The Bachelor

"Bachelorette's" bleak chances at love

Slide show: We look at the franchise's tangled history of breakups, romance and domestic disputes

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    Alex Michel

    Here’s where the magic all began: Alex Michel chose Amanda Marsh over Trista Rehn (the “older contestant,” tabloids always sneered) but broke it off after several months. And thus, a franchise — and a pattern — was born.

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    Aaron Buerge

    Aaron Buerge was the first bachelor to get down on bended knee and propose to winner Helene Eksterowicz, but the pair called it off several months later. In the “Bachelor” kingdom, “several months” is a verbal dodge akin to just “hanging out in the hot tub.”

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    Trista Rehn

    “Bachelorette” Trista Rehn made history — and insured that a crazy dating show might just work — by marrying Ryan Sutter in a televised wedding watched by 26 million people. The pair live in Colorado and have two children and two more reality franchises (“Fear Factor” and “Dancing With the Stars”) between them.

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    Andrew Firestone

    The great grandson of Firestone founder Harvey Firestone proposed to Jen Schefft on the show: “Jen, I love you. I think that we fit perfectly together.” They broke up 10 months later.

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    Bob Guiney

    One of “The Bachelor’s” longevity secrets is its clever recycling: Bob Guiney was rejected by Trista Rehn but wound up with Estella Gardinier (it lasted “several months”), leaving castoff Meredith Phillips to get her own spinoff. Guiney did eventually find his wife on ABC, “All My Children’s” Rebecca Budig, though they split earlier this year.

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    Meredith Phillips

    When the likable makeup artist got engaged to Ian McKee at the end of the second season of “The Bachelorette,” it seemed like women might be more skilled at holding on to their relationships. And it seemed wrong: The couple split after a little less than a year.

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    Jesse Palmer

    Tying several “Bachelor” cliches into one tidy package, NFL quarterback Palmer announced his breakup with Jessica Bowlin on “Extra” by saying: “Jessica and I shared an incredible romantic journey on the show that began with a friendship that remains strong today.” It’s like “Bachelor” Mad Libs.

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    Jen Schefft

    Having been rejected by Andrew Firestone, Schefft returned, but one-upped him by rejecting not one but two proposals. Total awkwardness ensued.

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    Byron Velvick

    The wealthy fisherman dated Mary Delgado for five years. Unfortunately, the pair made the wrong kind of headlines when Delgado was arrested twice following domestic disputes.

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    Charlie O’Connell

    The “Bachelor’s” first on-again, off-again couple, Charlie O’Connell and Sarah Brice, split after the finale but got back together years later, after O’Connell got sober. Oxygen is developing their reality show, “When Charlie Met Sarah,” which proves in every relationship there’s always a second chance … to monetize.

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    Travis Stork

    The doctor with the chiseled jaw broke up with Sarah Stone not long after the show aired, but he did find a long and meaningful relationship with television. He appears on the talk show “The Doctors.”

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    Prince Lorenzo Borghese

    He was a prince! She was his soul mate! All of Rome was atwinkle! But winner Jennifer Wilson got the royal brushoff months after the finale, when Borghese got back together with runner-up Sadie Murray. Both “amazing journeys” ended eventually.”

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    Andrew Baldwin

    “When the fantasy wore off and the reality set in, we both realized that we weren’t ready to be engaged,” said naval officer Baldwin of his canceled engagement to Tessa Horst.

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    Brad Womack

    It was a shockah! Torn between Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas, Womack became the first man in “The Bachelor” franchise to choose no one. Deanna may have had her heart broken, but she also got something in exchange: A turn on “The Bachelorette.”

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    DeAnna Pappas

    Pappas surprised viewers by choosing snowboarder Jesse Csincsak over fan favorite, single dad Jason Mesnick. Then Pappas surprised Csincsak by dumping him before their posh Bahamas wedding.

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    Matt Grant

    “We’re in it until the end,” Shayne Lamas, who got engaged to the British financier, said at a press conference in May of 2008. “We’re engaged and we’re going to get married and it’s forever.” The couple split two months later.

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    Jason Mesnick

    Jilted by Pappas, Mesnick returned for his own season, brushing aside Molly Malaney and proposing to Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft. “Melissa, I love you,” he said, on his knee with a shiny diamond on display. “Will you make me the happiest man?” Rycroft wept into her French manicure. It was a match made in “Bachelor” heaven. And then, the needle skipped off the Dave Matthews record …

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    Jason Mesnick

    In the biggest WTF in “Bachelor” history, Mesnick broke up with Rycroft on the after-show, explaining he was still in love with runner-up Molly Malaney. Eviscerated in the press, Mesnick nevertheless got what he wanted: He and Malaney wed in March 2010. Naturally, the ceremony was televised.

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    Jillian Harris

    After Harris chose Ed Swiderski, the August 2009 cover of Us Weekly warned of a “cheating scandal,” claiming that Swiderski juggled two girlfriends while appearing on the show. The couple soldiered on for nearly a year before calling it quits in July 2010; their breakup surprised exactly no one.

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    Jake Pavelka

    Rarely have “Bachelor” couples imploded as quickly or as dramatically as Pavelka and Vienna Girardi, whose rose petal-strewn affair dissolved four months after the show’s finale in a tabloid standoff and televised meltdown that left no victors, including the viewers at home. It’s hard to lower the bar on “Bachelor” romances — but in that competition, Jake and Vienna took the cake.

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    Ali Fedotowksy

    The “amazing journey” has ended. What happens next? Warning: That answer may take “several months.”