Fascinating Behind-the-Scenes Secrets About The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
No guilty-pleasure reality show is nearly as adored as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. From the charismatic contestants to the romantic stakes at the show's core, it's unsurprising that millions of viewers tune in to get a glimpse of the drama. While the franchise gives off an air of glamour, there’s more behind the scenes than just romance, gossip and wine. These are a few fascinating facts about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette that make the onscreen drama that much more entrancing.
They're Stuck in the Mansion
Unsurprisingly, the filming of The Bachelor keeps contestants confined to the show's iconic Los Angeles mansion. While it might not sound too bad to spend several weeks in such luxurious accommodations, the absence of entertainment can create a boring and tense environment for contestants.
The Rose Ceremonies Are Lengthy
While the rose ceremonies that the audience sees never take more than a few minutes, the actual filming of these ceremonies is far lengthier. In fact, these emotional segments can take up to 12 hours to film, often into the early hours of the next morning.
Contestants Don't Get Paid to Participate
Considering the commercial success of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, you would think that the contestants would get a cut of the show's profit. However, the contestants are paid only by the experience of being a part of the cast. They don't receive a penny for their involvement.
The Bachelor House Is Owned by a Family
While the mansion may seem too grand to live in full-time, the gorgeous structure is owned by an L.A.-based real-estate developer, Marshall Haraden. He occupies the larger-than-life home with his family 10 months of the year, with the other two months being eaten up by the show's contestants.
The Ring Isn't Theirs — Right Away
The most highly anticipated moment of every season is when the lead drops down on one knee with the iconic Neil Lane ring. This bit of jewelry — which can cost over $75,000 — is a generous gift from the show to the happy couple.
Producers Are Rewarded for Stirring The Pot
Producers play a major role in inventing drama on the show, often working hands-on with the contestants to create emotional, conflict-ridden footage. Why do they push so hard to send certain contestants off the rails? There is plenty for producers to gain based on how well they can manipulate their footage.
Contestants Can't Eat on Camera
Considering how many picnics and dinner-dates the contestants participate in, this rule seems especially torturous. Despite being presented with spectacular plates of food, they aren't allowed to consume a morsel during their dates. This is to prevent them from gabbing with food in their mouth or chewing loudly into the microphones.
Drinking the Days Away
With very limited access to their phones or technological entertainment, how do the contestants on all Bachelor-affiliated shows spend the majority of their days? Drinking. They have plenty of alcohol available to them, and many of them drink all day to fight boredom, which usually stirs up drama in the process.
Setting the Stage With Girl Chats
What would The Bachelor be without a little gossip? When the girls huddle together to exchange opinions on their fellow contestants, their would-be romance interest and who might remain in the competition, they aren't doing it solely to be dramatic. Instead, they are instructed to participate in these "girl talks" in front of the camera.
A Strange Ban on Books
For some people, a three-month vacation from their day job may seem like a great time to get in some good reading. However, bored Bachelor contestants aren't always given the chance to squeeze in a novel. Sean Lowe's season of The Bachelor came with an interesting caveat: no books except for the Bible.
They Aren't Allowed to Have A.C.
Believe it or not, The Bachelor contestants are deprived of a pretty simple amenity: air conditioning. Why aren't they allowed to have an A.C. in the mansion? This rule wasn’t made out of a desire to torture contestants but is rather a testament to the difficulty of sound editing when a noisy A.C. is present.
Their Dates Are Planned to From Start to Finish
While contestants who are picked for one-on-one dates may feel special to have been chosen, the star Bachelors and Bachelorettes don't have much autonomy when it comes to these outings. In fact, they are often in the dark about the events of their dates.
The Pressure to Propose Is Intense
Believe it or not, the leading Bachelor or Bachelorette isn't required to propose at the season's end. So why do most seasons end with a massive proposal? It’s not easy turning everyone away when the premise of the show is someone getting asked the question.
Producers Care About Consent
While much of The Bachelor is fueled by sexual tension, there is one line that the producers will not tolerate if crossed: lack of consent. Since many of the show's producers are women, they are particularly adamant about ensuring that all contestants consent to any sexual activities.
The Show Is BYO Wardrobe
Although the contestants may be under pressure to look glamorous for the majority of the show, the producers don't go very far to help them with their onscreen appearances. In fact, contestants are expected to bring all of their own clothing to the mansion.
They Do Plenty of 'Frankenbiting'
How do you spice up dialogue when no one is in the midst of an argument or meltdown? By using a tactic called "Frankenbiting," in which editors piece together random clips of audio to manipulate contestants’ comments to make them sound more dramatic, interesting, or ominous.
It's All a Part of the Journey
This rule is a particularly strange one: No contestants are allowed to use the word "process." According to Sean Low, If they’re filmed in any segments where they utter the word, the crew is forced to do a reshoot with a word like "journey," instead.
They Only Spend 72 Hours With the Lead
Could you fall in love in 72 hours? Most contestants who make it to the final ceremonies only end up spending about three days of time with the lead. Since the leading Bachelor or Bachelorette has around 40 dates during production, this isn't a particularly surprising statistic.
Controversial Conversations Are Kept Off the Air
While gossip and romantic chit-chat have no trouble getting aired, it's unlikely that you'll see many conversations about political, religious or financial subjects. That’s because such topics are avoided to keep The Bachelor from alienating any part of its potential audience.
Producers' Notes Can Be Ruthless
During the casting process, producers aren't particularly concerned about the feelings of contestants. The thoughts they scribble down during these sessions can come across as rather unkind, ruthless, and nasty.
The Proposal Spots Are Hand-Built
Do the show's gorgeous proposal spots seem a bit too dreamy to be natural? For the most part, they are. While the proposal settings are often stunning outdoor locations, the producers put a ton of work into transforming their chosen spots into dream platforms to pop the question.
The Contestants Do Their Own Cooking
One would think that a show as successful as The Bachelor could afford chefs for the contestants, right? Nope. In addition to doing their own laundry and keeping their spaces clean, the contestants are expected to cook all of their meals on their own. Fortunately, they have a well-stocked kitchen to work in and plenty of pre-prepared food at their disposal.
The 'No Internet' Rule Applies to Bills
While many bills are paid through online services, the show's contestants aren't allowed access to the internet to keep up with fiscal responsibilities. Although producers presumably don’t want contestants to be evicted, lose their phone services or go into debt, their no-internet rule puts a hard stop on any financial management.
The Contestants Face Serious Cyberbullying
Their time on The Bachelor may introduce them to lives of glamour, yet once the season's filming is over, contestants must return to their former lives. While some experience smooth transitions back into their normal routine, many of them face judgment from friends, family and strangers online.
The Cameras Catch Some Wild Rendezvous
With 24 hour monitoring from the show's cameras, not everything that is filmed in the mansion makes the final cut. Contestants seem to be acutely aware of this — and often forget about the cameras altogether. When contestants become desensitized to the constant filming, some camera-caught behavior becomes a bit too wild to make it to your screen.
Producers Keep Tabs on Contestant Menstruation
Most viewers aren't interested in reality shows that lack drama and meltdowns. As noted previously, the producers go out of their way to promote fights and heartache. What you might not have realized, however, is exactly how far they’re willing to go.
Bachelor in Paradise Is Paid for by Mexico
The newest Bachelor spin-off, Bachelor in Paradise, is a sweet investment for the show's studio … especially since they're not footing most of the cost. Instead of ABC paying production fees, the Mexican Tourism Board took over most of the show's charges as a show of gratitude for the publicity it brings in.
Mental Instability Influence Casting
In Bachelor Nation, Kaufman admitted an unsettling fact: Producers favor unstable applicants due to the drama they produce. This theory was backed up by contestant Rozlyn Papa, who expressed to the producers early on that she felt she shouldn't be cast because of her depression.
They Shoot Through Rain, Wind and Heat
Although poor weather has left contestants covered in rain, sweat and mud, the crew doesn't halt production under such circumstances. Stylist Cary Feldman told Entertainment Weekly, "During Rachel’s finale [of The Bachelorette], she was looking stunning, she was wearing a $40,000 dress … all of a sudden [there was] a windstorm at that last second."
The Contestants Often Find Careers as Influencers
While they may not be rolling in dough during the filming season, former contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have no shortage of media opportunities. Many previous contestants chose to become full-time Instagram influencers. This may not seem like a practical career, butt the social following for winners and losers can equal major income.