The Most Shocking Reveals In Bachelor Franchise History

"The Bachelor" debuted on ABC back in 2002 – arguably a simpler time when most people's every day movements weren't broadcast online and studied intensely. At the time, the show was completely fresh; most viewers were still getting used to reality television, and there hadn't been a dating show quite like this one.


Mike Fleiss, the show's creator, told The Cut that reality TV was novel at the time, and that meant there was a lot of room to experiment. "Back then, we were more interested in spectacles and breaking the rules," he recalled. "We were trying to see how far we could approach television with a 'You can't do that! Yes, we can!' sort of attitude." 

All that experimentation has definitely meant that "The Bachelor" and its spin-off series, "The Bachelorette," have produced some genuinely shocking television moments. Here are a few things that happened on "The Bachelor" that we'll never quite be able to forget.

When Peter Weber proposed to Hannah Ann

Fans who watched Season 24 will remember this one. In the end, bachelor Peter Weber had two choices: Hannah Ann and Madison. Unknown to Hannah Ann, Madison elected to send herself home early — which meant Hannah Ann was the only person Weber could propose to, so he did. That's not exactly the stuff of romance, or even a proposal that many people would want to accept.


The conclusion of the season was extra dramatic because while Peter Weber knew Madison had left, and even told producers on-camera how conflicted and hurt he was by her doing so, he failed to disclose this news to his fiancée. In fact, she found out the same way the rest of us did: when the finale aired live on TV. Unsurprisingly, they broke up pretty soon thereafter. 

The pair returned to the studio a month later for a live interview following their break-up. Madison also showed up, and ended up in a huge fight with Peter's mom, Barb. Rob Mills, one of the show's producers, told Variety at the time that he wasn't sure how it would go for the pair. "I think it's going to be difficult with Peter and Madison, so I'm glad that everybody saw these dynamics on TV, so that if they don't work out, it played in front of the audience," Mills explained. "When you sign up for this show, you sign up to bring the audience with you on this journey."


Clare Crawley abruptly left the show early

Anyone who has watched "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" recently knows this one, but it was still a massive surprise anyway. Clare Crawley shocked viewers by leaving Season 16 of "The Bachelorette" early, simply offering up that she had already accomplished her mission: she fell in love. Crawley actually walked away from the show only 12 days into filming it, which stunned just about everyone involved.


It was obvious to nearly everyone involved that Crawley had a thing for Moss early. As PopSugar explained, while she insisted that the pair had no contact before the show began, they did get to know each other due to the delay in filming caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. Once they met in person, she was simply hooked.

Of course, anyone who has been following along since knows how everything played out. Crawley announced that she had fallen in love with contestant Dale Moss, and the two got engaged. Unfortunately, it was easy sailing and they broke up in January 2021. As of March 2021, the two were spending time together but not officially in a relationship, with a source explaining to E! News, "They are hanging out and having fun for now. They agreed it's less pressure on both of them if they don't label their relationship."


Ben Higgins dated... twins

In Season 20, producers took an odd turn for "The Bachelor" – the season's star, Ben Higgins, dated twin sisters Emily Ferguson and Haley Ferguson. "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison told Yahoo! TV that while the situation was new for the show, it made sense at the time.


"They both watched Kaitlyn [Bristowe]'s season and really liked Ben," Higgins explained. "They discovered that they both wanted to apply for the show, so they both did. This was the first time they have fallen for the same guy, as they usually have differing tastes."

Of course, people were immediately curious about how they dynamic would work on the show. For starters, would Higgins date the sisters separately or at the same time? It turns out – a little bit of both. He recalled on "Live! With Kelly and Michael," "So, they both came on [together] to go through the journey, but they're amazing women, and you look at them individually once they got there. But I think — they came together. And like I said, they're incredible."


In the end, the twin situation might have been too much for Higgins. He left the show with Lauren Bushnell, but the pair broke up in 2017.  

Brad Womack didn't pick anyone and got to be on the show again

When Brad Womack appeared on Season 11 of the show, he left a lot of people angry when he refused to pick a winner from the group of contestants. People were further angered when it was announced that Womack would return to the show in 2010, but it seemed that Womack was finally ready to explain why he left both DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft hanging. 


He later told People that he even spent three years in therapy between his first and second appearances on the show. Things didn't seem to go much better for Brad Womack the second time around. 

While he did walk away from the show engaged to Emily Maynard, the pair told People that it wasn't an easy journey for them. "Though we are madly in love," Womack explained, "it has been a bumpy couple of months for us and our priority right now is to focus on our relationship." He added that the constant scrutiny from the media and the public didn't help. He noted, "We've thrown in the towel, broken up. But at end of every day I'd call and say, 'I know you might not like me today, but I love you."