Happily ever after! Bachelor season 1 winner Amanda Marsh has come a long way since winning the heart of Alex Michel in 2002. What’s the Kansas native up to today since winning the *first* final rose? Keep reading to find out.
Amanda is now a dermatology nurse practitioner and still lives in her home state. She married her childhood friend Jay Caldwell, and they share a daughter named Chloe. She appears to live a pretty low-key life out of the spotlight and enjoys working, hanging outside and taking adorable snapshots of their family cat, Zorro.
Although the former event planner is doing great these days, she confessed she felt “apprehension” when she heard season 1 was reairing on July 6 as part of The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons Ever.
“What 23 year old should be followed around with a camera? I hope viewers can appreciate that 18 years ago, there was not another show or ‘characters’ to model after. I hope viewers understand people make mistakes, and there is power in editing,” Amanda wrote via Instagram on July 4.
She continued, “This amazing group of women took a chance on an opportunity (and abundant alcohol — at least then) not even convinced it would air. Although I do not continue to watch this national sensation, the originals, in my opinion, were the first and last ‘real’ seasons.”
Although her relationship with Alex “ended,” the Bachelor Nation babe is “thankful for many fun memories and experiences” while filming. “Today, I am so blessed and I have everything I ever dreamed of,” she concluded her lengthy post. “Enjoy the early 2000’s unsponsored fashion, before social media Instagram fame, my love of a cookie and catchy mood music.”
There were no first impression roses during season 1, but Amanda caught Alex’s eye from the moment she stepped out of the limo. She even went on the first one-on-one date during week 3. The Stanford Business School graduate did not propose to the reality babe during the finale, but they continued dating after the show. They officially split in 2003.
Years later, the starlet claimed they fizzled out because he still held on to feelings for runner-up Trista Rehn, who went on to become the first Bachelorette. Amanda claimed during an interview with Inside Edition in 2008 that the former Miami Heat dancer emailed her and said Alex reached out to her after filming to “keep the door open.” Of course, Trista went her own way and got engaged to Ryan Sutter during her finale. They got married in 2003 and have two children.
Amanda added at the time she was “disappointed because I invested a lot of time in trying to make this relationship work.”
Alex corroborated Amanda’s dedication. “We shared so much of our personal, romantic lives with America and everyone was so supportive and seemed to think I’d picked the right one and everything. But there came a time we had to be private,” he told Inside Edition.
The first-ever Bachelor keeps his life extremely private these days. “I know people have tried to get ahold of him, and we would have loved to have had him here today, but he’s kind of gone on to live his life,” Chris Harrison said about Alex in 2013. “But, we do owe him a debt of gratitude; he kicked this whole thing off … I don’t blame him [for disappearing]; he’s paid his dues.”
We’re glad Amanda found her man!