Why The Bachelorette Had To Change Stars After The Bachelor Brad Womack's Second Season


the bachelor season 15 chantal o'brien brad womack abc

(Image credit: ABC)

Spoilers ahead for the Brad Womack episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever.

The Bachelor Nation action returned to ABC with a new episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever. This was Brad Womack's night, and Brad still stands as the only Bachelor lead to search for love in more than one season. The biggest reveal of the episode might not have had to do as much with Brad himself as with the woman who became leading lady of The Bachelorette after his second season... or, more specifically, the woman who didn't become the Bachelorette leading lady. As it turns out, it wasn't always meant to be Ashley Hebert distributing roses, but actually Chantal O'Brien.

Chantal O'Brien was of course the first runner-up of Brad Womack's second season of The Bachelor, and she was apparently attached to Season 7 of The Bachelorette until she decided not to participate. Host Chris Harrison took Chantal on a blast to the past when she appeared on Brad's episode of The Greatest Seasons Ever, and he mentioned that not many people were aware that she had been asked to be the next Bachelorette but said no. Chantal quickly spoke up to clarify:

Well, I didn't say no at first. I said yes. What happened was I ended up going on a blind date and then after our first date I called my best friend and I just said, 'I just met my future husband.' So it was that clear to me and I felt really bad because I'd committed to you guys to do [The Bachelorette], but I also had to be honest. And I know you guys wouldn't want somebody whose heart was somewhere else. And it worked out! Ashley found her husband, right? So it was good.

Chantal O'Brien also revealed that she had to deal with some "shock" after returning home from The Bachelor but before the season aired, because it had been "spoiled" that she and Brad Womack were engaged when in fact she was runner-up. That shock didn't turn into another reality TV search for love, and it's all thanks to a blind date Chantal went on before she got too far in the Bachelorette process.

In a cute twist to the story, Chantal O'Brien was correct when she told her friend she'd just met her future husband! Chantal has been married to her blind date for eight years, and they currently have two kids. Happy ending for Chantal without the journey being documented on ABC! In fact, Chantal passing on The Bachelorette worked out for everybody.

Second runner-up Ashley Hebert stepped up to hand out the roses when Chantal backed out, and she met her future husband during Season 7. Ashley and now-husband J.P. Rosenbaum stand as one of the relatively few happily-ever-after stories of Bachelor Nation history. Brad Womack's relationship following his second season of The Bachelor didn't last, but two lasting love stories came from two of the women he jilted! Kudos to Brad for not choosing Chantal or Ashley, I guess.

That said, in Brad's appearance on his episode of The Greatest Seasons Ever, he informed Chris Harrison that he too is in a happy relationship despite two failed attempts at finding love on The Bachelor. And hey, since rumors of Hannah Brown coming back never resulted in Hannah starring in another season of The Bachelorette, Brad holds on to his record as the only person in Bachelor Nation history to try for love as star of two different seasons!

The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever will continue taking viewers on blasts to the Bachelor Nation past with new episodes airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule and our 2020 fall TV premiere guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).