Another year has come and gone for Bachelor Nation. In most respects, 2013 was a lucky one. In fact, when’s the last time we made it a full year with both of the reigning Bachelor and Bachelorette couples still together? There were no show-born couple breakups this year, unlike 2012 which saw the rise and fall of both Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson and Emily Maynard and Jef Holm. Plus 2012 was forever marred when Chris Harrison and his wife split up, which almost crushed our belief in love for good. Almost.
Thankfully we held out, 'cause this year love was back, babies were bouncing, and almost all the news was good. Almost. Here’s a look back at 10 of the biggest moments of 2013.
1. SeanCat is Born
This time last year, we never would’ve predicted the enduring and adorable love story of SeanCat. Bachelor Sean Lowe first met Catherine Giudici in The Bachelor Season 17 premiere, which aired on January 7. Maybe it wasn't love at first sight, but she did think he was a "hunk." He popped the question in the March 11 finale and they are getting married on TV on January 26, 2014. Sometimes this crazy show does work after all!
2. Desiree Picks (Brooks) Chris
Spoilers suggested Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock — one of Sean Lowe's The Bachelor dumpees — would pick Brooks Forester in the end. Well, maybe she wanted to, but Brooks took himself out of contention with a confusing speech that basically boiled down to "I'm just not that into you." Des quickly bounced back, bypassing Drew Kenney and getting engaged to Chris Siegfried. Des and Chris are still going strong — and now we can't even imagine her with that other fella.
3. Tierra is Engaged ... Until She Isn't … But Other Engagements Last
Tierra LiCausi, her sparkle and her uncontrollable eyebrows were major stars of Sean's Bachelor season — although not necessarily in a good way. Tierra decided to change the conversation in February when she showed off a huge diamond ring. Her brother told Wetpaint Entertainment she was really engaged, to someone she had been seeing before the show. By September it was revealed that the engagement had been called off a few months earlier. Happily, there were some real more successful engagements this year, including for Michael Stagliano, Helene Eksterowicz, Valishia Savage, Emily O'Brien, Ty Brown and Elizabeth Kitt, Ryan Park, and Jessie Sulidis and Jackie Gordon — who both recently walked down the aisle.
4. Jason and Molly Welcome First Child Together
There's still some debate over whether Jason and Molly are an official Bachelor couple or if they don't count since, technically, Jason picked Melissa Rycroft back on Season 13. Either way, we heart the Mesnicks and they welcomed their first child together, Riley Anne, on March 14. Adorable Riley is a little sister for Jason's son, Ty, from his first marriage. Because there are never enough babies, we cheered when The Bachelor producers Cassie Lambert and Peter Scalettar welcomed a baby girl in August, shortly after attending a Beyonce concert. Coincidence? We think not.
5. DeAnna is Pregnant — and So Are a Bunch of Other People!
Sometimes it pays to be dumped by Brad Womack. DeAnna Pappas, the last girl standing in the The Bachelor 11 finale, went on to be the Season 4 Bachelorette. It didn't work out with Jesse Csincsak, but she found love with Stephen Stagliano, twin brother of Bachelor Pad winner Michael Stagliano. DeAnna and Stephen got married in 2011 and in August 2013 they revealed they’re expecting their first child. In September, DeAnna updated to say Baby Stag would be a girl.
She wasn’t the only one showing off a baby bump this year. Melissa Rycroft revealed she's pregnant with her second child, a boy this time. Jesse and his wife, The Bachelor Season 13's Ann Lueders, are expecting their second child. Season 3 Bachelor Andrew Firestone and his wife are also expecting their third child this winter.
6. Meredith Phillips Reveals Battle With Alcoholism
Some of us were crazy about Meredith Phillips and Ian McKee and still wish The Bachelorette Season 2 lovebirds had stayed together. But Meredith fell off the radar after she and Ian split, and newer fans of the franchise may not even remember her. We knew she had published a Date Night cookbook, but it came as a shock to see her in a People magazine story in May, talking about her battle with alcoholism.
She admitted she was "drunk every night" during the show, and her old demons returned when she and Ian split. Her brother ultimately convinced her to go to rehab. Now she and her husband are working on their marriage. "I still have a lot of healing to do, but I'm feeling better every day," she told People. "It's not fun to start over again at 39, but life is short. And I have a second chance."
7. Juan Pablo is Named the Next Bachelor
Juan Pablo Galavis didn't make it past Episode 6 of Desiree's Bachelorette Season 9, but his fan base was big and vocal enough to convince The Powers That Be that he'd be the obvious choice to hand out roses. During Des's August 5 "After the Final Rose" special, single soccer dad JPG was announced as the 2014 Bachelor.
He's the first Latino Bachelor, but also the first guy to basically straddle the line between total newbie and "recycled" contestant, since we barely got to know him on TV. Bachelor alumni responded to the news with glee, which means they’re just like us.
8. Gia Allemand Takes Her Own Life
The Bachelor 14 and two-time Bachelor Pad alum was rushed to the hospital on Monday, August 12 after hanging herself in her New Orleans home. She was pronounced dead on August 14, at age 29. Bachelor Nation went into shock and deep mourning. Gia was laid to rest in her native New York, surrounded by Bachelor/ette friends who loved her. A celebration of Gia's life was held on December 20, which would've marked Gia's 30th birthday, with proceeds from ticket sales going toward the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
9. The Ben Flajnik/Kardashian Momager Dating Rumors
Leave it to Ben Flajnik to end up an honorary Kardashian! The Season 16 Bachelor does seem to have a taste for outspoken, sexually confident women who like the spotlight, so it's not out of the question to think he might go for Kris Jenner. In late September, whispers started about the 31-year-old former Bachelor and the 58-year-old Kardashian momager. The rumors didn't go away, in fact they just picked up steam, if not legitimacy.
Us Weekly had a cover story on the pair’s “secret affair,” even though Ben and Kris both denied a romance. “Kris is a very dear friend of mine," Ben told People. "We are not dating, we’re just working on a couple of projects together, so that’s why we’ve been seen a lot as of late." There have been a few odd "are they really dating?!" couples this year.
And rumors were everywhere in Bachelor Nation. Back in September, there were rumors that Chris Harrison might be dating Selma Alameri of Sean's season, although she said they were not an item. Season 9 Bachelor Lorenzo Borghese was caught in romance headlines with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Sonja Morgan. And the Bigfoot of Bachelor Nation himself, Brad Womack, emerged in photos with AshLee Frazier, although they apparently didn't last very long as a couple.
10. Trista and Ryan Celebrate 10 Years of Marriage
Ten years, do you believe it? Trista Rehn married Ryan Sutter, her Bachelorette Season 1 Chosen One, on December 6, 2003. They hit the 10-year mark this year and renewed their vows in a small ceremony on December 14 in Vail, Colorado, where they live with their two kids. We'll see their latest vows in the ABC special The Bachelor: Bachelor Love Stories, which will air on January 19, 2014. Trista and Ryan will also be seen on Marriage Boot Camp, even though Trista said "Ryan and I are the happiest we've ever been, truly." It takes work to be this inspiring!
Here’s to a healthy, happy 2014 for all the couples and fans of Bachelor Nation! Which moments stood out to you from 2013?