If you thought The Bachelor was wild, wait until you hear what goes on behind the scenes of everyone’s favorite reality show. There are a whole bunch of secrets, tricks, and rules that go into the makings of this show that you may not know about. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making sure every episode is jam-packed with romance, drama, controversy, and craziness — look no further.
We’ve gathered some of the most shocking secrets from former cast members and producers so you can get a taste of what goes on off-camera.
20. The first rose ceremony is crazy long
If you ever wondered how every Bachelor/Bachelorette manages to meet and greet with every contestant at the first rose ceremony, it’s not an easy feat. Each season premiere of The Bachelor is a long, strenuous night for both the contestants and the crew. The action-filled, super-eventful, quickly-edited rose ceremonies we see are really a super-edited version of what can sometimes be an hours-long process. In fact, the first ceremony usually takes all night. If you pay attention, you can notice the sun coming up by the end of certain episodes. Now imagine doing all of that in heels and full makeup while slightly drunk? Talk about exhausting.
19. The show doesn’t provide all those evening gowns
As it turns out, you have to have a lot of extra cash lying around if you want to even think about being on The Bachelor. If you’ve seen the show, you know that every contestant seems to have a wardrobe full of super-expensive, beautiful evening gowns. Because who doesn’t, I guess? Unfortunately, those aren’t a free perk of being on the show. Each contestant has to show up with their own gowns — 14, to be exact. That’s right, 14 full-length evening gowns. Some contestants have even cashed in their 401Ks to afford their new ‘fits.
18. None of them are actually eating on-camera
Ever get super frustrated about how no one on The Bachelor seems to eat during their dates? It’s because they’re not allowed to! Yup, all that delicious (and probably expensive) food is just for show. Because of the way the cast’s mics are set up, every sound of them chewing would be picked up by the microphone. TBH, we’re glad we don’t have to hear every single bite that they take because we wouldn’t want to miss a second of their ~juicy~ conversations (but it’s still super frustrating to watch a $45 steak just sit there).
17. Producers occasionally get involved with contestants
Although there has been little confirmation of this rumor, former contestant Jamie Otis claims that sometimes producers and contestants get involved in a non-professional way… if you know what we mean. After appearing on Ben Flajnik’s season, Jamie went on to write a tell-all book about her experiences finding love. Apparently, some of the producers and contestants hook up. We believe it, TBH. All that isolation, booze, and lack of attention from the Bachelor/ette? It’s a recipe for controversy. During Jake Pavelka‘s Bachelor season, Rozlyn Papa and a producer were both fired early on after they were caught hooking up behind the scenes. Rozlyn said it had never happened, but Chris Harrison told People that other contestents tattled on them and the staffer himself admitted to it.
16. The fantasy sweet is BYO-birth control
According to a few of the contestants, there are zero condoms provided for nights spent in the fantasy suite. If you know The Bachelor, you know that the fantasy suite is pretty much synonymous with sex. It’s the first time that the lead and his/her top three can have ~off-camera time~. So it’s pretty bizarre that the producers don’t at least throw a few free condoms to the potential couples. Former contestant, Courtney Robinson has even said that the producers straight-up asked if she was on birth control during her initial interviews. Um, ew?
15. Those hometown dates don’t always take place at home
If it seems like every contestant’s home life is too good to be true, it’s because, well… it is. Every time the Bachelor/ette goes to each contestant’s home, they all happen to live in a beautiful mansion-like home with tons of property and a perfectly-green lawn. As it turns out, not everyone’s life can be Bachelor-level perfect, so they turn to relatives and family friends to borrow their houses for the day. Yup, that beautiful “childhood” home is sometimes just the home of a rich uncle, cousin, or good friend.
14. Contestants have about zero contact with the outside world
As if the entire premise of The Bachelor isn’t surreal enough, those who compete on the show are barely allowed to contact the outside world at akk. Believe it or not, contestants aren’t allowed to have internet access, use cell phones, read magazines, read books, or contact family members. If it seems cruel and unusual, it’s because it kind of is. All that isolation means a whole lot of people desperate for attention and drama, which for us means great television. There is contact information provided to family members in the case of emergency, but it’s still pretty brutal.
13. Chris Harrison is a pal to all the contestants
No one on The Bachelor has seen more sh*t than Chris Harrison. He’s been there for countless, vulnerable people, desperate for love for over 200 episodes. Audiences love him because he’s always the voice of reason. He’s always there to listen to the contestants, give them sound advice, and help each Bachelor/ette as they make their decisions both on the original shows and any spin-offs, including Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Winter Games. He’s been there through it all. According to former contestant Jillian Harris, he even offers beauty tips to the girls when their complete exhaustion begins to show. After years of doing this job, he’s full of helpful tips and tricks.
12. Contestants undergo some serious psych evaluation beforehand
As you can probably imagine, being a contestant on The Bachelor can take a serious psychological toll on a person. You’re not allowed to talk to anyone except for the person whose affection you’re chasing, all the people who you’re in competition with, and the crew — whose main job is to make sure the drama keeps unfolding. That’s why every contestant undergoes an intense psych evaluation before being allowed on the show. According to former Bachelorette contestant, Jesse Csincsak, they look you in a hotel room for three days during the evaluation. Spooky stuff.
11. Getting the ring means a two-year commitment
Unlike an engagement IRL, getting that final ring from the Bachelor/ette means signing up for a few contractual obligations. If contestants want to keep the giant, super-expensive Neil Lane engagement ring, they have to stay together for at least two years. That doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but given the fact that by the end of the show the couples still barely know each other, that two years can end up feeling like a while, and very few couples from the franchise actually get to that point.
10. The mansion is owned by a real family
We’re not so sure why this came as such as a surprise to us, but it’s true! A real family (with small children) owns and lives in the mansion IRL when the show isn’t filming. The Agoura Hills home is occupied year-round, and the family lives elsewhere while the dramatic contestants are living there! The home, called “Villa de la Vina” is owned by Marshall Haraden and his family and is seriously impressive. With 10,000 square feet and ten acres of land, a 3,000 square foot patio, and infinity pool — can we AirBnb it, too?
9. Contestants cannot use the word “process”
One thing you may have noticed (and probably gotten pretty irritated by) during The Bachelor is the number of times each contestant talks about “their journey.” “It’s been a difficult journey,” “I’m ready to take on this journey,” “I’m so excited to begin this journey.” You get it. It turns out, contestants are not allowed to use the word “process” when talking about the show. Instead, producers will ask them to rephrase and reshoot their entire statement using the word “journey.” Probably because the word “process” makes it sound like a tedious and difficult time, which we all know it is.
8. Some contestants claim the final four are picked early on
This one is pretty shocking, and will most definitely ruin at least a little bit of The Bachelor’s magic. According to Jesse Csincsak, a former winner of The Bachelorette when DeAnna Pappas was the leading lady, a pretty decent chunk of the competition is rigged. Apparently, producers basically decide who the final four will be during the first rose ceremony. Csincsak says they make a point of sitting certain contestants down with the Bachelor/ette, and direct others in a way that will make them less likely to win. Talk about unfair!
7. There’s a lot of drinking going on
This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but the contestants are pretty sauced for a lot of their time on The Bachelor. You may have noticed that contestants almost always have access to alcohol, and can be seen in almost any environment with a glass of wine in their hand. This is actually a great (and definitely evil) strategy that the producers use to ensure that lots of emotions and drama will unfold. It may seem silly at first, but this can actually be a serious issue for contestants. Producers have allegedly topped-off their glasses without contestants knowing, and some have ended up getting way too drunk by the end of the night. Leslie Hughes, from Sean Lowe‘s season said, “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.’” It’s basically straight-up sabotage.
6. Sometimes the Bachelor/ette needs flashcards to remember names
I mean, who could blame them? Imagine, you’re greeted by about 25 women or men who you’ve never met before, and in one night you’re supposed to remember their names, what they looked like, and something cool or unique about them? Plus, (see previous slide) tons of alcohol? It’s pretty much impossible. That’s why many Bachelor/ettes often need the help of producers with photos and flashcards to refresh their memory. During the rose ceremony, they’ll say a few names and then head back to a room to finalize the next few names.
5. Serious conversations are usually edited out of the final show
We can probably all agree that a lot of the conversations between the Bachelor/ettes and the contestants are straight-up nonsense. It’s all small talk and lighthearted flirtation, then some really sad and tragic backstory is peppered into the convo. They’re supposed to get engaged off of that?! As it turns out, they do spend time talking about more important things like their financial situations, religion, and more, but sometimes that can be a bit too ~controversial~ for television. Sometimes, it’s just straight-up boring. That’s why producers often choose to edit out these important conversations, so it seems like all they talk about are their hobbies, exes, and what they learned from their parents’ marriages.
4. Being on the Bachelor doesn’t pay much
Despite the lavish lifestyle that the contestants lead while on the show, they actually don’t get paid for being on The Bachelor. Yep, only the actual bachelor or bachelorette gets paid, while the contestants get zero! Imagine going through all of the emotional labor for free? Apparently, however, tons of endorsements and publicity opportunities come up after your time on the show, which can often lead to a pretty big payday. Plus, it’s rumored that the bachelor/ette gets paid upwards of $100,000!
3. Some contestants allege that even the dialogue is completely edited
While many of the contestants do say a lot of ridiculous and inflammatory things, it’s rumored that a lot of the more absurd dialogue is completely manipulated! According to a few previous contestants, the producers like to edit dialogue and add things in while the contestants are off-camera to make it seem like they’re saying things in a particular way. A lot of the times, the dialogue is completely out of context and unrelated or actually pieced together word-by-word (allegedly). That makes it a lot easier for certain characters to become the season’s ~villain~.
2. After-date interviews aren’t always right after a date
A lot of times, producers don’t get that perfect interview clip right after a date, or the timing just wasn’t convenient. That means, that sometimes the “after-date” interviews were actually filmed way after the fact. This can be a huge pain for the contestants, especially the women. Producers had to tell them what they were wearing and how they had their hair/makeup done before, then they have to recreate the whole thing in the same location to make it seem immediate.
1. At the end of the show, the final couple has barely spent any time together
TBH, the thought of getting engaged to someone after only knowing them for six weeks is pretty terrifying. But when you think about it, the final couple has spent way less time together than that. According to former bachelorette Ali Fedotwosky, they’ve really only spent about 72 hours together in total. 72 hours! The biggest chunk of that time is spent in the fantasy suite, so the two of them hardly know each other in the end. Talk about risky. It’s no wonder why there have only been five marriages in 28 seasons…