The Bachelor: Every ‘The Bachelor’ Lead RankedPublished on June 27, 2016. Updated March 11, 2020
Many men have graced the title of leading man as the bachelor and we remember them all! We’ve grown attached to each and every one of them for some reason or another. It takes a lot to make a good season of The Bachelor including entertaining and likable contestants to fun dates, but most of all an intriguing lead that the audience can cheer on. Personality goes a long way on The Bachelor, so take a look at our ranking of The Bachelor leads:
23. Juan Pablo Galavis – Season 18
From most loved to most hated, Juan Pablo is someone that makes this list for his epic fall from grace! Fans adored the Venezuelan single dad when he originally appeared in Desiree’s season of The Bachelorette, and the show’s producers were overwhelmed by the amount of demand for the man who said very little to play the important role of the bachelor on the upcoming season. Juan Pablo was The Bachelor’s first Hispanic-American to take on the role, but his admiration and good fortune did not last long! It would seem that it was his tight-lips that made people fall for him to begin with. Once he opened his mouth on The Bachelor, fans were aghast by the amount of disrespect he showed to many of the female contestants vying for his heart. The end of the season was a disaster! Andi Dorfman broke up with him after spending a horrific evening in the fantasy suite with Juan Pablo, and Clare Crawley tore into him after he rejected her. When Juan Pablo appeared on the After the Final Rose episode with his chosen lady, Nikki Ferrell, he dropped jaws when he refused to say he loved her. What happened to our suave Latin lover? What a bust!
22. Jake Pavelka – Season 14
Jake Pavelka had America convinced right up until the last minute that he was the total package! He was good-looking, a pilot, and seemed to have a heart of gold! It crushed us when he was eliminated from Jillian Harris’s season of The Bachelorette, but we celebrated in the streets when he was cast our next bachelor! The season started off well enough but slowly untangled to reveal Jake’s true nature as a bore, and as his final choice Vienna Girardi put it, “a fame whore.” Luckily for Jake, he was able to somewhat redeem himself when he appeared on Bachelorpad, and he officially became a Bachelor franchise staple when he appeared yet again in JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette to lend some friendly advice. Bachelor Nation couldn’t forget this guy if we tried!
21. Lorenzo Borghese – Season 9
After eight seasons, ABC decided to switch things up with their ninth season of The Bachelor by taking the show abroad! Due to the fairy-tale nature of the show, they went all in with Prince Lorenzo Borghese of Italy, but the new angle didn’t exactly work well. Season nine is regarded as one of the most forgettable installments of the franchise with neither Lorenzo or his contestants sparking much interest from fans. In fact it seems the most interesting part of the show came after filming when Lorenzo decided not to propose to his winner Jennifer Wilson and after they broke up began dating the runner-up Sadie Murray, but they also split.
20. Byron Velvick – Season 6
The beginning of Byron Velvick’s season of The Bachelor was by far the most interesting part. Instead of it being clear-cut, ABC had the female contestants vote between Byron and Jay Overbye for who they wanted to be the Bachelor, and Velvick won! While there was nothing particularly wrong with the season, there was also really nothing worth noting either. In the end, he proposed to Mary Delgado and despite being together for five years, the pair split in 2009.
19. Peter Weber – Season 24
Overall Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor was very entertaining, but as a Bachelor lead, Pilot Pete was a disaster. After missing out on love with Hannah Brown on The Bachelorette, many were excited for the charming and likable Peter Weber to take on the lead role for season 24, but what ensued was anything but a great love story. It didn’t take long for viewers to realize that instead of being quiet and charming, Peter was actually very immature and in no way ready to have multiple women compete for his love. He mislead many of the women and in the end confused his two finalists so much that he was literally told he had to become a “real man” if he ever wanted to actually find love. Unfortunately for Peter, after his season he is being talked about as one of the worst Bachelor leads of the franchise.
18. Alex Michel – Season 1
Our first bachelor naturally makes the list as he inspired all that was to come, including our binge-watching and addicting viewing parties! And let’s face it! We all remember Alex! He shot down our beloved Trista at the final rose ceremony and we swore we’d hate him forever! But, Trista has gone to find her happily ever after so as they say, time heals all wounds! We can forgive you now Alex, and celebrate your contribution to Bachelor Nation as America’s first bachelor!
17. Nick Viall – Season 21
There were very few loyal Bachelor Nation fans who were thrilled with Nick Viall’s casting for season 21. After two previous tries on The Bachelorette (and two rejections) and a failure to find love on Bachelor in Paradise, many thought it would be in Nick Viall’s best interest to look for love elsewhere — not become The Bachelor. Due to his many appearances, some thought Viall was chasing fame more than love, and his season pretty much proved just that. It was a shock to no-one when Nick Viall and his winner Vaness Grimaldi called off their relationship only a few months after their engagement.
16. Ben Flajnik – Season 16
Many were amazed that Ben Flajnik would be up for being the Bachelor lead after a brutal rejection from Bachelorette Ashley Hebert following his proposal, and maybe Ben should have taken a break from Bachelor Nation after all. Season 16 l will always be memorable but not because of Flajnik. Season 16 produced one of the franchise’s most notable “villains” with contestant Courtney Robertson, and while that normally wouldn’t impact how much the audience liked the lead, that changed when Flajnik picked Courtney as his winner and proposed! Although the pair ended up splitting, fans never saw Ben Flajnik the same way again.
15. Andrew Baldwin – Season 10
The Bachelor continued striving off of stereotypical fantasies with its “An Officer and A Gentleman” season with lead Andrew Baldwin who was a doctor in the Navy. Luckily for Baldwin his charm made him likable and it was clear to see that despite the fantasy created by his job he really was a genuine person. However, some of that charm wore off when it seemed to be one of the only aspects to his personality, and of course after he left a devastated Peyton stranded on the runway after rejecting her. Andrew wasn’t as bad as some Bachelor leads, but he wasn’t great either.
14. Travis Lane Stork – Season 8
Season eight of The Bachelor starred none other than Travis Lane Stork, who is now best known as one of the physicians featured on The Doctors, but back in 2006, he was only searching for love. Despite the allure of a handsome doctor as the lead in Paris, fans had a hard time connecting to Stork’s season and many don’t even remember who was involved and what happened. While he ended up choosing Sarah Stone as his winner, Stork didn’t propose and fans knew he really wasn’t in it for the long haul and unsurprisingly the pair split immediately after the finale.
13. Jason Mesnick – Season 13
A lot of people fell hard for the single dad from Seattle, Washington, who received the heartbreak of a lifetime when DeAnna Papas sent him packing at the end of season 4 of The Bachelorette. Luckily for all of us sitting on the edge of our seats, left wondering if his son Ty would ever have a step-mom, Jason was quickly cast in the role of The Bachelor. The season was relatively uneventful but in a good way! It seemed that the process was working and that Jason had a mature group of ladies. And then BOOM! Jason perpetrated the most dramatic action EVER to happen on The Bachelor! After he made his final selection of Melissa Rycroft, he changed his mind and begged Molly Malaney for a second chance! Wow! She gave it to him and the couple wed in a Bachelor special, Jason and Molly’s Wedding. The couple is still together today and Jason will go down in Bachelor history as the man who (luckily) changed his mind!
12. Matt Grant – Season 12
There were a lot of mixed feelings towards season 12 Bachelor Matt Grant. While some were happy to see ABC branch out and bring in someone brand new, other fans weren’t as excited about the pick. As well as being someone from outside the franchise, Matt Grant was also the show’s first British lead. Although he had a charming accent, many didn’t feel like he was very genuine and predicted a breakup right away so it wasn’t a surprise when Matt and winner Shayne Lamas split very shortly after the show.
11. Brad Womack – Season 11 and 15
Brad Womack made Bachelor history when he appeared not once, but twice as the show’s leading man! The Texas nightclub owner made haters out of fans when he rejected both women at the final rose ceremony in season 11 of The Bachelor. When he was re-cast as the bachelor, the show worked diligently to sell him as a “changed man,” but unfortunately for his fiance, Emily Maynard, that may not quite have been the case! When the two appeared on the After the Final Rose episode, the couple had to make excuses as to why Emily wasn’t wearing her engagement ring. It was obvious, that the relationship was going nowhere! The tabloids were sure to blame Brad for the failed romance, but what really happened, we’ll never know! Brad will always be the contestant who divided fans more than any other bachelor in the show’s history!
10. Andrew Firestone – Season 3
Andrew Firestone may have come from a super wealthy family, but he had down to earth charm that made us fall for him immediately! He was nothing but a gentleman on season 3 of The Bachelor and he wound up proposing to Jen Scheft. Jen moved to California to be with Andrew but the pair split less than a year later, although they remain friends. Jen went on to be The Bachelorette and rejected both men at the finale! Guess she’s tough to please! Andrew married model Ivana Bozolovic and the couple now have three children together! Aww!
9. Arie Luyendyk Jr. – Season 22
Yet again, ABC was able to keep things interesting for Bachelor fans when they announced that the season 22 lead would be none other than Arie Luyendyk Jr. who hadn’t appeared on the franchise since 2012 when he lost out on Emily Maynard’s love on The Bachelorette. There was nothing about his season that really made him stand out as a great lead but he also wasn’t awful. Feelings toward Arie changed however after he proposed to Becca Kufrin only to break up with her shortly after (while being filmed) in order to pursue his runner-up Lauren Burnham. While many felt that was a very hurtful move on his part, it all worked out for the best as Arie and Lauren are now happily married with a daughter, and Becca went on to lead The Bachelorette where she found love with Garrett.
8. Chris Soules – Season 19
Chris Soules quickly became a fan favorite when he appeared on Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette. He became affectionately known as Prince Farming and had women across America wondering if they could relocate to his miniature hometown of Arlington, Iowa. At the end of Chris’ season, he became engaged to Whitney Bischoff, but his hectic schedule with his next reality venture, Dancing with the Stars, seems to have taken its toll on the couple and they called off their engagement less than 6 months later. Chris took a lot of heat by jumping full-force into the reality television scene. Is it possible Prince Farming isn’t so charming after all? Now that he is embroiled in a court case after being involved in a car accident that killed his neighbor, it certainly seems Soules isn’t a favorite anymore.
7. Colton Underwood – Season 23
After more than twenty seasons, ABC continued to find ways to keep The Bachelor new and exciting with the casting of the first ever Bachelor who was waiting for marriage to get intimate and that was Colton Underwood for season 23. Over the course of the season, viewers were on the fence over whether Colton’s season was genuine or just plain boring, but in the end he won everyone over with his very bold decisions. Instead of stringing other women along and not making a solid decision (ahem, Peter Weber), Underwood knew that all he wanted was Cassie and didn’t even hold a final rose ceremony so that he could win her over. Although the two didn’t get engaged, they are still together!
6. Bob Guiney – Season 4
Bob made his first Bachelor franchise appearance on the first ever season of The Bachelorette! The guy was funny, charming, outspoken, and a bit of a music man! He was immediately endeared to our hearts! He stepped into The Bachelor shoes for season 4 and selected Estella Gardinier in the finale without a proposal. Unfortunately, the romance dwindled quickly and Bob went on to marry and divorce All My Children actress Rebecca Budig. Last year, he married Jessica Canyon in Punta Minta, Mexico.
5. Aaron Buerge – Season 2
After a bit of a dud with season one’s Alex Michel, ABC decided to go a different direction with the casting of Aaron Buerge for season two. In contrast to Michel, the season two lead was much more relatable and in many ways more likable which led to an impressive season. Aside from being handsome and charismatic, Buerge also began a string of dramatic moves that have become iconic in Bachelor Nation when he eliminated frontrunner Gwen ahead of the final two. In the end 26 million tuned in to see Buerge propose to Helene Eksterowicz, but the two broke up after only a few weeks together.
4. Charlie O’Connell – Season 7
After years of his big brother Jerry O’Connell stealing the spotlight, Charlie O’Connell was ready for his time to shine as The Bachelor for the franchise’s seventh season. O’Connell didn’t let the opportunity pass him by and offered up an emotional, entertaining and easy-to-watch season that had fans cheering for the fun-loving and sweet actor. Although O’Connell didn’t feel it was the right time to propose to winner Sarah Brice, the pair did begin a relationship and were on-and-off for five years before calling it quits for good in 2010.
3. Jesse Palmer – Season 5
Jesse Palmer was without a doubt one of The Bachelor’s best surprises. There were many preconceived notions of Palmer as a womanizing playboy because his status as a handsome football player, but instead his personality outshone any ideas of him being a stereotypical “jock.” Jesse was charming, handsome, but also funny and genuinely interested in his contestants. Palmer chose not to propose to his winner Jessica Bowlin and broke up after a few weeks of dating.
2. Sean Lowe – Season 17
Sean Lowe is just a genuinely nice guy and when it comes to the world of reality television, that’s always refreshing to see! Sean was a super sweetie to all of the women on the show, and he proposed to the adorable Catherine Giudici. The couple wed on a Bachelor special Sean and Catherine’s Wedding so we all got to share in their special day! The happy couple currently has one child together, Samuel, who is a year old and they are planning for baby #2!
1. Ben Higgins – Season 20
Ben had one hiccup on his season of The Bachelor that flew fans for an absolute loop. His declaration of love for the two final women left jaws dropped to the floor! But in spite of that one complaint, bachelor Ben was as endearing as ever! He was respectful of all contestants, was clearly there for true love, and he wore his heart on his sleeve! He’s also insanely adorable and we can’t help but love him. Ben wound up choosing Lauren Bushnell, and proposed to her in an uber-emotional finale, but the couple has since broken up. This is good news cause that means he is still on the market!