Ben Higgins reveals “the hardest part” of starring on ‘The Bachelor’ franchise

Reality

Ben Higgins has revealed what the hardest part of starring on The Bachelor’s 20th season was for him.

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“I wasn’t prepared,” Ben admitted during a recent episode of the “Talking It Out with Bachelor Nation” podcast co-hosted by Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo.

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Ben first competed on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette in 2015, and then he was selected by ABC to star on The Bachelor’s 20th season in 2016.

After finishing Kaitlyn’s season in third place, Ben recalled receiving a phone call from The Bachelor producers while he was working as a software salesman and business analyst, splitting his time between Denver, CO, and Tampa, FL, for the job.

“I stepped out of my office, I took the phone call, they said, ‘Hey, do you want to be the Bachelor?’ And I said, ‘Yes,'” Ben said on the podcast.

“And then I sat back down at my desk, in this cubicle, and started typing a user manual again. I don’t know, six weeks later, I show up to L.A., they pick me up in a black car, I go to this big old mansion, they have me stay at some Four Seasons or Five Seasons, whatever that really fancy hotel is called there. And I’m feeling like a rock star, like a rock star!”

Ben said he even watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve before his season premiered and there was “a big old poster of me up against a building.”

“You feel like King of the World. And that to me was more unhealthy. That, to me, is where I started feeling alone, because I started to believe all of that. I started to let that stuff sink in. I wasn’t prepared,” Ben admitted.

“And I always joke about this… and it’s self-deprecating, which people find endearing, but I mean this: the hardest part about being on The Bachelor is that you have no tangible skill set to become famous.”

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Ben explained the reason why he became famous was insignificant and so he lost touch with reality and who he really is.

“I’m not a singer, I’m not a dancer, I’m not an artist. I wasn’t a very successful business person, and so, all of a sudden, you just get put on The Bachelor because they think you can date a bunch of people successfully and maybe well,” Ben said.

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“And because of that, after a while, I had nothing to be proud of.”

Ben got engaged to Lauren Bushnell during his The Bachelor season finale, and then the pair starred on a spinoff, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, which aired on Freeform and featured them planning a wedding.

Ben was still working in software sales at the time — for a year-and-a-half after his The Bachelor stint — and it took him some time to find himself and figure out what he wants in life.

Ben and Lauren called off their engagement and split in May 2017, and then Ben looked for love on The Bachelor: Winter Games in 2018 but realized he wasn’t quite ready to date again just yet.

Eventually, Ben founded Generous Coffee Company and became a co-host of “The Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast” alongside Ashley Iaconetti, and both business ventures have apparently given Ben a sense of purpose and feeling of accomplishment.

Ben therefore said he wouldn’t go back and change anything about his The Bachelor experience, even if he could.

“The show was really good to me. I can’t speak for everybody and say it’s good to everybody that does it,” Ben shared.

“I think there are good things every person who goes on the show can find from that experience, if they want to. I’ve been criticized for saying that, [but] I believe that.”

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Ben told Mike and Bryan how The Bachelor or The Bachelorette villains should find light at the end of the tunnel as well.

“[When] you’re a villain and you feel like only bad came from it, I know that sucks, and I know that hurts, and I know it’s not fun. Criticism is not easy to handle, especially when you’re just a normal human stepping on a TV show trying to be yourself and then all of a sudden, the world feels like it’s falling down all around you,” Ben explained.

“However, I believe that if we all took the time to… learn from what you’re seeing and how you’re behaving on television, I think that’s a really healthy human behavior. I think you can grow from that. It’s a learning lesson.”

Ben said he could easily rattle off a list of people who have appeared on the show and been viewed poorly by the public “but then maybe gone back on Paradise.”

“Or maybe they’ve gone back into the spotlight and said, ‘I have some stuff to work on. I’m going to try to tweak some stuff and figure out why I behave this way.’ And you’ve seen them thrive post-show, like, thrive!” Ben insisted.

“They’ve found their career path, they maybe found a partner, maybe they’ve gone back on a show and kind of had their redemption moment. Those things happen.”

Ben is now married to a woman outside of Bachelor Nation, Jessica Clarke, whom he began dating in December 2018.

Ben proposed marriage to Jessica in early 2020, and then they purchased their first home together in Denver in December of that year.

Ben and Jessica had to postpone their initial 2020 wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they ended up getting married in a “simple and beautiful” wedding ceremony at The Estate in Cherokee Dock near Nashville in November 2021.

Ben has said he and Jessica are now looking to expand their family; however, they are in no rush to have children and decided to start with a dog named Waylon.

Jessica has stayed by Ben’s side even during the most difficult times, such as a “breakdown” in Summer 2021 that left Ben soul-searching and reaching out to family and friends for support.

Ben previously admitted that he “lost” himself from being so wrapped up in fame and struggled to navigate life once that attention from The Bachelor “started to fade.”

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For Lauren’s part, the Season 20 The Bachelor alum is married with one child to country singer Chris Lane.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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