Who are the best stars of The Bachelor from the past ten years? Entering tonight’s finale on ABC, it felt like now was the time to really dive into this. We’ve seen enough of this show to properly gauge Colton in terms of him actually understanding the point of this occasionally-romantic, but mostly just a circus process and him finding a way to be entertaining in the process. Our early verdict? This is a good season! You have memorable moments, some good contestants, and a lead who actually seemed interested in hearing from the contestants. Sure, he was also dumped a lot (more than any other lead we can remember), but we actually prefer that to an army of I-love-you bots with no personality just waiting to be sent home so they can make Instagram money.
Below, you can take a look at our rankings from the past ten seasons! Why just ten? Well, Jake Pavelka’s season is really the first time we got into covering The Bachelor, and it’s also a worthy start point since this is around when the age of The Bachelor on social media really started to begin its spike.
If you want to preview the two-part finale in video form, you can do that with our latest video at the bottom of this article! For more, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube — we’ll have Bachelor videos throughout the end of the season on our playlist and they are certainly worth checking out.
10. Juan Pablo Galavis – To modify one of Juan Pablo’s most-famous sayings during his season, it’s not okay. Despite everyone wanting him to be the lead, this is a reminder that it’s not always smart for The Bachelor producers to give into social-media hype. Sometimes, it’s better for the people in charge (who have experience in casting) to make the choices; one of the big calling cards of him getting the gig was how he managed to win people over with so little screen time on The Bachelorette. As it turns out, there’s a reason why he didn’t have the screen time in the first place.
9. Arie Luyendyk Jr. – While Juan Pablo had “it’s okay,” Arie had “I love that.” Here’s a lesson to all future Bachelors — if you are well-known for saying the same banal statement over and over again on your season, there’s probably a good chance that you’re doing a terrible job as a lead. Sure, Arie produced a ton of drama near the end, but it never felt like he was actually engaged fully in “the process” (yeah, we hate saying that too) and he ignored a good 95% of the contestants and focused on just a couple instead.
8. Brad Womack (the second go-around) – When the most defining characteristic of your season after the fact is watching you go to your therapist to talk about how much America hated you the first time, you probably didn’t have a good season. Why did Brad even have to apologize for that if he didn’t think anyone on his first season was right f Was it better then he just lied and faked through toa proposal and break their hearts a few months after the show ended? Anyway, it was so obvious Brad was picking Emily Maynard this time that none of the drama held any water.
7. Chris Soules – Did you realize that Chris is a farmer, and did you realize that he lives in the middle of nowhere? This was your drinking game during this somewhat-bland season with a somewhat-bland lead who had very little chance of making something work when a part of the exit package was going to live in his sleepy hometown. Chris is the perfect example of the Bachelor that works well for the preseason marketing, but there isn’t much substance beyond that.
6. Ben Flajnik – There’s a part of Ben’s season (in retrospect) that is fascinating mostly in that he doesn’t look like the typical super-burly dude who producers usually cast and throw into various shower scenes. Ben also did have some great moments on his season, though most of them involved either his antics with eventual winner Courtney Robertson or him ignoring other people when they tried to warn him about Courtney. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work.
5. Nick Viall – Say what you will about Nick from a likability standpoint, but the dude gets the point of the show. This is someone who kept Corinne through the final four, likely because he realized that production saw dollar signs in their eyes. He was your seasoned, production-savvy Bachelor who understands the role of a physical connection better than anyone — perhaps more so than anyone wanted to know, really. We were actually really rooting for him and Vanessa, even though it didn’t work out.
4. Colton Underwood – It’s hard to gauge where Colton is going to stand in the great Bachelor pantheon on the other side of this season, especially since there are still two more nights of content for us to watch. He’s just offered us some incredible television, most notably the events around the fence jump and him blatantly ignoring advice that Cassie Randolph (his apparent pick, even if she doesn’t want it) may not be ready. These past few episodes effectively save him from being known as the Virgin Bachelor and nothing else.
3. Jake Pavelka – Being likable isn’t a prerequisite to having a good season — it’s more about being memorable. Jake was that and then some. Think back to the drama around Vienna (a “villain” winner long before Courtney), the Rozlyn scandal, Ali quitting to keep her job, and then also the ugliest breakup in franchise history. Jake’s season had it all — corny Bachelor moments, legitimate drama, and several contestants who stand the test of time after the fact. We were so into this season that we actually used “On The Wings of Love” in our wedding ceremony.
2. Ben Higgins – We’ll admit that we actually had to go back and look to see if there was any major drama to come out of this season — the biggest was Olivia, but her sins seemed to be mostly being competitive and just not getting along with all the other women. This was a tame season in terms of craziness, but it still somehow felt real. A big part of that was Ben, who was 100% committed to the show and managed to come out of all of this still likable. Remember, other Bachelors would probably be vilified for saying “I love you” to multiple women right before the end.
1. Sean Lowe – It’s going to be hard for anyone to top Sean’s season, and not just because he’s amazing on social media or that he actually married his original pick on the show. It’s that he seemed totally genuine, still has a sense of humor, came from a specific point of view, and also had really memorable contestants and oodles of drama. Think about Desiree Hartsock’s brother or Tierra’s antics! This season had such a great ending that you forget how bonkers it was along the way.
Who is your favorite Bachelor from the past ten years?
Sound off in the comments, and come back tonight (think in terms of the link here) for more coverage of all the craziness that unfolds. (Photo: ABC.)