A Bad Bachelor Begets Great Contestants

Juan Pablo Galavis told Entertainment Tonight this week that he's thankful for Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s finale switcheroo.
"He smashed me!" Galavis said, referring to his reputation as Bachelor Nation's most despised Bachelor. He and Luyendyk were both "bad" Bachelors in that they didn't fulfill the show's expectations. But their seasons had one thing in common: Really, really great contestants.
Galavis is disliked because, like Luyendyk, he had trouble choosing a final contestant. He ended up choosing Nikki Ferrell, but he declined to propose, much to the dismay of Bachelor viewers. There's also the matter of his parting words to Clare Crawley, a contestant who later got engaged on Bachelor Winter Games. When the show aired, Crawley made it clear that Galavis told her something "obscene" off-camera during their helicopter date. In later interviews, she revealed he told her he "liked fucking" her. (In Bachelor Nation, a book about the show that came out in early March, Crawley explained that she rationalized this as a form of "dirty talk.")
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Luyendyk doesn't have anything that crass on the record, but he did break off his engagement with his winner Becca Kufrin in favor of the runner-up Lauren Burnham. He's almost the anti-Galavis: He did propose to his winner, only to have to break up with her a month and a half later. Galavis did some rough stuff, but he didn't break a promise. He and Ferrell, for what it's worth, dated for almost eight months after the show's finale. He did his best! And, for that matter, so did Luyendyk, who is currently out of the country with his winning Bachelorette. Their "best' may have failed the Bachelor audience, but they also gave us some of The Bachelor's best women.
Andi Dorfman, who later became Bachelorette, garnered attention on Galavis's season when she told Galavis, "It's not okay," a play on Galavis's recurring phrase. His slogan was "It's okay," a blatant untruth, especially on The Bachelor. You're dating a man who's also dating several other women. Plus, there are no books allowed. Things are not okay! Dorfman's response eventually became the title of her book, and her farewell with Galavis was labelled one of The Bachelor's most iconic moments. Contestants rarely oppose the lead of the show; to see one be so directly disobedient was thrilling.
"I want to die if I hear 'it's okay' again," Dorfman said, rolling her eyes. She took issue with his lack of warmth; Galavis wasn't very expressive with his affection.
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When Galavis pointed out that he was just being honest, Dorfman replied, "Well, there's a difference between being honest and being an asshole." There it is! A contestant stood up for herself.
After confronting Galavis, Dorfman walked out, never to be seen again — until she showed up as the Bachelorette a month later. Dorfman is now a tried-and-true Bachelor alum. She moved to New York, where she's now an author, Instagram influencer, and Bachelor recapper/discusser. This is a common path for Bachelor expats; contestants move into the world of podcasting and blogging about The Bachelor.
This happened a couple more times with Galavis. Sharleen Joynt, a fan favorite on the show, removed herself from the competition early on, citing a lack of interest in Galavis. He seemed unperturbed, telling her that his only complaint was that she didn't sing enough for him. (Joynt is an opera singer.) Joynt, like Dorfman, is an enduring fan favorite who still likes to discuss The Bachelor, so much so that she recaps The Bachelor Canada for the YouTube channel Flare.
Then, there's Crawley's exit, in which she listed the two exits that had already happened.
"Sharleen didn't have the feelings for you," she began. "Andi did the same thing."
When Galavis told her he'd come to a decision — he was going to send her home — Crawley told him the decision didn't matter. She'd lost all respect for him. "I would never want my children having a father like you," she told Galavis before stalking off. Yes, Claire! Yes, Andi! On Sharleen and Andi and Claire and Chris Harrison!
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Yes, even Chris Harrison wasn't invested in Galavis! On After the Final Rose, Harrison tried in vain to get Galavis to tell Ferrell he loved her. He interrupted Galavis several times, enough to make Galavis irritated.
"[Juan Pablo] was one of those guys, you know, you're never going to understand the depths of him," Harrison said on HuffPost live. "Nobody could ever have the problems he had. No matter what happened, what situation, he was the victim." He added that Galavis was a "controlling" person, which is not a great quality to have in a reality TV contestant.
Galavis was cold, boring, and uniquely disinterested in the "journey" of The Bachelor. This type of attitude is annoying, but it casts the women contestants into lovely relief. All of a sudden, the women who we thought were going to be docile subjects of The Bachelor's regime are agents of the narrative.
Luyendyk had a similar effect, although most of the hate towards him rolled out post-show. Jacqueline Trumbull left the show after deciding she didn't have a strong enough connection with Luyendyk. After the show, Bekah Martinez joked that she "dodged a bullet" with Luyendyk. Contestant Krystal Nielson called him a "liar" and accused him of having a "needle dick." Luyendyk's cast of contestants is very keen on the idea of supporting women — Kendall Long called the cast a "tribe" and has actively defended any of the women contestants who are criticized in the press.
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"I liked that [the Bachelor] was Arie, because in a lot of ways it allowed the girls to be closer because we didn’t know what to expect," Long told New York Magazine. "We didn’t know a lot about him. It didn’t feel as catty this season. It was like a woman tribe. "
She, like other women, was expecting Peter Kraus. Instead, she got a limp real estate agent. This might not bode well for the romance, but this bodes well for the cast of women characters. Bekah Martinez, Kendall Long, Jacqueline Trumbull — who already appeared on the HuffPost Bachelor podcast Here to Make Friends — and Bibiana Julian are all Bachelor characters worth having around. Women? Being assertive and loving and generous on camera? I love that.
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