How Real Is ‘The Bachelor’?

This most recent season of The Bachelor will go down in reality television history. In an insane turnaround, Cassie (one of the obvious contestants for the final rose) broke up with this season’s bachelor, Colton. 

The shocking reveal came around during their fantasy suite date. It didn’t just shock audiences, though; it shook Colton to the core. The handsome Bachelor took off after he heard the news, hopping a fence on the premises to get out of range from the camera crew. 

Why the sudden change of heart? The producers of the show flew Cassie’s dad to Portugal where he imparted some great advice. Ultimately Cassie felt (with her dad’s encouragement) that a breakup was a way to go.

With the producer’s committing the ultimate betrayal, one has to wonder how often they meddle with the show. Just how real is The Bachelor?

What’s ‘The Bachelor’ about?

The Bachelor
The Bachelor | John Fleenor via Getty Images

The Bachelor is a reality television show that dates back to March 25, 2002. The show debuted on ABC and has been running strong under the guidance of host Chris Harrison. The Bachelor (ratings aside) has a pretty impressive viewership and a plethora of die-hard fans. It’s so successful it has inspired quite a few spin-offs including The Bachelorette and The Bachelor Winter Games.

The series features one single bachelor amidst a variety of potential mates. Throughout the season the bachelor gets to know the ladies better and eliminates the ones that don’t match up.

Once we get to the finale, a single rose is given to the last woman standing and a marriage proposal (or “let’s date” proposal) is given. Occasionally curveballs are thrown in like eliminated contestants returning or women getting removed outside of the dedicated process. 

What’s it like being on ‘The Bachelor’?

You might think that going to stay in the “Villa De La Vina,” is the bee-knees, but it isn’t. Yes, the mansion is a whopping 7,590-square-feet and has six-bedrooms and nine-bathrooms. Yes, it’s located on a sprawling 10-acre plot. Yes, it’s in beautiful Agoura Hills, California. But according to the contestants, going on The Bachelor is basically no different from living at home plus like…29 other women.

What does that mean? It means the contestants are tasked with doing their own cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. They don’t even have stylists to handle their clothes and makeup.

“We have to do our own cooking, our own laundry… We do everything you would do when you’re at home, except be able to go outside of your home.” – Former contestant Leslie Hughes (The Daily Beast) 

The icing on the cake is zero privacy and the fact that the ladies are stuck inside the confines of the mansion unless they are brought outside on a date. Glorified prison much? 

Is the rose ceremony on ‘The Bachelor’ real?

A better question is are the antics on the show a result of the producers meddling to create drama. Colton learned the hard way that the people behind the scenes will go out of their way to stir up a little controversy. But, do they tweak things to the point that the show isn’t legit? When it comes down to the rose ceremony, the Bachelor is the one who calls the shots,  The crew does whisper suggestions in the bachelor’s ear though!

A former bachelorette on the sister show opened up about her time filming. She actually left an elimination decision up to the producers because she knew she wasn’t interested in either pick during a double date. This gave them the leeway to manufacture all kinds of situations.

On the other hand, Benn Higgins, a former bachelor, says the earlier decisions are usually bad ones as they are made with little information. That’s how the “villains” and “weird matches” end up staying as long as they do. Ultimately when the show airs, the viewers have a much better grasp on the contestants than the bachelor did.

How real is ‘The Bachelor’ as a whole?

When it comes down to it, it looks like the rose ceremony is pretty legit, but what about other aspects of the show? You know those interviews that are sprinkled throughout each episode. Sure, they are typically done right after a date, but if the producers don’t like that was said, they’ll reshoot it at a later time.

This forces the contestants to attempt to rekindle the feelings they had at the time. The producers even have trigger words that the contestants aren’t allowed to use.

Oh, and do you recall contestant Jillian Harris? The producers tried to get her to fake an accent because they didn’t believe her Canadian flare would go over well. But, by far the best example of tampering has to do with what happens after the women get the boot. The drivers won’t take the women home until they catch the reaction they want on camera. 

Clearly, the producers have a huge hand in how the episodes turn out, but at the same time, the feelings of the bachelors appear to be beyond real. So, what do you think? Is The Bachelor real enough to be considered a “real” reality show, or do the producers tamper to the point where it’s just manufactured drama?