15 Rules Contestants Of The Bachelor Have Had To Follow

ABC’s The Bachelor is currently on its Season 22 with Arie Luyendyk Jr, and the show is still one of the most popular reality TV shows. It’s basically a competition among contestants fighting for the same man, so there’s definitely tension, and because of the many drinks that are provided on the show, emotions are on the rise. It’s probably one of the reasons people tune in to watch The Bachelor because the drama only gets juicier with every new episode, and that can be quite entertaining. Apparently, there’s only one successful couple on The Bachelor season thus far, but hopefully, there'll be another one after this season is over.

Many women sign up to be a contestant on the show because they want to find true love, fame, or maybe both. The contestants are told that they’ve been selected two weeks before filming, and they’re willing to drop everything to be on the show because they really want to fall in love. It’s not an easy process to be a contestant. There are things that they're required to do.

If anyone’s thinking of applying to be a contestant on The Bachelor in the future, then you might want to check out the rules ahead of time. Here’s the list of rules you must comply!

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Contestants Usually Have To Quit Their Jobs


The Bachelor takes almost two months to film. The contestants have to let their employers know that they will be gone for an unspecified amount of time to be on the show. It can be a week or longer depending on when they get sent home. Some of the contestants are lucky to use up their vacation days while some get an unpaid leave of absence, but apparently, most contestants just quit their jobs to be fully committed to the show.

They’re willing to drop everything (a job with steady income) to find love, fame, or maybe both.

It is once in a lifetime opportunity. All contestants have to settle their finances ahead of the time — set up an auto bill or give checks to their family to pay the bills while they’re away.

14 Contestants Are Required To Take A Psychological Exam


It’s not an easy process to sign up to be on the show. It’s not an application where you write down your personal information and then wait for a call to know whether you made the cut or not. The contestants are required to take a psychological exam and go through an extensive background check. They’re interviewed and asked various personal questions like if they’re on birth control or not. Most importantly, the show wants to make sure that all contestants can cope with stress, so if anyone thought some of the women were crazy, remember that the psychologist OK’ed them to be on the show. After they pass the exam, they get their photos taken to see how photogenic they are. Everyone also gets tested before the show to make sure that all kisses are clean.

13 They're Expected To Buy All Of Their Own Dresses And Required To Bring Backups


The show only provides dresses for the two finalists, so every contestant has to buy their own dresses. Some of them spend a hefty amount of money on dresses to look good for the bachelor at cocktail parties. On Ben Higgin’s season of The Bachelor, one of the contestants told the other, “Olivia said she spent, like, $40,000 on clothes. It’s insane.”

Jillian Harris, the second runner-up on Season 13, wrote on her blog, “I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing.”

Apparently, the splurge drives some of these women into credit card debt. Producers also don’t want any contestants to wear the same dress at the same time, so they have to bring backups. Nobody probably wants to wear the same dress more than once on the show anyway.

12 There's Absolutely No Eating On Dates


One-on-one dates are usually a dinner date. There’s always food on the table romantically set with a candle, rose, and wine, but it’s only for a show because the contestants are not allowed to eat. The producers don’t want the mic to pick up the chomping, and nobody looks good eating, either. Apparently, they eat before they’re filmed so that they can spend their time making a connection rather than enjoying the food on a date. Jaclyn Swartz (Season 16) told Refinery 29, “The food on dates is usually good, but the catch is that you aren't supposed to eat it! No one wants to watch people stuffing their face on a date. If you're eating, you aren’t talking." She continued, “Instead we eat before the dates, as we are getting ready.”

11 It's Forbidden To Use The Word "Process"


There’s a reason the contestants keep on saying the word “journey” in front of a camera when they’re describing their experience on the show. It’s because there’s one word that the show forbids them to use and that word is “process.” Yes, it’s not a bad word. They can say inappropriate things, and the show will block the words out, but when anyone uses the word "process", the producers will make them film their part over again.

The producers take this very seriously. They want the contestants to replace the word "process" with "journey" instead.

Sean Lowe told Glamour, “Any time you call it a 'process', they will make you re-tape it and say 'journey'.” The word process sounds a bit technical and not romantic, whereas the word journey is like an exciting adventure. It protects the show's magical facade.

10 They Can't Date Anybody Else But The Bachelor


All applicants have to be single to be a contestant for The Bachelor according to the eligibility requirements. You can’t be married, and even if you’re in the middle of a divorce, you're not eligible. You also can’t apply when you’re living with someone you’re physically intimate with or if you’re in a monogamous relationship of more than two months. The whole point of being on the show is to find love with the bachelor and nobody else. Apparently, one of the contestants Rozlyn Papa (Season 14) was having a physical relationship with one of the show’s staffers during filming, which is strictly against the rule. They were both let go for their affair. Jamie Otis (Season 16) told Women’s Health, “There are more of these producer/contestant relationships than viewers realize — they’re always kept hush-hush.”

9 Any Type Of Entertainment Isn't Allowed


The show doesn't want the contestants to be distracted, so they're not allowed to have any type of entertainment while filming for the show. They're cut off from the world — no phone, internet, books, magazines, etc. The host Chris Harrison told Entertainment Weekly,

“There’s no TV or internet in the house — the whole thing is to be about the bachelor and the show.”

If the contestants have a phone, then the show will mostly be of them scrolling through the phone, and that won't help with their ratings. The contestants spend their time by the pool or run up and down the hills in the backyard, but they're bound to interact with each other since there’s not much to do. When they spend a lot of time together, tensions rise, and when tensions rise, there's drama.

8 Do They Get Paid To Be On The Show? No


Apparently, the bachelor gets paid around $100,000, which is a hefty sum for filming less than two months. The contestants, on the other hand, have to leave their jobs (or even quit) and buy their own wardrobe out of their own pocket, but they get paid zero to be on the show. It shows that getting their shot at love means more to them than making money. It’s possible that some contestants are affluent enough to afford not getting paid while filming for the show, but for those who are not, they have to have money saved up before they’re committed to the show because they’re basically unemployed for the time being. Although contestants don’t get paid to be on the show, some can make money after the show by appearing on reality shows or talk shows.

7 Producers Have A Say In Who Stays And Who Gets Sent Home


There’s a reason some girls stay on the show longer than they should. It’s because the bachelor doesn’t always get to choose who stays and who gets sent home even though he’s the one looking for a wife. Producers meddle with the decision more than you think.

Sean Lowe wrote in his book For The Right Reasons — the producers “ like to put the most obvious choices first so that drama builds towards the end of the ceremony with the rest of the women who are unsure of their status.”

Producers want the show to be filled with drama. It’s more entertaining that way, and it certainly helps with the ratings. So, when a contestant is an instigator, she's likely to stick around for longer to make things more exciting. Without any drama, the show would be boring.

6 Contestants Must Participate In All Activities On Dates


The contestants must participate in all activities on dates. They have to perform on stage even if they have stage fright. It doesn’t matter if they’re afraid of heights, either, because according to the eligibility requirements, “Applicants must be willing and able to participate in physical activities such as skydiving, snow skiing, ice skating, parasailing, water skiing, rollerblading, and the like." On Sean Lowe’s season of The Bachelor, they all visited Canada, and one of the activities he and some of the contestants had to do on their group date was to participate in the Lake Louise Polar Bear Plunge. They had to jump into freezing water in their swimsuits! It was crazy, and the lifeguard also warned them of hypothermia, too. Some women were hesitant about it, but they still went for it.

5 They're Only Allowed To Bring Two Suitcases


It seems impossible to pack almost two months worth of clothes into two suitcases. The contestants might not even stay until the end, but they still have to pack like they’re going to be around for the entire show. It's a lot of days, and that means a lot of outfits.

The contestants also get a list of things they need to pack before filming for the show like comfortable clothes in case they have to travel by air for hours and dresses for the rose ceremony.

They also have to be prepared for all types of weather — snow, rain, wind, and sun. Bikinis are fine, but jackets and boots take up a lot of room. All contestants are only allowed to bring two suitcases, but surely, there are women who ignore this rule.

4 Cameras Are Everywhere And They're Filmed 24/7


The contestants have to be okay with getting filmed 24/7 while they’re on the show. There’s no privacy except when they use the restroom. Some of them try to speak quietly, but the mic picks up. They can’t really hide because the cameras are everywhere, and they never stop rolling. Leslie Hughes (Season 17), told Daily Beast, “They are on you all the time.” She continued, “As soon as you wake up in the morning, your mic is put on you…When you go to bed, it’s taken off.” When the filming’s over, producers comb through the footages to edit the show to make it into a story. They can also make the contestants appear like a crier or a villain. It’s no wonder some contestants get upset when the show creates a different persona for them.

3 There Shouldn't Be Any One-On-One Time


The Bachelor has one-on-one dates where a bachelor picks one contestant to go on a date with, but unfortunately, one-on-one without the producer’s approval is prohibited. It’s one of the best ways to know a person on a personal level without the cameras and other contestants around. It can be uncomfortable when there are so many eyes on you, but because you’re all fighting for the same man, it’s unfair to the other women. It could definitely cause a stir if anyone were to find out.

Some contestants have gotten around the rule without getting caught though.

Apparently, Sean Lowes and Catherine Giudici (the winner of his season and his wife) shared a late night hug and a late night talk before the proposal. They probably connected more because of the alone time they had together.

2 Producers Encourage The Contestants To Drink


If anyone has ever wondered why the contestants are always drinking or holding a wine glass on the show, it’s apparently because the producers encourage them to drink. When the contestants are shy, it can be awkward, and everyone knows that alcohol helps people loosen up and to talk more. A lot of things can also happen under the influence, especially when the emotions are on the rise. Producers love the drama. So, the show never runs out of alcohol for the contestants — wine, beer, champagne, you name it. Leslie Hughes (season 17) told Daily Beast, “When I came in for the producers' weekend, I remember it was like 12 noon, and they were like, 'You want some champagne, wine?' And I was like, 'It's 12 p.m., noon!' And they're like, 'Welcome to the Bachelor family.’

1 The Winning Couple Must Stay Together For Two Years To Keep The Ring


Most seasons of The Bachelor ends with a proposal. The bachelor proposes with a ring designed by Neil Lane in the show’s finale, and those rings have a hefty price tag. The most expensive ring on the show is supposedly over $100,000!

The couple must stay together for two years to keep the ring, and if they want to sell it, they have to give ABC written notice before doing it.

If the couples break up before two years, they must give back the ring. Unfortunately, most couples don’t last that long. Their relationship starts to fall apart when the filming stops, and they end the engagement after a few months together or even less. Apparently, there's only one couple in The Bachelor season that got married and is still together — Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici.

More in Entertainment