig is one of the women competing on 'The Bachelor' Season 26. Details on her job and her life outside of the ABC reality show.
    By Shannon Raphael
  • Contestant Shanae Ankney who will be on Season 26 of 'The Bachelor'.
    Reality TV

    Everything We Know About the "Villain" Shanae Ankney on Season 26 of 'The Bachelor' (SPOILERS)

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    By Toni Sutton
  • Gabby Windey
    Reality TV

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    By Shannon Raphael
  • Clayton Echard
    Reality TV

    Clayton Echard Might Surprise His Biggest 'Bachelor' Critics

    Clayton Echard was an unexpected choice for Season 26 of 'The Bachelor.' Why didn't people want him to be the lead? Here's what we know.
    By Chrissy Bobic
  • Clayton Echard on 'The Bachelor' Season 26.
    Reality TV

    Clayton Echard Fell in Love With Three Contestants on Season 26 of 'The Bachelor' (SPOILERS)

    Clayton Echard ends up fall in loving in love with three women on Season 26 of 'The Bachelor.' Fans want to know if he is currently engaged.
    By Toni Sutton
  • Clayton Echard and host Jesse Palmer during night one of 'The Bachelor' Season 26
    Reality TV

    Clayton's Season of 'The Bachelor' Takes Viewers Back to the Famous Mansion

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Clayton on 'The Bachelor' Season 26
    Reality TV

    Who Make It to the Final Four on Clayton Echard's Season of 'The Bachelor'? (SPOILERS)

    Clayton Echard is assuming the lead for Season 26 of 'The Bachelor,' and we're here to tell you which contestants make it to his final four.
    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Salley Carson on 'The Bachelor'
    Reality TV

    Who Is 'The Bachelor' Contestant Salley Carson's Ex-Fiancé?

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    By Toni Sutton
  • Clayton on 'The Bachelor' Season 26
    Reality TV

    Who Gets the Coveted First Impression Rose From Clayton on 'The Bachelor'? (SPOILERS)

    There's nothing more coveted on the first episode of 'The Bachelor' than the first impression rose. Who gets it from Clayton Echard in Season 26?
    By Katherine Stinson
  • Kate Gallivan
    Reality TV

    'The Bachelor' Star Kate Gallivan Has Links to 'Selling Sunset' and Harry Styles

    How far does Kate Gallivan Get on 'The Bachelor' Season 26? The contestant is vying for Clayton Echard's heart, and she works for The Oppenheim Group.
    By Shannon Raphael
  • Michelle Young
    Reality TV

    All of the Fantasy Suite Dates Happen in One Week on 'The Bachelorette'

    Leads on 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' get to spend the night with their contestants in the fantasy suites, but do they happen back-to-back?
    By Sara Belcher
  • The Bachelor Live on Stage logo
    Reality TV

    Should You Buy a Ticket to 'The Bachelor: Live on Stage'? Here's What the Show Is Like

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