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Alex Michel headlined the first season of The Bachelor in 2002.
After coming in second on the first season of The Bachelor, Trista went on to headline the first season of The Bachelorette in 2003.
Trista and Ryan Sutter said "I do" in front of millions viewers as part of a three-episode series in December 2003.
Trista and Ryan Sutter, the first couple to come out of The Bachelorette, were also the first Bachelor Nation couple to welcome a child in 2007.
Brad Womack headlined season 11 of The Bachelor in 2007, but didn't propose to anybody. So, he came back to hand out the roses in season 15.
After winning Brad Womack's second season of The Bachelor (and later breaking up), Emily Maynard went on to hand out her own roses in 2012's The Bachelorette season eight. Emily was the first single mother to star as The Bachelorette.
Jason Mesnick proposed to and became engaged to Melissa Rycroft at the end of The Bachelor season 13 (2008)...until the finale when he asked for a second chance with Molly Malaney. They eventually wed.
Season 11 of The Bachelorette (2015) was the first to begin with two stars, Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe. It was up to the male contestants to decide which would be the one handing out roses.
Kaitlyn Bristowe, star of The Bachelorette season 11 (2015), was one of the first to talk about sex on the show. She and Nick Viall had sex in week six after she invited him into her hotel room in Ireland.
In 2017, Rachel Lindsay became the franchise's first-ever Black lead as the star of The Bachelorette. In 2019 she married the winner of her season, Bryan Abasolo.
Nick Viall is now synonymous with Bachelor Nation. He first appeared in The Bachelorette season 10 in 2014 and tried to win Andi Dorfman's heart. He was runner-up. In 2015, he returned to the show to compete for Kaitlyn Bristowe's love and made it to the finale. That didn't work. So in 2016 he went to Bachelor in Paradise. When that didn't work out, he was given his shot at handing out the roses as the star of The Bachelor season 21.
At the end of The Bachelor season 22 (winter 2018), Arie Luyendyk Jr. made his choice: Becca Kufrin. But then he changed his mind. So, with cameras by his side, he broke up with Becca and informed her of his feelings for the show's runner-up, Lauren Burnham. Arie and Lauren are still married.
Season 23 (winter 2019) of The Bachelor introduced viewers to the show's first virgin star, Colton Underwood. The virginity aspect was played up throughout his season. Colton was also the first Bachelor star to jump a fence. That happened after Cassie, who would go on to become his girlfriend, said she was leaving the competition.
In season 15 of The Bachelorette (spring of 2019), Hannah Brown got candid about sex and relationships. It culminated in an argument with Luke Parker after he tried to sex shame her and repeatedly tried to cut her off while she explained her stance on sex.
Demi Burnett appeared on Bachelor in Paradise in the summer of 2019 and came out as bisexual. Her then-girlfriend Kristian Haggerty joined Demi on the series and they became the franchise's first same-sex couple.
On Friday, June 12, 2020 ABC announced Matt James would be the franchise's first Black male lead of The Bachelor.
Clare Crawley was announced as the season 16 Bachelorette in March 2020, and then waited all the way until July to begin filming, thanks to a global pandemic that delayed all productions. Then, a couple of weeks into filming her season, sources tell E! News that she fell so in love that she asked to quit, and will be replaced by Tayshia Adams in a true franchise first.