Between The Bachelor and all of its wonderful spinoffs–The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor Winter Games–ABC sure knows how to provide a girl with tons of entertainment. Bachelorette season is among us once again and I am pumped. To celebrate the premiere of Becca’s quest for love, here are some fun facts about the things that don’t make it into the show for the audience to see.
Each contestant only gets to bring two suitcases on the show.
This can be super challenging for the contestants, who have to be ready to get dressed for pretty much any situation. People are expected to squeeze all of their eveningwear, athleticwear, warm weather clothes, cold weather clothes and various pairs of shoes into just two suitcases.
As someone who packed an entire suitcase full of shoes when moving into my college dorm, I can sympathize with the poor contestants trying to pack for this show.
During the casting process, contestants undergo STD testing and a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.
Casting is an arduous process and the final 50 people under consideration must undergo STD testing and a psychiatric evaluation that involves answering over 800 questions. Though it may seem extreme, this is to ensure that the contestants who are chosen will be able to handle the pressures that come along with being on a reality TV show, especially one that can involve a lot of drama and overwhelming emotions.
Someone actually lives in the mansion used for the show.
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The mansion is called “Villa De La Vina” and is owned by Marshall Harden and his family. It looks completely different when filming isn’t in session and the crew actually re-paint the walls with every new season to make it look different for The Bachelor versus The Bachelorette. Twice a year, the family moves out (and removes all of their furniture) so that ABC can film The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
The lead for each season gets paid in accordance with his or her real-world salary.
The lead of each season is often paid pretty generously, but according to former Bachelor Ben Higgins, the amount is supposed to line up with the salary that the Bachelor or Bachelorette would have made at his or her actual job. The average is about $100,000 for a season, but people are rumored to have received as much as $250,000.
The contestants, meanwhile, do not get paid to be on the show. Which seems a little rough considering these next two points…
Women on The Bachelor have to buy all of their own dresses and, with the exception of the first and last days of filming, have to do their own hair and makeup.
Not only is this a hassle, but it can also cost thousands of dollars to buy so many fancy outfits and all of the makeup that they need for the (potentially) seven weeks of filming. Jillian Harris revealed in her blog that she re-mortgaged her house in order to afford the $8,000 of clothing that she purchased for the show.
People give up their jobs to be on the show.
Former contestant Olivia Cardi quit her full-time job in order to appear on The Bachelor. She does not seem to have any regrets, though, and says that her career will continue to thrive even though she does not hold that specific position anymore.
The contestants receive gift bags upon their arrival.
The gift bags contain clothing and other items from the companies that help finance the show and are mostly for the purpose of advertising these brands. But hey, it doesn’t seem like anyone is complaining about a free swimsuit or yoga mat.
Rose ceremonies can take hours to film.
Former Bachelor Sean Lowe revealed that the rose ceremonies are not as quick and easy as TV editors make them look. He explained that there are three to five minutes between each individual rose so that crew members can reposition the cameras and that in the beginning, when there were still a bunch of contestants, the ceremony lasted until 7 A.M. the next day. Even a “normal” rose ceremony can easily go until 3 or 4 in the morning. So much for beauty sleep!
No TV, internet or books are allowed in the mansion.
The point is to make sure that the contestants are disconnected from the world and free of distractions so that they can focus on the journey that they are on. There is absolutely no television or internet allowed, the only books that can enter are religious texts and they can only listen to music with the permission of a producer.
Many of the female contestants bring vibrators with them.
Look, with no electronic devices or books in the mansion, the ladies have to find other ways to entertain themselves. Former contestant Lacy Faddoul shared that many of the women who appeared on the franchise, especially Bachelor in Paradise, brought along their sex toys and even named some of them.
The food on dates is just for show.
This one made me really sad because those dinners look absolutely delicious, but there is a practical reason behind this: the chewing sounds from eating food can interfere with the microphones that the people on the show are wearing and make words more difficult to hear. (Producers also take into consideration that food can be messy and people do not always look super attractive while eating.)
Contestants eat at a hotel before the date actually begins. This way, they can use the entirety of the date to talk and get to know each other.
Hometown dates don’t always take place at home.
In some cases, families are filmed in the larger, nicer houses of a contestant’s local relatives instead of in the immediate family’s actual home. Sometimes it is due to convenience and other times it is simply to have a nicer backdrop.
No condoms are provided in the Fantasy Suite.
Former Bachelor contestant and winner Courtney Robertson revealed in her book that on the Fantasy Suite dates, no condoms are provided. Although many of the women are on the show are on the pill, this seems a little odd. Yes, everyone is tested before the show, but practicing safe sex is important, so it’s a bit shocking that a condom isn’t even an option.
From start to finish, the bachelor or bachelorette only spends about 72 hours total with the person that they choose in the end.
Former Bachelorette Ali Fedowtosky explained that since there are so many people you have to get to know, the amount of time that the lead actually spends with the winner doesn’t add up to all that many hours. It’s pretty difficult to get to know someone fully in seven weeks, but when you take into consideration that you’re really only spending three days with the winner, choosing an effective life partner seems even more impossible!
If the couple breaks up less than two years before the end of the show, they must return the ring.
The rings, which can easily cost upwards of $60,000, are super valuable and ABC isn’t going to relinquish them to just anyone. Yes, the rings are beautiful and the Bachelorette does have the perk of basically designing her own ring, but if the couple breaks up (on either show) within two years of the finale, ABC takes back the engagement ring. Even if the couple is together for more than two years, if they decide to sell the ring, ABC must be notified.