From start to finish on this season of The Bachelorette, JoJo Fletcher had her eye on Jordan Rodgers. He earned the first rose of the season, and Monday night he earned the most important one, as JoJo picked the former Vanderbilt quarterback over ex-Florida State swimmer Robby Hayes.
Entering the final episode, it seemed like there was no way Jordan could lose to Robby. But there was drama, as Jordan initially opted not to ask JoJo's family for permission to marry her, contrary to his previous statement that he would. After some tears, he eventually called up JoJo's parents, got the words he needed to hear, and JoJo told him she was choosing him.
Jordan was a prime candidate to win JoJo's heart for the entire run of the show. He was the first contestant to catch JoJo's eye, earning the famed First Impression rose on the opening episode of the season. He earned the first rose of an episode four times over the course of a 10-episode season, meaning he virtually never had to sweat during a rose ceremony. As the contestants traveled from LA to Pennsylvania to Uruguay to Argentina to Thailand, Jordan always seemed to be a step ahead of the competition.
There was some controversy surrounding Jordan's trustworthiness, as contestants and fans questioned whether he was on the show "for the right reasons" -- essentially, accusing the recently retired athlete of using the show's extremely large platform to increase his visibility as he attempts to transition into a post-football career in television. It's a strategy that worked for Jesse Palmer, who had a similarly forgettable NFL career, then appeared as The Bachelor, and landed a coveted gig as one of ABC/ESPN's lead college football analysts. It may have already worked: Rodgers was reportedly hired by the SEC Network during the show's run. The SEC Network is owned by ESPN, which is owned by ABC, which of course shows The Bachelorette.
Jordan started for two years as Vanderbilt's quarterback, perhaps the most successful back-to-back years in the historically woeful history of Commodores football. He earned some looks from NFL teams -- the Jaguars, the Buccaneers and the Dolphins -- but never appeared in a regular season game.
Jordan did have an opportunity to show off his quarterbacking skills on the show. During the fourth episode of the show, Rodgers served as all-time QB during a game of 5-on-5 football at Heinz Field. The winners earned a date with JoJo, and it was deemed unfair for a former pro QB to be on one team or the other.
As a member of both teams, he "won" the game, but it was his performance after the game that won him that date's rose from JoJo.
One of the major storylines involving Jordan this season was his strained relationship with his brother, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Normally The Bachelorette doesn't spend too much time focusing on the relationship between contestants and their siblings, but with Rodgers it earned a lot of play for two reasons. Firstly, he's Aaron Rodgers, and he's very very very famous. Secondly, Jordan felt public perception was that much of his own career success was because he had a famous brother in the same field, where he personally felt self-made and resented constant comparisons to his extremely talented sibling. Aaron apparently didn't appreciate the fact that their relationship is the stuff of headlines, commenting that it was "inappropriate" to discuss family matters, but wishing his brother the best on the show.
This is not the first time the athletic brother of an NFL quarterback named "Aaron" has won The Bachelorette. Two seasons ago, minor league baseball player (and very brief Georgia walk-on football player) Josh Murray -- the older brother of Chiefs QB Aaron -- appeared on Andi Dorfman's season. Their relationship lasted less than a year.
So now Jordan and JoJo are engaged, but if you're excited for their happily ever after, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up. According to reality TV blogger Reality Steve -- who used reality TV sources to accurately spoil virtually everything to take place on this season of The Bachelorette, including Jordan's victory, months ahead of time -- their relationship is not exactly going smoothly. Steve speculates their relationship may already be over, and that they have been keeping up appearances for the sake of the show.