A little over a year ago, I was just like you: I had not seen a single
episode of , and it honestly seemed too late to start. Not only did I have to catch up on the flagship series, but also its various spin-offs, including The Bachelor the woman-led version The Bachelorette ( ), (a bunch of previous contestants together on a beach), and its newest outpost, Bachelor In Paradise (a bunch of previous contestants together in the snow). Can I say I'm happier that I made the decision to imbibe? Now that I now know what "whaboom" means? That I know where a woman named Raven Gates had her first orgasm? Unfortunately, yes! Bachelor Winter Games The Bachelor is a wild ride that I invite you all to join, but to make things a little easier, here's a crash course in everything you need to know to become a fully-fledged member of Bachelor Nation (the term for the contestants and fans of the show. See! You're learning already).
When we're talking about celebrities who, when not appearing on reality television, hawk Hello Fresh on Instagram, we would be remiss to not include the perspective of an expert in that very topic: Lindsey Weber. Weber is one half of the
popular podcast Who? Weekly , a twice-weekly show that does regular deep dives into the lives of lesser lesser known celebrities, known as "Whos." In the eyes of Who? Weekly, the world is separated into "Whos" and "Thems" — and so is the world of The Bachelor.
"There are a few ways to go from Bachelor Who to Bachelor Them," Weber explained to Refinery29 over email. "One: you are and/or become The Bachelor or Bachelorette...Two: you win the heart of a Bachelor or Bachelorette...and
you actually stay together... Three: you appear on Bachelor in Paradise and 'find love'... and Four: You cause controversy that people actually might remember."
While Bachelor Thems will never become real-world Thems (though that
"won't stop them from trying," Weber points out), they do pretty well for themselves in the very insular world of Bachelor Nation. The names that keep popping up, that you can't help but root for, that you'll continue to follow on Instagram well past their initial TV stint, those are the names to know before giving any Bachelor franchise a go. Ahead, learn everything you need to know about Bachelor Nation's biggest celebs. Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison is "the show's host and maybe the only true Bachelor Them at this point," Weber said. "Other than him, you don't really need to know anything about
The Bachelor or The Bachelorette to get started: that's kind of the beauty of the show, it's all new people showing up in an attempt to get on TV and/or find love."
Harrison's role is to pop up whenever there is a Rose Ceremony (in which the Bachelor or Bachelorette hands out a limited number of roses to contestants they want to keep, sending those who don't receive roses home) or to deliver some type of big or ominous news, or to have highly-scripted chats with the Bachelor or Bachelorette about the task ahead.
You'll only see him one every season, but Neil Lane is the jeweler behind all the engagement rings given at the end of
The Bachelor shows — and the rings that end up getting returned when things don't go smoothly. Wells Adams
After appearing on
The Bachelorette in 2016, Adams has become a Bachelor In Paradise staple. He's the bartender, acting eyes and ears for all the beach drama. He's no longer available to be a contestant because he's currently dating actress Sarah Hyland. They recently moved in together. Ashley Iaconetti
Known for crying her way through one season of
The Bachelor and two seasons of Bachelor In Paradise, Iaconetti has remained relevant thanks to her continued stints on various spin-offs, including the recent Winter Games. She also hosts two different podcasts, the I Don't Get It Podcast and The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous Podcast. Plus, she just got engaged to Jared Haibon, the object of her (unrequited) affection for years now, starting with their time together on Bachelor in Paradise in 2015. Haibon finally returned her feelings this year, which they explained in this excellent video. They will appear on season 5 of Bachelor in Paradise. Ben Higgins
Ben Higgins is the Ashley Iaconetti story that hasn't found its happy ending yet — which is funny, because he is the
other host of Almost Famous. Higgins first appeared on season 11 of The Bachelorette before becoming the Bachelor himself. He split from season winner Lauren Bushnell in 2017, despite their attempt to turn their relationship into its own reality show entitled Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?(The question mark is very telling.) Their breakup was still haunting him during his appearance on Winter Games. He left the show early out of heartbreak. Recently, he's said he's dating again. He's also in the running to be the franchise's next Bachelor. (Double Bachelor has happened before. Brad Womack, a slow-talking southerner, helmed the show twice.) Rachel Lindsay
After being sent home from Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor, Rachel Lindsay went on to be the Bachelorette. She is now engaged to Bryan Abasolo, and recently
called out the show for portraying her as an "angry Black female."
"Do you ever recall seeing Bryan profess how excited he was to propose to me? Do you recall seeing me cry about how I was so excited to say yes to Bryan and get my fairytale ending? The answer would be 'no' to both of those questions," Lindsay wrote in
a recap of the recent for Bachelorette finale Us Weekly. "And it is a shame because both of those things actually happened. You just did not see them. See, you know more about the journey of my breakup than the journey to my proposal acceptance. I think it is fair to say that I was denied my on-camera happy ending." Lindsay is a practicing lawyer and a frequent presence on Bachelor -adjacent podcasts. Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Luyendyk was a surprise pick for the most recent season of
The Bachelor, having previously been a Bachelorette contestant in 2012. He feel deeply in love with Emily Maynard, one of the iconic early-season Bachelorettes. Back then he was known as The Kissing Bandit. He earned a new reputation this year, when he dumped his original pick Becca Kufrin and got engaged to reticent runner-up Lauren Burnham. Becca Kufrin
Kufrin, the jilted winner of last season of
The Bachelor, won over audiences after her break up with Luyendyk was filmed and aired. ABC was particularly proud that this interview was "uncut." She notably kept telling Luyendyk to leave, and he kept following her around the house. However, she was given the prize of of being the Bachelorette and she emerged from season 14 triumphant, ending the show engaged to Garrett Yrigoyen. Raven Gates
A contestant on Nick Viall's season of
The Bachelor, Gates' claim to fame was the fact that she had never had an orgasm. She then went to Bachelor in Paradise, where she met Adam Gottschalk, who may or may not have been the one to cross "orgasm" off her holiday bucket list. Per previews, she will also be returning to Bachelor in Paradise. She owns a boutique in Arkansas. Corinne Olympios
Olympios was the nap-loving villain of Nick Viall's season of
The Bachelor. More recently, however, she was in the center of a scandal. Filming of season 4 of Bachelor In Paradise was suspended last summer after possible sexual misconduct involving Olympios and fellow contestant DeMario Jackson. Investigators found no evidence of misconduct, and the show continued without the two contestants. Olympios is on the threshold of real fame, having appeared briefly on Showtime's as one of Sacha Baron Cohen's unfortunate subjects. Who Is America? Ashley Spivey
While Spivey hasn't been on
The Bachelor since 2011, she's since taken of the role of Bachelor Nation whistleblower. She was instrumental in getting to the bottom of two recent scandals, including Yrigoyen's racist meme-liking and contestant Lincoln Adim's assault conviction. She hosts the podcast He Said She Said with Reality Steve, the blogger behind aaaallll the spoilers for the show. Bekah Martinez
stood out during Luyekdyk's season of due to her young age and pixie cut, but now is becoming somewhat of a Spivey herself after The Bachelor posting accusations of sexual harassment against former Bachelorette contestant and current Bachelor In Paradise contestant Leo Dottavio. Carly Waddell & Evan Bass
After meeting on season 3 of
Bachelor In Paradise, the couple had a televised wedding during season 4. They recently welcomed their first child, a girl named Isabella Evelyn. Fun fact: Waddell's brother Zak Waddell was also on the show, so she's basically a Bachelor legacy. Tanner Tolbert and Jade Roper
Tolbert and Roper met on season 2 of
Bachelor In Paradise, and are now married and have a daughter. By the time she arrived in Paradise, Roper was already a Bachelor Nation person of interest. She was the subject of controversy on Chris Soules' season of The Bachelor when she revealed that she formerly modeled for Playboy. Soules sent her home shortly after, and then said that he was "disturbed" to discover that Roper wasn't as meek as he thought she was. Fans of the show criticized Soules for slut-shaming; Soules insisted he was just unsettled. Roper confronted Soules at the "Women Tell All" and won — thereby becoming a Bachelor Nation person of importance. In Paradise, she quickly coupled up with Tolbert, and they married a year later. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth
After getting engaged on
The Bachelorette in 2015, this couple has yet to actually tie the knot, but that doesn't stop fans from constantly speculating. In her spare time, she hosts the podcast Off The Vine. Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter
Rehn was the first Bachelorette, and her love with Sutter is still going strong! They are married with two children.
Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici
After getting married in 2014, this Bachelor couple
just welcomed their second child. Lowe also frequents the Bachelor- adjacent podcasting world. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? In A Dark RHONY Season, Dennis Shields Was Bethenny Frankel's Saving Grace Insatiable's Creator Answers Every Question You Have About Netflix's Most Controversial Show
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