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The Bachelor

A Brief History of “Hated” Bachelors and Bachelorettes — Prepare Yourself, Juan Pablo!

Even if you love new Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis, odds are very good that you will stop loving him and maybe even dip a toe into severe dislike at some point during his season of The Bachelor. It’s all part of the playbook. Fans can be passionate to the point of pitchforks and, if history serves, just about NO ONE gets through The Bachelor or The Bachelorette process unscathed.

We’ll get mad/disgusted/disappointed/bored. The Bachelor/ettes will feel compelled to defend their choices in their blogs; fans will call them names in the comments; others will defend them; and then those fans will be called names. Rinse, repeat. The former fan favorites, now chastised rose-givers, are only accepted back into the Bachelor Nation fold after a happy ending, some kind of public statement, or just time-healing wounds. Sometimes the wounds never completely heal.

The Bachelor 18 is currently filming, and Bachelorette alum William Holman predicted Juan Pabs won't give viewers what they want; he even suggested JP's adorable accent might get (gasp!) boring after a while. We fear the b-word after Desiree Hartsock’s soporific season, but it calms our minds to know it's all happened before, and everyone made it out of the love life raft okay. Des may not have "popped" on screen as a lively Bachelorette, but after a really slow build and lots of tears, look at her now — happy and in love with Chris Siegfried. That gives us hope.

Here’s a brief rundown of recent Bachelor “hate” that seems really silly in retrospect but felt very important at the time. Expect to go through all of this again.


Credit: ABC    

Ben won a lot of respect when he interrupted Ashley Hebert’s dumping speech on The Bachelorette Season 7 finale, telling Ash he didn’t need her to sugar-coat it for him. Well, fans certainly did not sugar-coat their disappointment with Ben during The Bachelor Season 16. The words "Ben" and "idiot" were constantly paired together in comments sections around the web. It's safe to say a lot of viewers didn't agree with his actions, specifically when it came to his eventual ex-fiancee, season “villain” Courtney Robertson.

During the airing of Ben's season, Rosemaster Chris Harrison appeared to be surprised by the Flajnik panic. "You never know how America is going to react, and even during filming, I wouldn't have predicted they'd feel this way," Chris told as the season was playing out. "People say, 'Why haven't you warned him about her?' But he hears what she's saying and plenty of the women tried to caution him."

If Chris was truly surprised, he shouldn't have been. He should know better than anyone when a Bachnado is on the horizon, since he’s seen each one play out for years...


Credit: ABC    

Brad Womack was despised for choosing himself at the end of The Bachelor Season 11. He was the first Most Hated Bachelor, and even Ellen DeGeneres publicly called him a “jerk.” It was a surprise to many when Brad even agreed to a second chance at public humiliation. Even though the love didn’t last with ex-fiancee Emily Maynard, he ended up smelling like a rose after their Bachelor 15 breakup. Maybe it’s because he took the blame for the split, then Emily went on to have another quick breakup after her season of The Bachelorette. Em took a lot of heat after the Jef Holm split, especially after all those texting rumors.

Going back to Brad’s first failed attempt at love, DeAnna Pappas was America's Sweetheart for being the girl everyone expected him to pick, but fans turned on her during The Bachelorette Season 4 for her extreme emotional reactions — and some disagreed with her choice of wild snowboarder Jesse Csincsak over kind single dad Jason Mesnick. Now DeAnna is married to non-Bachelor contestant Stephen Stagliano, they are expecting their first baby, and enough time has passed that it’s like none of it ever happened.

Meanwhile, Jason was a respected sweetheart going into The Bachelor Season 13, then he took over the role of Most Hated Bachelor when he shockingly changed his mind from Melissa Rycroft to Molly Malaney during the After the Final Rose special. The Jason hate was brutal — you would’ve thought he’d killed Melissa in cold blood right there on the “After the Final Rose” special. Now Jason and Molly Mesnick are a beloved Bachelor Nation couple, still going strong years later with their own new baby girl.


Credit: Wedded Bliss Photography via Facebook    

Keeping along the same lines, Jillian Harris wasn't the #1 choice to be the Season 5 Bachelorette — it was supposed to be Melissa before she went on Dancing With the Stars — and Jillian took lots of heat on her season for her actions and choices, especially welcoming Ed Swiderski back (tabloid drama and all) and picking him over favorites Reid Rosenthal and Kiptyn Locke.

Like several Bachelor/ettes, Jillian blogged for after her show. Here's a taste of one of her Bachelorette blogs from 2009:

There are many other places on the Internet to call me an idiot and call down my decisions. For those who are supporting my journey, thank you so much! I love you all and can't wait for you to see the outcome! For those of you who continue to say hurtful things here, please understand that I am a human just like you with a heart and feelings. Yes, I struggled with a lot of decisions this season. Again, I admit that I'm human. But I still stand by my statement that I am VERY HAPPY. I have had two months living with ALL my decisions and am STILL VERY HAPPY with ALL of them. That is what matters right? I feel that everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I do wish some would be a little easy on the words. :(

Sound kinda familiar?


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Ashley Hebert seemed to feel the same way. Like Jillian — who is now one of the favorite Bachelor/ette alumni — Ashley wasn't fans’ first choice to be the Bachelorette, and she really got put through hell on Season 7, especially when America turned on her during the "Bad News" Bentley Williams saga. The producers also felt the wrath for not warning Ashley, but Ash herself seemed hurt and surprised by the fan backlash. Now she and JP Rosenbaum are a beloved married Bachelor Nation couple and one of the only "success" stories to date.


Credit: Getty    

Remember how much Jake Pavelka was loved at the start of The Bachelorette Season 5? Many fans couldn't believe Jillian dumped him. By the time he was cast as the Bachelor for Season 14, a lot of that fever had cooled — and when he picked Vienna Girardi over Tenley Molzahn, Gia Allemand or even a potted plant, fans couldn't believe it. Jake and Vienna didn't help things with their ugly televised breakup, but Jake somewhat redeemed himself on Bachelor Pad Season 2. Unfortunately, the more he puts himself on TV, the more it feeds his “anything for a camera” image, which makes him seem insincere.


Credit: Instagram    

Eventually, everyone can find “redemption” — even Brad, Jason, Jake, and ol’ Ben. Here’s the lesson: If fans don't like you, be honest in explaining why you did what you did on the show and how you feel about things as you watch everything back; lay low and wait a while for someone else to be a bigger target (it won’t take long); then re-emerge in some positive forum.

Best of luck to Juan Pablo and all future Bachelor/ettes! May the winds of fandom be ever at your backs.

10.2.2013 / 08:30 PM EDT by Gina Carbone
Related: The Bachelor, Features, Gossip, The Bachelorette, Ben Flajnik

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