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ABC’s reality franchise dedicated to match-making relationships and finding love, The Bachelor is so popular since beginning in 2002 that it’s branched off into spin-off series like The Bachelorette, The Bachelor Canada, Bachelor Pad, and Bachelor in Paradise. However, similar to most reality shows there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that viewers don’t see, and sometimes it conflicts with the ‘authenticity’ of the show. It’s true, some things must be staged and meticulously edited in order to create a beginning to end story for the show, but in addition to that there are tons of little nitty gritty details that go into creating a show like this — from big things like choosing the cast to the little things like what to wear at a rose ceremony — here are 10 behind-the-scenes facts from the show:
The contestants always get so excited when they are chosen to go on a one-on-one date because it means more time without the pressure of competing with other women. They are almost always blown away at the thought put into each romantic date. In reality, the bachelor has nothing to do with planning the date. In fact, they usually have no idea what activities they will be doing until the day of. The only choice they have is who to pick for each date, but even for that, the producers will suggest certain people.
Some of the one-on-one interviews with the bachelors are filmed after the fact and not at that exact moment, but in the final editing process, they are sandwiched together between rose ceremonies or dates. Producers will keep track of outfits for particular scenes and moments so that if they need to go back and fill in moments they could film interviews after the fact. This means when a bachelor sometimes says in an interview or voice-over, “I’m having a blast with so-and-so” or “I’m falling for so-and-so” they might already know the outcome of the show.
When a contestant decides to leave the show or if they are sent home after a rose ceremony, it can take a while to actually get them on their way home. When a contestant chooses to leave they are required to tell the bachelor or bachelorette on camera so their reaction can be filmed, as well as the entire leaving process.
If the proposal settings on the show seem to good to be true, that’s because they are! The producers of the show spend a lot of time customizing the dramatic setting, including every little bridge and waterfall. In fact, all the settings for dates and within the mansion are meticulously decorated.
Contestants don’t get paid at all to be on the show, but the lucky individuals who are chosen to be the star on either the Bachelor or Bachelorette do and the amount is rumored to be well over $100,000.
In order to get on the show, casting agents hold auditions, but they have been known to recruit attractive men off the street to be a part of the show. The process of choosing the cast is a rigorous screening process that includes multiple rounds of interviews, STD tests, a psychological evaluation and counsel from a psychologist. The average contestant chosen is around 25-years-old and a size 6.
Former bachelor, Sean Lowe said the dress code was strict because the producers want people to look good on camera. He was not allowed to bring certain clothes, specifically stripes, small checkered patterns, big patterns or solid white.
The women only get professional styling on the first night and if they are lucky enough to make it as far as the finale episode. The rest of the nights they must do their own hair and make-up. They also have to cook their own meals!
The contestants have to bring all of their own clothes, and when they come to the mansion they must pack enough clothes for the entire seven weeks of filming. They are allowed two suitcases and should be well prepared for all weather climates, fancy occasions, and athletic activities. They have to pack for 14 rose ceremonies in case they make it to the end, which means lots of fancy dresses! Some contestants have gone into severe debt from buying designer clothes for their time on the show, spending thousands of dollars. The show provides dresses for the two finalists to wear during the finale and when contestants move into the mansion they are gifted with a gift bag full of bikinis, clothing, jewelry and beauty products.
When the show isn’t filming at The Bachelor Mansion in Agoura Hills, California, a family with small children lives there. They move out for periods of time during filming. Also, when it comes to hometown dates the homes used for filming aren’t necessarily the contestants actual family homes — often times the producers will use the home of a wealthier relative.
We know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes when the contestants go to the fantasy suites, they just talk! It’s the only time on the show they get to have a conversation that’s off-camera. Emily Maynard, a former bachelorette didn’t offer “fantasy suites” to the men because she wanted to respect being a mother. However, Sean Lowe later revealed that he was asked off camera to come back and stay in her fantasy suite, but they used the time to stay up all night talking. Also, it is rumored that the show supposedly doesn’t supply condoms in the fantasy suite.
The engagement rings that are given to the bachelor for his proposal at the end of the show can cost up to $75,000. There’s a gimmick with those rings though! The couple who gets engaged at the end has to stay together for two years in order to keep the Neil Lane sponsored ring. If the couple wishes to sell the ring after the two year period is up they must provide ABC with advanced written notice.
The women (and men) spend a lot of time together, and probably only about 5% of their time is spent with the Bachelor (Ali Fedotowsky said, in the end, the final couple ends up only having spent a total of 72 hours together), so a lot of the contestants form really close friendships on the show. The amount of downtime is outrageous, 99% of the time the contestants aren’t doing much besides laying around the pool all day. The contestants aren’t allowed to bring phones, music, magazines, computers and there’s no television, but there’s lots of booze! It adds to the atmosphere which is why people seem to fall in love so quickly — they have to spend all of their time with their thoughts and talking about their feelings all the while confined to what feels like a bubble.
Rose ceremonies seem quick on the show, but they can actually take up to 12 hours and sometimes don’t finish until about 5 or 6 in the morning. This is because it has to be filmed perfectly, and sometimes bloopers happen! Producers have to create flashcards with photos to help the bachelor or bachelorette to remember names. This also explains why sometimes when the women are sent home it almost seems they are in a daze and their emotions are worn.
No one actually eats on the one-on-one dates. The contestants will have food brought to their hotel (or the mansion) before going out for dinner on their dates. Food would be arranged perfectly on their plates but they aren’t allowed to eat it. They are instructed not to eat during these times in order to keep contestants from talking with their mouths full on the show and because the mics would pick up on all the chomping! There’s also at least one picnic date per season because its gives the couples a picturesque moment to chat with a scenic view that pulls out those sentimental deep conversations.