Tonight is the night! Ben Higgins is ready to find love on “The Bachelor,” but it has already been a long journey for the 27-year-old software salesman. Before landing the coveted role on the ABC reality show, he was a contestant on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of “The Bachelorette.” He entered with the hope of winning the heart of the Canadian dance instructor, but left crushed after making it to the final three.
Now he’s back and ready to pick up the pieces of his broken heart. But how did he get this far? Here's a recap of his time on “The Bachelorette” before the Season 20 premiere of “The Bachelor” Monday night.
Season 11 of “The Bachelorette” started off with two stars — Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson. The catch was that one of them was going to be eliminated by the end of the night. Kaitlyn ended up landing the most votes from the men, which was great for Ben, who had come on the show specifically for her. At the first rose ceremony he cemented his spot as a front-runner by landing the second rose. But he didn’t stay at the top. With so many guys in the house, the quiet bachelor fell to the side as other contestants demanded attention from Kaitlyn in episode 2.
Fortunately the episode 3 group date put him right back on Kaitlyn’s radar. Ben and a couple of the other guys had to teach a sex education class. And while all the men did a good job — despite turning bright red — Ben took his lesson to the next level by incorporating his relationship with Kaitlyn. His lesson really stuck with her because she gifted him with the group date rose.
Ben and Kaitlyn solidified their relationship in episode 5 when they were finally able to get some one-on-one time. The two visited the oldest dance hall in Texas to enter a two-step competition. Although the two didn’t make it far, Ben sweetly told the cameras that he felt like he won anyway with Kaitlyn on his arm. Ben also used that time to open up about his last serious relationship, which ended because his girlfriend felt like he “lost the chase.” Kaitlyn appreciated his honesty and willingness to open up and rewarded him with another rose.
But Ben took a step back in episode 7. He pulled Kaitlyn aside to confront her about something that had been upsetting him — he knew that something had happened between her and contestant Shawn. Kaitlyn was shocked, but admitted to Ben that she was wrong for giving Shawn more attention and time than the others. That seemed to be a good enough answer for Ben, who accepted the first rose following their talk.
By episode 8 Ben and Kaitlyn were back on track. The two embarked on their second one-on-one date and spent the evening really getting to know each other, which was important for Ben because he had a confession to make. He told Kaitlyn he feared he was unlovable after his last relationship, something Kaitlyn reassured him wasn’t true. To prove it to him, she gave him the first rose of the ceremony, cementing his spot in the final three.
Kaitlyn and Ben had their third one-on-one date on episode 9, and Ben used that time to tell Kaitlyn he was falling in love with her. He accepted the overnight key and the two spent the night together. Kaitlyn told the cameras that she had fun with Ben — but not enough to move him to the final two.
In an emotional rose ceremony, Kaitlyn decided to give the final two roses to Nick and Shawn. “It breaks my heart doing this,” she admitted as Ben was eliminated.
“When I’m with you, life is good,” he told her before getting in the limo to leave. “I would love to be able to share life longer with you, but that’s not going to happen. And that will be tough. It will not be easy not seeing you.”
Despite the breakup, Ben is ready to open his heart again on “The Bachelor.” Fans can watch his journey unfold when Season 20 premieres on ABC Monday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. EST.