'The Bachelor' Rewind: Season 1
Two weeks from today, the new season of The Bachelor will begin. It's hard to believe, but this will actually be the 11th installment of the series.

That's right: 10 men have tried (and mostly failed) to find love – or, for some, maybe mainly the limelight – via the odd spectacle of Rose Ceremonies, group dates and fantasy suites.

During the next two weeks, we will take a look back at the men of The Bachelor (and on the weekends, the women of The Bachelorette) to see what they are up to now. Some have successfully returned to regular life, and have dropped off the public's radar. Other still maintain some level of involvement in the entertainment world.

First up: the man who was part of the start of it all, the very first Bachelor, Alex Michel.

Alex Michel helped set The Bachelor guy mold. Fit and tall, with good teeth and a full head of hair, he was presented as a kind of accomplished and successful “ideal man” that most single straight women would apparently be ready to subject themselves to possible televised embarrassment to date.

Helping ABC to create that impression was his notable resume. Alex started out early as an overachiever. In high school, he was valedictorian, student body president, and homecoming king. He went on to receive an undergraduate degree from Harvard, and his MBA from Stanford. He had a successful and interesting career that allowed him to travel and seemed to have everything going for him. So why did a guy like that need television to play matchmaker for him?

He said after the show that he looked at it as a kind of “adventure.” He said, “I thought there was a good chance that I would find love, although [it would be] in a strange way. People have met in stranger ways, and I thought that women who had the same sense of adventure might be people that I had something in common with.”

And he did find love, or at least something like that, for a little while, with Amanda Marsh. She, and the first group of women to appear on The Bachelor, also set the mold for the future women of The Bachelor.  Fit, pretty, leggy, young...well, kind of like the majority of women on television, one supposes.

Like many of the relationships started on The Bachelor, theirs did not last. It fell apart some months later, amid rumors that he was still contacting the runner-up, future Bachelorette Trista Rehn, now Trista Sutter, and that their relationship had been more intimate than first thought.

For a while, there was a nasty Internet rumor started by fake e-mails purported to have been sent by Alex. They made disparaging remarks about Amanda, some callous ones about Trista, and the claim that the producers made the call as to the final Rose Ceremony. Those e-mails were later proven to be a hoax, but the other rumors remained.

Amanda also was said to have been surprised by reports that Alex was looking to go into show business, calling into question his initial motivations for appearing on the show.  She also called into question the whole premise of The Bachelor, telling the New York Post afterwards, "You cannot find true love on television."

Since the first season of The Bachelor aired, Alex has had some additional time in the limelight. He was a spokesperson for Match.com, appeared on The ReRun Show, and produced and appeared in an independent short film.

Now, he is reported to be working in private wealth management, but he appears to still be able to capitalize on his Bachelor days. He's listed as a speaker for Corporate Artists, a company that provides celebrity speakers for corporate events. His topic? “Decision-Making Under Pressure: Lessons From Candlelight Dinners Applied to the Corporate Jungle,” in which he “relates his experience as the Bachelor to decision-making in business.”

And in case you were curious as to how the past five years have affected how this very first Bachelor's looks, Manhattan media site Gawker caught up with him last year as a book release party amongst some very well-to-do attendees and provided this candid party snap.

Check back here for a new update on past seasons everyday until the premiere of Season 11.  At the end of our trip down memory lane, we'll take a look at the comments left by our BuddyTV readers and review the opinions about the former Bachelors and Bachelorettes.  Leave yours on your favorite - or least favorite! - and maybe see them featured in our wrap-up!

'The Bachelor' Rewind: Season 2

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: Gawker, New York Post, Reality News Online, Snopes.com, CNN, Newsnet5.com
(Images courtesy of TV.com and Gawker)