Hometown visits on this season of The Bachelor brought up an uncomfortable truth for Nick Viall, as every man, woman, and child had the same question for him: What does life after The Bachelor hold? Well, we know that Nick has moved on to become a men's beauty expert. But Nick's only one in a series of 22 men who have had their romantic life aired on primetime TV, and have had to forge a life for themselves afterward.
actually follows the final rose? Paid Instagram content? Floundering as a C-List celeb? Marital bliss? Well, if you’re Nick Viall, more reality TV, only this time involving choreographed dance.
Each of the Bachelor stars have followed a different path post rose-graduation. Unlike us college grads, they didn’t get a fancy speech and pat on the back. Instead, these gents reenter the real world having briefly been the center of the world. Let's track their fall from grace, one by one.
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Alex Michel Is Patient Zero
ABC’s experiment in dating in real-time kicked off with Alex Michel, 31-year-old businessman with degrees from Stanford and Harvard. Back in the day, there was no previous season of contestants to cull from. So, ABC casting directors turned to the strapping young gents of America’s business schools. Over the course of a much-accelerated season, especially when compared to today’s, Alex made his way through the standard
Bachelor obstacle course of dates, rose ceremonies, and home visits.
Twist ending? Alex didn’t end up proposing to either Trista Rehn or Amanda Marsh, though he dated Amanda for a year following the show.
Craig Sjodin / Contributor / Getty Images More
So, Where’s Alex Now?
Firmly in the real world, thank you very much. Alex has abandoned his days in the spotlight. For a while, he was a spokesman for Match.com (appropriately) and Princess Cruises. According to his
LinkedIn profile, he’s returned to his business roots and works as the head of a consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Peter Kramer / Staff / Getty Images More
Aaron Buerge Chose Helene Eksterowicz, But Not For Long
Hot on the trails of businessman Alex Michel, ABC selected banker Aaron Buerge to helm the next season of
The Bachelor. He proposed to school psychologist Helene at the end of the series.
Five weeks later, their pairing split in epic
Bachelor form. Savvy business people, the pair sold their Harry Winston ring together on eBay and split the profits. Craig Sjodin / Contributor / Getty Images More Read More
So, Where’s Aaron Now?
Following a stint dating all of America's most eligible bachelorettes, Aaron went back to his Missouri roots. In 2009,
he married Angye Mackintosh, a commercial insurance agent, in their Missouri hometown, and they have a daughter together named Aven.
Bachelor life has had its ups and downs for Aaron, now a banker and restaurant owner. In 2011, he declared personal bankruptcy.
Pictured: Buerge in his Springfield, MO, establishment, Trolley's Downtown Bar and Grille Getty Images / Stringer More
Andrew Firestone Almost Crowned An Heiress
Does being the heir to the Firestone Tire empire count as being American royalty? If so, then Jen Shefft briefly had her hands on a prince worth
$50 million dollars. Jen even moved to California to be with Andrew.
A few weeks after the proposal, however, Jen and Andrew broke off the engagement, and Jen later went on to be the next Bachelorette. She didn’t propose to anyone.
So, Where’s Andrew Now?
In 2008, Andrew found the car to his Firestone tires, and married Serbian actress and model Ivana Bozilovic. Andrew and Ivana have
two sons and a daughter together: Brooks, Anja, and Shane.
In 2012, Aaron was a California delegate at the
2012 Republican National Convention, putting in his vote for Mitt Romney. Pictured: Firestone (right) at the Vice President's Dinner in Washington, D.C. on January 18, 2017. More
Bob Guiney Got Around, Then Narrowed Down to Estella Gardinier
Bachelor Bob Guiney took the Alex Michel way out and didn’t end up proposing to anyone. Instead, he gave Estella Gardinier a promise ring so the two could get to know each other better after the TV show. They gave coupledom a shot, but to no avail. The couple split soon after the fourth season of
The Bachelor aired.
Now for a piece of
Bachelor lore: according to an interview Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss gave to ABC's , Bob's the Bachelor who has slept with the most women. Fleiss pegs the number at a mystifying "five and a half." 20/20 Craig Sjodin / Contributor / Getty Images More
Jesse Palmer Didn’t Score A Touchdown
It turns out
Jordan Rodgers wasn't the first former professional football player to grace the Bachelor set.
Jesse Palmer, a New York Giants backup quarterback, ended up picking Jessica Bowlin. During the final scene, Jesse gave Jessica a plane ticket to New York instead of a rose.
We don’t know if Jessica didn’t like Jesse or New York, but either way, the relationship ended after a month.
Michael Hickey / Contributor / Getty Images More
Byron Velvick Proposed in Spanish
Fun fact: On Byron’s season,
two men were actually selected to be the Bachelor. The women contestants then got to select which gent they preferred, and went with long-locked Byron Velvick.
When Byron proposed to Mary Delgado at the end of their season, he did so in
Spanish. How dreamy, eh? If Nick proposes to Vanessa in Italian, we’ll freak.
Following a five-year-long relationship, Byron and Mary split in 2009.
Craig Sjodin / Contributor / Getty Images More VIDEO
Charlie O’Connell Tried To Be the Famous Brother
Brother of actor Jerry O’Connell, Charlie tried his hand at show biz on season 7 of
The Bachelor. The season was rife with tension. According to Chris Harrison, Charlie is the Bachelor with whom he got along least.
"Charlie and I, he was just East Coast, me, Southern kid... it was like oil and water. We just didn't get along,"
On the season finale, O'Connell chose Sarah Brice, a labor and delivery nurse, but didn’t end up proposing. The couple embarked on an
on-again, off again relationship for two years, and split for the last time in 2010. Craig Sjodin / Contributor / Getty Images More
Travis Lane Stork Picked Fellow Tennessee Native
After a romantic season set in Paris, Travis Lane Stork (is his name for real?) came back to Nashville with schoolteacher Sarah Stone. But the road to reality was bumpy.
The couple ended up splitting, though they continued to live only a few blocks away from one another.
Craig Sjodin / Contributor / Getty Images More
Prince Lorenzo Borghese Went Looking For A Queen
Seriously, where did they
get these Bachelors back in the day? In this Rome-based season, Prince Lorenzo chose Jennifer Wilson in the end, though he didn't end up proposing.
After Lorenzo and Wilson split, Lorenzo was
spotted on the streets of New York with runner-up Sadie Murray. The two dated for a bit, but also broke up. Il drama! Bob D'Amico / Contributor / Getty Images More
Andy Baldwin Picked Tessa Horst
Finally, a proposal! U.S. Naval officer, ironman triathlete, and surgeon proposed to Tessa Horst at the series’ end. Though Tessa said yes, she
broke up with Andy eight months later, while he was on deployment in the Pacific. Craig Sjodin / Contributor / Getty Images More
Brad Womack Broke Hearts & A Record
For the first time ever in
Bachelor history, the Bachelor didn't choose anyone! Though DeAnna Pappas thought she had it in the bag, Brad called the whole thing off in a very cringe-worthy scene.
After that, Brad haunted
The Bachelor like a ghost with unfinished business. In 2011, he got a second chance as Bachelor headliner. He proposed to Emily Maynard at the season’s end, but they split up two seasons later. Emily later got her own chance at love as the Bachelorette. Edward Herrera/ABC-TV/REX/Shutterstock More
Who Could Resist Matt Grant’s Accent?
The first British Bachelor, Matt Grant, ended up proposing to actress Shayne Lamas. The two split up, but Shayne ended up having a
long and fruitful reality TV career. ABC-TV/REX/Shutterstock More
So, Where’s Matt Now?
Matt didn’t have luck with his American bride, but ended up meeting his fiancée in a local London pub. Grant, a British financier,
announced his engagement to Rebecca Moring in January 2017. Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock More
Jason Mesnick's Unforgettable Porposal
Jason Mesnick was culled from DeAnna Pappas’
Bachelorette season, but he’s better known for his notorious proposal switch-up.
Bachelor aficionados all know this story by heart. At the final ceremony, Jason Mesnick chose Dallas cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft. Then, Mesnick swiftly changed his mind. Jason publicly broke up with Melissa at the After the Final Rose ceremony (brutal!) and asked runner-up Molly Malaney for another go, if she’d have him. She said yes. Robert Voets / Contributor / Getty Images More
Jake Pavelka Crash Landed Into Love
After appearing on season 5 of
The Bachelorette, the airplane pilot got another chance at love on the Bachelor. He proposed to Vienna Girardi in March of 2010, but the pair split by June.
The clincher? Jake actually broke up with
Vienna by phone, citing difficulty getting into his character on the show Drop Dead Diva as the reason for the split. John Sciulli/Berliner Studio/BEI/REX/Shutterstock More
Ben Flajnik Picked A Villain
Ben made it all the way to the finale of Ashley Herbert’s season on
The Bachelorette, and was invited back to helm his own season on The Bachelor.
As the Bachelor, Ben went where few have gone before: He chose the girl “not there to make friends.” Courtney Robinson
leaned into her reputation, writing the tell-all book I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.
Ben and Courtney couple broke up a few months following the proposal.
Sean Lowe Proved the Experiment Works
The Bachelor was bound to produce another marriage eventually. Following Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici were the second couple Bachelor couple ever to get married. Fittingly, the couple’s ceremony was broadcast on live TV. Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock More
Juan Pablo Galavis Scored A Goal (ish)
The former professional soccer player helmed a
totally bonkers season of The Bachelor.
On the season's last episode, Juan Pablo broke off his relationship with Clare Crawley. When he tried to hug Clare, she pushed him away. Oof.
His subsequent proposal to Nikki Ferrell didn't go so smoothly, either. He said, “I’m not 100% sure I want to propose to you." Despite the lukewarm proposal, Nikki accepted. The couple broke up soon after.
Chris Soules Takes Whitney Home On the Range
Chris placed third on Andi Dorfman’s
Bachelorette season, and then the Iowa farm boy returned for his very own Bachelor season.
Chris thought he found the perfect woman to start a family with in Whitney Bischoff, a bubbly fertility nurse. They even
planted corn together in Iowa. After six months, though, the couple split up. MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock More
Ben Higgins Fell In Love...Twice. And then, he fell out of love.
Though Ben garnered a reputation as being a nice guy, he's also
the first Bachelor to ever say “I love you” to two women: Lauren Bushnell and Jojo Fletcher. Guess he loved Lauren a centimeter more than Jojo. Jojo, as we all know, went on to helm the following season of The Bachelorette.
Alas, in May 2017 after a little over a year of coupledom,
Higgins and Bushnell called it quits.
"It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways," the couple said in a statement. "We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time."
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