A show that appeals to something guttural in all of us, The Bachelor provides fans with world-class drama and the hope that they will get to watch two people fall in love with one another. However, considering how juxtaposed the emotions that go into those elements are, it makes sense to wonder what aspects of the show are authentic.
Already 22 seasons in at the time of this writing, it is safe to say that by now the show’s producers have figured out a formula which has led to the series developing a pretty massive following. As a result of that, it should come as no surprise that aspects of the series are manipulated in order to make the show as compelling as possible. On the other hand, there are other parts that go into putting the show together that many viewers would be astonished to learn are real. With that in mind, it is time to look at this list of 10 things that are totally fake about The Bachelor and 10 things that are surprisingly real.
In order for something to be up for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost has to relate to an element of The Bachelor in one way or another. On top of that, it either has to be a lot more real than a lot of viewers may realize or have an aspect to it that is totally put on.
20 Surprisingly Real: The Rings
The moment that any season of The Bachelor ends in if everything goes well, hopefully, millions of viewers' hearts swoon as a couple gets engaged. Of course, if that season’s bachelor is going to get down on one knee, he is going to need an engagement ring in his pocket. Needing jewelry that will look good on camera, all of the rings used on the show run into tens of thousands of dollars in terms of cost. In fact, according to Us Weekly,
Whitney Bischoff’s ring cost in the area of $92,000.
Thankfully for the couples that make it, they get to hold onto the ring. However, if their relationship ends in divorce after less than 2 years, the couple must return the ring.
19 Fake: The Meals On The Dates
Proof-positive of the fact that a lot of the times things you see on TV are not as they seem, when it comes to The Bachelor you can’t even trust your perception of the food you see. Often times the steamiest part of an episode, as viewers focus on how well or poorly the so-called dates the bachelor and contestants go on, they put little to no thought into the food that is on display. Plus, it isn’t like viewers sit and watch the potential couple eat, that fact isn’t a coincidence. In fact, as revealed by Jackie Parr “those delicious meals you see on the one-on-one are for display, not for eating”.
18 Surprisingly Real: The Mansion’s Upkeep
Considering all of the drama and heartbreak that contestants that appear on The Bachelor seem to go through, it doesn’t seem like a walk in the park for them. That said, there are parts of being on the show that from the outside looking in, appear to be a dream come true. For instance, many people would love to get their chance at having 15 minutes of fame. That said, if you think that the ladies on the show have no responsibility when it comes to their living quarters, you have another thing coming. Instead, they are responsible for their own cooking, laundry, and they reportedly even have to do some chores even though some say there is a cleaning crew.
17 Fake: The Reactions In The Women Tell All Specials
For many devoted fans of The Bachelor, the Women Tell All specials are among the most exciting part of any season as they can’t wait to see how people respond to seeing their own actions in a new light. For that reason, when the crowd that is attendance has big reactions to what the ladies have to say, it makes a lot of sense.
However, what you would never know is that according to someone that went to one of these tapings, they pre-recorded reactions that producers could play over any moment they choose.
If that weren’t interesting enough, if any crowd member has a muted reaction they will quickly be replaced by one of many other potential crowd members in waiting.
16 Surprisingly Real: The Costs
One of the biggest concerns in modern television, more so now than ever before there is an extreme amount of pressure on pretty much everyone involved in a major show to look their best. Even though “reality” TV is supposed to be capturing real-life happenings, many stars from this genre of entertainment look as though they have a huge beauty budget.
Certainly true when it comes to the cast of The Bachelor, when it comes to the ladies competing on the show, they are expected to have an up to date and incredible look.
In fact, the ladies end up spending a mint on the clothes they wear on the show and the money for it comes out of their own pockets.
15 Fake: The Monologues
Something that is seen in a huge percentage of “reality” TV shows, if you tune into shows like Survivor, Total Divas, or Keeping Up with the Kardashians you are going to see many one-on-one interviews. That makes all the sense in the world since these clips of personalities from the show addressing the events of that week’s shows to the camera serve as great framing devices.
Sadly, however, it appears that on The Bachelor at least, the things said in these clips are fed to those who are speaking.
The person that claims this is the case, former Bachelor contestant Megan Parris said of one-on-one interviews “there’s nothing real about it” since they do things like “berate you” until you say what they want.
14 Surprisingly Real: The Contestants Doing Their Own Hair And Makeup
Another entry that looks at the beauty expectations The Bachelor’s female contestants face, the fact of the matter is that the show puts a high premium on good looks. True for everyone involved, the bachelor himself still has things easy as he doesn’t have to worry too much about his hair and he wears minimal makeup, if any.
When it comes to the ladies, however, you would probably assume that a hair and makeup team steps in and they work on them, which is the case for the premiere and finale.
However, aside from receiving tips from the pros early on, all of the ladies are left to do their own hair and makeup for every episode in the middle.
13 Fake: The People That Get Roses
The main event when it comes to The Bachelor, when the star of each season gives out roses to those he wants to stay it is bound to have many viewers on the edge of their seat. After all, if you’ve been watching along and find yourself invested in who stays and who goes, this is your moment of truth.
For that reason, it probably is a relief to fans of the show that at least it has been confirmed that the roses that he hands out actually are real flowers.
On the other hand, it turns out that when it comes to the decisions about who gets chosen to stay, the producers have a large influence on who makes the cut.
12 Surprisingly Real: The Isolation
Whenever you sit down to watch an episode of The Bachelor, the show is all about the bachelor at the center of it all and the ladies that want to get to know him better. That makes a lot of sense since nobody tunes in to see the show’s stars sitting around watching TV or talking about the politics of the day. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that none of the stars are allowed to go on the Internet or watch TV during filming.
Taking things even further than that, however, they also are cut off from calling their friends and family.
In fact, they are so isolated from the outside world that one of the show’s contestants was reported missing to the police.
11 Fake: The Character Types
One of the key factors in the success of The Bachelor, the casting department's ability to find compelling people year after year continues to impress.
However, they don’t deserve all of the credit as the show’s editors also do their fair share of casting since they can take the footage and cut it to make people fit different character types.
Don’t get us wrong, when someone is made to look like a villain they can only do this because there is unfavorable footage of that person. However, there is no doubt that they leave out moments that cast them in a better light in an attempt to elicit the reactions they want fans to have.
10 Surprisingly Real: Relationships With the Crew
The core concept of this show, when you watch The Bachelor it seems like all of the ladies are solely interested in that season’s star when it comes to the romance department. Unfortunately, for that season’s bachelor, according to reports, that simply isn’t the case since there are single fellas on the crew that catch the eye of the eligible ladies. In fact, according to former contestant Jamie Otis, one day she was making her way to the “interview room” and “bumped right into (a) producer and one of the contestants.” From there, Jamie continued, “She was in the same dress as the night before” and “her face turned bright red” in a “total giveaway that something [crazy] had gone down”.
9 Fake: The Final Four
The process that makes the show what it is, from episode to episode The Bachelor shows its star whittle down a group of women who are interested in him in an attempt to find his future mate. Something that seems like it happens on the fly, it comes across like the ladies can seal their fate either for the better or worse in any given moment. Of course, things aren’t always as they seem and the final four is set up to a degree early on. Clearly, things can be changed up if someone starts doing extreme things but evidently, the star is asked to pick “four people (they) would like to get to know better” in the beginning.
8 Surprisingly Real: The Conversations
One of the easiest ways to set yourself up for heartache, if you enter into a romantic relationship without a good idea of who your potential partner is, that likely will lead to failure. After all, if you don’t have a good idea of your potential loved one’s views on important subjects, it can lead to investing in a romance that is doomed to suffer a painful end. Well, if you watch The Bachelor, it certainly seems like the relationships that come out of the show are going to go down in flames since everything is kept skin deep. However, according to former bachelor Ben Higgins, things like religion, finances, and relocation are discussed, but that footage hits the cutting room floor.
7 Fake: The Limo Exits
One of the most delightful and incredibly goofy elements of The Bachelor, the way the ladies enter the show and introduce themselves to the star has become a staple of the series. Mostly seen exiting a limo, aside from those that enter in a race car or atop a camel, many of them then do something outrageous to make a wacky first impression.
Of course, when props are involved it should be pretty obvious that producers knew in advance what would happen and helped make these entrances come to fruition.
More than that, however, former contestant Ashley Palenkas claims producers were the ones that had her pretend to be obsessed with 50 Shades of Grey even though she hadn’t even finished the book.
6 Surprisingly Real: The Friendships
The sad fact is this, the vast majority of the romances that have come out of The Bachelor end up failing before too long. As a result, if you were to judge the show based on the romantic relationships it spawns then there is no way to pretend like it is anything but an abject failure. Of course, for producers and the network, it is the ratings they care about, so there are no signs of this series coming to an end anytime soon. However, as a viewer, if you are looking for an emotional happy ending then there is some really good news since many of the ladies make really good friends during their time on the show.
5 Fake: The Real American Dates
A watershed moment in a season of The Bachelor, the so-called real American date involves the star traveling to their prospective partner’s family home. Proceeding to have a date there, for the purposes of the show, it is supposed to be an opportunity for him to understand his date’s background and how he would fit into it. With that in mind, it seems like it would be a betrayal of the entire concept of the date if it took place anywhere other than the home of the contestant’s parents.
Sadly, however, producers care more about how things look on camera, so they have a long history of renting out homes to stand in for the family abode.
To be honest, it's pretty weird.
4 Surprisingly Real: The Tears
If you are anything like us, you have seen someone on The Bachelor break down into tears and find yourself questioning if the waterworks are for real. After all, in a lot of cases, it seems like nothing is happening that should elicit such an extreme emotional reaction. In isolated cases, people could be acting, since some people use fake crying to get what they want. However, according to an interview former Bachelor producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro gave to The New Yorker, most crying is totally legit.
This is because someone like her is put in charge of eliciting tears and they go out of their way to get contestants to open up to them, give them bad advice on purpose, and deprive them of sleep.
All of that is a recipe for contestants blubbering.
3 Fake: The Bachelor Planning The Dates
If you have ever put a lot of effort into planning the perfect date, you will know this, it takes an awful lot of time and consideration to even come up with the plan for the event. Yet, somehow, if you watch The Bachelor it seems like the star puts together one personalized date after another for the ladies that win a night alone with him. That is probably why it turns out that not only do producers help make these dates a reality, but the bachelor has nothing to do with coming up with the idea for them either. Instead, they are just told what is going to happen and at the instruction of producers, he pretends it was his idea.
2 Surprisingly Real: The Way Producers Keep Track Is Creepy
Evidently perfectly willing to be mad scientists that play with the emotions of their stars, as we touched on earlier, The Bachelor’s producers are willing to manipulate their contestants into tears. Already crazy enough, it turns out that they also track the women’s cycle which seems like a pretty crazy invasion of privacy even for a “reality” TV producer. Done so in another attempt to maximize emotion, according to former producer Ben Hatta
“It helped the producers because now you've got someone who is emotional.”
To make things clearer, Ben also said about this tracking that it helped create situations in which “a girl's now crying, mid-interview, about nothing, or being reactionary to things that are super-small”.
1 Fake: How Deep The Romantic Relationships Run
Perhaps the biggest reason why so many of the couples that come out of The Bachelor tend to fail, the truth of the matter is that the pairs don’t really know one another very well. Sure, they have the bond of understanding what it is like to take part in a crazy “reality” show but the truth of the matter is that prior to choosing one another they have not spent very much time together.
In fact, according to former contestant Ali Fedotowsky, they “probably spend about 72 hours tops with the person [they] wind up choosing.”
Worse yet, she continued, “12 of that is spent 'sleeping' in the fantasy suite” and “you can’t really get to know a person in that time frame”.