“Bachelor” Alums Reveal Their MOST DRAMATIC Moments
Ben Flajnik is a bachelor no more.
On Nov. 25, more than a decade after starring on season 16 of ABC’s The Bachelor, the California winemaker announced that he got married in October in Sonoma, Calif.
“Last month, in an intimate ceremony surrounded by family I married my best friend,” the 41-year-old wrote on Instagram, alongside a wedding photo of himself and his bride, who he did not tag or name, “and it was the most incredible day of my life.”
Ben continued, “Tears and laughs were had and I’ve never felt so present with another person in my life. I’m so grateful to do life with you and thank you for your unwavering love and support.”
Several fellow members of Bachelor Nation expressed their congratulations in the comments section, including Ashley Iaconetti—who appeared on several shows in the franchise, including season 19 of The Bachelor and two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, DeAnna Pappas—star of The Bachelorette season four, and J.P. Rosenbaum, who beat Ben to win Ashley Hebert’s final rose on The Bachelorette season seven (they would go on to marry, have two kids, and ultimately divorce in 2021).
Ben competed on the spinoff in 2011 before starring on The Bachelor the following year. He had 25 women competing for his heart and he ended up proposing to winner Courtney Robertson on the finale. The two broke up less than a year later. Courtney has also since found a new love—she has been married to Humberto Preciado since 2020 and is currently pregnant with their third child, a baby boy.
“It’s totally fine. We made amends a number of years ago,” Ben told E! News about his ex in January 2022. “We didn’t speak for a while, but my sister still chats with her.”
Find out which Bachelor Nation couples are still together:
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Charity Lawson & Dotun Olubeko
“I am happy with how this season turns out!” Charity Lawson teased to E! News, a statement that way undersold her August 2023 finale. Dropping to one knee, integrative medicine specialist Dotun Olubeko proclaimed their love to be “perfect,” asking the child and family therapist, “Would you do me the honor of turning this fairytale into a reality?”
While their happily ever after awaits—the pair said they’re considering a 2025 or 2026 wedding—the Georgia native will first take a spin through the Dancing With the Stars ballroom. “All right, baby,” Dotun told Charity on The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose. “So I know you like to cut up, you like to dance and you like to get down. You know that we’ve talked about this—about how amazing this opportunity would be. And I am so happy to be the one to tell you that you’re gonna be on Dancing With the Stars! Baby, let’s go!”
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Zach Shallcross & Kaity Biggar
Zach shall get his happy ending. Despite more than a few Fantasy Suite-related stumbles, Zach Shallcross ended season 27 in March 2023 down on one knee. “I am so in love with you,” he told travel nurse Kaity Biggar. “You are my world. The love I feel for you is something I could have never imagined.”
In July 2023, the Texas-based duo made an even bigger step in their journey, with Kaity sharing on Instagram, “Officially roommates.”
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Johnny DePhillipo & Victoria Fuller
Oh, the tangled webs we weave when we attempt to date within Bachelor Nation. In one of the more dramatic finishes of Bachelor in Paradise’s eighth season, Victoria Fuller, the medical sales rep who competed for Peter Weber’s heart, turned up to the November 2022 reunion in a super-serious romance—and not with Johnny DePhillipo, the realtor whose proposal she accepted in Mexico.
Shortly after she left the beaches of Nayarit with DePhillipo—who romanced Bachelorette Gabby Windey—Fuller ended their engagement and took a trip to Italy with pal Greg Grippo (one of Katie Thurston’s suitors). And it turns out that was amore.
Announcing their plans to move in together this past November, Greg said, “She’s my person. We’re growing day by day. And I see it going the marriage route. I want that. And I know that that’s important to her. And I want to be able to take that step with her.”
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Danielle Maltby & Michael Allio
Ah, Mom and Dad. Though they left BIP season seven hand-in-Neil-Lane-diamond-free-hand, Danielle Maltby, who lost her fiancé to a drug overdose years before she competed on Nick Viall’s season, and single dad Michael Allio (he shares 7-year-old son James with his late wife) seemed slated for Bachelor Nation couple goals status.
But a year after Maltby relocated from Nashville to be with Allio in Ohio, he confirmed they’d split. “We both threw a lot into this relationship and it’s really awful when it doesn’t work out,” Allio said on a September 2023 episode of Jason Tartick’s Trading Secrets podcast. “When things don’t work out, when you realize that love is there, but you’re not necessarily compatible, you mourn the loss, not of just that person and that friend in your life, but also the future that you had envisioned.”
Brandon Jones & Serene Russell
“I will love you until the end of time. I will love you until my last breath and I want to start forever with you,” Brandon Jones proclaimed while proposing to “best friend” Serene Russell on season seven of Paradise.
Alas, their journey was cut short. Five months after their engagement aired, Brandon (a runner-up on Michelle Young’s season) and Serene (who romanced Clayton Echard) announced they had split in a joint May 2023 statement. “We have tried to work privately on our relationship which has been incredibly challenging in the public eye,” they wrote on Instagram. “This has been immensely hard to accept and painful, as there is a lot of love between the two of us. We are deeply hurting and can only ask that there be no hate.”
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Rachel Recchia & Tino Franco
Pilot Rachel Recchia’s engagement to general contractor Tino Franco stalled when he kissed another woman while their 2022 season was still airing. “I do not stand by what I did at all,” he said on The Viall Files. “It was not cool. It wasn’t fair to Rachel, and it haunts me daily still. It’s something I’m ashamed of and certainly wish I could have done it differently like a million times over.”
Susie Evans & Clayton Echard
Well, it was certainly a journey. Susie Evans initially rejected Bachelor Clayton’s overtures during the 2022 finale only to reunite with him off-camera…and then split once again six months later.
But the L.A.-based videographer insists their breakup was for the right reasons. “The people around me could see that my sparkle had dulled and I was far from thriving,” she wrote in a Nov. 21 post for her blog “Susie Was Like.” She acknowledged they “had joyous moments often, but deep down I was struggling and felt misaligned with the best version of me.”
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Michelle Young & Nayte Olukoya
Minnesota elementary school teacher Michelle accepted a Neil Lane sparkler from Texas-based sales exec Nayte Olukoya—and a $200,000 check from producers to put toward their future home. But, ultimately, the pair just didn’t have the right foundation, announcing their breakup six months after their season’s finale aired in December 2021.
Though he said on The Viall Files, “There was lots of ups and downs, lots of arguments, lots of fights and just not really clicking, not really seeing eye-to-eye,” Nayte acknowledged that not having that final split conversation in person was “a dick move.”
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Maurissa Gunn & Riley Christian
Viewers fully got onboard with Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian’s vision of a future filled with sweet Sunday mornings. But ultimately the BIP season seven duo only got a couple dozen weekends together.
“We have decided to go our separate ways,” patient coordinator Maurissa (who romanced Peter Weber) and attorney Riley (one of Tayshia Adams’ suitors) announced in a joint January 2022 statement. “Never did we imagine this, but we’ve come to a point where we both need to work on ourselves.”
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Demi Burnett & Kristian Haggerty
Bachelor Nation’s first same-sex couple got engaged on season six of Bachelor in Paradise but announced their 2019 split on Halloween.
“What has always been at the forefront of our relationship is love and care for one another. Our priority is doing what is best for us. With a heavy heart full of love for one another we have decided it is best for us to take a step back from our relationship,” they said in a joint statement posted on Instagram. “We ultimately want what is best for us in the long run and for us right now, that means being apart and growing individually.”
Noah Erb & Abigail Heringer
Paradise lost? Not quite. Though Noah Erb and Abigail Heringer broke up in Mexico during the BIP’s seventh season, they realized they could see forever in each other’s eyes. Initially settling in San Diego, the travel nurse (who competed for Tayshia’s heart) and the financial manager (who received Matt James’ first impression rose) recently purchased a place in his hometown of Tulsa.
“About to enter our Chip and Joanna Gaines era because your girl bought her very first house!!!” Abigail wrote on Instagram in July 2023. “Excited to start our next chapter and for all the memories we’ll create here!!” Starting with a few wedding plans. Ahead of their move, Noah proposed at a beachfront San Diego home in August 2023.
Serena Pitt & Joe Amabile
Never hurts to have a little practice run. While planning their September 2023 vows, Serena Pitt (a finalist on Matt James’ season) and Joe Amabile (the Chicago grocery store owner who found fame after Becca Kufrin sent him home night one in 2018) decided to just do the damn thing at City Hall near their New York City digs, roughly one year after leaving Paradise engaged.
“JUST MARRIED !!” Serena, now hosting the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast with her husband, captioned the October 2022 video. “We are still having a wedding this September but who doesn’t want to get married twice!”
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Kenny Braasch & Mari Pepin
“Mari, I am f–king so in love with you,” boy band manager Kenny Braasch said as he slipped that Neil Lane diamond onto Mari Pepin’s finger on the 2021 Paradise finale. “And I literally, like, I can’t see my life without you.”
So the Maryland beauty queen, who initially charmed Bachelor Matt, moved to Kenny’s native Chicago and set about planning their forever. And before she and Kenny (eliminated by Tayshia Adams in week five) wed in a 65-guest oceanfront ceremony in Puerto Rico Nov. 11, they made their love permanent, getting inked with matching tattoos during a May trip to the Bahamas.
Becca Kufrin & Thomas Jacobs
Former Bachelorette Becca and Thomas Jacobs (one of Katie Thurston’s suitors) got together on Bachelor in Paradise season seven in 2021, broke up on the show, then reconciled after production wrapped.
In May 2022, they announced they were engaged, and that Becca proposed. “I hope that other people can now feel empowered and say it’s okay to bend the rules,” she told E! News. The real estate agent returned the favor that October. In September 2023, the two welcomed their first child, son Benson. Wrote Becca on Instagram, “No amount of words can begin to capture the amount of love and awe we have over this tiny man.”
Though she’s awfully fond of her 6-foot-6 guy as well. Weeks after bringing home Benson, the pair wed in a spontaneous Oct. 13 ceremony.
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Katie Thurston & Blake Moynes
On The Bachelorette’s season 17 finale in 2021, Katie got engaged to Blake Moynes. The pair first declared their love for one another during their overnight date, which involved a paintball excursion, a cowboy tub and a conversation under the stars.
Getting down on one knee, Blake told Katie, “You deserve the world, and I’m excited to support you and be there for you every day moving forward.”
Three months after the proposal aired, the couple announced their split. They explained in matching statements, “We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently.”
Instagram / Rachael Kirkconnell
Rachael Kirkconnell & Matt James
In the years since Matt and graphic designer Rachael Kirkconnell left his 2021 season together (then briefly split and eventually reunited), they’ve faced many a breakup rumor. But, yes, they’re still sweet on each other.
“I think everybody needs to take a break from social media,” he exclusively told E! News at a July 18 Baskin-Robbins event. “Our lives are lived so much in front of our phones that when anybody steps out of being on their phone 24/7, people think it’s the end of the world.”
Marriage remains the end-game for the L.A.-based pair. “I think the good thing about our relationship is we go at our own pace,” the First Impressions: Off Screen Conversations With a Bachelor on Race, Family, and Forgiveness author told E! News in 2022. “And you’ve seen with other couples—they force the engagement and they’re not together anymore. So, I think what we got is a working recipe and we’re gonna get there.”
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Tayshia Adams & Zac Clark
After stepping in to complete Clare Crawley’s 2020 season of The Bachelorette, Tayshia met and fell in love with Zac Clark. Though they left her season engaged, the former Bachelorette lead-turned-co-host later revealed that their relationship had some ups and downs.
“It’s hard to be in a new relationship and then kind of go away for a couple of weeks, you know what I mean? And this is me being real and honest,” she said on The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous podcast in August 2021.
She continued, “I think after that, it was kinda like we need to remember why we were with each other. And I think that that’s absolutely normal.” In November 2021, E! News confirmed the two had gone their separate ways.
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Clare Crawley & Dale Moss
Clare fell head over heels for Dale Moss during season 16 of The Bachelorette. In fact, the two were engaged by the fourth episode. The surprises didn’t stop there as, weeks after Clare’s replacement Tayshia nabbed an engagement of her own, Dale took to social media and revealed his love story with the hair dresser was already over.
The pair sparked reconciliation rumors a month later when they were spotted together. Fast forward to July 2021, after several reunions, and Clare and Dale were fully back together—ring and all. But that September, the two called it quits again. Clare is now happily married to Ryan Dawkins and they’re expecting their first daughter together.
Peter Weber & Kelley Flanagan
After his brief engagement to winner Hannah Ann Sluss and then subsequent split from runner-up Madison Prewett, fans were hopeful that the third time would be the charm for Peter. Alas, his romance with The Bachelor season 24 standout Kelley Flanagan wasn’t meant to be, the pilot sharing on New Year’s Eve 2020 that their nine-month relationship was grounded.
“While our relationship was filled with countless beautiful memories, our relationship simply didn’t work out in the end,” Pete posted to Instagram. “Kelley is someone I will always have a special love for.”
The pair attempted to take flight once more in 2022, before revealing this past May that their romance had reached its final destination.
John Fleenor via Getty Images
Peter Weber & Madison Prewett
Following the dramatic 2020 finale, the couple announced on Instagram that they’d no longer be pursuing a relationship. “Madi and I have mutually decided not to pursue our relationship any further,” Peter wrote. “Believe me this was not easy for either of us to be ok with, but after a lot of honest conversations, we have agreed that this is what makes most sense for the two of us. The love and respect I have for Madi will continue to endure.”
Madi added in her statement, “I will always love and respect him. I am convinced our paths were meant to cross and we are both better because they did.”
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Peter Weber & Hannah Ann Sluss
Peter and Hannah Ann were briefly engaged during season 24 of The Bachelor. Sadly, during part two of the finale, it was revealed that the couple was struggling a month into their exclusive relationship. Specifically, Hannah Ann was blindsided over Peter’s lingering feelings for Madison.
“All I’ve ever asked for, is for someone to give me their whole heart like I’m giving mine to them. And you took away my first engagement,” she expressed before giving back her ring. “You took that away from me. ‘Cause I trusted you, and that’s what you have continued to ask me to do. ‘Be patient with me. Have faith in me.'”
Dean Unglert & Caelynn Miller-Keyes
Dylan Barbour & Hannah Godwin
Dylan Barbour and his BIP season six love Hannah Godwin were basically knockin’ on heaven’s door when they tied the knot in a multi-day French affair. “The wedding was absolutely magical,” Hannah exclusively told E! News. “I married my best friend surrounded by our closest family and friends and it meant everything to us. It was a dream come true.”
Mostly, the content creator (who fell for Bachelor Colton Underwood before turning up in Mexico in 2019) is excited to officially call the tech entrepreneur (from Hannah Brown’s season) her husband. “We obviously are in it for the long haul,” she said of building a life in San Diego together. “Our families are super involved and close. A lot of it does feel like we have that marriage type of relationship. Obviously, we want to make memories and seal the deal and everything, but it is one of those things where I feel like we are married in a sense.”
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Chris Bukowski & Katie Morton
Following months of speculation, Bachelor in Paradise duo Chris Bukowski (who kicked off his multi-season Bachelor flirtation on Emily Maynard’s season) and Katie Morton (she dated Colton) announced their 2019 breakup in a joint statement.
“We’ve reached a point in our story where we agree it’s best to go our separate ways,” they posted to their Instagram accounts that December. “We have chosen to love and respect each other as friends because that’s the base of our relationship, and it’s what is most natural for us.”
Tayshia Adams & John Paul Jones
Five months after meeting on the beaches of Bachelor in Paradise in 2019, a post-Colton, pre-Bachelorette Tayshia announced she and John Paul Jones had decided to go their separate ways. As she put it, “…we were living on opposite coasts, and working insane schedules that made it impossible to see each other and build a life with each other.”
Connor Saeli & Whitney Fransway
Connor Saeli (from Hannah Brown’s season) and Whitney Fransway (Nick Viall’s) had hit it off on season six of Bachelor in Paradise but then called it quits after having problems maintaining a long-distance relationship.
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Hannah Brown & Tyler Cameron
After her 2019 breakup from Jed Wyatt, Hannah reconciled with her runner-up and the two even spent the night together at her home. But he soon ended up pursuing something with model Gigi Hadid, and he and Hannah were done once again.
However, in March 2020, the two reunited in Florida and later self-isolated with friends amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking fresh romance rumors. But at this point they are never ever getting back together.
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Hannah Brown & Jed Wyatt
Questioning if he was there for the right reasons (read: possibly had a girlfriend at home), the former pageant queen sent final rose recipient Jed and his guitar packing even before her 2019 finale aired. (He later said on Bachelor Happy Hour that while he was dating Haley Stevens pre-show, they were not exclusive: “If I was in a relationship, I would not have gone onto a dating show. That’s just me. I’m not a cheater.”)
In the ultimate dramatic twist, Hannah’s now-fiancé Adam Woolard was on her arm when she attended brother Patrick Brown’s September 2022 wedding—to Wyatt’s onetime girlfriend Stevens. “I’ve come to realize my life is a never-ending plot twist,” she wrote on Instagram, “but it makes for a damn good (for sure weird) story.”
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Colton Underwood & Cassie Randolph
Fans were a little stunned when Cassie Randolph chose to leave Colton’s season of The Bachelor. So Colton stunned right back by jumping a fence and running away before breaking it off with the other two remaining women and going after Cassie anyway.
Cassie and Colton didn’t get engaged but remained a couple until calling it quits in May 2020. In September, Cassie took legal action against Colton and was granted a temporary restraining order against him. In the documents obtained by E! News, Cassie claimed that Colton “has been stalking and harassing Ms. Randolph. He has sent her unsettling text messages, repeatedly called her, and placed a tracking device on her vehicle to track her whereabouts.” The restraining order was later extended until that November, when she dropped her petition.
“I think that was sort of a huge wake-up call,” Colton told Us Weekly of that tumultuous time. “I’m sad that it even got to that point to where that had to be my wake-up call and me affecting other people in my life was sort of the moment that I realized I had to come out.”
In April 2021, the former Bachelor lead came out as gay, noting on Good Morning America, “I’ve ran from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time. I’m gay and I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it.”
In May 2023, he married partner Jordan C. Brown.
Kaitlyn Bristowe & Jason Tartick
After her breakup from Shawn Booth, Kaitlyn Bristowe found love with Jason Tartick, who was a contestant during Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette. He asked her out during a taping of her podcast in January 2019 and proposed in May 2021, again, during a taping of their podcast.
Though they began planning their nuptials (“The wedding vibe we are going for is over-the-top fancy, but at the same time, we want Buffalo chicken wings,” the former Bachelorette told E! News), the couple, who share dogs Ramen and Pinot, announced their breakup in August 2023.
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