Well my friends, another year of The Bachelor is upon us — and with it, another chance to see whether the new Bachelor will win a permanent place in our hearts, or leave us desperate for The Bachelorette to take its place. This year, Pilot Pete Weber is up to bat, and some new data suggests that his 2020 season (forgive me) stuck the landing. We rounded up the top 10 most popular Bachelor leads, ranked by how often they’re searched on Google, and some of these results may surprise you.
Before we dive in, let’s be clear: “most popular” in this context doesn’t necessarily mean “most beloved.” After all, a certain widely despised retired soccer player is somewhere on this list, beating out 14 other men who didn’t have a contestant leave the show in disgust after a Fantasy Suite date. So, let’s consider “most popular” to mean these are the 10 men who made the biggest mark on Bachelor Nation with their seasons — for better or for worse.
With 23 seasons under its belt and the 24th airing now, The Bachelor has been a strikingly successful experiment in reality TV, and has one of the most vocal fanbases out there. While many were skeptical about the choice to have Peter take the lead, especially with a hyper-qualified candidate like Mike Johnson available, this ranking of top 10 Bachelors proves that you don’t have to be a fan favorite to capture The Bachelor audience’s attention. In fact, the more controversy you have surrounding you — in any way — the more likely you are to make a lasting impression.
So, did your favorite Bachelors of seasons past make the list? Here are the top 10 Bachelors of all time, ranked from least to most popular.
10. Ben Flajnik
Coming in at #10 is Ben Flajnik, the lead of The Bachelor‘s 16th season in 2012. Ben ended his season with a proposal to Courtney Robertson, but the drama didn’t stop there — the couple went on to break up twice, once while the season was airing and a second time in October 2012.
9. Juan Pablo Galavis
When The Bachelor cast its first-ever Hispanic Bachelor (and a single dad, no less!), it seemed like a move in the right direction — until we found out who that Bachelor was. Juan Pablo Galavis was obnoxious, disrespectful, sexist, homophobic…you get the idea. He managed to offend just about everybody on his season of The Bachelor, including Bachelorette star Andi Dorfman, who walked out after Fantasy Suites.
8. Nick Viall
Nick Viall was the Bachelor on Season 21 of The Bachelor — but before that, he was on Seasons 10 and 11 of The Bachelorette, and a season of Bachelor in Paradise to boot. Nick has the impressive track record of making it to the final two in both Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Bachelorette seasons, and wound up proposing to Vanessa Grimaldi on The Bachelor. The couple has since broken up.
7. Brad Womack
It’s no secret that viewers can’t get enough of this two-time wonder. Brad Womack was the Bachelor twice — once in Season 11, and then again in Season 15 — an honor no other Bachelor shares. After rejecting his two finalists in 2007, Brad got a second shot at love in 2011, ultimately proposing to Emily Maynard. Unfortunately, the couple didn’t make it to 2012.
6. Peter Weber
Our current Bachelor clocks in at #6 — and there’s a strong chance he’ll creep even higher by the end of his season. A likable pilot from Westlake Village, CA, Peter made it to the Top 3 on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette before being sent home heartbroken. But now that Hannah has experienced heartbreak of her own, it looks like the duo may reunite on Peter’s season of The Bachelor. Stay tuned!
5. Sean Lowe
Sean Lowe is one of those rare Bachelor success stories: During his turn as the lead on Season 17, Sean proposed to Catherine Giudici, who he married less than a year after the show aired. The couple currently shares three kids: Samuel Thomas, Isaiah Hendrix, and Mia.
4. Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. was the series’ 22nd Bachelor, and kicked off a pattern of Bachelor leads breaking format in the season finale. After proposing to Becca Kufrin, Arie called off their relationship a few weeks later and ran back to second-choice contestant Lauren Burnham instead. Shockingly, he chose to have his breakup with Becca filmed live — a controversial move that won him more than a few enemies, but may have secured Becca’s turn as The Bachelorette.
Arie and Lauren are currently married, and share daughter Alessi Ren.
3. Chris Soules
Chris Soules was the show’s 19th Bachelor, and ended the season by proposing to Whitney Bischoff. The couple broke up shortly thereafter, and Chris has more recently been in the news for his 2017 car crash that resulted in the death of 66-year-old Kenny Mosher. In 2019, Chris was sentences to a suspended prison sentence of two years, plus two years of probation.
2. Ben Higgins
Ben Higgins was the show’s 20th Bachelor — and the only one in recent history who made us really believe in his love story. After proposing to Lauren Bushnell, Ben went on to have a reality spinoff Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? But that question mark soon became telling, and the couple parted ways in 2017.
1. Colton Underwood
Ok, who else is surprised here?! Colton Underwood was last year’s Bachelor (#23, if you’re keeping track), and had an Arie-like upset in his final episode when he told Cassie Randolph she was The One — with two other women still on the show. Colton’s season was hugely hyped by ABC for a few reasons, like the fact that he had a pre-show flirtation with ex Becca Kufrin’s BFF Tia Booth, and, yes, the fact that he was a virgin when he went on the show.
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