‘The Bachelor’ Rules: Wild Guidelines the Star and Contestants Must Follow

Would you believe there are more Bachelor rules than shows?

In 2002 The Bachelor premiered and the one-and-only Alex Michel was the series’ very first contestant to enter the notorious “journey” for love. The following year, Bachelor Nation was unofficially born with the addition of The Bachelorette.

Of course, as the series’ loyal fans and viewers know all too well, more often than not, these love stories do not end with happy endings. With that being said, it is a bit surprising that it took ABC so long to premiere Bachelor In Paradise

Hannah Brown and Colton Underwood laughing despite all of the 'Bachelor' rules
Hannah Brown and Colton Underwood from The Bachelor | Josh Vertucci/Getty Images

In 2014 the reality television series joined the pack of ABC shows targeted at finding love after the contestants’ former failed attempts. For almost two decades now viewers have been adamantly watching and cheering on the contestants, but many of the series’ followers might be surprised at some of the behind-the-scenes details that have been surfacing. What are The Bachelor rules? Check out these wild rules and guidelines the stars and contestants must follow. 

Bachelor Nation: the prequel & prerequisites 

Simply put, the producers and teams responsible for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette don’t play. There are a lot of prerequisites that potential candidates should be aware of if they ever dare to submit to the rigorous application process. 

How long is The Bachelor process? When it comes to series like The Bachelor, actually getting on the show is just half the battle. Of course, out-beating about a dozen others for a potential soulmate is the other part. It should go without saying that individuals must be single in order to apply.

However, as viewers learned during season 15 of The Bachelorette, that, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. Many fans and followers of Bachelor Nation can probably recall the turmoil that resulted from Hannah Brown’s decision to choose Jed Wyatt. 

Aside from the contestants’ relationship statuses, there is a lot that must be considered. For instance, some people might be surprised to learn that everyone on the show must undergo a credit check, and it doesn’t stop there.

Anyone who might potentially appear on ABC’s popular reality television shows also must be vetted by a private investigator. Though, in light of social media scandals like the one involving Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist comments, it really makes many wonder how thoroughly contestants’ backgrounds are really being looked into. 

Age is another important factor that plays a part. Though the contestants might not always look or act it, everyone must be at least 21 years of age to participate in the series. Psychological evaluations and STD tests are just two more layers to Bachelor Nation’s meticulous application process. 

Bachelor Nation: the rules & how much does it cost to be on ‘The Bachelor’?

Getting cast in The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is just the beginning of the “journey”, or what others might call madness. In the event that someone does make it past the casting process, it is absolutely forbidden to tell anyone about the big news. Nobody likes a secret, but is a potential lawsuit any better? 

Since the men and women of Bachelor Nation are not permitted to do much of anything, they must pack absolutely everything they need. Long gone is the optimistic rumor or belief that ABC provided contestants with the luxurious wardrobes they are pictured in. Cosmopolitan briefly recapped bachelorette Jillian Harris’ decision to take out a second mortgage in preparation for her season of The Bachelor.

While the contestants have to foot the bill for their wardrobes, the titular Bachelor and Bachelorette don’t have to pay for their clothing, according to Yahoo!.

No patterns are permitted and contestants are only allowed three suitcases for all of their belongings. It makes things a little tricky, especially when participants have to account for some backup outfits as well. One of the many caveats of these series are that “limo dresses” have to be approved beforehand.

Why do they never eat on ‘The Bachelor’?

Some fans and followers of The Bachelor might be surprised to learn that no one is actually supposed to be eating the food on the dates. Of course, television or cell phones are also not permitted throughout the series. The contestants have many rules and regulations they must follow during filming, and, unfortunately, it doesn’t end when the season wraps up. 

Bachelor Nation: the aftermath

Going on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette probably feels a little like signing your life away. Even when the cameras and microphones aren’t around, the rules and regulations are. Though it isn’t the most popular path, any candidate from The Bachelor or The Bachelorette must refrain from running for political office for at least one year after.

It quite literally pays to keep all lips and tweets zipped, because anyone who is responsible for spoilers could be subjected to pay up to $5 million. Oddly enough, that isn’t the craziest stipulation. 

Contestants who participate on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette agree to participate in the franchise’s reunions and special episodes for three years after their initial appearance. Talk about a commitment. 

Last, but of course not least, for the select few who are actually able to find “love” through the popular series, they must be prepared to legally give away the rights to their wedding. Even though the happy couple gets compensated for this, it definitely is something to think about. 

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