The Bachelor is one of the most popular reality TV shows around and it’s easy to see why. The first season aired in 2002 and it has since inspired various spin-offs and special editions. It follows one lucky guy (or gal if you’re watching The Bachelorette) as they try to find love with the other contestants. But of course, it wouldn’t be a reality show if there wasn’t a ton of drama. These behind-the-scenes secrets reveal that a lot of what we have seen on the show is expertly planned in order to increase dramas and subsequently viewership. Keep reading to discover twenty uncomfortable things the contestants actually have to deal with.
20 Contestants Need A Psych Evaluation Before Filming
One of the interesting steps potential contestants go through during the application process is needing various tests done- including ones pertaining to their bedroom health. Clearly, ABC doesn’t want to be liable for any of the co-stars catching something from one another. Additionally, applicants are also required to do a background check and a psychological evaluation.
19 Prepare To Spend Thousands On A New Wardrobe
Contestants are all responsible for dressing themselves- and that isn’t cheap. Some contestants have confessed to spending thousands on new suits or dresses ahead of filming. "I had remortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing,” Jillian Harris, who starred in the 13th season of The Bachelor, once wrote on her blog.
18 Contestants Have To Do Their Own Cooking And Cleaning
Given how big the Bachelor Mansion is, we don’t want to think about how much time it takes to clean it from top to bottom. According to Narcity, however, the contestants are responsible for keeping the space clean as well as cooking their own meals. There’s no special treatment just because you’re on a reality show.
17 Some Contestants Are Sent To Speech Therapy
Everything needs to be perfect for the camera, right? Since leaving the Bachelor franchise, Jillian Harris revealed the producers made her attend speech therapy before taping because they didn’t like her Canadian accent. They may also ask you to change your hair or clothing in order to better present on camera.
16 They Encourage Contestants To Drink… A Lot
Many former contestants have criticized the amount of alcohol they’re encouraged to consume while filming. Evidently, producers hope a little booze will bring on the drama. "When I came in for the producers' weekend, I remember it was like 12 noon, and they were like, 'You want some champagne, wine?'” season 17’s Leslie Hughes told The Daily Beast. “And I was like, 'It's 12 p.m., noon!' And they're like, 'Welcome to the Bachelor family.'"
15 Contestants Also Can’t Eat While Filming
Though they’re encouraged to drink, one thing contestants can’t do while cameras are rolling is eat. Evidently, it doesn’t look good to be caught with food in your mouth. "This was just for show,” Sean Lowe said of the food sometimes spotted in scenes, Bustle reports. “No one looks good eating, and microphones pick up all kinds of chomping."
14 Filming Can Last Until 4 A.M.
Although editing makes it seem like the scenes go by quickly, many former contestants say that filming is long and grueling. In fact, it can last well into the next day. "In reality, there are about three to five minutes in between each rose because all 15 cameras have to reposition,” Sean Lowe once explained, Insider report. “That first night lasts until about 7 a.m., and then each one after that lasts until about 3 or 4 [a.m.]."
13 The Producers Push Contestants To Cry
Former Bachelor producer Sarah Shapiro once revealed to The New Yorker that producers would purposefully get contestants to cry in front of the camera by getting their hopes up or telling them false information. "The night they were going to get dumped, I would go to the hotel room where they were staying and say, 'I'm going to lose my job for telling you this, but he's going to pick you — he's going to propose,’” she explained.
12 It’s Hard To Get A Job After The Show
Due to the fame that comes with being on The Bachelor, some former contestants have reported having difficulty finding work after filming. "I didn't understand the magnitude of the show and how hard it is to get a real job right after," JJ Lane, who appeared on season eleven of The Bachelorette, said, Insider reports. "Everyone knows who you are and employers see it as a distraction."
11 Contestants And Producers Have Had Relationships
It’s not just the Bachelor or Bachelorette who may find love at the end of the show! There have been several relationships between contestants and producers going on behind-the-scenes. "There are more of these producer/contestant relationships than viewers realize—they're always kept hush-hush,” The Bachelor’s season 16 star Jamie Otis once said.
10 The Final Four Are Picked On The First Night
It doesn’t look like the Bachelor or Bachelorette always has the final say about who gets a rose and who doesn’t. According to Narcity, the show producers choose the final four contestants on the very first night based on who they think will bring in the best ratings and views. Sometimes they’ll keep around a contestant who doesn’t get along with the star simply for the sake for drama.
9 Contestants Can Only Say Certain Words
If you say the wrong thing, it turns out the producers will ask you to re-tape the scene. In 2015, Sean Lowe told Glamour that he and his co-stars were forbidden from using the word ‘process.’ Rather, they were told to describe the show as a ‘journey’ because of its more romantic connotation. "Any time you call it a process, they will make you re-tape it and say journey,” he explained.
8 No Technology Allowed While Filming
To minimize the risk of spoilers beings leaked before the season airs, The Bachelor producers take away all of the contestants’ access to technology. "We are not allowed to speak to friends or family until we get home. Phones and computers are taken away the day you get there," season fourteen star Ashleigh Hunt told The Ashley.
7 Contestants Can’t Go Anywhere Without A Chaperone
While filming, contestants aren’t allowed to go anywhere without a ‘handler’- aka. A chaperone. During this time, they’re mainly confined to the Bachelor Mansion, meaning there aren’t a lot of places to go to. But before moving in, the stars are kept in a nearby LA hotel where they are constantly supervised by said chaperones.
6 The Star Usually Forgets Contestants’ Names
Given how many guys or gals the Bachelor or Bachelorette is choosing from at a given moment, it’s not surprising to hear it’s common for them to forget names. Former Bachelorette Ali Fedowski once told E! News, “Throughout the night a producer is never far from your side and constantly reminds you about everyone’s name. [The producer] has flashcards with the pictures and names of every contestant.”
5 The Mansion Is Someone’s Actual House
The Bachelor Mansion that’s always shown on camera isn’t just a set or property dedicated to the Bachelor franchise. In fact, it’s someone’s actual home. According to Her Moments, the mansion is owned by 59-year-old Marshall Haraden. Twice a year, or approximately forty-two days, he and his family move out of the place so the show can come film.
4 There Are Strict Baggage Rules
Given how many wardrobe changes they need to make, it’s easy to assume cast members can bring as much stuff as they need or want to the mansion. However, according to Narcity, the producers have introduced a strict baggage rule to prevent things from getting too crowded. Contestants are now limited to only two suitcases each.
3 The Bathroom Space Is Very Limited
Especially early on in the season, finding time to use the bathroom in the Bachelor Mansion is evidently a problem. This is because there are usually 25 people staying in the home at one time, even though there are only four bathrooms. This means the contestants have to get creative about finding space to get ready before they start filming.
2 Couples Must Stay Together 2 Years To Keep The Ring
The Bachelor always uses Neil Lane diamond rings in their proposals, which can easily cost six figures. However, couples don’t always get to keep their bling. In fact, couples must give back the rings if they break-up within two years. Even afterward, they have to give ABC written notice if they ever plan on selling the ring.
1 Wealth Matters During Hometown Dates
Some viewers have noticed that the houses during hometown dates are always lavish and expertly decorated. It turns out the show producers scope out the locations beforehand. According to Narcity, they usually film hometown dates at the home of the contestant’s richest family member.
Sources: The Ashley’s Reality Round-Up, People, Insider, Refinery 29, The Daily Beast, Her Moments,