Once you watch one season of The Bachelor, there is no going back. You immediately get hooked, and before you know it, you’re hosting viewing parties for all the spin-off shows! (Or maybe that’s just me). The drama is so intriguing, and there is also the aspect of fighting for your one true love. The franchise has everything that is necessary to keep viewers on the edge of their seat and constantly wanting more!
It may seem like a fun idea to try and find love on a reality show, but it’s not exactly how it seems. All of the contestants have to sign a pretty strict contract with ABC, and you won’t believe some of the rules they have to follow. Producers have a lot more to do with the fights and drama that go on in the show. Ever wonder why Luke P. stayed on Hannah’s season of The Bachelorette? Here or some of the rules that the show’s contestant must follow. Plus, we also included some behind the scenes secrets.
No Ring if you Break-up Within Two Years
On the Bachelor, ABC provides the winning couple with a stunning and expensive Neil Lane engagement ring. However, there is one little catch. If the couple breaks up within two years of The Bachelor season finale, they are required to return the ring. This means they can’t sell the ring. If that were the case, many of the couples who break up after the show could just sell the ring for a nice chunk of change.
It is a gift from ABC to celebrate the new couple. It has been reported that ABC doesn’t actually pay for the ring. Apparently, Neil Lane gives a ring to The Bachelor franchise as an advertisement, but this has never been confirmed… or denied.
All Dates are Mandatory
The Bachelor eligibility requirements on their website states that “Applicants must be willing and able to participate in physical activities such as skydiving, snow skiing, ice skating, parasailing, water skiing, rollerblading…” Most of The Bachelor dates are luxurious! However, once in a while, contestants can find themselves in uncomfortable situations.
A good example is from the most recent season of The Bachelorette. Hannah Brown had a group date that required the guys to play a game of rugby. It may sound innocent enough, but the game quickly turned rough thanks to somebody… *cough* Luke P. *cough*. As we know, many times, producers initiate situations on reality shows in order to capture more drama! Is it possible that the producers went with this date because they knew it would instigate a fight?
ABC Owns You for a Year
Vulture reported that contracts for The Bachelor (and its spin-off shows) extend until a year after their season ends. Basically, this means that ABC can tell the stars what they can and can’t do with their careers. Kaitlyn Bristowe, a former Bachelorette, was not “allowed” to be on Dancing with the Stars,” for example.
We understand that contestants get their phones taken away during their time on the show. After the show, contestants are forbidden to speak about their time on the show and when they left in order not to spoil the ending. This all makes sense, but what is strange is that they have control over their careers for a full year. Well, ABC allowed Bachelorette Hannah Brown to appear on the show and saying she killed it is an understatement.
It Can Stop Criminal Proceedings… Well, Sort of…
In 2007, CNNMoney reported that they obtained a copy of The Bachelor in Paradise contract for the season that was airing during that time. According to several lawyers, there are parts of the contract that are “extremely broad and not actually enforceable.” Basically, it shouldn’t be too hard to get out of a Bachelor’s contract.
Josh Schiller from CNNMoney reported that “If the contract required you to release any claims you have that you were assaulted, which is a crime, then the contract may or may not be enforceable under the public policy of the state of California. Very interesting. It’s important to know what you are getting yourself into but, I wonder how many of these contestants look into these contracts before signing them.
The Stars Get Money but Not the Contestants
It has been reported by Vulture that the stars of the show usually get about $100,000. Ummm… I’m applying to this show! The contestants, however, don’t get a penny, although going on the show is already quite the investment. First of all, contestants need to quit their jobs. This may sound like a good idea if you are getting real publicity from the show.
However, many of the contestants get sent home in the first couple weeks and don’t even have a job to come home too. The contestants also have to bring their own makeup and clothes. The packing list includes bathing suits, winter jackets, and evening gowns. Gowns cost a lot, and when you need a new one each week, it adds up. Reportedly some contestants even refinanced their mortgages just so that they can afford to appear on the show!
ABC Can Twist the Facts
When CNNMoney obtained the 2017 Bachelor in Paradise contract, it’s stated that “the right to change, add to, take from, edit, translate, reformat or reprocess… in any manner Producer may determine in its sole discretion.” Basically, ABC can legally do whatever they want to tarnish your reputation by editing the footage. And it’s perfectly legal.
It makes sense, they want more viewers, and for that, the show needs drama and interesting storylines. A good example is, in one episode of Bachelor in Paradise, contestant Clare Crawley confided in a raccoon! It made good TV when, in reality, she was just talking to a producer. The show edited the footage to make Clare look crazy! So not cool!
Contestants Give up Their Rights to Trial Against Producers
If you feel like you have been mistreated on your time on the show and want to sue the producers… you can’t. What you can do is take the issues to arbitration. However, this can get complicated, considering you are not allowed to appeal the arbitrator’s decision after the arbitration. In addition, arbitration details are confidential.
Arbitration: “A benefit to producers who want to keep controversial incidents away from the public’s prying eye.” The lawyers that were interviewed with CNNMoney said that many parts of the contracts are not enforceable, but this one definitely is. This is a way for ABC to protect the show. Unfortunately, this doesn’t benefit the contestants in any way, so it’s an important detail if you are thinking of applying to the show.
Only Two Suitcases
I don’t know how the contestants are able to fit all their coats and ball gowns in just two suitcases? They must have some really big suitcases. Andi Dorfman, a former Bachelorette, spilled on tea on the contestant’s packing list. Dorfman told Vulture that they need clothes for all kinds of weather, athletic clothes, bathing suits, heels, sneakers, sandals, and cocktail dresses (long and casual).
Wow! If I ever go on this show, I need a huge shopping spree first. Who just has six fancy ball gowns lying around? Not me. Going on the Bachelor can be a fun experience, however, can you imagine quitting your job and buying all the stuff and then get sent home on the first night? It must be so embarrassing to leave night one with two full suitcases. Hopefully, they’ll find another occasion for those ball gowns.
Can you believe that you can’t even listen to music on your time on the show? Well, you can as long as the producers allow it. With no phones or TV, it seems like their only sense of entertainment is other contestants. This can result in life-long friendships… or a lot of fighting and drama. These fights can get out of control, especially if your roommates with someone like Luke P.
I mean, if we’re honest, these fights are entertaining. However, it’ not as fun for the contestants. The boredom is a very good way to get contestants riled up, and the producers’ intent is always to capture more drama. I would lose my mind if I literally had nothing to do for six weeks!
No Reading (maybe)
If you thought no music was bad enough, imagine no reading either! Many sources have said different things about books that can be read. However, most claim that the only book you can bring is the bible. And if you don’t believe in the bible? Too bad. You can’t bring any other religious books other than the bible.
Some of the contestants even created bible circles, which is a great way to pass the time, especially when there is literally nothing else to do. In 2017, during Nick Viall’s season, the contestants were allowed to bring “printed content,” which meant books and journals. However, there are absolutely no magazines. Contestants are not allowed to keep up with current events or anything going on in the outside world.
Don’t Date the Producers
Well, this one should be obvious. The point of the show is to find love with the star of the show, and you shouldn’t be focused on anything or anyone else. Shockingly, some contestants think it’s okay to date the producers. This is a rule that is extremely enforced. In 2010, Chris Harrison kicked Rozlyn Papa off of the show.
Harrison reported that she engaged in relations with a producer which, was tremendously inappropriate. Papa denied these accusations, but the producer confirmed that the two were involved in a physical relationship. The ultimately got caught by other contestants, which was probably super awkward. The entire episode was just uncomfortable. In addition to sending Rozlyn home, the producer was fired from the show.
No Former Reality Stars, Please
One of the requirements to be eligible for the show is that applicants who have previously been on reality shows “must disclose such information in his or her application and may, at producer’s sole discretion, be deemed ineligible to participate in the program.” Basically, if this applies to you, the producers can dismiss your application. It is possible that this is to make sure you’re coming on the show for love, not publicity.
Bryan Abasolo, the winner from Rachel Lindsay’s season, was an exception to this rule. In 2004, he was in UPN’s Miami-based dating show titled, The Player. It’s a good thing they allowed him to be on the show, considering he is now married to the former Bachelorette. Maybe producers will make other exceptions like this in the future.
The Show’s Remained Apolitical
It is forbidden to bring up anything remotely political on The Bachelor and all of its spin-offs. It has been reported that “Contestants can discuss past relationships, but they probably wouldn’t discuss misogyny. They’ll talk about the personal experience of immigrating to the U.S. …, but they won’t touch on the broader issue of immigration.”
This makes sense considering politics is a very heated topic, especially in 2019. However, how can you truly get to know someone without understanding their political opinions? The report continued stating, “The Bachelor is pretending that politics aren’t personal when they very much are.” Contestant Danielle Maltby brought up politics, but it was edited off of the show.
ABC Can Release Information About You to Third Parties
If you look on The Bachelor website, the eligibility requirements state, “Each applicant acknowledges, understands and agrees that Producer may disclose any information contained within or derived from his or her application to third persons.” This even means that they can reveal information about your medical history, education, work history, background, and more.
Rules are rules, even though it seems very unsettling that ABC can just disclose medical information about their contestants. If you don’t want the world knowing about your personal life, this may not be the show for you. Producers dig into the applicant’s pasts so that they can find the most interesting and dramatic contestants for the show. This is also done for safety reasons. You wouldn’t want a criminal to be your potential life partner.
No Internet, Phones or TV
As we previously mentioned, producers want their contestants are cut off from the world. They want their complete focus to be on The Bachelor or Bachelorette. If a major world event happens, the producers will notify you. This makes sense. It’s 2019! If phones had their phones, they would be on it constantly. They would be way too distracted to cause some drama.
Plus, if contestants do have access to a phone, they may accidentally (or purposely) reveal information about the show before the season even premiered. As we know, The Bachelor goes to great lengths to keep information about the show private. Even after filming, the winner has to keep quiet, and the contestants can’t say when they left until the episode airs.
You Can Text Post-Show
Sure, producers can take your phones away while you’re on the show but, they can’t really dictate who you speak to once you leave. Remember Caelynn and Blake? Blake seemed like such a sweetheart when he appeared on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette. However, people began to look at him differently as soon as he leaked private text messages between him and Caelynn on social media for the world to see.
On Bachelor in Paradise, Caelynn claimed that she and Blake were sexually involved after him and Kristina Shulman hooked-up at stagecoach. Blake tried to clear his name by leaking the text messages, unfortunately, his plan backfired, and he made things so much worse for himself.
Producers Can Encourage Drama On-Screen
To our knowledge, this isn’t necessarily on any of the Bachelor contracts, but it is a fun fact from behind the scenes. Cheat Sheet reported that the producers are extremely good at their jobs and have a few tricks up their sleeves to get contestants to talk. First off, the enormous amounts of alcohol. With no other source of entertainment and an open bar, contestants are bound to get drunk.
When someone is not fully in control, it is much easier to get them talking. In addition, a Bachelor in Paradise doesn’t have the air-conditioning on! There are two reasons for this. Firstly, people get cranky when they are hot, and they are forced to say outside with more people and more drama. Also, the sounds from the AC can make what contestants actually say inaudible.
You’re Being Filmed 24/7
The crew will be watching every single move you make. If you apply to the show, you have to agree to be filmed 24/7. If there isn’t a cameraman, don’t worry. They have hidden cameras all over the place. Contestants have reported that there are no cameras in the bathroom stalls, so they can’t catch you doing your business… well, that’s reassuring.
However, if you are crying, fighting, eating, or sleeping, you can bet they have it all on tape. These producers don’t want to miss even one minute of the drama that might occur. The only time the camera isn’t rolling is during a fancy over-night date, which typically takes place in a hotel room. However, you can bet that the filming crew will be their first thing in the morning.
No Harassment or Breaking the Law
This is another one that should be pretty obvious. In the 2017 Bachelor in Paradise contract, it says that it “required participants to refrain from unlawful behavior or harassment,” according to CNNMoney. There was actually an incident on Bachelor in Paradise where there was alleged misconduct between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson.
Production stopped immediately. All of the contestants were sent home. Reportedly, “the contract also tried to free the producers to form any responsibility if a contestant was injured.” Warner Bros handles the production of the show. They have stated that they didn’t find any misconduct or harassment of any kind between the two contestants. Strange how they stopped filming and sent everyone home if nothing actually happened… I don’t know if I buy it.
Psychiatric Evaluations are Required
Before contestants are allowed to enter The Bachelor Mansion, they need to go through a complete psychiatric evaluation. This thorough examination includes 800 questions. This isn’t just to make sure a sociopath doesn’t appear on the show, but it’s to make sure the applicants are emotionally ready to be under this intense pressure.
Luckily, only the semifinalists have to do that. Imagine answering 800 questions when you aren’t even considered by the producers yet. That would suck. One of the producers told ABC News that “We want to make sure that people are going to be OK with coping with the stress involved.” I mean, having no contact with the outside world for 6 weeks can be emotionally draining for anyone.
So are Physical Evaluations
In addition to a psychiatric evaluation, only the semifinalists have to go through a physical examination. This is mainly to make sure that they don’t have any kind of sexually transmitted diseases. This is an extremely important rule. You wouldn’t want to put the star in danger of catching a disease unknowingly. Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health.
The Semifinalists “may be required to undergo physical examinations and testing (to be conducted in Los Angeles by qualified personnel selected by the producer) and meet all physical and psychological requirements, as set by producers in its sole discretion.” This is a rule that I definitely think is an important one. Everyone that is put on the show needs to be emotionally and physically equipped.
Do Your Own Cooking and Cleaning
This one may be a little bit surprising, but all contestants must do their own cooking, cleaning, and laundry while living in the mansion. The show does pack the fridge with more than enough food for everyone, but they do have to cook it themselves. At least it gives them something to do instead of being bored all day.
However, there are contestants who claimed to have gained weight during filming because all bored contestants had to do other than drink was eaten. On Jojo Fletchers iconic season of The Bachelorette, Chad loves the food on set. Jojo even jokingly said: “I don’t know if he’s here for the free food or if he’s here to find love.”
You Can’t Listen to the News
As we mentioned, the contestants on the show are not allowed contact with the outside world or to keep up with social events. This means no news. If some important event happens, producers will notify contestants, but that’s about it. For Example, one Bachelor in Paradise contestant reported that when the Orlando shooting happened back in 2016, it was mentioned.
“They didn’t sit us down, but one of the producers or handlers or assistant’s just kind of briefly mentioned it to some of the people. For the most part, they’re not saying anything, they kind of us want us to be isolated and not have any distractions.” Wow, they really don’t want these contestants to be distracted by anything. Their entire focus should be on the show’s lead.
You Do Your Own Hair and Makeup
Most of us probably do our own hair and makeup every day. It’s rare that any of us live like the Kardashians with makeup and hair people following us around. However, this is The Bachelor! It’s just as much of a reality show, right? At the very least, people feel pressured to look their best on national TV. One contestant, Olivia Cardi, said that she hired a makeup artist to teach her all about doing her own makeup so she can learn before appearing on the show.
The makeup artist taught Cardi everything she needs to know. She learned how to contour and even to wear white or nude eyeliner if she wants to look less tired on screen. This has got to be way more challenging for the contestants on Bachelor in Paradise. The extreme heat can quickly melt the makeup right off.
You Bring Your Own Wardrobe
Jillian Harris is another contestant who spent money to make sure she looked good. She may have gone a little extreme if you ask me. She wrote on her website: “I had to re-mortgage my house, and I spent something like $8000 on clothing…” It’s definitely not required to spend that much on your appearance, but some contestants do everything in their power to look their best.
The show tells the contestants to pack enough clothes to last 10 weeks, everything from activewear to gowns and suits. In 2019, it was reported by Vox, that some of the contestants ask brands for some free clothes to wear on the show. It’s mutually beneficial because it gives the brand’s TV exposure.
Producer Have a Say in Who Stays
Well, now it’s starting to make sense. If you are like me and couldn’t figure out why Bachelorette Hannah Brown kept Luke P. on the show for so long, this might be the reason. Thanks to Luke P’s erratic and psychotic behavior, producers wanted to keep him around. I mean, the drama he provided was pure TV gold.
Also, the fact that he stayed on for so long was engaging audiences. I mean, “Luke P. has nine lives” was literally trending on twitter throughout Hannah’s season. Apparently, the contract says that the lead is required to follow all of the producer’s rules, “including participant selection,” according to Ranker. Well, as much as everyone hates Luke P., we all secretly wanted to see what crazy thing he would do next.
Contestants are in Charge of Personal Choices
One of the cast members that was on the show, Tenley Molzahn, told PEOPLE Magazine what the producer’s roles on the show really are. “When I was filming any Bachelor Franchise show, I was in charge of my choices.” That’s good to know. At least the contestants are allowed to make the final decision about their love life.
Tenley went on to say, “I never once felt like I couldn’t make a decision for myself, or that I was expected to do anything outside of my own will.” Although their words and actions can be edited or even instigated by producers, the contestants are in full control of how much they drink and how far they go. They aren’t forced to behave a certain way.
The Lead Must Adhere to the Show’s Format
The Bachelor and Bachelorette are required to stick to the format of the show. Usually, the leads know who their top picks will be within the first couple of weeks of the show, but they still need to go through the elimination process each week. However, there are always exceptions. We all remember Colton Underwood, the first, virgin Bachelor.
In a huge cliff hanger, Colton leaped over a fence to escape producers after Cassie broke up with him. Ultimately, Colton worked out the situation with producers, and they allowed him to just break up with the other two finalists before the rose ceremony. He got to continue dating Cassie without the pressure of the proposal in the finale.
It Has to Look Like a Tight Race
The first-ever Bachelorette, Trista Sutter, admitted that she wanted to tell Ryan Sutter, the winner of the show, and her now-husband how she felt about him while they were filming the show. She wasn’t allowed to because the producers didn’t want to make the winner obvious. They want it to look like it is super close, which it usually does.
Not making it look like a close race is possibly a breach of contract, according to Ranker. I mean, this makes sense. If the winner was clear from the start of the season, the show would be much less entertaining. A neck to neck race is way more suspenseful and dramatic. Although the show seems like it’s about finding love, in reality, it’s about entertaining audiences.
No Dating While the Show Airs
Audiences were stunned when a picture of Ben Flajnik kissing another woman was leaked while his season was still airing! Many oblivious viewers didn’t know that filming of the show finished weeks before and thought they were literally getting a weekly update on the contestants. Ben ruined the magic for these poor ignorant viewers.
It’s not a secret that most of the Bachelor couples don’t actually stay together after they are done shooting the show. However, ABC wants to be the one to show you the “shocking” breakup in “the most dramatic season of the Bachelor” after the final rose and season finale. If a picture surfaces before the season finale, it kind of just spoils the ending. Which sucks!
You Can’t Make a Peep until it airs
Obviously, the producers always want to keep the audience on their toes with cliff hangers and dramatic previews. Most importantly, they want their viewers to be surprised at the end. This means that contestants are forbidden from discussing who got eliminated or who won with family or friends. Thus definitely means, don’t spill the beans on social media.
For example, Bachelorette Kailyn Bristowe accidentally Snapchatted Shawn Booth (the winner). The internet freaked out about she ruined the show. Bristowe and Booth went on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he told the couple that ABC was “very, very mad” at Bristowe. They do everything in their power to keep the end a secret, and then she ruins it. The corporation was way more upset than angry Twitter users.
The Couple Can’t be seen in Public
Once the winner is chosen, the couple obviously cannot be seen together. Not in public or on social media. Bristowe and Booth weren’t out in public but still managed to break the rule thanks to Snapchat. This is actually a way bigger deal than it seems because the contract they sign has an extensive confidentiality section.
This can affect the show’s audiences and ratings. If confidentiality is broke, ABC can legally recourse monetary compensation. Basically, the lead of the show can be sued for about $5 million according to a report in ranker. Yikes, that’s a lot! Kaitlyn Bristowe should consider herself extremely lucky that she didn’t have to pay that much money for her stupid and careless mistake.
ABC Will Pay For Your Wedding… Maybe
Luckily, if you meet your soul mate on one of The Bachelor Shows, ABC might pay for your wedding, but of course, there is a catch. A wedding is usually an intimate ceremony where you celebrate your happiness with close family and friends. Well, ABC will pay for the entire thing, as long as it’s televised and all of Bachelor Nation to watch.
Some people love attention. I mean, they are reality show contestants after all. Also, it saves the newly-weds a lot of money on a wedding. Plus, they will probably make money off it. The Bachelorette, Trista Rehn, and Ryan Sutter got $1 million after they televised their wedding. Apparently, the couple is still together and going strong! Good for them. That’s pretty rare in the Bachelor world.
Continued Promotional Appearances
For about a year after signing the contract, ABC basically owns you. You are required to show up for promotional appearances. All the appearances are extremely mandatory, so remember that if you are thinking of going on the show. For example, during the two-part finale, all contestants need to show up and answer questions surrounding the drama.
These appearances are typically some sort of Bachelor-related events that ABC puts together for the contestants. However, this also includes the PEOPLE Magazine interview that comes out after every season. Even if you were sent home during the first week, be ready for ABC to dictate what you do for a least a year after production! That’s right. The contract lasts after filming ends.
Appearances and Interviews Reveal More Drama
Not all interviews are required. Sometimes contestants show up to interviews to say what they feel or for all their own personal reasons. Tyler Cameron was asked by US Weekly if he and Hannah Brown were planning on getting back together. We don’t know if he was “required” to do this interview, but he told the publication that “We’re friends, and I think she’s an incredible girl, and I have so much love for her.”
He went on saying that “I want her to be successful and have the best. I don’t know about the future. I’m just trying to worry about today and tomorrow, you know?” It’s nice to see that he still cares for her even though she dumped him for Jed. Eww. Apparently, Tyler texted Hannah, asking her about her appearance on Dancing with the Stars. There is a chance they may rekindle their relationship for all you, Hannah and Taylor shippers!
The Producers Sometimes Plan the Limo Entrances
During the premiere of each season, contestants are introduced to the lead and the audiences when they come out of the limos one by one. Most of the time, people walk out looking classy and elegant because they are trying to make a good impression. However, sometimes people show up wearing costumes or just acting strange.
If you ever wonder how people come up with bizarre gimmicks, it’s usually the producers. When Ashley Palenkas appeared on the showed, she acted like she was obsessed with 50 Shades of Grey. It turns out, the producers saw the book on her nightstand and planned the whole thing. The producers also decide the order that the contestants exit the limo. Apparently, if they think you will go far, they let you out first to make you more memorable.
They Get Gift Bags When They Arrive
Considering they just signed their life away to ABC, it’s nice that the contestants get gift bags when they arrive at the mansion. It’s not necessarily ABC that gives them presents, though. The items are usually sponsored for advertising. Giving contestants clothes to wear is great publicity and advertisement for many different brands and companies.
It’s not rare for companies to give someone with a lot of “followers” products to advertise. It’s no different in the TV world. If a show like The Bachelor has an average of 7.5 million viewers! With so many people watching, why wouldn’t brands want to take the opportunity? Some of the items include yoga mats and bathing suits. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Food on the Dates go to Waste
Most of the extravagant Bachelor one-on-one dates include dinner or some sort of meal. Unfortunately, the food is just there for decoration and usually just goes to waste. Producers feed the contestants before the date so that they won’t be hungry, but they aren’t supposed to actually eat the food that is in front of them.
This is because they want the contestants (especially the lead) to look perfect the entire time. Sadly, most people don’t exactly look attractive while they are eating. Also, if they are eating, it usually means they aren’t talking, and all they get on audio is chewing sounds. Well, that’s disappointing, have you ever seen how good all that food looks? And it’s just in front of their face, but they can’t eat it?
Most of the contestants that are on any of The Bachelor shows are super attractive. They tend to be extremely photogenic and in great shape. Unfortunately, many of the contestants don’t stay that way when the show ends. The contestants are provided with a ton of food and alcohol while they are on the show, but there is no gym in the mansion.
Molly Mesnick was a contestant (and winner) on the show. She explained that “There’s no workout room here, but there’s a hill in the back that girls would run up to exercise.” At least they got creative but, such a big house and no gym? At least the contestants have a few months before Bachelor in Paradise to get back in shape before bathing suit season.