Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette": Where Are They Now?

News broke today that Season 13 "Bachelor" Jason Mesnick proposed to runner-up Molly Malaney (the one he picked after breaking up with Melissa Rycroft on national TV). We still think Melissa was the real winner, shining on "Dancing with the Stars," stepping in as a commentator on "Good Morning America," and getting engaged to a nice guy. But the Jason and Molly announcement got us wondering what the other "Bachelor/Bachelorette" alum are up to. Here's what we know.

"The Bachelor" Season 1: Alex Michel Picks Amanda Marsh
Alex Michel was "The Bachelor" from which all others were spawned. He was a good-looking and successful Harvard graduate, who was looking for love in the arms of 25 beautiful women. After a lot of romancing and hot tubbing, Alex picked Amanda Marsh (over future "Bachelorette" Trista Rehn). And even though he didn't propose, the couple dated for almost a year before their differences finally became clear and they split. Scandal erupted when e-mails from Alex surfaced saying that he actually had wanted to pick Trista and had been pressured by producers to pick the "underdog," but the allegations were proven to be false.

Suddenly a mini-star, Alex flirted very fleetingly with a career in entertainment, appearing on "The Rerun Show" and producing and starring in the short video "Our Very First Sex Tape" -- don't ask, it's supposed to be funny -- before settling into a job in the business world, most recently at a media and technology company. He's also acted as a spokesman for and Princess Cruises (alongside Dr. Ruth and Gavin MacLeod). And yes, he's still a bachelor. He's been dating a girl for a couple of years now, and they aren't married yet, but he says it's a possibility. And Amanda? She seems to have happily faded back into the real world.

"The Bachelor" Season 2: Aaron Buerge Proposes to Helene Eksterowicz
In contrast to the sophisticated Harvard grad of Season 1, Aaron Buerge was a nice middle-class guy who worked at his family's bank in Springfield, Missouri. His pick, Helene Eksterowicz, was a school psychologist from New Jersey. But despite a proposal, rumors started almost immediately that Aaron was enjoying his newfound fame a little too much and was continuing to play the field.

Just one month after the finale aired, he dumped Helene in a Starbucks. She got her revenge (with the help of her Season 2 co-star Gwen Gioia) by writing a self-help book called "Nobody's Perfect: What to Do When You've Fallen for a Jerk But You Want to Make It Work." Seemingly unscathed, Aaron went back to the bank, is part-owner of a local sports bar, and is restoring a historical building in his hometown.

"The Bachelorette" Season 1: Trista Rehn Accepts Ryan Sutter's Proposal
Trista Rehn dodged a bullet when Alex Michel chose Amanda Marsh over her in the Season 1 finale of "The Bachelor." So, it seems, did the series producers. Without "Bachelorette" Trista and her poetry-writing, fireman husband, Ryan Sutter, the TV series wouldn't have a single success story.

Not only did Trista and Ryan meet and fall in love on the first season of "The Bachelorette," but they also got married in a TV special, "Trista and Ryan's Wedding," and now have two children. Ryan still fights blazes in Vail, Colorado, and ex-"Bachelorette"-turned-blogger Trista returned to reality TV, although she didn't fare quite as well on "Dancing with the Stars": she was eliminated in the first round of competition.

"The Bachelor" Season 3: Andrew Firestone Proposes to Jen Schefft
Andrew was the sexy heir to the Firestone family winery in Santa Barbara, California, and Jen Schefft was the pretty blonde account executive from Chicago. And while there didn't seem to be a lot of on-screen passion, their Ken-and-Barbie looks overcame their lack of electricity, and she became the obvious choice. She accepted his proposal, but they split after ten months. Jen went on to become the third "Bachelorette." And Andrew ended up finding love with another pretty blonde, actress and model Ivana Bozilovic, who is now his wife and the mother of his son, Adam. Andrew occasionally leaves the vineyards to do a little TV work, including guest spots on "Celebrity Poker Showdown" and "Celebrity Paranormal Project" and as host of "Billionaires Car Club."

"The Bachelor" Season 4: Bob Guiney Picks Estella Gardinier
Bob Guiney was the first goofy "Bachelor." A thwarted suitor of Trista Rehn, Bob captured fans' hearts, and was invited back to be the king of the hot tub. Ultimately aspiring rock star and divorcee Bob (his first wife dumped him Berger-style, via Post-It note) chose Estella Gardinier (who'd been a Bob fan when she signed up for the show). He didn't ask her to marry him and allegedly broke up with her on the phone. And while Bob took the bullet publicly, saying he ended it because of his career, he was oh-too-soon dating "All My Children" star Rebecca Budig (who would become his wife).

These days Bob can be seen making regular guest appearances on such TV shows as "Date My House" and "Trick My Trucker" and performing with Band From TV, his rock group with fellow TV stars James Denton, Greg Grunberg, Teri Hatcher, and Hugh Laurie. Meanwhile Estella lives in San Diego and is a marketing consultant for an Internet company called ReachLocal.

"The Bachelor" Season 5: Jesse Palmer Picks Jessica Bowlin
Come on, "Bachelor" fans, we all know that New York Giants football player Jesse Palmer was bland, and his pick of bachelorette, Jessica Bowlin, was completely forgettable. The real star of Season 5 was a bitchy brunette named Trish Schneider. Remember Trish of the "Gold Digger" t-shirt controversy? We're not sure if she coined the phrase, "I'm here to find love, not to make friends," but she might as well have. Unfortunately for Trish, she didn't walk away with either. We hear that she wore a traditional dress and not her infamous t-shirt when she walked down the aisle with husband Robert Cullins but still keeps the top in her closet.

"The Bachelor" Season 6: Byron Velvick Proposes To Mary Delgado
Byron Velvick was a divorced professional bass fisherman and real estate agent. Former NFL cheerleader Mary Delgado was the girl from Bob Guiney's season who just seemed a little too desperate to get married. And thanks to "The Bachelor" they managed to find each other. But Mary almost didn't get a chance to know Byron, who had to go head-to-head with businessman Jay Overby to be that season's stud -- selected by none other than the 25 young hopefuls waiting to be wooed on Season 6 (Byron won 18-7). Byron proposed to Mary (in Spanish, so her family would understand), and they're still together.

But the waters of their love have been choppy, to say the least. After watching the Season 11 "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" show at a friend's house, Mary was arrested for hitting Byron and bloodying his lip. He later dropped the charges, but it would be the first of two arrests in less than a year. The second, for unruliness in a Texas bar, culminated in her kicking a police radio on her way to the station. Still, Byron and Mary are sticking it out. She's even joined him as "co-angler" at the Sunshine Showdown bass fishing competition.

"The Bachelorette" Season 2: Meredith Phillips Accepts Ian McKee's Proposal
For a while it looked like "The Bachelorette" track record was going to be much stronger than that of "The Bachelor." The second season's star, Meredith Phillips, seemed ecstatic to accept a proposal from Ian McKee. Texan pharmaceutical salesman Ian moved to California to live with his fiancée, and for a year everything was on track. Then it was over.

Luckily, Meredith seems to have found her happy ending. On her first night at culinary classes, she met the man who is now her boyfriend. She's combined her love of cooking and her cache as a dating icon to launch a Website and release a book called "The Date Night Cookbook." And Ian? He seems to have disappeared into the shadows of bachelors long forgotten.

"The Bachelor" Season 7: Charlie O'Connell Picks Sarah Brice
Charlie O'Connell might have seemed kind of familiar when he emerged as the lucky guy in Season 7. That's because he looks an awful lot like his big brother, Jerry "Stand by Me" O'Connell. And for the first time in a long time on "The Bachelor," Charlie brought a certain charm and personality to the part that had been missing in the Bryons and Jesses of the series. In the end, he chose the adorable blonde Sarah Brice to be his girlfriend (not his fiancée).

The two actually tried to give it a go when the series was over but eventually split, due largely, according to Sarah, to her intolerance for his drinking. But when they ran into each other at a Halloween party (she recognized him as the guy in the Garfield costume without even seeing his face), they reunited and are still going strong -- with talk of a potential wedding down the road.

"The Bachelorette" Season 3: Jennifer Schefft Picks No One
Rebounding from her failed engagement to Andrew Firestone, Jen Schefft became the third "Bachelorette" sifting through 25 single guys to find love. In the end, the two Firestone-esque, clean-cut men vying for her hand were John Paul Merritt and Jerry Ferris. Jen cut John Paul loose first -- rejecting his proposal. And then she told Jerry to hold on to the ring he wanted to slip on her finger, asking that he propose again down the line if he still felt the same way. Apparently he didn't: Jen and Jerry split, too.

Jerry's living in Hollywood these days, making appearances on "CSI: New York" and as a hearing-impaired model's interpreter on "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency." John Paul works as an employee at a Dallas Web design firm after reportedly making some bad business decisions that ended his dreams of launching a chain of Café Nova restaurants and put him thousands of dollars in debt. And Jen? A former sales manager who was laid off from her job in the fall of 2008, she finally tied the knot with trader Joe Waterman in Chicago earlier this year.

"The Bachelor" Season 8: Dr. Travis Lane Stork Picks Sarah Stone
Maybe producers realized that Dr. Travis Lane Stork wasn't going to be interesting enough to carry his season of "The Bachelor" when they made the decision to move the show to a chateau in France. But the romantic setting didn't seem to help. In the series' most uneventful, and uninteresting season to date, Travis picked kindergarten teacher Sarah Stone but did not propose. The two happened to live in the same neighborhood in Nashville but had to spend the required time apart between the filming and airing of the final rose ceremony. Needless to say, they broke up.

Although he says he never had entertainment ambitions beyond the show, he's now the star of the medical advice "Dr. Phil Show" spin-off "The Doctors" and is rumored to have dated Carrie Underwood. Sarah, a former schoolteacher who gave up her job to go on "The Bachelor," is now a real estate agent in Nashville.

"The Bachelor" Season 9: Prince Lorenzo Borghese Picks Jennifer Wilson
It sounded so romantic: a prince would be the next "Bachelor," and in addition to the 25 American girls, two locals would join them in an Italian villa in the hopes that the glass slipper might fit. Unfortunately for producers, Prince Lorenzo Borghese proved to be a pretty boring guy (the Borghese cosmetics heir runs the dog line... seriously) and his pick, Jennifer Wilson, is truly unmemorable. Their fairy tale ended with no proposal, a speedy break-up, and him moving on to date runner-up Sadie Murray (also a short relationship). No wonder he stopped focusing on girls and has launched Nuzzle Planet (his social networking site for animal lovers).

But the true star of season nine was a Paris Hilton knock-off named Erica Rose. A socialite from Houston who felt entitled to the princess tiara and is the only bachelorette in history to complain to host Chris Harrison that there was no maid on staff.

Erica didn't get her prince, but she's doing just fine. She was part of the "Sexiest Women of Reality TV 2008" calendar, still hangs with some of her fellow bachelorettes, and launched her own line of sparkly headpieces called "T-Ericas."

"The Bachelor" Season 10: Andy Baldwin Proposes to Tessa Horst
This season was billed as "The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman," and that was kind of the case with Andy Baldwin who was, in fact, a naval officer. But he was a little too touchy-feely to be considered a gentleman by our standards. The often-shirtless doctor ultimately picked Tessa Horst to be Debra Winger to his Richard Gere.

Tessa probably should have followed her instinct to pull out of the show. Although she walked away with an engagement ring and a fiancé, they broke up eight months after the finale aired. Andy went on to date Marla Maples (briefly), but a rumored cameo on his buddy Jeremy Piven's show "Entourage" never seemed to materialize.

"The Bachelor" Season 11: Brad Womack Picks No One
In retrospect, what Brad Womack did at the end of his "Bachelor" season was pretty solid. But at the time, fans were appalled that the bartender from Austin dumped not only Phoenix Suns cheerleader Jenni Croft but realtor DeAnna Pappas, too. Everyone thought he was a total cad for breaking both girls' hearts and animosity was fueled by rumors that he had the producers fly DeAnna's father out for the final episode (he is adamant that he did not). The bottom line is that he just didn't really like either girl that much. Is that so wrong? Lots of fans thought so until Brad went on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and explained that he told producers weeks before the finale that he didn't want to pick either girl but was forced to go engagement ring shopping for contractual reasons.

He quietly returned to Austin where he owns five bars. Needless to say, DeAnna went on to become the fourth "Bachelorette." Jenni soothed her broken heart in the arms of her ex-boyfriend, who picked her up from the airport and rekindled their relationship right away.

"The Bachelorette" Season 4: DeAnna Pappas Accepts Jesse Csincsak's Proposal
When Brad Womack dumped DeAnna, people started buzzing that she should be the next "Bachelorette." But DeAnna was still surprised when a regular interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" evolved into Ellen announcing her as the new "Bachelorette." DeAnna sorted through the 25 guys (with the help of DeGeneres in one episode; Ellen picked Fred for DeAnna), chipping away at all the standard businessmen and buttoned-up softies until she stood in front of the most unconventional choice, pro snowboarder Jesse Csincsak. Marriage plans kicked into high gear, but ultimately the relationship crashed and burned.

Since the couple formed in public, Jesse must have thought it was a good idea to end it in public posting an awkwardly pathetic YouTube video in which he explained that DeAnna dumped him because she "wasn't willing to try anymore" and revealing that he got the "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" speech. Ironically, the girl who never made it down the aisle is now co-hosting the daily wedding planning show "Get Married" on Lifetime. Jesse is teaching at a snowboarding camp at Mount Hood and promoting his charity JSAK (Just Snowboarding Ambitious Kids) with events like the steak fry he's throwing with some of his "Bachelorette" Season 4 co-stars.

"The Bachelor" Season 12: Matt Grant Proposes to Shayne Lamas
Didn't we all see it coming when strait-laced and kind of boring Englishman Matt Grant picked the sexy Hollywood legacy Shayne Lamas? Surely they would never last. And for all her talk about not being it for her career as an actress, we weren't buying it. But we were psyched that her hometown date included time with her dad, Lorenzo. Shayne accepted Matt's proposal, and they lived together in her Southern California condo for a short time.

They confirmed their break-up amid rumors that she had a fling in Las Vegas and dumped him over the phone (she denies cheating). Three months later, he was dating his public relations rep, who is a mother of two and is 11 years his senior, while Shayne is returning to reality TV, this time with her family on a new E! series "The Lamas Family."

"The Bachelor" Season 13: Jason Mesnick Proposes to Melissa Rycroft
In true bachelor fashion, Jason Mesnick should be handing out a dozen roses... but not to his original fiancée, Melissa Rycroft, or to Molly Malaney, the girl he dumped Melissa for in "After the Final Rose." Jason should be showing his gratitude to Wes, who quickly replaced Jason as the most-hated dude on "The Bachelor" ever. Until the no-talent country singer with the girlfriend went on his spotlight grabbing rampage and broke Jillian's heart, Jason was the guy who had it all -- and blew it all -- making a much-despised post-season switcheroo from Melissa to Molly. Melissa was the real winner, shining on "Dancing with the Stars," stepping in as a commentator on "Good Morning America," and getting engaged to a nice guy. And Jason and Molly are still together, even though they continue to live in different cities. If they last, maybe Wes can sing at their wedding.

Host Chris Harrison
Without him, how would we know it was the final rose and who would get the bachelorettes to tell all? But we have to admit, we love the man who is forced to deliver the phrase, "The most dramatic rose ceremony in 'Bachelorette' history!" each week -- and sometimes, it's even true. If Harrison wasn't happily married with two kids, we'd nominate him to be the next "Bachelor." He's cute and he has enough experience to know to avoid the hot tub scenes.

Written by Amy & Nancy Harrington
Originally for

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