It is the show that people absolutely adore, or the show that people love to hate. This show, over 20 seasons later, still generates all kinds of buzz, and still has millions of viewers worldwide.
The Bachelor has what most people find entertaining and intriguing: drama, gossip, tears and controversy — it also has people jumping fences when they do not get what they want — yes, that is a nod to you, Colton.
Even people who do not sit on their couches on Monday nights to watch the reality television show hear about what is going on — unless they are aliens.
The Bachelor has survived the test of time, and many people ponder on how this is legit, or even possible. If anyone is questioning if what is going on throughout the show is genuine or not, which is normal considering it is a "reality" show that is full of quirkiness, we are here to explain why it has made it this far. Simply put, it is because of rules. Yes, rules, like with anything else in life, are the key to success.
In the case of this reality television show, without rules it would be completely out of hand — more than it already is. So here we are, ready to be bachelor superheroes and dish out all the truth about the rules contestants must follow, along with the things they cannot dare do.
20 Contestants Are Not Allowed To Find Love With Anyone Else
Any reality television show that is successful has its fair share of secrets.
Well, to make sure a show like The Bachelor is continuously getting high ratings, the producers must leave some stuff in the dark. On a show like The Bachelor, producers have the last word on everything, which in turn makes fans question the legitimacy of most of what is said.
The masterminds behind a show that is all about making people fall in love are not all hitched. There have been reports that some previous contestants who did not get the final rose found love with producers or others credited on the show.
Plot twist: relationships such as these are not encouraged. A contestant, even if dumped immediately, cannot engage in any other relationship. Why are we not surprised that this was kept on the DL?
19 They Are Not Permitted To Use Certain Words
This show runs high on emotions, testosterone, hormones, drama, girl fights and everything in between. Which means that just about anything could be blurted out of the contestants' loud mouths, but that is not entirely possible since there are certain words they must refrain from using.
You are probably thinking that we are talking about curse words or foul language, when in fact it is otherwise. Isn’t it odd that the producers of the show let sloppy language pass but completely restrict the use of one normal word?
Now that we have built up your curiosity and anticipation, the word contestants must not slip out is the word “process.” And if the word process comes out, rest assured, whoever says it needs to re-film their entire scene. According to Vulture, bachelor Sean Lowe said, “Anytime you call it a ‘process,’ they will make you re-do it and say ‘journey.’”
All this for a rose with thorns?
18 They're Not Allowed To Feast
Any fanatical fan of the show may have noticed this and laughed hysterically each time it happens. We see them going on the most lavish dinner dates, and not once do they ever touch what is on their plates — is it because the food is cold or...?
The one-on-one dates are always so romantically set up and the food looks so appetizing, but contestants and their bachelor don't eat. Is that why Colton still looked so buff without an ounce of fat on him?
So, why is the food just sitting there and why do they leave it uneaten? It is totally awkward, but according to Vulture, the producers deprive them of eating. Thanks to the rules, their untouched food stays that way. Producers don't want to see their good-looking contestants chew away on camera. They may as well just use plastic food.
17 They Can Forget About Dropping The L-Word
This implemented rule was no problem for bachelor Juan Pablo because his conceited self did not love anyone, but it was a major problem for bachelor Arie, who was the champion L–bomb rule-breaker.
This rule, that was explained by Bustle, is so odd considering the point of this show is to find love, and so you would be surprised to hear that saying “I love you” is discouraged. Who could fall in love in a few weeks anyway, right?
However, when you think about it, although the point of the show is to fall in love and get engaged by the end, we hardly hear any contestants say those three words. Juan Pablo would say it's okay but it really is not. Contestants all progress in varying ways, so why are there limitations when it comes to expressing how they feel?
According to Vulture, Sean Lowe said he came to find true love and he was not allowed to express his feelings. But now, why was Arie allowed to blurt “I love you” to three different women? Face palm.
16 They Are Not Allowed To Skip Dates
The Bachelor is known for exquisite and lavish dates all around the world; one day they’re off exploring Thailand, the next they're gallivanting in Spain. However, all contestants on the show have a contract that obligates them to be present at every single date, as Vulture reports.
Doesn't sound so bad considering they're traveling the world, right?
Well, some dates really put the test of love on the line. Let us refresh your memory. There was that time on Nick Viall’s season when the women had to “happily” pick up cow manure.
One must do whatever it takes for true love, right? Seems like love makes people do crazy things on The Bachelor, like skiing in the freezing cold sporting only bikinis, skydiving and parasailing, and so on. They are forewarned though, so they can forget about saying no to any of the farfetched activities.
15 They Could Forget About Spilling The Beans
Those who are not fans of the reality show wonder how and why it is still being aired. We are here to tell you it is because it remains confidential, and that is done purposely. As you may know, the show is finished long before the time it airs on television for all our curious eyes to see, which means all contestants must keep hush-hush about what happens on the season — that includes the finale.
Nowadays though, the process has become a little more complicated. Thanks to social media, word gets around very quickly, and before the show has even aired on television, people already know the outcome.
Although this is one of the more obvious rules, according to Ranker all contestants are obliged to sign a contract that binds them to complete confidentiality; the section of the contract is quite extensive as it can break the show apart if not followed. And, contestants must really make sure they do not spill the beans, unless they want to dish out cash, because according to Ranker, ABC will seek monetary compensation from anyone breaking the rules.
14 Technology Is Nonexistent To All Contestants
The male suitors can completely forget about having a Netflix and chill night. Another secret to the show's success is that technology is completely banned. The people in the extravagant mansion are therefore forced to communicate with each other, and that makes for entertaining television — and tons of viewers.
Put a bunch of women in the same house, all competing to win the same man's heart, with no technology to escape to and there is bound to be fights. That is what the producers want, though.
According to Vulture, contestants are also prohibited from bringing in novels and magazines. The reason why? They need constant dialogue, and those items will only distract them.
13 They Shall Not Speak One Word Of Politics
The one thing that The Bachelor/Bachelorette producers are doing right? Forbidding the mention of politics from all contestants — phew, finally a breather for us.
According to Ranker, the hit reality show does not allow contestants to speak a word of politics. Is that not odd considering that there are constant debates going on in the house between those vying for one man's love? However, this rule is in place because sharing their opinions on politics could alienate some viewers.
The producers are extremely strict and not lenient whatsoever when it comes to this rule. According to Ranker, if the bachelor or any of the gorgeous women were to start discussing politics in general on camera, the producers and cameramen will immediately snap them out of it and make them change the conversation.
12 They Are Not Allowed To Date Until The Show Is Over
Once you sign up for the reality show and you are chosen, what you do in your life, even if you are not the winner, is controlled by producers.
This rule is quite extreme, but it goes hand-in-hand with the rule that contestants are obliged to keep everything on the DL. According to Ranker, all contestants on the show, even those that leave during the first rose ceremony, are forbidden from dating anyone else in the real world until the show is done airing on television.
ABC basically still rules the lives of the contestants even after they have been eliminated from the show.
In today's world with cellphones and paparazzi everywhere, the rule has to be followed thoroughly because producers want to ensure that none of their contestants are photographed in public with other people. That would give away what happens and take away the "reality" element from the show.
11 Did You Know They're Not Really Allowed To Be Affectionate?
How are two people supposed to fall in love with each other when the show they are on doesn't want them to be affectionate?
Fanatical fans of the show would all agree that their favourite part is the fantasy suite — there is still so much hype surrounding the fantasy suite — because we all know what goes down.
Sometimes we are totally annoyed by the constant smooching we see and hear going on in the show. Case in point: remember when it was Arie's season? So, we are thankful that the producers of the show have a rule implemented towards affection that must be obeyed.
According to Refinery29, contestants are not allowed to get too up close and personal with the bachelor before they reach the fantasy suite. This means that all the women had to keep their cool around the built and handsome Colton.
10 They Have No Choice But To Let The Cameras Follow Them Everywhere
Would you not be annoyed if cameras followed you everywhere? Well, if you signed up for The Bachelor, the only privacy you'd get is in the washroom.
Maybe that is why throughout all the seasons, various men and women have gotten angry and yelled at the cameras to stay away — some of them have seriously lost their cool. They can yell and screech as loud as they want to because, according to Vulture, producers have complete control over them and what they do with their cameras and microphones.
The producers have the right to film the bachelor/bachelorette from start to finish. Yes, they'll even get caught skinny dipping in the pool.
9 It Has To Look Like A Race
"It's a race! It's a race!" — yes, when you think about it, this show is actually a race to win one's heart. This is probably why the women or men are always bumping their rivals around to get time with the bachelor/bachelorette.
We already mentioned that the reality show must maintain secrecy to be successful, but another rule that contestants must follow to ensure the show's success is making it look like intense competition. Surprise — did you really think the show was completely spontaneous?
According to Ranker, the producers want to constantly make sure that the star of the show makes the competition look like a tight race. If all contestants carefully and precisely follow the format of the show, it will remain dramatic and views will always be on top.
8 A Medical Test Is Necessary
Contestants who appear on the show are giving up a lot of their lives, and the process to get on is quite vigorous. Evidently, since the show is about finding love, the producers make all finalists pass medical tests. We do believe this is a vital step.
According to The Daily Beast, the producers will make this one of their first tests to be performed on their final contestants; once they pass this test, they move on to the others that we will get to.
Their regulations involve tight precautions, since it is for the safety of themselves and all other contestants. The Daily Beast also mentioned that for a candidate to be deemed suitable and move on to filming, they must take an STD test. Making sure everyone is healthy is a top priority.
7 So Is Crying
The award for the contestant who has cried rivers throughout the entire history of the reality show goes to Ashley Iaconetti!
Nothing evokes more drama than tears, and we as viewers tend to love seeing contestants cry because we believe it is "so real." This rule might change your entire outlook of the show, but the truth behind the tears is that producers go to extreme lengths to make sure that the people on the show, whether it be the bachelor or his ladies, cry or at least shed a few tears.
Producers have tried to make this rule go unnoticed, but they really meddle with contestants to get them to cry. According to The List, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, a former Bachelor, producer told The New Yorker that her job was to get contestants to open up to her so she could give them harsh advice that would purposely make them cry.
Shapiro admitted that her job was to get the contestants who were eliminated and sent home in the limo to sob. Sounds completely careless, but to them, tears equals good TV.
6 The Contestants Must Get 'Lit'
So, contestants are not allowed to fill up their tummies, or use technology, but they can ingest as much alcohol as they'd like? Oh, you smarty pants producers on ABC, you know exactly what drinking does to women and men. And, if they are on dinner dates, contestants are encouraged to ingest alcoholic liquids, because they get "happy" even quicker — smart, again.
According to The List, women and men on the show are constantly told to drink alcoholic beverages during their run on the reality show. It is not farfetched to say that boozy brunches are possible on the show. You may have noticed that even in the early morning and afternoon contestants have drinks in their hands. So why must they always get their "drank on?" They become more vulnerable; they open up and show more emotion. And we all know that "liquid courage" is the perfect recipe for drama.
5 A Camera Test Must Be Completed By All
How do producers of the show choose their contestants who will be in a race for love? We cannot deny that most contestants on the show are blessed with extremely sultry good looks.
There is one requirement that must absolutely be fulfilled by all contestants before the filming of the show commences, and that is a camera test. We do not doubt that this rule is set in stone, since the show solely relies on foxy people to make viewers watch. Yes, what we are in fact saying is that the show is superficial.
According to The List, the men on the show all have to pass a camera test for the producers and crew to decide if they are photogenic enough.
4 AND An Evaluation Too
There is another rule apart from the ones we've already mentioned that is taken very seriously, and it is that all contestants must undergo a psychological evaluation. The show is quite stressful, even though from the outside we might think that they are all living their best lives in a gorgeous LA mansion, traveling the world, and being utterly spoiled with lavish dates.
Do not forget, these men and women are watched 24 hours a day, and are all crammed together in the same house, so it can get quite unnerving. Producers want to make sure all their contestants have the capacity to deal with the stress, so before appearing on the show, they must complete medical testing. According to The List, Dr. Catherine Selden, resident psychologist on the show, confirmed the rule that demands all contestants to complete a lengthy psychological evaluation.
3 Their Engagements Must Last Two Years
With the anticipation that came with Colton's season, fans could not wait for the finale of the show, as is the case with every season of the show. We all are on our tippy toes, while biting our nails, to find out who will get the Neil Lane rock at the end of The Bachelor.
However, contestants do not get away with a diamond that easily. Now, the lucky woman who gets the enormous diamond ring at the end faces a disclaimer. We know Becca gave back her ring to Arie when he broke it off with her, but according to The List, if the engagement does not last between Prince Charming and his princess for at least two years, she must return the shiny rock to production.
Poor Neil Lane, all that crafting that has gone to waste is a shame!
2 Even After The Show Ends, They Must Stay With ABC
Many former contestants have the reality television show to thank for their fame and fortune.
However, for all those former contestants who did not get roses, and had to end their conquests for love, times were rough after their departure. Why? Because even after an entire year of having appeared on the show, they are tied to the hip with ABC.
Many contestants, with the help of social media platforms, become instant stars and prominent figures in Hollywood, which is why ABC emphasizes that the contestants strictly belong to them only.
According to Vulture, Chris Soules, a former contestant who is still a fan favourite, said the production team will “have a say in almost everything you do afterward.”
1 They Have A Luggage Limit To Follow
Seriously, The Bachelor, how do you put a limit on women's luggage when they're going to be living in another home for three full months?
The women have to bring clothes, shoes and makeup, and men must bring their finest suits and ties. And, because of the rose ceremonies, the women must look top-notch and must bring their fanciest and most elegant gowns. Sounds like that takes at least four luggage bags, minimum!
Well, according to Vulture, all contestants, even the bachelor/bachelorette, are only allowed to bring a maximum of two pieces of luggage. That is completely foolish of the producers; these contestants do not even know where in the world they are going to end up, neither do they know about the dates they're going to have to partake in!
We seriously do not know how the hilarious and fashionable Corinne Olympios did it!
Sources: Vulture, The List, Ranker, The Daily Beast