Bachelor Contestants You May Not Know Died
ABC’s “The Bachelor” debuted in March 2002 with Alex Michel handing out roses. Then, “The Bachelorette” premiered in January 2003 with Alex’s runner-up Trista Rehn looking for love. Since those initial seasons, hundreds of contestants have tried to find their future spouses via reality television with a handful of long-term successes. Sadly, a handful of bachelors and bachelorettes have died in the years after their reality television experiences.
“The Bachelor” franchise grew to include several spinoff shows besides “The Bachelorette.” There were a few seasons of “Bachelor Pad” and a one-time offering of “Bachelor Winter Games.” “Bachelor in Paradise” often kept fans entertained throughout the summers, and “The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart” tried to combine music and roses to snag viewers. Some contestants did “Dancing with the Stars” and even won, and some off-screen love matches among former contestants developed as well.
It’s always shocking to “The Bachelor” franchise fans to learn a former contestant has died. A few of those deaths involved fairly well-known bachelors or bachelorettes, while a few only briefly appeared during their seasons. Some died after heartbreaking accidents. Sadly, others died after facing mental health or addiction issues. Keep reading to see the “Bachelor” Nation members who have died since their time on the show.
Tyler Gwozdz died months after appearing on 'The Bachelorette'
Tyler Gwozdz appeared on Hannah Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette” during the spring of 2019. As the premiere aired, Tyler admitted in an Instagram post he’d been nervous to meet Hannah. He added, however, that her smile made it impossible to stay nervous. He posted a couple of times as “The Bachelorette” aired, and his last Instagram post in September 2019 showed him hanging out with other bachelors from his season.
While Tyler had some “The Bachelorette” fans rooting for him, a mysterious issue prompted an early exit. He disappeared with no official explanation during Episode 3, and spoiler king Reality Steve noted it had been because of a decision production made. Tyler told Refinery29 that the rumors about his exit were “unsubstantiated” and that he’d decided in coordination with production to leave.
In January 2020, TMZ reported Tyler had died at 29 of a suspected drug overdose. A woman made a 911 call from a home in Boca Raton, Florida, and Tyler had locked himself in a bathroom. He was rushed to the hospital and reportedly spent a week there in “critical but stable condition,” per TMZ. He died 10 days later, and E! Online reported that the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner determined that an accidental “opioid toxicity” caused Tyler’s death.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Erin Storm died in a tragic plane crash
Erin Storm appeared on Season 12 of “The Bachelor,” which featured Matt Grant. Her profession was listed as “hot dog vendor” during the show, detailed Hollywood Life, but her real-life career accomplishments were far more interesting. Erin’s Facebook page noted she had worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines and she’d also worked for the Santa Monica Mirror as a host and field reporter. Matt eliminated Erin in Week 3 during that season.
In March 2016, Erin died in a plane crash at the age of 41. She had reportedly pursued her pilot’s license soon after her run on “The Bachelor.” The Los Angeles Times detailed Erin was flying an Airborne XT-912 plane on the day of the crash. Shortly after leaving Hawthorne Municipal Airport in California, the ultralight single-engine glider crashed. Bystanders told NBC Los Angeles the plane “veered up, lost control, and hit a couple feet away from the truck” where they were. They rushed to pull Erin out of the plane, which was engulfed in flames, and she was in full cardiac arrest when rescue crews got to her. She was rushed to the hospital but died of her injuries.
“Massively shocked. Devastated for her family and friends. We were lucky to have Erin on season 12. She was genuine, self-assured, beautiful, and hilarious,” Matt told WKYC after learning of Erin’s tragic death.
Julien Hug considered himself an adventurer
One of the men who had hoped to snag Jillian Harris’ final rose during Season 5 of “The Bachelorette” was Julien Hug. He seemed like he’d be one to watch throughout the season, but ultimately, he didn’t stay on the show for long. The year after doing “The Bachelorette,” when he was 35, Julien died by suicide.
After Julien’s death, his family told People what they’d seen in him was “his thirst for life with fast cars, motorcycles, and his love of skydiving.” His death came as “a complete shock” to his loved ones, and a letter he left behind detailed he’d felt “acute depression,” per his family’s statement. The San Diego Union-Tribune shared that just before his death, Julien was headed to Palm Desert to help with his family’s new restaurant launch. The family didn’t hear from him again, and his body was found two days later with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, per People.
“I am completely heartbroken for the Hug family, and my whole heart goes out to them today as they mourn a precious life that ended far too soon … I will always remember Julien’s gentle demeanor and kind heart, which will be sadly missed,” Jillian said about Julien in a statement after his death.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Lex McAllister believed in empowering women
Pilot Jake Pavelka led Season 14 of “The Bachelor” in 2010, and Alexa “Lex” McAllister was one of his bachelorettes. Variety noted that she was eliminated during the first episode of that season. In February 2016, Lexi had a drug overdose and died of an apparent suicide, per TMZ. Her family explained that Lex had dealt with both bipolar disorder and depression, but they also stressed how vibrant she was.
“She was involved in many wonderful charities and very active in her community. She was very involved in anything to do with empowering women, bringing awareness to human trafficking and domestic violence issues in our city. We don’t want any of that to get lost or forgotten because of the nature of her death,” Lex’s sister, Andrea Bogner, shared with ET Online. Lex’s brother Josh McAllister also said his sister was “an amazingly bright star and her shine could only light the world for so long.”
“Im so sad to hear about Alexa. Such a beautiful girl. My heart breaks for her family. Covering them in prayer during this rough time,” Jake tweeted after learning of Lex’s death.
Eric Hill's episodes aired after his tragic death
During Season 10 of “The Bachelorette,” contestant Eric Hill shared some memorable moments with Andi Dorfman. ABC noted that he received the first one-on-one date of Andi’s season, and they received a phenomenal outing. A visit to the beach, a helicopter ride, and some snowboarding got their relationship off to an adrenaline-filled start. But by Week 4, he voiced questions about Andi’s authenticity, and his journey on the show ended.
Before those episodes aired, however, Eric died in an accident at the age of 32. CNN detailed that he had been paragliding in Draper, Utah when the incident happened. A partial collapse of his parachute propelled him into the hillside, and he was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. A couple of days later, his sister Karen Tracy shared the heartbreaking news of his death in a Facebook post. “Eric shared his final journey with us this morning as all his immediate family were able to be at his side when he passed away … He gave us such a gift of a life fully lived and fully shared, and allowed us all to be a part of his last adventure here on earth,” she wrote.
“The Bachelorette” kept the scenes involving Eric in Andi’s season as it aired in May and June after he died. Eric’s death was the first and only time a contestant died before their episodes aired.
Gia Allemand was a 'Bachelor Nation' fan-favorite contestant
Gia Allemand appeared on Jake Pavelka’s season of “The Bachelor” in early 2010. The two hit it off, but he eliminated her after their fantasy suite date. Gia also participated in Seasons 1 and 2 of “Bachelor Pad” in 2010 and 2011 before stepping away from reality television. In August 2011, Gia met professional basketball player Ryan Anderson in the Bahamas (per Us Magazine). Until shortly before her death, they’d been talking about their future together, he told Sports Illustrated.
Sports Illustrated reported that the couple had an argument that day, with Gia’s family later contacting Anderson and asking him to check on her. After arriving at her home and finding Gia, Anderson called 911, and his girlfriend was taken to the hospital. Two days later, Gia’s loved ones took her off of life support, citing “a critical loss of brain and organ function,” per People.
A family statement shared by People detailed that Gia was “a caring woman who loved her family” and was “well-known for her compassion towards animals and mission to rescue homeless pets.”
Michael Nance was loved for his kind heart
When Emily Maynard headlined “The Bachelorette” in 2012 after her broken “The Bachelor” engagement to Brad Womack, Michael Nance hoped he could be her Mr. Right. He thought that perhaps his passion for music would help him stand out, and as People detailed, he introduced himself as “Music Mike” to Emily as he gave her a guitar pick. Michael wasn’t just a musician at the time, though. He was also a counselor with a rehabilitation center, having navigated a prior addiction to prescription medications. When he joined “The Bachelorette,” he had two years of sobriety.
Michael was eliminated just a few episodes into Emily’s run at “The Bachelorette.” Viewers loved him, though, and they followed along as he spent the next five years pursuing his music and working a handful of miscellaneous jobs. He had reportedly been taken aback by the attention his reality television stint received, and he relapsed at some point prior to his death at the age of 31. People shared that the autopsy report ruled that Michael’s death was an accident and that he had consumed Gabapentin, Clonazepam, heroin, and cocaine sometime shortly before his death.
“So sad waking up to the news about Michael Nance. Such a kind heart and so much talent. Sending prayers and love to his family and friends,” Emily tweeted after learning of Michael’s death.
A sudden medical crisis caused Cristy Caserta's death
Cristy Caserta joined Season 15 of “The Bachelor,” which brought Brad Womack back for a second shot at finding love. The Florida attorney was eliminated during the first week of Brad’s 2011 season, but she seemed to make a big impression on her fellow bachelorettes. In 2018, Cristy suddenly died at the age of 38. “I remember her smile more than anything. She was so warm and genuine,” fellow “The Bachelor” contestant Michelle Money said to Us Weekly about Cristy.
As The Ringer detailed, Cristy was serious about joining “The Bachelor.” She worked for a small law firm at the time and they had been supportive of her decision to do the show. “They said as long as I was serious going into it and it wasn’t something I was just doing for fun or to BS, and that I actually wanted to go on to meet somebody, they would be willing to give me the time off,” Cristy explained to the outlet in 2017.
According to TMZ, Cristy was at a school in Sunrise, Florida for a training class when she suffered a sudden medical crisis. She seemed to have a seizure and fell forward in her seat, and classmates found her to be unresponsive. They immediately called 911, and responders determined Cristy was in cardiac arrest. Despite CPR efforts and a transfer to the hospital, Cristy died. The autopsy report later detailed that hyperthyroidism and an enlarged heart caused her death (per TMZ).
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