The 10 biggest Bachelor Nation scandals of all time

Jed Wyatt, Brad Womack, Vienna Girardi and Jake Pavelka side by side in various screenshots
The biggest scandals in Bachelor Nation. Pic credit: ABC

Bachelor Nation has seen its fair share of scandals on and off-screen. What do you get when you have one person date 20-30 other people all at the same time, only to become engaged to one of them after just a couple months of knowing each other? One of the best reality shows in existence.

The Bachelor franchise has not only spawned a number of marriages, break ups, and influencers, but it’s also given us some of the most scandalous drama anyone can imagine. Raise your hand if you are so here for it!

Cassie Randolph files for a restraining order against Colton Underwood

Colton Underwood holding Cassie Randolph up in his arms in a black and white photo at the beach
Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph in happier times. Pic credit: @cassierandolph/Instagram

A list of Bachelor Nation scandals would not be complete without the most recent drama surrounding Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph’s relationship (or lack thereof.) When the former couple announced the end of their almost 2-year long reality TV romance, it seemed like a standard Bachelor Nation breakup.

The pair claim to have grown a lot together and still have respect for each other, yada yada yada. But things took a turn for the scandalous when Cassie filed a restraining order against Colton on September 11, amid rumors he has been harassing her with text messages, showing up to her house unannounced, and even put a tracking device on her car!

A hearing is scheduled for October 6, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But, it’s probably safe to say this is a Bachelor Nation couple who won’t be getting back together anytime soon.

Jed Wyatt had a girlfriend when he went on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette

Jed Wyatt sits on the couch in a white t-shirt looking at Hannah Brown gesturing
Jed Wyatt and Hannah Brown breakup after rumors surfaced that he had a girlfriend while on the show. Pic credit: ABC

It’s not the first time and certainly won’t be the last, but when it was revealed that Jed Wyatt had a girlfriend while on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, he easily stole the biggest villain crown from Juan Pablo.

Before the season finale had even aired, rumors began swirling that Jed had a girlfriend and only went on The Bachelorette to further his music career.

Haley Stevens, the girlfriend in question, told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview, “We spent the night together the night before he headed to L.A. He told me [the show] was just an obstacle and we’d be stronger on the other side because of it.”

Perhaps Jed never imagined he would make it to the final two, let alone win the show. Jed and Hannah broke up on camera in a scene reminiscent of the Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Becca Kufrin debacle, and they’ve both moved on since.

Arie Luyendyk Jr. breaks up with Becca on camera, goes back to Lauren Burnham

A side by side view of Arie Luyendyk Jr. sitting on the couch with Becca Kufrin while she puts her face in her hands crying
Arie Luyendyk Jr. breaks up with Becca Kufrin so he can go back to runner-up Lauren Burnham. Pic credit: ABC

When Arie Luyendyk Jr. decided to end his engagement with Becca Kufrin and go back to his runner-up Lauren Burnham, audiences were shocked. He was utterly hated within Bachelor Nation after the breakup took place on camera, with producers talking it up in previews as completely raw and unedited.

Jason Mesnick must have been feeling pretty good about himself, despite many claiming Arie had ‘pulled a Mesnick’. Ouch.

Arie and Lauren went on to get married in Hawaii on January 12, 2019, later welcoming daughter Alessi into the world and Becca went on to become The Bachelorette.

Despite things turning out well for everyone involved, it will still go down as one of the most infamous moments on the show. Did Arie really have to follow Becca around that Airbnb for so long?!

Jason Mesnick dumps Melissa Rycroft, wants Molly Malaney back

Jason Mesnick in a suit sits on The Bachelor couch with Molly Malaney in a silk dress with her hair in a headband
Jason Mesnick asks Molly Malaney for another chance after dumping Melissa Rycroft. Pic credit: ABC

Speaking of ‘pulling a Mesnick,’ the first one to change his mind and go back to his runner-up was actually Jason Mesnick.

Though it seems like ages ago now, Jason originally proposed to Melissa Rycroft, but not without shedding some tears first from his brutal breakup with Molly Malaney. Not just some tears, A LOT OF TEARS. Alllll the tears. It was one of the biggest sob fests we’ve seen on the show.

Not only did Jason break up with Melissa, but he did it during the live finale of After the Final Rose. During the same taping, he asked Molly if she would be willing to get back together, and the rest is history. The pair have been married a whole decade now, and have a daughter together, as well as Jason’s son from a previous marriage.

Despite their happiness, it seems nobody will ever let Jason forget the fact that he changed his mind.

Chris Soules fatal tractor accident

Chris Soules kneels on a farm in front of foggy weather in a baseball hat and black vest
Chris Soules posted an Instagram picture on his farm in Iowa. Pic credit: @souleschris/Instagram

Not all Bachelor Nation scandals happen on our television screens and the legal drama that went down with former Bachelor Chris Soules was a pretty big deal.

In April 2017, Chris rear-ended the tractor of farmer Kenneth Mosher while driving in Iowa. Despite calling 911 and administering CPR, Chris left the scene before giving a statement to police, which is against the law in Iowa.

Mosher was later pronounced dead at the hospital and Chris was charged with leaving the scene of an accident. After almost two years of legal delays, Chris was sentenced to a suspended two-year prison sentence and two years of probation, officially ending the case.

So, apparently being dubbed “Prince Farming” can’t always keep you out of trouble!

Bachelor in Paradise sexual misconduct scandal

Corinne Olympios with a high ponytail looking serious
Corinne Olympios is interviewed by Chris Harrison on After the Final Rose about the sexual misconduct scandal. Pic credit: ABC

Surprisingly, the Bachelor in Paradise sexual misconduct scandal was the first of its kind, despite three previous seasons of half-naked men and women dating on the beach in Mexico.

Corinne Olympios and Demario Jackson were involved in the June 2017 scandal during filming for the fourth season of Bachelor in Paradise. According to various sources, Corinne and Demario engaged in a sexual encounter in which a crew member alleged she was too drunk to consent to.

Warner Bros. launched an investigation and production was halted. By June, they announced there was “no charge of misconduct” and the production resumed on Season 4.

Of course, Bachelor producers jumped at the chance to sensationalize the sex scandal in the first promos for the show, though they later pulled these due to complaints from viewers.

Ben Higgins says I love you…twice

Jojo Fletcher smiles at Ben Higgins in a dark, candle lit setting
Ben Higgins and Jojo Fletcher have their final date together on The Bachelor. Pic credit: ABC

Ben Higgins quickly became one of Bachelor Nation’s most beloved contestants with his charming smile and honest character, but he may have committed the biggest Bachelor taboo of all.

In Bachelor Nation, it’s a well-known fact that the lead doesn’t tell any contestants ‘I love you’ until they’ve chosen their winner and promptly get engaged.

At the end of the season, it appeared Ben was having trouble deciding between his final two contestants, Jojo Fletcher and Lauren Bushnell. Ben, being the honest guy he is, decided to tell both women that he was in love with them. By the time Ben broke up with Jojo, she was clearly blindsided, being that he had told her he loved her.

And, Bachelor Nation was given the perfect example of why the lead should never express their love for anyone until that final rose is given out.

Brad Womack chooses nobody

Brad Womack in a tan suit looking serious with the back of Deanna Pappas head in the background
Brad Womack breaks up with Deanna Pappas and chooses nobody at the end of his season of The Bachelor. Pic credit: ABC

Brad Womack is another Bachelor who will go down in history as doing something most viewers didn’t even know the Bachelor was allowed to do: he chose nobody during the finale.

Brad was down to his final two ladies, Deanna Pappas and Jenni Croft, when he sent Jenni home broken-hearted. Of course, audiences expected him to propose to Deanna and when he didn’t, everyone was shocked. It was a Bachelor first, and the only time a lead has not chosen anyone in the end.

Brad was later allowed to be the Bachelor for the second time, also a first for the franchise. And in the end, he did choose someone; Emily Maynard. The pair didn’t work out and she went on to become the Bachelorette.

Juan Pablo Galavis and…his entire season

Juan Pablo Galavis holds a rose with the back of Nikki Ferrell's head in the background
Juan Pablo Galavis gave Nikki Ferrell his final rose without proposing. Pic credit: ABC.

Juan Pablo Galavis’ season of The Bachelor was one big scandal. That’s right, the entire thing, from start to finish. The former soccer player went from the foreign heartthrob with an accent to one of the most hated Bachelors in the franchise history.

From his overuse of the phrase “it’s okay” (only a true Bachelor fan would read that in Juan Pablo’s voice) to the way he treated his final two contestants, viewers were completely put off by him.

During the season finale, he opted not to propose to his final pick, Nikki Ferrell, but still wanted to continue a relationship with her. He even told her in the most unromantic way that he didn’t love her but did like her… a lot.

The two went on to appear in Couple’s Therapy, but unsurprisingly, didn’t work out in the end.

But, thanks to Juan Pablo and his antics, we now have a new season of the Bachelorette with Clare Crawley, his runner-up.

Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi’s awkward interview

Chris Harrison sits down with Vienna Girardi and Jake Pavelka on couches outside at night
Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi talk about their breakup with Chris Harrison. Pic credit: ABC.

In one of the most uncomfortable and tense breakups we’ve seen on The Bachelor (and that is really saying a lot), Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi sat down with our favorite couple’s therapist, Chris Harrison to discuss the major issues they were having in their relationship.

Jake accused Vienna of cheating, and Vienna accused Jake of being cold and distant. In an incredibly awkward chat, host Chris Harrison tried to act as Switzerland, attempting to figure out what went wrong between the former couple.

In the end, though, it was clear there was a huge amount of bitterness between them and the conversation will forever go down as one of the most awkward moments in Bachelor history.

With an upcoming season slated to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, viewers can only hope we’ll have more scandalous moments in the future.

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