The Bachelor franchise doesn’t have the greatest track history when it comes to producing long-lasting couples. According to Life & Style, out of 22 seasons of The Bachelor, 14 seasons of The Bachelorette, five seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, and one lonely season of The Bachelor Winter Games, only 17 couples from the long-running franchise are still together. That’s — not a lot. Yet, we still tune in every season hoping to witness an eligible single meet the love of their life on a primetime reality dating show. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little optimism.
While it’s always a joy to see love blossom onscreen, we have to admit that being privy to all the drama that unfolds along the way is undeniably entertaining. That said, The Bachelor and Bachelorette have shown us some seriously dramatic break-ups throughout the years — some too heartbreakingly uncomfortable to watch more than once. You should probably go ahead and grab a box of tissues, because we’re about to take a tearful trip down memory lane to relive some of the most devastating break-ups in Bachelor history.
Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph
Colton Underwood laid claim to the “Most Dramatic Break-Up Ever” title for his emotionally-charged split with frontrunner, Cassie Randolph.
During the March 2019 Fantasy Suites episode of Underwood’s Bachelor season — the episode in which the lead and each of his final three contestants are finally able to enjoy privacy in overnight stays without cameras capturing their every move — the former NFL player was completely blindsided when Randolph revealed her doubts concerning their relationship and her intent to leave the show. The California-native blamed her uncertainty on her father’s skeptical outlook and refusal to give Underwood his blessing for an engagement, as well as her own feelings.
“Today was perfect, and I love you so much. But […] I’m not, like, in love,” Randolph revealed to Underwood, who had confessed only moments earlier that he was head-over-heels in love with her. Visibly shaken (and shaking), Underwood vowed to never stop fighting for Randolph — and after she was carried away in a limo, the heartbroken bachelor jumped a fence to get away from the camera crew, disappearing into the Portuguese wilderness. Talk about dramatic.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Becca Kufrin
There was no fence to be jumped during Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Becca Kufrin’s break-up, but these two will forever be a part of Bachelor history due to the way in which their surprising split was announced to the world.
In the 22nd season of ABC’s long-running reality dating program, Luyendyk Jr. got down on one knee and proposed to the 27-year-old publicist, telling her, “I choose you today, but I choose you every day from here on out.” Unfortunately, that didn’t last long.
Immediately after witnessing their proposal, Bachelor fans were shown Luyendyk Jr. and Kufrin’s brutal break-up, which was filmed and aired unedited. No one was more caught off guard by the split than Kufrin, who was under the impression that the production crew was present to capture sweet moments during her romantic weekend getaway with Luyendyk Jr. Instead, the race car driver confessed to her that he couldn’t stop thinking about Lauren Burnham, the woman he sent home before ultimately proposing to Kufrin.
Seeing her cry for nearly an hour was certainly uncomfortable for audiences — but seeing Kufrin find love on The Bachelorette almost made up for it. Almost.
Andi Dorfman and Nick Viall
Nick Viall’s first appearance (of many appearances) in the Bachelor world was on season 10 of The Bachelorette, in which he competed for Andi Dorfman’s heart — ultimately making it all the way to her final two before the Atlanta lawyer dumped him for Josh Murray. The break-up was devastating to watch, as Viall was unabashedly in love with Dorfman and ready to propose and spend the rest of his life with her. However, the After the Final Rose special which aired after The Bachelorette’s season finale might have been even more uncomfortable to watch.
While chatting with Dorfman and host Chris Harrison on the live special, Viall turned to his former flame and said, “Knowing how in love with you I was … if you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure why you made love with me.” While most people assume that sex happens behind closed doors during the Fantasy Suite dates, Viall was the first person to call out a lead for it on national television. Needless to say, the recently-engaged Dorfman was not happy.
Juan Pablo Galavis and Clare Crawley
If you were a fan of Andi Dorfman on The Bachelorette, you have Juan Pablo Galavis to thank for jumpstarting her Bachelor Nation career by being perhaps the worst bachelor the franchise has ever seen. Dorfman competed as a contestant on Galavis’ controversial season of The Bachelor, only to eliminate herself once she realized that Galavis was much more interested in repeatedly (and condescendingly) saying “It’s okay,” rather than actually listening to anything she had to say.
However, contestant Clare Crawley was much more optimistic about the bachelor’s potential, sticking with him through their own ups and downs throughout the season. When she arrived to the final rose ceremony ready to accept his proposal, Galavis revealed that he “[had] to say goodbye” to her, which did not sit well with Crawley. As he approached her for a goodbye hug, Crawley pushed Galavis away, understandably angry that he waited until the last minute to break things off rather than sparing her some heartbreak by letting her go earlier.
“I’ve lost respect for you,” Crawley said while walking away. “I would never want my children having a father like you.”
Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi
Watching Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi officially end their relationship on national television while host Chris Harrison acted as mediator felt more like a boxing match than anything. In fact, Pavelka’s season of The Bachelor was a train wreck from start to finish — and his nastiness toward Girardi only further solidified his place as one of the most despised leads in Bachelor history.
Just weeks after Pavelka shocked viewers by turning away Tenley Molzahn and proposing to Girardi, the season’s resident villain, the newest Bachelor Nation couple announced their split — kicking off a tabloid firestorm of he said/she said accusations. In the midst of the fire, ABC decided to tape a sit-down interview with Pavelka, Girardi, and Chris Harrison in which the couple could air out their issues and explain what really happened to fans of the show. However, the taping took a nasty turn when Girardi accused Pavelka of emotional abuse — an accusation he denied before yelling at her to stop interrupting him.
“He is the biggest liar I have ever met in my life,” Girardi said through sobs as she walked off the set.
Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft
Arie Luyendyk Jr. wasn’t the first bachelor to dump his leading lady for his runner-up. Instead, that unfortunate barrier was broken by Jason Mesnick all the way back in 2009.
Mesnick’s season of The Bachelor ended with him proposing to an elated Melissa Rycroft. However, before he got down on one knee, he had to send away the other woman vying for his heart — Molly Malaney. Though Malaney was blindsided and upset by Mesnick’s decision, it seemed the bachelor himself was the most devastated of all. After the two said their goodbyes, the man had a full-on breakdown, giving birth to a now-famous Bachelor clip in which Mesnick can be seen sobbing over a balcony.
It didn’t take long for Mesnick to realize he made the wrong decision in proposing to Rycroft. However, as he was still contractually obligated to the show, Mesnick claimed Bachelor producers made him dump Rycroft on After the Final Rose in order to ask Malaney for another chance.
“I wish more than anything that last day you would have just let me go, ” Rycroft said, after calling Mesnick — ahem — a choice word.
Ali Fedotowsky and Frank Neuschaefer
Ali Fedotowsky and Frank Neuschaefer not only have two of the longest last names in Bachelor Nation — they also had one of the most heart-wrenching break-ups in the history of the franchise.
While the most upsetting and memorable splits usually happen when the lead turns away their runner-up for an engagement with someone else, there have been a few surprising self-eliminations that will forever be remembered as some of the most dramatic moments in Bachelor and Bachelorette history. No, really. One of these moments happened when Fedotowsky, the leading lady in The Bachelorette’s sixth season, was blindsided by frontrunner Neuschaefer when he confessed he still had feelings for an ex-girlfriend and made the decision to leave the show — subsequently leaving Fedotowsky in tears.
With a beautiful beach in Tahiti as a backdrop for the heartbreaking moment, Neuschaefer told Fedotowsky that he had flown to Chicago before arriving in Tahiti to have a conversation with his ex-girlfriend in hopes of getting closure — but instead, as he confessed, “all the old feelings kinda came rushing back.”
Read more: https://www.thelist.com/154635/what-the-most-memorable-bachelor-couples-are-doing-now/