All 30 Bachelors & Bachelorettes Ranked, From Uber Villain To 'Bachelor' Nation Favorite
It might not seem like it, but The Bachelor Season 1 premiered 14 years ago. Can you believe it?! On March 25, 2002, the first Bachelor ever, Alex Michel, arrived at the mansion to start the tradition of handing out roses, ended up rejecting Trista Rehn, the first Bachelorette, and the rest is history. Since then, there have been a total of 19 Bachelors and 11 Bachelorettes, and every year, this number just keeps on growing. And now that Ben Higgins has been inducted in as a Bachelor, it's time to figure out where he fits in the long line of men and women who have come before him. This is a definitive ranking of every Bachelor and Bachelorette who has ever looked for love with the help of Chris Harrison, and there are a lot of them.
At first, it seemed impossible. This is 30 people total, and they're all so different. How do you compare them? Fortunately, The Bachelor franchise has kept a pretty solid pattern over the years, and even though the personalities have changed, the way the show works hasn't. It's not comparing apples to apples — more like comparing roses to hot tubs. They're all part of the same idea, but different enough to get you into trouble.
Here is every Bachelor and Bachelorette ranked — starting with the very worst and ending with the very best. No offense, guys, but everybody was up against some seriously tough competition!
30. Juan Pablo Galavis
Bachelor Nation might be one big, happy family, but it's obvious that Juan Pablo Galavis is no longer a part of that. Not only did he show very little respect for the women on his season, but he also made homophobic remarks while doing press for the show, before later apologizing. And even after filming was through, he continued to put final pick Nikki Ferrell through the wringer. He definitely deserves the title of most hated Bachelor so far.
29. Brad Womack
Womack was Bachelor twice, and both times, he didn't make fans too happy. The first time, he chose no one — a noble choice, but rejecting Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas? What was he thinking?! Then, during round two, he chose Emily Maynard but let her go while the show was still airing — and she's one of the most beloved Bachelorettes ever. Not good!
28. Jason Mesnick
An otherwise likable guy, the moment Mesnick rubbed me the wrong way was when he ditched Melissa Rycroft on After The Final Rose and then asked Molly Malaney if she'd be interested in another try. He was probably right since he and Malaney are now married with children, but did he seriously have to break up with poor Rycroft on national television?
27. Jake Pavelka
OMG, THE DRAMA. First of all, Pavelka rejected actual angel Tenley Molzahn for the most dramatic contestant on his season, Vienna Girardi, and their relationship didn't last, so hopefully, he learned his lesson. But anytime The Bachelor sends home the message that the nice girl doesn't always win ends up being a pretty big fail. And speaking of which...
26. Ben Flajnik
Just like Pavelka chose Girardi, Flajnik also went for Courtney Robertson, the villain of his season, at the final rose ceremony. Robertson didn't play by the rules, which would have been admirable if she hadn't been catty to all of the other women but sweet anytime Flajnik was around. It was disappointing in the end to see that Flajnik didn't see right through it.
25. Charlie O'Connell
At first, I liked O'Connell, but as the season progressed it was easy to see that he wasn't exactly a guy that two dozen women should be fighting over. He drank a lot and wasn't the most charming guy ever, so he didn't exactly perpetuate the totally unrealistic happily ever after product the show tries to sell, which is half the reason why I watch this show in the first place. Not impressed.
24. Ashley Hebert
Unfortunately, Hebert became that friend with the crappy boyfriend who refuses to see how crappy he is when she fell for Bentley Williams. Fortunately, she eventually realized that he was no good for her and ended up with JP Rosenbaum, who she's still married to now. Even worse? When she let Ben Flajnik propose without telling him she planned to reject him first, which came off as cruel.
23. Lorenzo Borghese
You'd think a season of The Bachelor featuring an actual prince would be the best season ever, but this one just kind of fell flat. Borghese was kind of boring as a leading man, and it led to a season that was just kind of forgettable.
22. Andy Baldwin
Like Borghese, Baldwin's season was kind of a snoozefest. Plus, he just didn't have that charming, nice guy feel that you want out of a Bachelor. Boo!
21. Byron Velvick
In Velvick's season, the Bachelorettes voted to keep him over Jay Overbye, their other option, but his season was still kind of a dud... even with the double Bachelor gimmick.
20. Alex Michel
I give Michel credit, because as the first Bachelor, the show hadn't figured out all the kinks and issues quite yet — and there weren't tons of back seasons to watch in order to prep for his reign, either. But he did make the bad decision of letting Trista Rehn go, and she'd go on to be the first Bachelorette... and also one of the most beloved.
19. Aaron Buerge
A lot of these Bachelors and Bachelorettes in the middle haven't done anything wrong, necessarily... it's just that their seasons were kind of lackluster, and that's what happened to Buerge. Bummer, really, because who doesn't want to marry a banker? Well, besides Helene Eksterowicz, the lady he proposed to during the finale who later ended their relationship.
18. Travis Lane Stork
17. Matt Grant
Grant was a sweetheart, even though his relationship with Shayne Llamas didn't last. Plus, his sass about their relationship in E!'s Bachelor special years later was actually perfect.
16. Jesse Palmer
It's hard to forget Palmer, especially since now he's on Good Morning America. But his season was pretty good, if not the most dramatic in the world. But sometimes, a break from drama is a good thing.
15. Meredith Phillips
OK, so Phillips wasn't the most memorable Bachelorette ever, but she was so sweet, and I admire her for speaking out about how The Bachelor needed to tone down the amount of alcohol pushed on contestants during filming, after struggling with her own battle with alcoholism.
14. Jillian Harris
Harris is often referred to as Kaitlyn Bristowe 1.0, and I can't disagree. Plus, I really love her blog.
13. Bob Guiney
Of all of the Bachelors ABC has ever given us, Guiney was one of the most normal, and he seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. Definitely one of the most likable Bachelors ever, anyway.
12. DeAnna Pappas
Pappas definitely had that quality of someone you want to root for, which made her Bachelorette season so much fun to watch. Plus, how cool is it that her now husband Stephen Stagliano is actually the brother of former contestant Michael Stagliano? See, this show does bring people together!
11. Andrew Firestone
What was there not to love about Andrew Firestone? He's handsome, rich, charming, and he and Jen Schefft were so perfect together. The only downside? Their love didn't last.
10. Jen Schefft
As the first Bachelorette to turn down both of her potential suitors in the end, it was awesome and empowering to see her choose herself and her life over two men she knew she couldn't see a life with. Yeah, it's a bummer when the show doesn't give us the proposal we waited all season to see, but Schefft is awesome for paving her own way.
9. Chris Soules
All the talk about corn and the farm were boring, but Soules was ultimately a good guy who fans loved — and he brought us so many Bachelor Nation favorites, from Ashley S. to Ashley I. to Kaitlyn Bristowe. What would the current state of the fandom be without him?
8. Desiree Hartsock
It was impossible not to love Hartsock, especially since her love story didn't end when the show did. She's still happily married to her final pick, Chris Siegfried, which proves that the relationships that begin with this show actually can last.
7. Emily Maynard
There are so many reasons to love Emily Maynard, from her sweet, loving personality to the way she stood up for herself when she went "West Virginia hoodrat backwoods" on Kalon McMahon after he dared to call her daughter, Ricki, baggage. What's not to love?
6. Trista Rehn
Rehn will always have a special place in every Bach fan's heart since she was the very first Bachelorette ever. Plus, she and her pick, Ryan Sutter, stayed together, and along with their adorable kids make such a perfect family.
5. Ben Higgins
OK, so we haven't seen all of Higgins' season yet, but already I can tell that he's going to be a fan favorite. He treats the women of his season so well — almost like they're actually individual people, can you imagine? — and he's not half bad to look at, either.
4. Ali Fedotowsky
Fedotowsky's Bachelorette romance may not have lasted, but it seems like everything happens for a reason... at least, in her case. These days, she's engaged to Kevin Manno and they're expecting their first baby together. Plus, her Bachelorette career landed her a pretty sweet gig hosting the red carpet events on E!.
3. Sean Lowe
When you think "nice guy," you think Sean Lowe, and that basically defines his entire Bachelor experience. He was always such a sweetie, and it was refreshing to see him put so much stock in getting to know the women for who they are over the physical stuff. Besides, who doesn't love Lowe and Giudici together?
2. Andi Dorfman
After seeing Dorfman stand up for herself to Juan Pablo Galavis, it was hard not to root for her during her season of The Bachelorette. She may no longer be with Josh Murray, but I still keep up with her on Twitter and Instagram. She deserves to find her prince charming, even if Chris Harrison has nothing to do with it.
1. Kaitlyn Bristowe
She may have been one of the most controversial Bachelorettes, but that's exactly why I love her so much. She didn't let the rules and traditions of The Bachelor franchise stand in the way of her following her heart and finding her best possible match. And now, she and Shawn Booth are one of the most precious couples to ever come out of the Bachelor world.
Images: ABC (19); Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images (8); Mitch Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images