There was happy news (babies!), sad news (breakups), and f**kboys galore (love you Dean!), but as Bachelor fans know, every rose has its thorn. Check out 2017's biggest Bachelor moments below, because Chris Harrison was actually right this time -- it was the most dramatic year in Bachelor history.
Nick Viall Gets a Fourth Chance at Love -- and Then Ruins It
The Viall Bachelor choice seemed to come out of nowhere, but after the 37-year-old aspiring actor redeemed himself on Bachelor in Paradise, we were kind of into it. After failing to find love on Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s seasons of The Bachelorette and Paradise last year, we had some hope that Viall would finally put a ring on it -- and he did. It just didn’t last very long.
Grimaldi and Viall have remained on good terms since their split, but the same can not be said for another Bachelor breakup, this one between Amanda Stanton and Josh Murray. The couple got engaged on the season three finale of Bachelor in Paradise in 2016, and called it quits just a few months later in December. The drama played out well into 2017, however, when kissing pics circulated in February sparked rumors that they were back together -- until things ended pretty badly.
"It has kind of been not the most amicable breakup and that's been tough...I think for me, I've kind of closed that chapter, and I'm moving on from it,” Stanton told ET of the split in May -- before hinting in August that stories of Murray might make it into an actual book she’s writing. “It’s been my therapy, in a way," she noted.
The ‘Perfect Ben’ Never Makes It Down the Aisle
The most surprising breakup of the year, no doubt, was Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell, who had us fooled that they were perfect and in love and ready to walk down the aisle. The two announced their breakup in May, after a year and a half together, and have remained amicable for the most part.
Bachelor No. 19 found himself in the news again in April, when he was arrested after his Chevy pickup truck rear-ended a tractor, leaving the driver, 66-year-old farmer Kenneth Mosher, dead. Soules was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, a class D felony.
Rachel Lindsay Announced as First Black Lead in Franchise History
Bachelor Nation got a sweet surprise in February, when ABC revealed the next Bachelorette while The Bachelor was still airing (and while the lucky woman was still on the show!). After 15 years of white guy after white guy -- with a splash of Juan Pablo Galavis -- the show announced Rachel Lindsay as the franchise’s first African American lead.
“[Race] is something that should be talked about. I'm happy to address it,” Lindsay told ET ahead of her groundbreaking season, which included the franchise’s most diverse cast ever -- but didn’t shy away from showing racial tensions between the guys. “I'm honored to be the first [black Bachelorette]."
Rachel Lindsay's Tearful Finale and Super Salty ATFR
The 32-year-old Dallas attorney proved it was her way or the highway from the beginning, revealing that she was already engaged to reporters before her season of The Bachelorette even started airing. But contrary to what most fans predicted, Lindsay didn’t end up with model-turned-fitness-guru Peter Kraus. In fact, Lindsay and her runner-up ended things on not-so-good terms, when Kraus refused to propose, but told Lindsay that she was settling for a life of mediocrity without him.
The new show was announced in May and pitched as a competition between Bachelor and Bachelorette favorites in winter-themed athletic challenges -- all while living together at a “luxurious” winter resort. Seems simple enough, except that filming kicked off earlier this month in Vermont, with Bachelor stars from around the globe, but curiously NO PETER KRAUS.
Paradise Production Shut Down
Back in June, however, Bachelor Nation was rocked with scandal, when production on season four of Bachelor in Paradise was shut down in Mexico, after a third party filed a complaint of possible sexual misconduct between cast members just days into filming.
The cast members were quickly revealed to DeMario Jackson (who made headlines on The Bachelorette after Lindsay sent him home for supposedly having a girlfriend) and Corinne Olympios (who made headlines on The Bachelor for napping and loving cheese pasta and having a nanny) -- the latter of which also reportedly had a boyfriend during BIP.
BIP Back in Business in the Blink of an Eye
Despite what felt like an eternity of swirling rumors and a jaw-dropping statement by Olympios, who claimed to have no recollection of the alleged encounter, and called herself a “victim,” Warner Bros. concluded that no misconduct had occurred on set. Filming resumed just nine days later with new rules about alcohol consumption and contestants getting their sexy on -- but without Jackson or Olympios.
Another Paradise couple, Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert, welcomed their first baby in August, a daughter named Emerson, and former Bachelor Sean Lowe announced in November that he and his wife, Catherine, were expecting baby no. 2.
A Short Journey from Heartthrob to F**kboy: The Story of Dean Unglert
It was a year of growth for many Bachelor alums, including Dean Unglert, who -- after Paradise’s quickly resolved scandal -- found himself at the center of the season’s new storyline. The 26-year-old went from heartthrob on Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette to two-timing Kristina Schulman and Danielle Lombard on BIP, and was promptly named the biggest f**kboy in Paradise.
Though Unglert “hates” the term, he’s got quite a bit of company in the f**kboy boat, as the cast agreed that Diggy Moreland, Daniel Maguire and Robby Hayes all deserve the honor at the show’s season four reunion show.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. is The Bachelor and Peter Kraus is Not
So, what happened? Kraus told ET in September that he “needed more time for clarity” after the “emotional toll” his breakup with Lindsay took on him -- and that it was fear that held him back days before the Bachelor decision was made.
"I didn't really realize who they were considering until I was picked," Luyendyk confirmed to ET of his own quick decision to accept the role. "I didn't even grab a suit. I really just jumped on a plane. It came as such a pleasant surprise. I mean, the timing of my life is just perfect, so I got the call, and I'm here and it's crazy."
Crazy is right -- and get ready for a lot more of it when Luyendyk’s season of The Bachelor premieres on Jan. 1. See more on our favorite franchise in the video below.