Bachelorette Engagements That Imploded With Lightning Speed

Bachelorette Engagements That Imploded With Lightning Speed

In December 2020, viewers of The Bachelorette witnessed the engagement of Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark, bringing the show’s 16th season to a romantic conclusion. Whether these two lovebirds make it to the altar, however, is a whole other matter. As members of Bachelor Nation well know, The Bachelorette has a somewhat spotty track record when it comes to lasting relationships.

To be fair, the bar was raised by the show’s first Bachelorette, Trista Rehn, whose engagement to Ryan Sutter led to a televised 2003 wedding that racked up some serious ratings. As CNN reported, the couple’s nuptials drew an average audience of 17.1 million viewers, while 26 million watched a minimum of six minutes of the broadcast. In December 2020, the couple celebrated their 17th anniversary, demonstrating that it is possible to find true love on a TV reality show.

That union, however, is the rare exception, certainly not the rule. Long-lasting relationships on The Bachelorette have proven to be as elusive as winning the Powerball or spotting Elvis gassing up an SUV while Jim Morrison and Bigfoot wait inside the vehicle. For proof, just keep on reading to recall these Bachelorette engagements that imploded with lightning speed.

Meredith Phillips and Ian McKee were the first Bachelorette couple to split

Meredith Phillips was introduced to viewers on the fourth season of The Bachelor when she was among the women attempting to win the heart of Bob Guiney. While “Bachelor Bob” didn’t give his final rose to Meredith, producers were intrigued enough to select her to be the second star of fledgling spinoff The Bachelorette.

As People recalled, in the season’s February 2004 finale, Meredith chose Ian McKee; he proposed, she accepted. The couple remained engaged until the following February, with People reporting that they issued a statement to Extra announcing they’d split up. “Our relationship began with great expectations for a happy ending, but unfortunately things didn’t work out as we had hoped,” the pair declared in their joint statement. “What we experienced together was incredible and we are both sad to see it end. We thank you for your support.”

According to Bachelorette producer Lisa Levenson, part of the problem may have been Ian’s discomfort with the notion of finding love on reality TV. “From day one, he said he could never see himself proposing to a woman on national television or saying the words ‘I love you,'” Levenson told People.

Jen Schefft claimed she'd been lied to about suitor Jerry Ferris

Jen Schefft won the heart of Andrew Firestone in the third season of The Bachelor, accepting his proposal during the May 2003 finale. Their romance was short-lived; that December, they announced they were calling it quits. 

Jen then became the third Bachelorette. As Reality TV World reported, during the May 2005 finale, she rejected John Paul Merritt (the obvious choice of her friends and family) but then declined to say yes when Jerry Ferris popped the question. While she insisted she was “committed” to their relationship, apparently she wasn’t that committed; during the After the Rose special, Jen revealed she and Jerry had already split, both realizing “we were better as friends.”

More than a decade later, Jen revealed the real reason the relationship imploded: Jerry wasn’t an art gallery director, as the show proclaimed, but a wannabe actor who worked at an art store in a mall. As she told the Reality Life With Kate Casey podcast (via Life&Style), Jerry “misrepresented himself, or they misrepresented him… but it kind of ended with me looking like the bad guy. Things are a lot different than they make things seem to be.”

DeAnna Pappas blindsided Jesse Csincsak when she ended their engagement

With the third season of The Bachelorette culminating in no engagement and a quick split, hopes were high that Season 4’s DeAnna Pappas would find true love with her final choice, pro snowboarder Jesse Csincsak. After getting engaged on the show, as reported by People, the couple then zeroed in on a wedding date: May 9, 2009.

They never made it down the aisle. Jesse announced their split in a video he shared on their now-defunct website (via People). “It’s our responsibility to tell you we’re not together anymore,” he said. The decision to break up, he divulged, was not mutual; DeAnna dumped him two days earlier, he explained, despite his best efforts to “try to make this work.”

DeAnna subsequently made some cryptic, scorched-earth comments to R Online indicating the chances of reconciliation were zilch. “Our relationship is over — and done — and I just want to leave it alone… he’s a figment of my imagination,” she snarked. “Jesse is not the kind of person that I would ever want to be friends with. Our breakup was private and I will never make it public and he knows why it didn’t work out.”

Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski split amidst rumors of cheating

Canadian Jillian Harris headlined Season 5 of The Bachelorette after being jilted by Jason Mesnick in The Bachelor‘s 13th season. Winnowing down her selection of suitors, the future Love It or List It, Too designer settled on Ed Swiderski, who dropped to one knee in the season finale and popped the question. “There is no doubt in my mind that I love you,” Jillian told Ed as she accepted his proposal, recounted ABC News.

In July 2010, Us Weekly reported they’d split up. “I love him and I’m really sad, but I have to look out for me,” said Jillian, while Ed declared, “We’re both kind of resetting. Jillian isn’t happy and I’m definitely sad about the whole thing, but we’ve got to work through some things on our own if we decide to move forward.”

They did not, and a subsequent report in R Online cited sources claiming Ed’s “playboy shenanigans” led to the split. “We think Ed was doing shady stuff during their relationship,” an insider told the outlet. “Jillian knew but couldn’t put her finger on it.” In a subsequent interview with People, Jillian admitted, “I was so devastated.”

Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez were 'unhappy'

The sixth season of The Bachelorette in 2010 culminated with Ali Fedotowsky (first seen on Jake Pavelka’s season of The Bachelor) becoming engaged to Roberto Martinez. In fall 2011, they announced they were calling it quits. 

“Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez have ended their relationship,” a rep for the pair told People. “As they go through this difficult time, we ask that you respect the couple’s privacy.” In hindsight, there were indications of trouble; just a month earlier, Ali told People their wedding plans were on hold because they didn’t “feel the need to walk down the aisle right now.” As she explained, “We didn’t meet in the most traditional way. We had a very short courtship and we only knew each other nine weeks before we got engaged. We are still figuring out our lives as individuals.”

Just over a week after announcing the split, Ali opened up to People about what went wrong. “We definitely had been having problems. But I had always believed that we could work it out,” she said. “We both realized we were unhappy more than we were happy. And we both deserved more.”

Emily Maynard and Jeff Holm called it quits just 3 months after the finale

Emily Maynard said yes to Jef Holm in the eighth-season finale of The Bachelorette, which aired in July 2012. In his ultra-romantic proposal, Jef insisted he was in it for the long haul. “What I’m about to ask you is a forever thing,” he declared before getting down on one knee and popping the question.

That promise of “forever” proved to be wildly optimistic; just three months after the episode aired, they announced they were through. Following a report they had stopped spending much time together, the pair made it official in separate statements to People. “I am sorry to tell you that Jef and I have, indeed, parted ways,” said Emily, explaining she and Jef were “at different points in our lives.” She added, “It was a very difficult and heartbreaking decision.”

“Emily and I are great friends and I hope we can continue to be friends forever,” said Jef in his statement. “Everyone wants a salacious story to break, but the truth is we are just two people who fell in love and tried our hardest to make it work. I will always love her.”

Andi Dorfman admitted she 'wasn't happy' with fiance Josh Murray

After getting engaged in The Bachelorette‘s 10th finale in July 2014, Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray announced it was all over the following January. “After several months of being engaged and working on our relationship, we have decided that it’s best for both of us to go our separate ways,” the two said in a statement to E!. “We are very sad that it has come to this point, but this is what’s best for both of us individually. We will continue to be good friends and have nothing but great things to say about each other and wish each other the best.”

While that sounds amicable, Andi had some shade to throw — and she did it in writing. In her book, It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Ever After, she alleged that Josh was an abusive, jealous bully throughout their engagement. 

“If I talked to another man, I was a ‘w***e.’ If I disagreed, I was ‘argumentative.’ If I defied him, I was a ‘b***h,'” she wrote. “The more he said these things to me, the more detached I grew from myself… I wasn’t happy around him.” 

Britt Nilsson and Brady Toops quickly realized it wasn't going to work out

The 11th season of The Bachelorette was a weird one, introducing two Bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson. Ultimately, Britt was sent home, while Kaitlyn continued down the road to reality TV romance. When Britt left the show, suitor Brady Toops joined her so the two could pursue a relationship. 

As ABC News reported, the singer-songwriter stayed with Britt at her home in Los Angeles for two weeks, and things went great. “At the beginning, I was like, ‘This is it. This is my guy,” she said. It was when she accompanied him to his hometown in Nashville, however, that they began to realize they may not have been a great fit.

According to Us Weekly, Britt announced in July 2015 via a since-deleted Instagram post that they’d split two months earlier, “but still remain very close friends.” Brady confirmed it was over in an Instagram post of his own, writing, “Britt was the whole reason I decided to do the show in the first place, and even though it didn’t work out in the end, I have no regrets. Honestly, I would have done it all over again.”

Kaitlyn Bristowe confirmed she got dumped by Shawn Booth

After Britt Nilsson exited The Bachelorette‘s 2015 season, remaining Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe ultimately accepted the proposal of Shawn Booth. For a while, it appeared as if they would be one of those rare Bachelor Nation couples to go the distance.

Sadly, it all came crashing down in November 2018, ending their run as the longest-engaged couple in Bachelor franchise history. “After three incredible years, we have decided to go our separate ways,” the exes said in a statement to People, adding that their “difficult decision comes after thoughtful, respectful consideration.” In a 2019 interview with E!‘s LadyGang (via People), Kaitlyn confirmed that Shawn dumped her. “He didn’t know why he couldn’t love me. I just think the show was too hard for someone to get over,” she said.

In 2020, Kaitlyn looked back on the engagement, telling the Scrubbing Off the Vine podcast that the relationship — and her experience on the show — had left her damaged. “I pushed away a lot of friendships. I didn’t realize how miserable I was or how out of touch I was with myself and my confidence … but I felt a lot of shame from the show,” she admitted. 

Political differences came between Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen

Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen became engaged in the finale of The Bachelorette‘s 14th season in August 2018. The couple’s relationship was dogged by controversy due to Garrett liking social media posts that mocked transgender people, immigrants, and a survivor of the Parkland school shooting. Garrett subsequently issued an apology.

Two years after their engagement aired on television, E! reported that they’d called it off. According to the E! report, Garrett’s controversial Instagram post supporting police didn’t sit well with Becca. However, she insisted they were still together, telling listeners of her Bachelor Happy Hour podcast that while she loved her fiancé, “I don’t align with and I don’t agree with” what he had written.

After further reports that they’d split, Us Weekly reported that Becca confirmed they’d finally thrown in the towel. “I don’t think it’s going to come as a shock to anyone, but Garrett and I have decided to end our engagement,” she confirmed during a September 2020 edition of Bachelor Happy Hour. According to Becca, the decision to split “wasn’t something that we just arrived at one night” and “wasn’t based solely off of one Instagram post.”

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