Season 20 Was the Best Season of The Bachelor

Season 20 Was the Best Season of The Bachelor

Season 20 of The Bachelor is the best season to ever premiere, in large part because of the emotional honesty from the show’s lead, Ben Higgins.

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Season 20 Was the Best Season of The Bachelor

Across 23 seasons of The Bachelor featuring 23 different men, there’s one lead that viewers still can’t get over: Ben Higgins. The star of season 20 of The Bachelor, Ben had everything viewers wanted to see in their leading man. He was good-looking, genuine, and painfully sweet – the perfect combination to have women all across the country falling in love from the comfort of their couch. More importantly, Ben’s season featured a break from well-established Bachelor norms. By telling two women he loved them, Ben created a never-before-seen situation in Bachelor Nation, which simultaneously opened up the door for more honesty in the franchise and piqued the interest of viewers who were becoming bored with the same old formula season after season.

Ben first appeared on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, where he firmly established himself as a total sweetheart. He was kind and genuine, never failing to offer understanding and support for all Kaitlyn’s decisions. But he really captured viewers’ hearts when he admitted that he felt unlovable. We’ll never know if it was the irony of the statement or the vulnerability it took to admit his true feelings that cemented him as the most adored man in America, but either way, viewers were hooked. When it came time to choose the next Bachelor, Ben was the obvious choice.

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As the Bachelor, Ben’s sweetness had the potential to make for a boring season. It was precisely his authenticity, however, that made his installment such a success. Ben was honest with everyone on his season, villain and fan-favorite alike. He gave all the women at fair chance at winning his heart and refused to lead them on when he just didn’t feel the same way. When villain of the season Olivia told him she was in love with him, Ben responded by sending her home because he just couldn’t reciprocate those feelings. When contestant Jubilee asked if he could see a future between them, Ben told her nothing more could exist between them. While those moments were awkward to watch, they also delivered the right dose of drama that viewers want to see from The Bachelor.

Ben’s drama had a different feel from the drama of past seasons. While there was certainly plenty of in-fighting in the house and storylines that painted certain women as villains, much of the drama stemmed from Ben’s own feelings and his willingness to be 100 percent honest with each of the women. Instead of using house drama to carry much of the storyline, season 20 showed more of Ben’s relationships and his struggles with his own feelings. It felt like a return to the point of the show – a quest to find love. While many of the same tropes and formulas were used to push the show towards a conclusion, Ben showed honesty and authenticity that viewers weren’t accustomed to seeing in their Bachelor.

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Ben’s candor extended through the very end of the season, when he told both Lauren Bushnell and JoJo Fletcher that he loved them. Up until that point, those three little words were reserved for the winner, and often spoken on the day of the engagement. By confessing his true feelings before the traditional time, Ben upped the stakes of the entire season. Now, the women he rejected would have to move past a former love, not just a former relationship. In addition, Ben’s choice was much more clouded. While dedicated fans usually have a good idea of who the Bachelor will pick at the end, most viewers were completely lost regarding Ben’s decision. He loved both women – how could he possibly be expected to chose?

Through his honesty and vulnerability, Ben connected with viewers on a deeper level. He showed a reality of the show that’s often lost in arguments and drama – that these are real people who develop real feelings. Ben set the stage for Colton Underwood’s fence jump, Nick Viall’s multiple breakups outside of rose ceremonies, Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s two confessions of love, and many other honest and emotional moments that allowed the leads to follow their true feelings, rather than adhering to the formula of the show. Ben is still a Bachelor Nation favorite to this day, proving that his season is a standout in the franchise.

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