The Bachelorette has captivated audiences since its premiere in 2003. Each season, around 25 men vie for the attention and affection of an eligible single. Each episode traditionally ends with an elimination until only two suitors remain, one of whom proposes to the bachelorette during the season finale. Unlike its predecessor, The Bachelor, this spin-off dating game show has always ended with a proposal, though, like in its parent series, these proposals haven’t always ended well.
On this season of The Bachelorette, Hannah Brown returns as season fifteen’s leading lady, hoping to find love after being benched by Colton Underwood on season 23 of The Bachelor. After missing out on the professional football player’s final rose, the Miss USA 2018 contender is back on the playing field with a roster of 25 eligible bachelors from which to choose. While Brown is a long way from finding Mr. Right, let’s take a trip down memory lane with the top 10 unforgettable Bachelorette finales.
10 Lindsay's Season – A Suitor Smackdown (Season 13)
Rachel Lindsay, who came in third on The Bachelor season 12 (a.k.a. the third time Nick Viall proved to be the absolute worst), was a groundbreaking Bachelorette, as her 31 suitors were the most diverse in the franchise’s history. Among the heartsick hopefuls was one Lee Garrett, who earned his reputation as one of the most hated suitors in The Bachelorette history.
Spending his time in the house instigating fights with his fellow contestants, Garrett enjoyed nothing more than dropping truth bombs and basking in the fallout during his tenure. The drama didn’t die with his rose—Bachelor Nation found some seriously bad social media posts by the singer/songwriter. His behavior, both on and off camera, made for one explosive finale. With plenty of support from her new fiancé, Bryan Abasolo, and her season’s past hopefuls, Lindsay tore Garrett a new one during her After the Rose taping—much to the satisfaction of the studio audience and fans back home.
9 JoJo's Season – The Hanging Chad (Season 12)
After bachelor Ben Higgins broke if off, JoJo Fletcher took center stage with her own season of The Bachelorette. JoJo’s season was packed with drama, crying, and a Chad Johnson that just won’t go away. Chad, whose love of protein powder was matched only by his erratic behavior, loved butting heads with the other cast members.
All told, JoJo found love in Robby Hayes, but not before poking the Chad-bear on a three-person date and leaving the controversial contestant literally and figuratively “in the woods”. The Bachelorette didn’t stop there; after calling out the season 12 villain for his social-climbing behavior, which received a standing ovation from the other suitors, JoJo dropped a brutal response to his pathetic desperation: “He loves the attention and we’re giving it to him, so he's not even worth my breath.”
8 Andi's Season – The Drama Just Won’t “Staaaaaaahhp” (Season 10)
Andi Dorfman is easily one of the most memorable bachelorettes. Like many of her contemporaries, Dorfman’s journey began on The Bachelor. An argument with bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis, former soccer player and despised by fans, upset the 26-year-old behind closed doors, causing Dorfman to storm off, leaving the season entirely.
Fast forward to 2014—Juan Pablo is a bachelor non grata, and it's Andi’s chance at love as Season 10's Bachelorette. Her season wasn't uniquely dramatic. In the end, the best-selling author of It’s Not Okay chose Josh Murray over resident jerk Nick Viall. Spurned, the runner-up dropped a bombshell in a post-breakup interview with Chris Hansen. In front of a live studio audience and millions of viewers at home, the wounded second placer bluntly stated, “If you weren’t in love with me, I’m not sure why you made love with me.” Ouch.
7 Kaitlyn Bristowe's Season – Don’t Call It A Comeback (Season 11)
Kaitlyn Bristowe, who was edged out of Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor, was everything we wanted in a bachelorette. She was energetic, fun-loving, and brutally honest. Bristow, like Dorfman, made the smart decision of hard-passing on Nick Viall’s proposal. Again, like with Andi, Viall brushed off his knees, put away the Neil Diamond sparkler, and took the high road. Yeah, right—the perpetually controversial franchise staple once again decided his best course of action was to air dirty laundry. Past over twice and fuming, Viall’s shared he and Bristowe hooked-up before the Fantasy Suite episode. The pair’s romantic rendezvous must not have wowed, because Bristowe gave her final rose to Shawn Booth.
6 Desiree's Season – Nice Girls Finish First (Season 9)
Season 9 of The Bachelorette took a serious M. Night Shyamalan-style plot twist during the Fantasy Suite dates. Earlier this season, Desiree Hartsock made it clear to the audience that Brooks Forester was her frontrunner. Constantly gushing over the actor made for adorable, predictable, and, understandably, boring television—which made Brooks' departure on the season finale so shocking.
After the semi-final episode, Forester chose to break it off with Hartsock in Antigua. Heartbroken and embarrassed, Hartstock considered leaving, herself. Thankfully she stayed to give out the final rose because Brooks’ timely departure opened the Bachelorette’s eyes to her true love—Chris Siegfried, who had been standing in front of her all along. The pair went on to marry in 2015 and are now expecting their first child together.
5 Trista's Season – What Started It All (Season 1)
The first-ever Bachelorette, Trista Sutter (née Rehn), started the franchise on a positive note by adorably finding love with Ryan Sutter. Because the two lovebirds were such a perfect match from the start, more fans were on the edge of their seats the entire season, anticipating the finale proposal with hearts in their eyes. Usually, we fans pick heroes and villains, but for the first Bachelorette outing, we were all about keeping Trista and Ryan’s spark alive. Fans got their wish when Trista and Ryan tied the knot. To this day, the series premiere's stars are one of the few Bachelorette success stories.
4 Ali's Season – Work It, Girl (Season 6)
During Season 14 of The Bachelor, Ali Fedotowsky made history by choosing her career over her competitors. Though she walked away for her chance at love with Jake Pavelka, Fedotowsky came back for her own season of The Bachelorette, and she did not disappoint. She introduced us to some of the most talked-about Bachelors in history, including Justin “Rated R” Rego, whose great escape is a true tale for the ages.
3 Emily's Season – E for Effort (Season 15)
After her relationship with Brad Womack fell apart, Emily Maynard returned to the show to try her own hand at finding love on television. As the eighth Bachelorette, the single mom sussed through 25 eligible bachelors and chose Jef Holm over runner-up Arie Luyendyk, Jr., who went on to become one of the most despised Bachelors in history. Maynard, whose love stories each seemed so promising, simply couldn’t make it work with either fiancé, walking away from the series still single.
2 Jen's Season – Riding Solo (Season 3)
Jen Schefft, the winner of Andrew Firestone's season, became the third Bachelorette after the pair broke it off. Trying her second hand at love, Schefft struck out during her season of the dating show—opting to dump both finalists.
1 Jillian's Season – A Cast Of Characters (Season 5)
After being turned down by bachelor Jason Mesnick, Jillian Harris opened her heart to love as the season 5 Bachelorette and introduced the world to some of the biggest names in franchise history; Kiptyn Locke, who would become a huge fan-favorite, Jake Pavelka, who became season 14’s polarizing hero, and Wes Hayden, the classic bad-boy America loved to hate in season 5.