20 of the biggest 'Bachelor' and 'Bachelorette' controversies of all time

ABC‘The Bachelor’ isn’t just about drama-free love.
  • Both “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” have many devoted fans.
  • The shows also have their fair share of controversies.
  • From the worst “Bachelor” star of all time to cast members with terrible pasts, these “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” controversies surpass all others.

“The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” have been reality TV staples for a long time now. And though the “Bachelor” franchise has many fans, it also has quite a few controversies.

In fact, there have been so many scandalous situations that it might be hard to remember all of the things that happened before the more recent seasons of the shows.

Read on to see the moments on “The Bachelor” and its franchise shows that caused the most controversy.

Lincoln Adim’s troubling history came out during the airing of Becca Kufrin’s season.

ABCAdim was convicted of indecent assault and battery.

There were a number of controversies during Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette.” One such controversy came to light when reports surfaced while the season was airing that contestant Lincoln Adim had recently been convicted of indecent assault and battery.

Adim wasn’t invited to “The Men Tell All,” the typical end of the season reunion special, but viewers didn’t know that until host Chris Harrison told Glamour after the show that he’d been purposefully left out since it wasn’t addressed during the episode.

Warner Bros., the production company that produces “The Bachelorette,” released a statement denying any knowledge of Adim’s legal history.

“No one on ‘The Bachelorette’ production had any knowledge about the incident or charges when Lincoln Adim was cast, and he himself denied ever having engaged in or having been charged with any sexual misconduct,” the statement said.

Jason Mesnick broke up with Melissa Roycroft and proposed to runner-up Molly Malaney.

ABCMesnick and Malaney.

There have been lots of hated “Bachelor” leads over the years, and Jason Mesnick took the title after his season when he broke up with his finalist Melissa Roycroft and got back together with the runner-up on the season, Molly Malaney.

On the final episode of his season, Mesnick proposed to Rycroft, but on the “After The Final Rose” episode Mesnick and Rycroft broke up and Mesnick admitted that he still had feelings for Malaney.

TV Guide reported that Mesnick and Rycroft did indeed break up prior to the taping of “After The Final Rose,” but that Rycroft wasn’t aware that Mesnick was going to try to fix things with Malaney until they were on set. Mesnick and Malaney eventually tied the knot.

When Arie Luyendyke Jr. broke up with Becca Kufrin and proposed to Lauren Burnham.

ABC/Paul HebertKufrin and Luyendyke Jr. were engaged after the show.

When “Bachelorette” season 8 contestant Arie Luyendyk Jr. returned to the franchise and proposed to Becca Kufrin in Peru, it seemed as though things might actually work out for them. Just a couple weeks after the proposal, however, ABC showed their on-camera breakup.

Luyendyk Jr. told Kufrin that he still had feelings for the runner-up, Lauren Burnham, and wanted to give things a go with her. The cameras followed Luyendyke Jr. to Burnham’s family home where they reconciled. On “After the Final Rose,” Luyendyke Jr. and Burnham appeared on stage together and Luyendyke Jr. proposed.

Kufrin went on to become the next “Bachelorette” star.

In 2018, Luyendyk Jr. and Burnham announced that they’re expecting their first child and got married in a ceremony officiated by Chris Harrison in Hawaii on January 12, 2019.

Garrett Yrigoyen accepted Becca Kufrin’s final rose, but then had to explain himself for social media comments.

ABCYrigoyen apologised on ‘After the Final Rose.’

Becca Kufrin’s season ended with her accepting a proposal from one of the season-long frontrunners, Garrett Yrigoyen.

But controversy found the happy couple anyway, when Yrigoyen’s controversial social media activity was discovered, including the fact that he has “liked” a number of posts mocking undocumented immigrants, the trans community, and others, as well as posts containing misinformation about victims and survivors of the Parkland school shooting students, as The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Yrigoyen later released a statement taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing. Kufrin has stuck by Yrigoyen and the two are preparing to move in together in California, as Entertainment Tonight reported.

Jesse Palmer said the wrong name during a rose ceremony.

ABCPalmer had to pull Harrison aside to correct his mistake.

Palmer’s season resulted in a bit of controversy right off the bat, when he said the wrong woman’s name during the first rose ceremony. As Entertainment Weekly noted, Palmer said Katie, but meant Karen, which ultimately resulted in both women sticking around.

Lee Garrett posted racist, sexist, Islamaphobic, and homophobic comments on social media.

ABCLee Garrett.

ABC cast fan-favourite Rachel Lindsay as the franchise’s first black “Bachelorette” star. But one of her contestants, Lee Garrett, was shown to have a murky social media past that put him in hot water with fans and Lindsay herself.

As HuffPost reported, Garrett had seemingly posted comments on social media that were racist, sexist, Islamaphobic, and homophobic.

Because of the known in-depth application and background check all potential contestants go through, lots of people had a hard time believing that Garrett’s tweets were just missed by producers. Lindsay even had a few choice words about Garrett’s posts during the “Men Tell All” episode.

“I hope that in watching it back, you realise that you were a part of something so great,” she said. “But in case you didn’t, please know that you can exit stage left and meet me backstage, and I will be more than happy to give you a black history lesson, a lesson on women’s rights.”

Leo Dottavio was accused of sexual misconduct.

ABC/Craig SjodinDottavio had lots of people in Bachelor Nation speak out against him.

As USA Today reported, contestant Leo Dottavio, who finished in the top six of “Bachelorette” star Becca Kufrin’s season, was reportedly accused of sexual misconduct. It all started when former “Bachelor” contestant Bekah Martinez posted on Instagram that she had received what she said were claims from many women that Dottavio had engaged in sexual misconduct.

Dottavio made a statement via his Instagram story, saying, “There have been some recent stories about me that have garnered attention and I want to address them. I want to start by saying no one has ever accused me of sexual harassment. No one has ever come to me in any way and told me I made them feel uncomfortable. However, I am not a perfect person nor have I ever claimed to be.”

On season 11 of “The Bachelorette,” men chose between Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe to be the star of the season moving forward on the first night.

ABCNilsson and Bristowe didn’t know who was going to be the ‘Bachelorette’ star until the night of.

For season 11 of “The Bachelorette,” producers wanted to shake things up a bit, so they decided to have two potential bachelorettes on the first night.

Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe appeared on the season’s premiere and both met the 25 guys who’d be competing for the heart of whichever woman was ultimately chosen as the lead.

The men voted for which woman would become the lead, with Bristowe winning out in the end.

Bristowe told The Hollywood Reporter that the change wasn’t something she was excited by. Many people had issues with this strategy, arguing that “The Bachelorette” is supposed to be about the women in control, but this twist resulted in the men still holding all the power, which might be why it hasn’t been attempted again.

The “Bachelor In Paradise” sexual misconduct allegations changed the rules of the show forever.

Paul Hebert/ABCCorinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson.

Season four of “Bachelor In Paradise” temporarily ended in controversy when Warner Bros. announced that it was suspending filming amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

After an encounter between contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, a producer filed a report saying that Olympios may have been unable to give consent due to how much she had had to drink.

After the Warner Bros. investigation said there was no evidence of misconduct, the rest of the season was eventually filmed (without Jackson and Olympios). Warner Bros. also reportedly implemented a drink limit for contestants.

Brad Womack returned as the “Bachelor” star for a second time.

ABCWomack had two chances on the show.

Brad Womack first appeared as the “Bachelor” star on season 11 of the show.

Things got controversial that season when he chose not to pick either of his two finalists – the first “Bachelor” star to do so in the history of the show.People were upset that Womack had walked away with no one, especially considering that he had asked finalist DeAnna Pappas’ father for her hand in marriage.

Then, several years later, ABC brought him back for season 15 of “The Bachelor.” This time, Womack proposed to finalist Emily Maynard, but the two later broke up. Maynard went on to become the “Bachelorette” star for her own season.

Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi had a post-breakup interview on ABC with Chris Harrison.

ABCPavelka and Giardi had a very public relationship and break-up.

Jake Pavelka proposed to the season’s “villain,” Vienna Girardi, at the end of his “Bachelor” season. But the two weren’t able to make things work.

Chris Harrison hosted a sit-down between the two for viewers to get answers about what may have gone wrong, and things got pretty ugly. As People reported, Girardi accused Pavelka of emotional abuse, while he said that she undermined him throughout the entirety of their relationship. The conversation was pretty much a mess from start to finish, with Us Weekly noting that it resulted in Girardi leaving in tears.

Brad Womack reportedly broke up with Emily Maynard by CC’ing her on an email.

ABCMaynard wrote about their relationship in her book.

When Brad Womack and Emily Maynard’s relationship didn’t work out, it cleared the way for the fan favourite to appear as the lead on “The Bachelorette” later on. But, for a while, fans didn’t know many specifics about how their relationship ended.

As Bustle reported, Maynard wrote a book called “I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love” that shed some light on how things went down. According to Bustle, Maynard disclosed that Womack broke up with her by CC’ing her on an email he sent about the breakup to producers.

Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado had a dramatic post-show relationship.

ABC/Craig SjodinVelvick and Delgado.

Byron Velvick was the season six star of “The Bachelor” in 2004. Velvick proposed to Mary Delgado in his season finale, but the two had a volatile relationship. As PopSugar noted, the two split in 2009, but during their relationship, Delgado was arrested on one count of battery for allegedly punching Velvick in the face.

Rozlyn Papa was sent home for having an “inappropriate relationship” with a producer.

ABCPapa continued to deny the allegations.

A cast member on Jake Pavelka’s season, Rozlyn Papa, was sent home relatively early on in the season after Chris Harrison confronted her about having an “inappropriate relationship” with a producer.

Harrison said that the producer owned up to the relationship and that some of the other women saw the two together, but, as CBS reported, Papa denied that anything ever happened between them.

Juan Pablo Galavis’ entire season was filled with problematic moments.

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity InvitationalGalavis and Ferrell.

Juan Pablo Galavis was supposedly a fan-favourite when he was selected to be the “Bachelor” star, but his season was controversial pretty much throughout.

As Us Weekly reported, he made comments about how there should never be a gay lead because it would set a bad example for kids. He also notoriously dismissed any and all concerns from the women on his season with “it’s OK.” People also accused him of slut-shaming finalist Clare Crawley after the two apparently hooked up. Ultimately, he selected Nikki Ferrell in the end, but refused to tell her that he loved her or propose marriage.

Ferrell and Galavis have since ended their relationship, and Crawley went on to be on “Bachelor in Paradise” twice and most recently on “Bachelor Winter Games” where she had a short-lived engagement to Benoit Beauséjour-Savard.

Bently Williams, who was on Ashley Herbert’s season of “The Bachelorette,” was not interested in Herbert and made that known throughout filming.

ABCBentley Williams.

Bentley Williams appeared on Ashley Hebert’s season of “The Bachelorette.” Williams was, essentially, the perfect villain. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, Williams called Hebert an “ugly duckling” and also said privately that he had feelings for Emily Maynard, and that he’d hoped that she would have been the lead, ABC News reported.

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth spoiled their season of “The Bachelorette” by Snapchatting a photo together.

ABCShawn Booth and Kaitlyn Bristowe.

Kaitlyn Bristowe beat out Britt Nilsson to be the season 11 star of “The Bachelorette,” but then she accidentally spoiled the ending to her season.

As E! News reported,Bristowe posted and then quickly deleted a Snapchat post of her lying in bed with Shawn Booth, who proposed to Bristowe at the end of her season. Of course, there was no confirmation that Bristowe and Booth were, in fact, together at the end of the season after she posted that Snapchat shot, but plenty of fans were convinced that her slip-up was telling.

The two announced their break up in late 2018, but Bristowe is now dating former “Bachelorette” contestant Jason Tartick.

Nick Viall competed for love four times and they all were unsuccessful.

ABC/Rick RowellJen Saviano and Nick Viall on ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’

As Marie Claire noted,Nick Viall has appeared on four different seasons of “Bachelor” franchise shows in some capacity, and has made it to the final two on two different seasons of “The Bachelorette.”

He was also the “Bachelor” star himself, proposing to Vanessa Grimaldi, though the two later split.

“Bachelor” Nation has many opinions on Viall, but there’s little doubt that his appearances, coupled with what fans called his slut-shaming comments to “Bachelorette” star Andi Dorfman on “After The Final Rose,” have made him one of the most controversial contestants in the show’s history.

Chad Johnson was kicked out of “Bachelor in Paradise” by Chris Harrison.

ABCJohnson on the first night of ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’

On the third season of “Bachelor in Paradise” Johnson went home after just one night in Mexico.

Johnson started drinking right when he got to “Paradise” and things escalated from there. He accused Daniel Maguire of being “un-murder-y,” called Sarah Herron a “one-armed b—-,” and was asked to leave by Harrison the next morning.

Johnson didn’t leave without a fight, and left the show by saying “F— you, Chris Harrison.”

Becca Kufrin started falling for Colton Underwood, only to discover that he had dated her friend.

ABCUnderwood and Booth did end up dating for a bit on ‘Paradise.’

Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette” was filled with drama, and some of that drama came from the fact that Colton Underwood had some sort of relationship with Tia Booth, Kufrin’s friend, and fellow former contestant from Arie Luyendyke Jr’s season.

Underwood and Booth had spent a weekend together while Luyendyke’s season was airing and while Booth was still in the running for “Bachelorette.” Underwood was in the running to be cast on the season and apparently told Booth that he was going to go on the season whether or not it was her.

Underwood told Kufrin once he was on her season that he had briefly dated Booth. Although Kufrin said she was troubled by the news, she decided to keep him on anyway.

After hometown dates, Kufrin met up with a couple of her friends, including Booth, and Booth told her she still had feelings for Underwood and didn’t think he would make it this far. Kufrin seemed upset and sent Underwood home at the next rose ceremony.

Underwood and Booth were both cast on “Bachelor in Paradise” and began dating after a lot of back and forth on the show. Underwood broke up with Booth and went on to be announced as the new “Bachelor” star.

Booth has voiced her support for Underwood.

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