This Week in Bachelor Nation History: Jillian Harris Meets Her 30 Suitors
Jillian Harris' season of "The Bachelorette" started out looking much like the four that preceded hers. She arrived at Bachelor Mansion ready to find love, looking beautiful in a white gown. Men exited their limos one by one and did their best to impress her and win her affection.
Everything changed, however, midway through the cocktail party when five more men arrived, marking the first time in show history the Bachelorette would have to choose from 30 rather than the usual 25 men. Jillian was the first non-American woman to be the Bachelorette (she’s Canadian), and her season premiered May 18, 2009.
Before reminiscing about which Bachelor Nation fan favorites (or least favorites) vied for her love, it’s imperative to start Jillian’s story at the beginning.
She first won everyone’s hearts on Jason Mesnick’s season of "The Bachelor." She made it to the final three but got sent home after Fantasy Suite dates. Although she left heartbroken, she learned how to open up her heart to a love story of her own.
She said in her "Bachelorette" intro video, "I can’t believe this is happening to me. I don’t know what it’s going to be like on this side, but it’s my turn to do the choosing." Jillian called this a "fabulous opportunity for me to meet the one I'm supposed to be with."
Her girl-next-door demeanor and spunky spirit won Jason over until nearly the end on "The Bachelor," and she brought that same attitude with her to "The Bachelorette."
She said, "I’m not a princess. I don’t think I’m drop-dead gorgeous. I think I’m cute and I’ve got a huge heart and there’s somebody really special out there for me. I haven’t seen him yet, but I know he exists."
Jillian expressed she had "no regrets" going on "The Bachelor" because she learned to be "emotionally available," which helped her learn she could "find love this way."
"I know things can go wrong along the way, but I’m willing to take the risk and put my heart out there. I have so much left to give," she asserted in her video.
Jillian had no shortage of some top-notch suitors to choose from. There was Julian, a skydiving enthusiast who has "jumped out of a plane about 500 times." She also met Brad, whose "title is financial advisor," but his "biggest passion is pole vaulting."
Jillian’s season is also where Jake Pavelka made his Bachelor Nation debut. He said in his intro video, "One thing I like about Jillian is that she’s looking for her best friend, and that is my philosophy exactly. I’m looking to marry my best friend. I’m looking. I don’t recreationally date — I’m looking for my wife."
Plus, Michael Stagliano hoped to show off his breakdancing skills, and well as Kyle the Brooklynite shared that he had been "going to thrift stores since the seventh grade."
The 25 men made their mark on Jillian, and as soon as she started to feel somewhat comfortable, Chris Harrison entered the room and announced the arrival of five more men. At the end of the night, Jillian had the grueling task of sending 10 men home, but not before bestowing the First Impression Rose on David, a trucking contractor from Ohio.
Other Bachelorettes whose seasons premiered this week in Bachelor Nation history include Kaitlyn Bristowe (May 18, 2015), DeAnna Pappas (May 19, 2008), Andi Dorfman (May 19, 2014), Rachel Lindsay (May 22, 2017), Ashley Hebert (May 23, 2011), and JoJo Fletcher (May 24, 2016).