Has A Rose Ever Been Rejected On 'The Bachelor'?

- The Bachelor -
Has A Rose Ever Been Rejected On 'The Bachelor'?

The season premieres of The Bachelor are usually pretty predictable. The limo arrivals feature some uncomfortable hijinks from contestants. There's a bit of "can I steal you for a sec?" drama at the cocktail party. Some people who barely got any screentime are sent home. But, during the season premiere of Clayton Echard's Bachelor season, there was something new: a woman rejecting a rose before limo arrivals even began. In fact, it's rare for a rose to be turned down at all.

As you may recall if you checked out the list of this year's contestants, this season a woman named Salley was cast and her job was listed as "Previously Engaged". While this might seem like one of the ridiculous "job titles" the show sometimes uses, in this case, Salley is referred to as "Previously Engaged" because that fact is the entire focus of her short-lived time on the show. (Her real job is spine surgery robot operator, by the way. Something we may have heard if she didn't peace out after knowing Clayton for about five minutes.)

In a confessional filmed before the contestants even meet Clayton, Salley explains that her wedding to her ex-fiancé was supposed to be that very weekend. "I didn’t know it’d be so hard to be here today. I just want to be with my family," she says. She adds that ever since she arrived for the show she's been "an emotional wreck."

Image: ABC

So, Salley decides she has to go talk to Clayton. As she ends up explaining to him, she didn't want to "fully" make her decision to leave until she met him. But, yeah, she definitely goes into the conversation thinking she's out of there. I smell some producer encouragement. That's just good TV to have the Bachelor think one of the woman is so excited to meet him she showed up at his hotel room only to have him realize she's leaving the show because she was supposed to get married that weekend.

Salley tells Clayton — five hours before limo arrivals — that she's not ready for a Bachelor journey, because of the distraction of her Previously Engaged past. She says she sat around looking at the clock thinking, "This is when I should be walking down the aisle. This is when I should be having my first dance." Yeah... that does not sound like someone who should get engaged again in a matter of weeks.

Still, Salley is somewhat charmed by Clayton and he definitely is by her, because the next thing you know he leaves the room and returns with a rose. When he offers it, she has to step away to think, which is obviously a bad sign. After a phone conversation with what seems to be a family member and a talk with production about how torn she feels, Salley returns and rejects Clayton's rose. "I want to accept that rose, my heart is just not in the place where I can," she tells him.

This entire situation of a contestant appearing at the lead's hotel room pre-limo arrivals has never happened, but on top of that, it is also extremely rare for a suitor to turn down a rose. In fact, in the history of the franchise, there's only been a couple of people who said "no" to a rose when it was offered. Lauren Barr on Ben Higgins' season turned down a rose when her named was called at a rose ceremony. On Bachelor in Paradise, Bri Barnes turned down a rose from Luke Stone when her named was called. Generally, though, people say they're leaving before a rose is even offered — whether that's on a one-on-one date or by interrupting a rose ceremony. Salley's rose really came out of left field — she was already planning to leave — so it makes sense that this was a situation in which a contestant had to turn down a rose.

Image: ABC

So, with Salley's decision, Clayton was left rejected upon trying to hand out his very first rose. He gets over it, though. Meeting 30 new women helps.

And, I have to say, props to Salley. At first it seemed like she was going to meet with Clayton for some sympathy and a potential pity rose, but she was really just honest with herself and with the guy who everyone is expected to go wild for. You might have been listed as "Previously Engaged", Salley, but I will remember you as Salley, the spine surgery robot operator who was self-aware enough to realize she was definitely not ready continue with a reality TV dating show.

Image: ABC

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