Are Cameras Rolling 24/7 on ‘The Bachelor’? Here’s What Privacy Looks Like While Filming the Show
Signing up to be a contestant on The Bachelor can be more risky than you realize. Even if you’re there “for the right reasons,” the producers can easily make you come across as the villain. If you do something completely embarrassing? You better believe it’s going to be aired on national television.
You’d probably hope that if you’re putting yourself out there on TV, you would at least have a little bit of privacy now and then. However, insiders have revealed just how little alone time you actually have.
Cameras are rolling 24/7
If you sign up to be on The Bachelor, be aware that cameras will be filming you 24/7. Literally anything you do is up-for-grabs, whether you’re napping (shout-out to Corinne Olympios from Nick Viall’s season) or getting in a heated argument.
Plus, as long as cameras are filming constantly, producers can essentially create a storyline out of thin air. It’s common for reality TV to resort to “frankenbiting,” which refers to clipping together different sentences to sound like one train of thought or conversation.
An anonymous reality TV producer told Mental Floss, “Sometimes, it’s just to make the conversation easier to follow. If one person says ‘she’ we’ll edit in her name so people are clear. Other shows will lift a sentence in one scene and put it elsewhere.”
Only the fantasy suites are free from filming
The only time you’re offered a sense of privacy on The Bachelor is during the fantasy suite night. Once it’s down to the final three, the Bachelor will have one night alone with each of his remaining contestants.
While it’s implied that they’ll likely sleep together during the fantasy suite, it’s up to the Bachelor and the contestant. Former contestant Courtney Robertson revealed a particularly dirty little secret about the fantasy suites in her book, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain. Apparently, whether or not they decide to get intimate, the fantasy suites don’t come stocked with condoms.
Contestants are only allowed to focus on the show
Producers want the contestants’ entire lives to focus around being on The Bachelor. Even when they’re alone in the mansion, they’re completely cut off from the outside world. Host Chris Harrison told Entertainment Weekly, “There’s no TV or internet in the house — the whole thing is to be about the Bachelor and the show.”
Season 14’s Ashleigh Hunt also revealed, “We are not allowed to speak to friends or family until we get home. Phones and computers are taken away the day you get there. We [would] sit in the house or by the pool; it gets pretty boring. You can not leave the house, ever.”
There’s not even a gym to escape to
Let alone making staying in shape pretty difficult, contestants don’t even have a gym to escape to for a little alone time. Hunt admitted that during her time on The Bachelor, “One day I ran laps around the outside of the house.”
At the very least, when the cast would travel to different locations, they’d have access to the gyms inside their hotels. However, when you compare the small size of a hotel gym to the number of contestants on the show, it’s clear that not everyone could enjoy the benefits.
Robertson revealed that those who wanted to use the gym worked out in chunks. “My workout time was cut in half, so I would push myself more in the 30 minutes of time I had,” she said. “Sometimes I would get more if someone else didn’t schedule their ‘yard time.’ And I would try to squeeze in stretches and pilates throughout the days.”
Alcohol makes for interesting footage
Considering contestants can’t use their phones or escape to a gym, what’s left to do other than drink the unlimited supply of alcohol? Contestants really do have access to as much alcohol as their hearts desire, but the reason isn’t just to help pass the time.
“It’s how they get you to be more talkative, more sensitive,” Season 17’s Leslie Hughes revealed. “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.’”