Are Beauty Pageants the New ‘Feeder System’ For the ‘The Bachelor’? Why Are So Many ‘Bachelor’ Contestants Former Pageant Queens?

Peter Weber, this season’s lead on The Bachelor, has quite a crowd of personalities as contestants. The women vying for Pilot Pete’s heart have seemed rather mean; not to mention, many of them who came off nice at first (ahem, Victoria Paul), took their claws out later in the season. The concept of being “fake” has been a big deal this season, too; it came up most prominently in discussions surrounding former Miss Texas Alayah Benavidez, and the influence the pageants (and the industry’s quest for perfection) had on her as a human being. But, as it soon came out: Paul used to do pageants, too (they knew each other). And wait, so did Sydney Hightower! Oh, and Kelsey Weier was Miss Iowa. And we shan’t forget the controversial, baby-faced Hannah Ann Sluss!

We all remember Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, in which Hannah Brown and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, (the artists formerly as Miss Alabama and Miss North Carolina), faced off about each others’ personalities, having roomed together at a pageant back in the day. Did that drama inspire thousands of young beauty queens across this great nation to apply for the show? Why is everyone on The Bachelor now a pageant queen?

Caelynn Miller-Keyes The Bachelor pageant
Miss Nevada-Carolina Urrea, Miss North Carolina-Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Miss Nebraska- Sarah Rose Summers at the 2018 Miss USA Competition | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Former Bachelorette says there’s ‘something off’ about Victoria Paul after watching recent episodes

On a recent episode of Juliet Litman’s Bachelor recap/discussion podcast, Bachelor Party, she talked to former Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay. The two discussed Victoria P.’s date, and Lindsay said at the time she was not a big fan.

Early on in the 24th season of The Bachelor, Paul came off sweet and sympathetic. However, things took a turn when her co-contestant Alayah Benavidez got put in the hot seat. Paul had trouble explaining to Pilot Pete whether or not she was friends with Benavidez–which simply should not be a tough question to answer.

“Something’s off,” Lindsay told Litman. Lindsay didn’t like how Paul dealt with Alayah at all.

“She seemed to be like, recovering memories in real time,” Litman said. “She was like, ‘Actually, she did ask me to lie, Peter.’”

“I don’t wanna say crazy, but there’s something there,” Lindsay agreed. “Something’s gonna happen with her.” And just how did Lindsay predict Paul’s demise so accurately?

“She’s a pageant girl,” Lindsay said. “Like, they know.” Lindsay also mentioned how many pageant girls there are on Weber’s season, resignedly accepting that old pageant drama is now fodder for new seasons of The Bachelor.

Are pageants a ‘feeder system’ for ‘Bachelor in Paradise’?

“Now, this is what happens. This is a feeder system,” Lindsay continued. Litman was in total agreement, calling pageants “a feeder system for Paradise.” Because, of course, just by the odds, most of these women will not win the show. But, they still want those teeth whitening ad sponsorships, so they’ll appear on Bachelor in Paradise.

Miss America
Miss Virginia 2019, Camille Schrier, is crowned as Miss America 2020 | Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

So, if you want to be on the show, maybe start looking into beauty pageants (and practicing walking in heels).

How pageant contestants come off on this season of ‘The Bachelor’ with pilot Peter Weber

On a recent episode of The Bachelor, Sydney Hightower implied that Benavidez’s background in pageants made her act fake and “perfect.” (Hightower is also a former pageant queen, but, whatever).

Lindsay isn’t too thrilled with Benavidez, either. She told Litman she wasn’t happy that Benavidez was representing Texas (pageant-wise, anyway).

“I’m upset she’s that she’s … Miss Texas,” Lindsay lamented. “I just don’t think it’s a good representation.” 

Lindsay also accused Benavidez of trying (and failing) to cry at the pool party on The Bachelor in which every other contestant threw her right in front of a bus.

“I zoomed in,” Lindsay said, about watching Benavidez “crying.” “I said, ‘Baby there’s not one tear coming out of that eye.'”

Alayah on The Bachelor
Alayah Benavidez on The Bachelor | John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images

“She cried to cry on three occasions,” Lindsay continued. “I thought pageant girls could cry.” Lindsay joked that “that’s why she didn’t win.”

“Although she did say, ‘I’ve had so many titles,’” Litman reminded Lindsay. Benavidez really did enjoy bringing up her various pageant wins on the show.

PSA: No more beauty queens as cast members of ‘The Bachelor’

Litman said the beauty queen invasion of The Bachelor has gone too far.

“The pageant infiltration’s gotta go,” Litman argued. “Like, I hope next season there’s no pageant gals.”

She clarified it had nothing to do with pageants themselves; it just doesn’t serve the show to bring in old Miss America drama.

“No shots at pageants in general,” Litman continued, “but bringing the pageant drama into the show is getting old. Like, two seasons of it, I’m done.”

So are we!