These days, reality television seems to have it all. You’ve got all the family intrigue you’ll ever want. You’ve got petty feuds and scandalous public fights. You’ve got romantic moments and all the drama in between. Reality TV has got you covered as far as guilty pleasures go. And when it comes to guilty pleasure, America can’t deny that it’s been following The Bachelor for quite some time now.
In fact, the 24th season of The Bachelor is slated to return in January, 2020. And according to the show, fans are in for a treat. The official website explains, “Returning home from Greece, Peter was forced to confront his pain and pick up the pieces of his broken heart. Now, Peter is back to take his search for true love to new heights…”
And while you may be looking forward to seeing that, you’re probably also curious about what goes on behind the scenes of the show. Well, we’ve just found the ways in which producers get a little sneaky with its cast. Check it out:
19 They Prevent Contestants From Having Contact With The Outside World
Throughout filming, the cast isn’t allowed to communicate with anyone outside the show. And as a happiness expert has explained to Pop Sugar, “If contestants had the chance to escape to watch a show or read a book or scroll Instagram, it might give them a chance to get perspective on the situation they're in and maybe take a look at their relationship with the bachelor in a more healthy, stable light. But that's no fun for the show, right?”
18 They Demand Complete Dedication No Matter What
According to the eligibility requirements for the show, participants must be willing to travel and participate in the production process for at least six months. Meanwhile, participation in the show may also go on for an entire year. And according to various reports, participants often leave their jobs as a result. It is unclear if they are able to readily return to their jobs after production has wrapped.
17 Contestants Are Humiliated To Get On The Show
As the eligibility requirements on The Bachelor states, “Applicants acknowledge, understand, and agree that Companies (as defined below) use or revelation of Personal Information and Recordings, as defined in these Eligibility Requirements, may be embarrassing, unfavorable, humiliating, and/or derogatory and/or may portray him or her in a false light.” Moreover, applicants may not sue the show if they are humiliated or portrayed negatively.
16 Contestants Have To Pay For Their Own Clothes
When appearing on the show, contestants are expected to spend on and bring their own clothes. As former contestant Jillian Harris explained on her blog, “The girls do have to bring all of their own clothing and of course, they want to be wearing the best clothes EVER to be seen on TV in!!! I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing (which is still a lot) … but now that designer labels are even more important, I can see how someone can spend that … easily!!!!!”
15 They Force You To Forget The Word "Process"
During an interview with Glamour, former Bachelor Sean Lowe explained, “Any time you call it a process, they will make you re-tape it and say ‘journey.’” Perhaps, it was a way of making sure that the whole cast immerses themselves fully into the making of the show. The word ‘journey’ also sounds a lot more authentic than ‘process.’
14 They'll Make You Go To Speech Therapy If They Don't Like Your Accent
During an interview with Allure, Bachelorette Jillian Harris recalled, “Apparently, they didn't like my Canadian accent, so they had me go to speech therapy. After three or four classes, the producers realized I was losing my quirkiness, so they cancelled the classes. I wasn't offended because I was the show's first out-of-country person. They were just afraid Americans wouldn't be able to connect.”
13 Contestants Do Not Get Paid
Even if the show is expected to be in production for months, contestants are not paid anything for their participation. And so, they would really have to ensure that they are financially sound before committing to the show. On the other hand, the show’s lead is said to receive a pretty hefty paycheck.
12 Contestants Aren't Allowed Much Privacy
The show’s eligibility requirements also explain, “Each applicant acknowledges, understands and agrees that he or she, if chosen as a bachelor or bachelorette on the Program, may be audio and/or video taped twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week while participating in the Program by means of open and hidden cameras, whether or not he or she is then aware that he or she is being videotaped or recorded.”
11 Everyone Has To Use An Alias
According to Lowe, “The show is so paranoid about spoilers and people getting inside information. From the very beginning, they never called me Sean over the radio; it was always Clyde. The girl, no matter what girl it was, was always Bonnie. It's almost like you are in the Secret Service.”
10 Filming The Rose Ceremony Is Exhausting
During his interview, Lowe also recalled, “It is absolutely exhausting. On TV, what you see is I hand out a rose, the girl comes forward and accepts it, and then I hand out another rose. In reality, there's about three to five minutes in between each rose because all 15 cameras have to reposition. That first night lasts until about 7 A.M., and then each one after that lasts until about 3 or 4.”
9 They Plan Out The Order Contestants Exit The Limo
Lowe told Glamour, “I remember one of the producers said to me [before filming The Bachelorette], 'You are going to be the first one out of the limo.’ I didn't think much of it. But then he said, 'Because you are first, everyone here thinks you are going to do well.' They want to get the show started off on the right foot.”
8 Couples Aren't Allowed To Actually Eat While Filming
As Lowe has also explained, “Nobody eats, and that's primarily because nobody wants to watch you eat and the mikes will pick up the chewing. So between the two date portions, they would bring us to a hotel, where you can shower and change and get ready— and it's during that time that you can eat.”
7 ITM Interviews Are Sometimes Conducted Months Later
In his book For the Right Reasons, Lowe recalled that those “in the moment” interviews were not really captured in the moment. Instead, they can sometimes take place months later. In fact, according to Bustle, the production crew would even keep his clothes and arrange them by date so that they could go back and use it during the interview filming.
6 They Track Contestants' Periods
In a tell-all book by Amy Kaufman, she disclosed that former show producer Ben Hatta once told her, “When women cycled together in the house, it created a completely different vibe. So a girl’s now crying mid-interview about nothing, or being reactionary to things that are super small. It helped the producers, because now you’ve got someone who is emotional — and all you want is emotion.”
5 Contestants Are Mislead So They're More Emotional
During an interview with The New Yorker, producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro said her job was to “open up, and to give them terrible advice, and to deprive them of sleep,” which she sums up as “complicated manipulation through friendship.” She also recalled misleading contestants saying, “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.”
4 They Make Contestants Cry
As Shapiro also recalled in her interview, “I’d have arranged with the driver to have the song play just until I got a shot of her crying— then cut the music so I could start the interview. She further explained, “They’d often tell us to drive up and down the 405 until the girls cried— and not to come home if we didn’t get tears, because we’d be fired.”
3 They Give Couples Very Little Time Before Getting Hitched
According to BuzzFeed, former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky once recalled, “You spend so little time with the person you choose before the final rose ceremony. I would say you probably spend about 72 hours tops with the person you wind up choosing, and 12 of that is spent ‘sleeping’ in the fantasy suite. You can't really get to know a person in that time frame.”
2 They’re Going To Make You Talk, One Way Or Another
As Lowe has also recalled in his book, “They want interesting TV. In my case, I didn't want to talk about anything, until I realized the ride was taking a lot longer than it should and these guys are just driving around until I say the right thing. I knew if I didn't, we were just going to drive around all night.”
1 They Can Make You Return The Ring
The rings that are featured on the show are very much real and expensive. And the lucky couple who gets to use them typically gets to keep them. However, according to multiple reports, there is one strict condition. If the couple’s relationship fails to last beyond two months, the ring would have to be returned.
Sources: The Bachelor, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Allure