It’s the franchise that never ends. When it first began a few hundred eligible, looking-for-love folks and thirteen years ago, viewers doubted the process. How can a guy (or gal) find their soulmate from a pool of twenty gorgeous hopefuls after only six weeks of fairy tale style, jet-setting dates? Now, we know the process is full of holes, but we take it for what it is. Mind numbing gold. The Bachelor and Bachelorette have morphed into a search for the next shiny couple who will find love, get engaged, fulfill their contractual obligations with ABC, quietly break-up (let’s face it, the track record for marriages is less than stellar) and then ditch their boring day jobs to pursue a life in the spotlight…usually on Dancing with the Stars. Throw in the sweet, yet rejected, fan favorite (to star in the next season, of course!), and a few certifiable creepers, and we’re still watching–guiltily loving every fabricated second. Plus, there’s Chris Harrison. What more could you want?
On the heels of Kailtyn Bristow’s turn as the Bachelorette and a rowdy run of castoffs returning to compete on Bachelor in Paradise, ABC has announced the lucky gent who will have women falling over themselves for that rose come January 2016. Congratulations, Ben Higgins!
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The network announced that Ben will be participating in some of the most dramatic rose ceremonies ever after not going the distance on the most recent installment of the Bachelorette, and he’ll be doing it on the landmark twentieth season. Twenty. Seasons. And forget the ladies, that’s just seasons of the Bachelor! How many marriages? Three. Five total, if you count the two unions resulting from the Bachelorette. Not the best odds…
So, what do we need to know about Ben? The software salesman is the only child of Amy and David Higgins, who have been happily married for thirty-four years. He hails from Indiana (middle America, y’all!) and currently resides in Denver. The twenty-six year old has traveled the world, and, according to ABC, Ben enjoys hiking, fishing, basketball, and “stimulating conversation.” I’m rooting for you, Ben. Please don’t get a dose of fame (and a grand ego from twenty pageant-clad girls throwing themselves at you) and forget the mission at hand…a televised wedding and free honeymoon.
While the main characters on these shows haven’t had the best of luck post-proposal, there are a handful of other couples who found love thanks to the franchise…just not while they were on it! Thanks to different seasons’ cast members co-mingling on reunion trips (I had a friend on London Calling who used to post some pretty awesome photos of these get-togethers) and the spin-off of competition shows based solely on coupling up sexy singles with an abundance of alcohol and hot tubs, Bachelor Nation has spawned other pairings.
One such love story belongs to DeAnna Pappas. The third time was the charm for her Bachelor romance. She didn’t get the ring on Brad Womack’s (first) season and broke off her engagement to the winning suitor when she was the Bachelorette. DeAnna has since wed Stephen Stagliano who is one degree removed from the franchise after his brother Michael vied for Jillian Harris’ affection on her season of the Bachelorette. Michael and his longtime girlfriend at the time Holly Durst (another Bachelor cast-off) introduced the pair who married in October of 2011. On a side note, Michael and Holly, winners of the third season of Bachelor Pad, broke up when she announced her engagement to yet another BP contestant from that season at the reunion (whom she later married…upping the franchise’s marital success rate?!?). Ouch. But I digress…
DeAnna is sharing some exciting news with People (yet another perk of being a part of the franchise…countless features in a multitude of tabloids!). She and Stephen are expecting their second child together. DeAnna tells the magazine, “Stephen and I are thrilled to be expanding our family! We have wanted more kids for a while now and are so blessed that we are pregnant again.”
Due on February 26, 2016 (two days after her daughter’s second birthday), the former reality star gushes, “We cannot wait to give Addison a little brother or sister. She is such a lover and will be so good with another baby.”
Well, dear readers, that’s the latest in Bachelor Land. Not that I’m trying to wish away 2015, but I can’t wait to add Ben (who am I kidding? More Chris Harrison!!) to my DVR!
TELL US – DO YOU THINK BEN WILL BE A GOOD BACHELOR? WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE “STILL STANDING” COUPLE FROM THE FRANCHISE?
[Photo Credit: ABC; Instagram]