Not part of the bachelor nation. Ben Higgins revealed that his wife Jessica Clark hadn’t watched “The Bachelor” before they started dating, and she wasn’t too interested in watching his season either.
“I bet Jess asked me about the series less than five times in the four years we spent together,” the 33—year-old co-host of the podcast “Almost Famous” tells Us Weekly, sharing Clarke’s thoughts on the franchise. “Like, [she] never watched [it].”
Her mother, however, was a fan of The Bachelor, and the beautician first saw her future husband when his season aired in 2016. “She watched one episode of my season when she was in college, and her mom claims that Jessica walked into the room and [said], ‘I could date this guy,'” Higgins said. “Her mom said it was shocking because Jessica never said that. For example, [she] never openly talked about who she was or what she does.”
The comment made such an impression on Clarke’s mother that when Higgins slipped in to her DM years later, she urged her daughter to respond. “Her mom said: “Wow, this is… a weird [full] circle moment,” the TV presenter continued. “[She said], ‘You have to send him a reply message. Let’s see what happens.” And then we got married.”
Timeline of Ben Higgins and Jessica Clarke’s relationship
A little over a year after the Indiana native contacted Clarke via Instagram, in March 2020, Us confirmed that the couple were engaged. “From now on, every Thanksgiving I will remember the first message you sent me!” she wrote on Instagram in November of the same year, reflecting on their online presentation. “When I woke up 2 years ago and saw a DM from a random stranger, I never thought I would marry him.”
“Thank you for supporting me in following my dream, loving me through the most tiring days, making me better and always making me feel like I’m good enough for who I am,” Clarke continued. “This is a photo from last year, when we were traveling all the time. I remember I was so worried that one day life would slow down and we wouldn’t know what to do with each other, but this year I realized that these slow days are my favorite.”
The couple tied the knot in Nashville in November 2021, which was attended by many members of Bachelor Nation. Despite their friendship with many other couples associated with the franchise, Higgins has previously stated that Clark has no plans to watch his season—or any other season—of “The Bachelor.”
“It’s not hard for me to look back because I know what to expect. But Jess won’t watch it, she has no desire to watch it,” the author of “Alone in Plain Sight” told us in June 2020. “She’s my partner and I want her to know about it, I don’t want her to feel any grief or sadness from it. So… she won’t watch it. I think she decided… And if she wanted to, I would let her. I mean, I really don’t want to tell her what to do.”
Former hosts of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelor”: where are they now?
Higgins proposed to Lauren Bushnell on The Bachelor finale in March 2016, but the couple broke up just over a year later. “I would say that the joy we felt for our relationship in the beginning was slipping away for some reason,” Higgins said in his podcast at the time. “And we both worked very hard to bring that joy back. And it seemed that there was simply no way to get to it.”
Although it didn’t work out with the 32-year-old Bushnell, the Bachelor: Winter Games graduate doesn’t regret the time he spent as a bachelor, as that experience eventually led him to find love. “It was all on the way to Jess,” he said. “And I’ll see it that way. I believe it is. I believe everything has brought me to this point in my life.”
Participation in the show also introduced him to his friend Nick Viall, with whom he will compete on the new E! The show, Celebrity Beef. In the series hosted by Joel McHale, every week two celebrities will compete against each other, competing against each other in cooking to settle their beef once and for all in the most delicious way possible. During the competition, the pair will talk about their rivalry, although Higgins admitted that he and the 41-year-old host of Viall Files have a more friendly feud than most.
“I don’t know if this show is helping or hurting him, but Nick politely asked me to join him,” the Indiana University graduate joked. “We are friends with a healthy rivalry.”
Bachelor Nation Stars Who Found Best Friends on the Show
Viall, however, teased that Higgins was ready to play dirty when it came time to compete: “I know Ben, and I know he likes to be a very nice person, and everyone thinks he’s so cute, [but] I know he has a dark vindictive side. Part of me was kind of proud of him, but it also really, really, really messed up my mojo.”
Celebrity Beef airs on E! Channel Tuesday at 10 p.m. EASTERN STANDARD TIME.
With a report by Cristina Garibaldi