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The top 10 best Bachelors of all time, ranked

Four of the past leads of The Bachelor
Past leads of The Bachelor, ranked.

Ranking the top 10 Bachelors from The Bachelor franchise shouldn’t be that hard right? Every season, the producers try to convince audiences that their current Bachelor is #marriagegoals and has the full package. However, by the finale, viewers seem to be pretty much done with the lead and his entire personality. Reality television can be a fickle place.

Believe it or not, it would be easier to make a list of the worst bachelors the franchise has ever seen, but alas, we do like a challenge around here.

So, who are the top 10 best bachelors in bachelor history? (Only a true superfan would have heard that in Chris Harrison’s voice.)

1. Sean Lowe

Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici sitting on a couch smiling with their three children on their laps
Sean Lowe sits with his wife Catherine Giudici and their three children. Pic credit: @seanloweksu/Instagram

Ah yes, the Bachelor franchise recruited a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, all-American (born again) virgin and we’re not talking about Colton Underwood. Back in the day, Sean Lowe held the trophy for most likely to live in a house with a white picket fence, own a minivan, and spawn 2.2 kids along with a golden retriever.

Unsurprisingly, he is still married to his final choice, Catherine Giudice, after the pair wed in an ABC special. They share 2 boys and a girl, and look like the quintessential perfect family viewers always imagined Sean would have. Apparently, nice guys do finish first!

2. Ben Higgins

Ben and Higgins and fiance Jess Clarke smiling in a close up image
Ben Higgins and new fiance Jess Clarke look happier than ever. Pic credit: @ higgins.ben/Instagram

After Juan Pablo, Bachelor producers realized they needed to up the charm factor with their leads. While Chris Soules (Aka Prince Farming) was a decent choice, he wasn’t as likable as the next lead, the ever loveable (though claimed he wasn’t) Ben Higgins.

Ben had that boy next door, captain of the football team, self-deprecating allure that made girls fall for him right away.

Ben’s only infamous mistake was telling both of his final two girls he loved them, a major Bachelor taboo. But, can we really fault the guy for wearing his heart on his sleeve in such a vulnerable way?

Despite splitting with his final pick, Lauren Bushnell, he moved on and is currently engaged to Jess Clarke (and looks super happy!)

3. Andrew Firestone

Andrew Firestone posing with his wife Ivana and their three children wearing nice outfits
Andrew Firestone poses with his wife Ivana and their three children. Pic credit: @andrewbfirestone/Instagram

He was only the third lead The Bachelor ever had, so it makes sense producers would find a guy who was the heir to the Firestone tire fortune. Or was he simply the grandson and wasn’t getting any cash? Does anyone know? Either way, the franchise milked that one for all it was worth, basically making it appear as if the guy had a fat wallet. Plus, he worked for the family winery. Nuff said.

On top of all that he had beautiful eyes that peered into your soul, but it clearly wasn’t enough to keep his final pick Jen Schefft around, as the two split a few months later. Andrew is now married to model Ivana Bozilovic, and the pair share three equally beautiful children.

Oh, and after this season, Chris Harrison finally found a good tailor and some suits that actually fit.

4. Colton Underwood

Colton Underwood pretending to jump over a fence on the cover of his new book
Colton Underwood jumps over a fence on the front cover of his book. Pic credit: @coltonunderwood/Instagram

Being that final pick Cassie Randolph recently filed a restraining order against Colston Underwood, he almost didn’t make the list. But, throughout his season, he was generally considered a fan favorite, which is why he’s included.

Bachelor producers made a huge deal out of Colton’s virginity, and he was dubbed “the first virgin bachelor,” which certainly wasn’t as nice as the ‘Kissing Bandit’ or ‘Officer and a Gentleman.’

Also, the guy literally jumped a fence that was about 6 feet high (and in Bachelor folklore, the height gets bigger every time this story is told) which seemed really romantic at the time.

However, considering Colton allegedly put a tracking device on Cassie Randolph’s car recently, it now comes off as a little more, “I will not be ignored Dan.”

But, before all this, Colton was simply an attractive Bachelor with a cute face and a nice, albeit naïve personality.

5. Ben Flajnik

Ben Flajnik grimacing at the camera with a wine glass in his hand
Ben Flajnik takes a selfie while holding a glass of wine. Pic credit: @benflajnik/Instagram

Despite the super awkward hair (other people must be driven crazy by his bangs too, right?) and picking the season villain Courtney Robertson, Ben Flajnik had a decent fan following and dramatic enough season to keep viewers interested.

One strong point in his favor is that Ben’s recent Instagram activity shows he has a new hairstyle. Thank God!

Ben has mostly kept out of the spotlight, choosing not to go the hosting or influencer route that other contestants have. However, he was back in the spotlight in 2014 when his ex Courtney Robertson wrote about him in her tell-all book, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.

Courtney described their infamous ocean romp as a teenager might, and Bachelor fans ate up the salacious details. She confessed, “Yes, Ben and I did have sex in the ocean. On-camera. It was immediate but it was only for about twenty seconds, and um, it was just the tip.” From now on, we will forever call him Ben ‘just the tip’ Flajnik.

6. Jason Mesnick

Jason Mesnick poses with wife Molly Malaney on the golf course
Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney pose together on the golf course. Pic credit: @jasonmesnick/Instagram

Yes, Jason Mesnick changed his mind. Yes, he dumped his final pick Melissa Rycroft on national television. Yes, he asked out the girl he previously dumped, Molly Malaney about 30 seconds later.

Yes, he looked like the biggest (Insert chosen bad word) the show had ever seen. To this day, changing your mind after the finale, as Arie Luyendyk Jr. did, is still called ‘pulling a Mesnick.’

(And viewers thought choosing nobody at the end a La Brad Womack was bad.)

Jason makes the list, though, because he followed his heart, even if it made him look bad on television. Clearly, he made the right call because he and Molly are still married and share a daughter. They are also raising Jason’s son from a previous marriage together.

The Bachelor rolls Jason out on the After the Final Rose stage any time a Bachelor lead changes his mind, so he still has a side hustle.

7. Travis Stork

Travis Stork poses with his pregnant wife in front of a fireplace
Travis Stork poses with his pregnant wife Parris. Pic credit: @travisstorkmd/Instagram

His chiseled jaw alone is why Travis makes this list, and that’s pretty much all anyone remembers about him.

His season had some drool-worthy dates, especially in Paris when the producers were still going for old school romantic cheese.

Conspiracy theorists might say he owns the internet, since evidence of his time on The Bachelor is almost non- existent. Travis should work in PR because he successfully rebranded himself as a host of The Doctors, roses and fantasy suites all but forgotten.

Travis is now married, and he and his wife welcomed a baby this past June.

8. Jesse Palmer

Jesse Palmer poses with his girlfriend outside on a sunny day
Jesse Palmer poses with his girlfriend. Pic credit: @jessepalmer/Instagram

That’s right, Jesse Palmer. Tall, dark hair, languid eyes of warm caramel. Or were they blue? Either way, he was a cutie patootie.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember the names of all the girls and mixed up two of them during a rose ceremony (and the rejected girl decided to stay for some reason?) . Which, to be fair, how is one person supposed to remember the names of 20 something people he met 3  hours ago?

Despite the mix-up, he went on to choose Jessica Bowlin, but as it goes in The Bachelor universe, they split just a few months later.

The former NFL player has carved out quite a hosting career for himself. He even worked on The Proposal, a show even crazier than The Bachelor, if you can believe it.

9. Chris Soules

Chris Soules poses in a theater with previous Bachelor contestants grocery store Joe and Kendall Long
Chris Soules poses with previous Bachelor contestants grocery store Joe and Kendall Long. Pic credit: @soulesChris/Instagram

After the dumpster fire that was Juan Pablo Galavis season, The Bachelor producers had to look for a wholesome, chiseled, polite, gentleman, and who better than a farmer?

Chris Soules was dubbed Prince Farming (um, catchy) and we were taken on a tractor ride. His season mostly involved women who were all considering whether or not they could actually live on a farm for the rest of their lives (high heels included.)

What made this Bachelor lead so likable, though, was the fact that he appeared to be just a normal guy from Iowa rather than an aspiring influencer or a guy on the path to Bachelor in Paradise.

Unfortunately, Chris got into some legal trouble when he rear-ended a man on a tractor with his car a few years ago. Despite this, he was still a fan favorite during his season.

10. Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Lauren Burnham and Arie Luyendyk Jr. pose together at their home with their daughter Alessi
Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham pose with their daughter Alessi. Pic credit: @ariejr/Instagram

Okay, yes, Arie Luyendyk Jr. is usually found on the top 10 worst Bachelor leads lists, but just give this a chance.

Arie is known for ‘pulling a Mesnick’ and changing his mind after picking Becca Kufrin. He later broke up with her on camera in a much-hyped “unedited” scene in an Airbnb and went back to Lauren Burnham.

While he was vilified for that decision, he and Lauren married in a gorgeous wedding in Hawaii and welcomed daughter Alessi just a few months later.

Yes, Arie may have been the most boring Bachelor lead ever, and the words  ‘I love that’ will forever haunt us, but was he really so bad? Changing your mind isn’t exactly a crime, and judging by their YouTube channel, Lauren and Arie are super cute together.

Perhaps Bachelor producers pushed the villain narrative a bit too much in the media, and maybe viewers should cut him some slack. Or, everyone reading this is furiously shaking their head now, who knows?


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