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"The Bachelorette's" 17th season starring Katie Thurston just wrapped up.
Overall, her season belongs somewhere in the middle of this ranking.
We ranked each season based on factors including how dramatic they were and memorable contestants.
Each season of "The Bachelorette" is ranked on a combination of factors.
We're ranking each season based on how dramatic the season was, likability of the lead, how memorable the contestants were, how invested we were in the relationships, and the outcomes of those relationships.
With that being said, here we go ...
17. Season three, starring Jen Schefft
Schefft originally competed on Andrew Firestone's season of "The Bachelor" in 2003 and won, but their relationship was short-lived. She was chosen to star on the third season of "The Bachelorette," which aired in 2005.
The biggest sin of this season was that it was boring. Schefft wasn't especially compelling, none of her contestants had longevity in Bachelor Nation, and she didn't even accept the proposal of her "winner," Jerry Ferris. At the live "After the Final Rose," he asked about the proposal, and she turned him down again.
This season was boring enough that ABC took "The Bachelorette" off the air for three years until its return in 2008.
16. Season two, starring Meredith Phillips
Phillips was introduced to viewers in 2003 on Bob Guiney's season, in which she came in third place. In 2004, she was tapped as the second-ever Bachelorette.
Again, this season just wasn't that memorable. This was before the men chosen for "The Bachelor" came from cast-offs on "The Bachelorette," so none of them ever popped up again, the dates were boring, and it just wasn't the show we know and love today.
Two things give this season an edge, however: The show was good enough that it got a third season, and Phillips accepted a proposal at the end from Ian McKee and their relationship lasted a year before ending.
15. Season 14, starring Becca Kufrin
We all had high hopes for Kufrin in 2018 after she was "un-picked" by Arie Luyendyk, who had originally proposed to her before deciding he actually loved runner-up Lauren Burnham.
However, her season just wasn't that compelling. The best guy she had was Jason Tartick, who only made it to third place.
Other standouts included Blake Horstmann (who later ruined the goodwill he gained from the season while on "Paradise"), Colton Underwood (who became the Bachelor and then came out as gay), and Joe "Grocery Store Joe" Amabile, whom she eliminated on night one to the confusion of everyone — he also later became a star on "Paradise." But, crucially, all the standout moments involving these men happened after Kufrin's season, making her season basically a footnote in all of their Wikipedia entries.
This brings us to her winner, Garrett Yrigoyen, who was revealed to have some pretty abhorrent social media activity before the season began airing. Their relationship lasted a little over two years before they called it quits, but not before they were ripped apart by each other's fans for their differing political opinions.
14. Season one, starring Trista Rehn
Rehn was the first star of "The Bachelorette." She had been so beloved and likable when she appeared on the first season of "The Bachelor" in 2002 — and wasn't chosen — that ABC decided she deserved her own shot at love.
And that gamble worked! The show had huge ratings, even by 2003 standards, and Rehn picked Ryan Sutter. They're still married today with two kids, making them the gold standard of Bachelor Nation couples.
But besides that, the season's not too memorable. One of her contestants was Bob Guiney, who became the fourth Bachelor the following year, which was the first time a cast-off was made the lead of "The Bachelor." But do you remember anyone else? We think not.
13. Season seven, starring Ashley Hebert
We were introduced to Hebert during Brad Womack's second season (yes, he got two) of "The Bachelor" in 2011, where she ended up placing third. She was chosen that year to star in "The Bachelorette."
Hebert was sweet and a good "Bachelorette" lead — she married her winner, JP Rosenbaum, on TV and has two kids with him. Sadly, they announced their divorce in 2020. Her runner-up, Ben Flajnik, would go on to become the next Bachelor.
However, the most memorable person from this season has to be the villainous Bentley Williams, who bragged about making Hebert cry and told the camera he straight-up wasn't attracted to her, all while she was falling for him. He was a front-runner! After he left, he returned to string her along some more, until she eventually ditched him for good. But the thought that she could even think about bringing him back was enough to make another contestant, Ryan "Mickey" McLean, leave the season.
12. Season four, starring DeAnna Pappas
Pappas, after competing on Brad Womack's first season in 2008, was chosen to spearhead the second incarnation of "The Bachelorette" after a three-year gap. As you may remember, Womack didn't choose either of his final two women — including Pappas — during his first go-around, endearing the entire country to her before her season even began.
Pappas' season, also in 2008, was a hit. She introduced us to Jason Mesnick, her runner-up and future "Bachelor" star who would go on to pull a switch and end up with his runner-up. She got engaged to professional snowboarder Jesse Csincsak and had a TV wedding lined up before a dramatic breakup. Other contestants like Graham Bunn and Ryan Hoag would appear on future spin-offs.
There was even enough action to justify moving from a 60-minute episode to the now-standard 120 minutes, a choice that still alternately delights us and makes us groan.
11. Season five, starring Jillian Harris
Harris, our first Canadian "Bachelorette" star, had been rejected by Jason Mesnick during season 14 of "The Bachelor" in 2009.
Her season was great: Her frontrunner, Ed Swiderski, left halfway through for his job, only to reappear a few episodes later and win the whole thing, which made for delicious drama. (Unfortunately they broke up soon after.)
As a musician who just wanted to further his career, Wes Hayden, the season's villain, was the original guy who was "there for the wrong reasons." He made it all the way to the top four ... all while having a girlfriend, which he bragged about.
Her runner-up, Kiptyn Locke, became a fan-favorite and reappeared on multiple spin-offs. But, perhaps most famously, her seventh-place suitor, Jake Pavelka, would go on to be named the Bachelor, becoming one of the most-hated leads of all time.
10. Season 17, starring Katie Thurston
After Thurston walked out of the limo holding a vibrator on Matt James' season, we knew we were in for something special. During the season, she refused to engage in the petty fights we all know contestants get into, gave James a heads up that real bullying was happening between the women, and generally seemed like a good time.
When she was eliminated in week six, coming in 11th place, we thought our hopes for a Thurston season were dashed — but we were wrong.
As a lead, overall, Thurston stayed true to her persona on James' season, if not skewing a little more towards boring. She listened to her men — maybe to a fault — when they "unionized" and ganged up on multiple contestants, potentially missing out on good men. What should've been a dramatic moment — Blake Moynes joining the season — actually led most viewers to shrug and say, "Meh."
The most engaging scene in the show was the final fight between Greg Grippo and Thurston. They were very clearly having trouble communicating — Grippo wanted her to leave the show (almost issuing an ultimatum) and Thurston was unsure about the relationship. It seemed like she was more concerned with being a "good" lead.
Sure, she's engaged to Moynes and that's great, but we have a feeling their Bachelor Nation shelf-life isn't long. But other contestants like Andrew Spencer, Justin Glaze, Michael Allio, and Connor Brennan are sure to be around for a long time.
Also briefly, a shoutout to new hosts Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, who absolutely killed it.
9. Season nine, starring Desiree Hartsock
Hartsock placed fourth on season 17 of "The Bachelor," starring Sean Lowe, in 2013. Her perky personality and rom-com heroine profession of wedding dress designer made her a perfect choice for the lead of "The Bachelorette" that same year.
Her relatively high placement on this list comes down to one of the most heartbreaking breakups in "Bachelorette" history, when Brooks Forester (who most thought was going to win) decided to leave during Fantasy Suites because he wasn't ready for marriage. The memory of Hartsock's heaving sobs on a pier in Antigua lives rent-free in the minds of Bachelor Nation.
However, in a happy twist, Hartsock chose Chris Siegfried at the end, and almost a decade later, the two are married with two kids.
The other legacy of Hartsock's season has to be the introduction of Juan Pablo Galavis, who was eliminated during week six and was chosen as the next Bachelor.
8. Season 10, starring Andi Dorfman
When Dorfman told off Juan Pablo Galavis and claimed she would "die" if she had to hear him say "It's OK" one more time, a star was born. Picking her to lead season 10 in 2014 was an absolute no-brainer.
Dorfman was a different kind of lead. As a lawyer, she stood up for herself and was clear about her feelings. Though her winner, Josh Murray, didn't turn out to be the best guy in hindsight, watching their relationship unfold during the season was sweet.
Her runner-up, Nick Viall, has become one of the most reliable presences in Bachelor Nation. In third place, we had Chris Soules (the next Bachelor) and plenty of Dorfman's men showed up on the beach in "Paradise," including Marcus Grodd, Cody Sattler, and Tasos Hernandez.
7. Season eight, starring Emily Maynard
Maynard was the second winner to be chosen as the lead of "The Bachelorette" — she had been engaged to Brad Womack after his second season. She re-emerged in 2012 as a single lady ready to find her own happy ending.
To date, Maynard is still the only lead in "Bachelorette" history who is a parent (there have also been "Bachelor" leads with kids). She was such a mama bear, in fact, that she forced ABC to move filming from California to North Carolina so she could stay near her daughter, which is enough to set this season apart from an aesthetic standpoint.
Her season's villain, Kalon McMahon, has gone down as one of the worst in franchise history — he called Maynard's daughter "baggage," which rightfully set Maynard off. It was empowering to watch her take him down.
Other memorable contestants include runner-up and future infamous Bachelor Arie Luyendyk, future Bachelor Sean Lowe, six-time contestant Chris Bukowski, and winner Jef "With One F" Holm, who ended the season engaged to Maynard. Their relationship didn't last long, but Holm had been a fan-favorite all season long and we were invested at the time.
6. Season 13, starring Rachel Lindsay
Lindsay was introduced to Bachelor Nation during season 21 of "The Bachelor" in 2017. She was, of course, chosen as the first Black star in "Bachelor" history, a fact ABC was so excited to share they spoiled Viall's season by announcing she was the next Bachelorette before she was eliminated.
Spiritually, Lindsay followed in the footsteps of Andi Dorfman. She was a lawyer, just like Dorfman, and unafraid to call men out on their nonsense. But where Dorfman didn't choose right, Lindsay picked her soulmate, Bryan Abasolo.
Unfortunately, Lindsay has opened up about how she was treated by the franchise and ABC as a "token" who was trotted out to speak about its failings in regards to diversity, bullying, and more.
Thinking about her season now, knowing how poorly she was treated, almost taints the good times (like her story with Abasolo) and exacerbates the negatives (the highly charged conflict between Kenny, a Black man, and Lee, a white man who had tweeted racist things).
5. Season six, starring Ali Fedotowsky
Fedotowsky was a contestant on Jake Pavelka's season in 2010 — she was a front-runner before she was forced to exit the show due to her job.
But that same year, she was chosen as the star of "The Bachelorette," and she truly gave it her all. Take your pick of iconic moments: perhaps your favorite is when Justin Rego, who was wearing a boot due to an injury, hobbled out of a hotel through the shrubbery to run away from Fedotowsky after she'd found out he had a girlfriend.
Or maybe you like cringy moments, like when Kasey Kahl revealed he'd gotten a tattoo for Fedotowsky, only to be left on top of a glacier.
Another dramatic moment for the "Bachelorette" history books was when Frank Neuschaefer visited his ex-girlfriend in between Hometowns and Fantasy Suites, only to pull out of the competition because he wasn't over her, leaving Fedotowsky in tears.
Fedotowsky's eventual winner, Roberto Martinez, was a fan-favorite all-season long, and many were delighted to find out he had won over Chris Lambton. They dated for a year before breaking up.
Even though Fedotowsky's season was entertaining, there weren't many compelling "heroic" men on the season — none of her contestants became the Bachelor.
4. Season 16, starring Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams
Crawley made her Bachelor Nation debut in 2014 on Juan Pablo's season when she famously told him off for slut-shaming her, among other things. Six years later, Crawley was named the 16th Bachelorette — at 39, the oldest lead ever — and fans were excited.
Due to the pandemic, Crawley's season was delayed and then plagued by rumors that a switch-up was coming. But none of us was prepared for what we saw: Crawley's instant devotion to Dale Moss, which led her to "break" the show, writing off all the other contestants and leaving after four episodes. It was purely amazing television.
When Adams was brought in halfway through the season, some were skeptical. But she turned out to also be a great Bachelorette! Her love story with eventual winner Zac Clark was one of the purest this franchise has ever seen. We expect contestants like Brendan Morais, Ben Smith, Ivan Hall, Joe Park, and Riley Christian to be around for a while, too.
Forever known as the original COVID-19 season, the "Clayshia" season was filmed entirely at the La Quinta Resort outside of Palm Springs, and though it wasn't perfect, it proved that the show could get by without the requisite globetrotting.
3. Season 12, starring JoJo Fletcher
Bachelor Nation met Fletcher during Ben Higgins' season in 2016, and she quickly became a fan-favorite, which meant making her the next Bachelorette was a no-brainer.
Most of the appeal of Fletcher's season comes from watching a genuine love story blossom. Jordan Rodgers was the first guy out of the limo, received her First Impression Rose, and was never really in jeopardy the entire season. We all knew he was going to win, which meant we could sit back, relax, and watch two beautiful people find their way to each other. Five years later, the two are still engaged and actively wedding planning.
Fletcher had one of the most infamous villains of all time in Chad Johnson. Her season also gave us Wells Adams, who seems like he's the heir apparent to Chris Harrison's job (at least the "Paradise" aspect), and other solid guys like Evan Bass and Derek Peth.
But if it's drama you're looking for, you might want to skip this season.
2. Season 11, starring Kaitlyn Bristowe
Season 11 started off rocky — it was announced that two women were named the Bachelorette, and the men would get to decide who they wanted to date. Bristowe, of Chris Soules' season, was chosen, and the 2015 season was off to the races.
Bristowe remains our favorite Bachelorette. She's hilarious, relatable, and the original sex-positive lead (sorry, Katie). There's a reason she was chosen to host this season of "The Bachelorette."
When she decided she was going to let Nick Viall join the competition four weeks in, annoying every other man in the house? The best kind of chaos. When she told off the very pretentious Ian Thomson, who told her she was shallow and only there to make out with guys? A satisfying take-down. When she let Viall get through his entire proposal speech before telling him he wasn't the one? It was like a car crash you couldn't look away from.
At the time, we all rooted for Bristowe and her winner, Shawn Booth — they seemed like they were genuinely perfect for each other. However, they broke up after a few years. Now Bristowe is engaged to a former contestant on Becca Kufrin's season, Jason Tartick.
1. Season 15, starring Hannah Brown
Brown was a surprising choice for season 15 — she hadn't made it that far into Colton Underwood's season, and really all we knew about her was that she couldn't make a toast to save her life, and she had beef with fellow contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes.
How wrong we were.
An Oscar-winning screenwriter couldn't have written a better arc for Brown, who started her season in May 2019 as an insecure former pageant queen. She ended it by telling off one of the most toxic contestants in "Bachelorette" history, Luke Parker, and proudly proclaiming that she "has had sex, and Jesus still loves [her]." She also realized she deserved more than a wannabe musician/dog food jingle writer who secretly had a girlfriend (sorry, Jed).
While there are plenty of great moments to choose from, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention how, after Parker demanded time with Brown after she eliminated him, she simply ignored him and picked up the rose podium and moved it. Every person who's dealt with that type of narcissism raised a glass in salute to Hannah Beast.
Sure, this season also gave us Peter Weber, one of the most unlikable leads in "Bachelor" history, but it also gave us Tyler Cameron and Mike Johnson, two all-timers.
Read the original article on Insider