Want To Join Bachelor Nation? Here's Who You Need To Know

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
There was once a time that I was just like you: I had not seen a single episode of The Bachelor, 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 Bachelorette (the woman-led version), Bachelor In Paradise (a bunch of previous contestants together on a beach), and its newest outpost, Bachelor Winter Games (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! 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.

More from TV

R29 Original Series