‘The Bachelor’: Here’s What It Really Takes to Be a Contestant on the Show

If you’ve ever watched The Bachelor, you know that the contestants always look flawless. Their time in the spotlight also appears well-rehearsed and polished. You’d think some of the women have scripts pre-written for those unique limo-exits on night one — and you’d be sort of right. What exactly is involved in being a part of the nation’s favorite reality dating competition?

‘The Bachelor’ online application wants to know everything

Peter Weber and Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison and Peter Weber | John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images

There are a few ways to get cast onto any of the Bachelor Nation shows. Contestants, or loved ones of a potential contestant, can submit an application form online. Have a single cousin with a wretched dating history? Nominate her.

Some of the questions included (aside from the basics) are things like, “What have you not found but would like to have in a relationship?” and “Why did your previous relationships end?” Prepare to spill all.

Applicants are asked to submit recent photos of themselves and a 10-15 minute video explaining why they want to appear on the show. Producers gage personalities to decide who’ll be a good fit and entertaining to watch so have fun with it.

All potential suitors must be at least 21 years old with a valid passport, single (obviously), not convicted of a felony, and available to travel to Los Angeles for interviews. You’re also not allowed to be in the process of running for political office.

According to Newsweek, all applicants must be able to commit to a six-month period. SIX. LONG. MONTHS.

Casting calls are another way to apply to be on ‘The Bachelor’

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If the online route isn’t your thing, The Bachelor often hosts casting calls in bigger cities. They’re typically at a hotel or resort. The experience includes a 30-page application and signing releases that can take hours to complete.

One potential contestant explained to Arizona Republic they moved her “from a ballroom to a smaller conference room” for the on-camera interview after an intern took snapshots.

“The questions were as basic as the rest of the process: talk about your family, where you grew up and your dating history,” she said. “The video was the most personal part of the process, though it only lasted for about five minutes.”

She added, “The tapes get whisked off to Los Angeles to be viewed by show producers for the next month and a half.”

While a casting call may seem like the more direct approach to landing a spot, a source previously told E! News,

“Only a couple of women get picked from actual casting calls. It’s a very small percent. Most of the women are either cast from videos they send in or referrals or they find their own way on.”

It’s a waiting game, but you have to be prepared to pack and go at a moment’s notice if chosen.

“The producers don’t actually confirm that you’re on the show until about two weeks before you have to pack your stuff up and travel to LA,” the source said. 

Here’s what happens if you’re actually cast on ‘The Bachelor’

If you’re lucky enough to get “the call,” you don’t have much time before jetting off to find love. It’s show business, after all.

“Right after you get cast, you only really have two weeks to prepare and get everything ready to go once you formally find out,” former contestant, Jessica Carroll said. “Producers also send you a packing list of items to bring when they confirm you two weeks before filming.” 

Another source told E! News phones are confiscated ASAP (the horror!), and you won’t get it back until you’re eliminated. Everyone does their own makeup and hair, they wear their own clothes, and there’s little personal space in the house. It sounds like a dream, right?

Life in the ‘Bachelor’ mansion isn’t that exciting

As for the night one introductions — which don’t begin until it’s dark and last around 10 hours — all contestants come up with their own opening lines. If it involves a gimmick, producers help make it happen.

While filming on that first night, everyone is allowed two drinks per hour, and the rose ceremony takes about 30 minutes. If you’re wondering what everyday life is like in between the “big” moments, it’s not glamourous.

“It’s a lot of playing games and painting nails. You have to share a bathroom and one mirror with ten girls. The food is not very healthy, people tend to gain weight during the show because even the healthiest eaters end up eating a lot of pizza,” another source said.

They added, “There’s literally no outside knowledge of what’s going on in the world. Sometimes producers will tell contestants if there’s a big newsy thing going but nobody knows anything outside of the mansion. There’s no TV, phones or anything.”

As if that’s not enough, producers crackdown. on potential spoilers such as any Colton and Cassie drama, before it leaks.

“Contestants fly commercial and the cameras are not rolling on travel days, so nobody is allowed to talk about the show,” a source said.

“A lot of producers travel with contestants so if they see that two contestants are talking about the show or engaging in conflict, they’ll shut it down really quickly.” 

If you’re eliminated early on, you go home right away. Contestants who aren’t eliminated until hometowns stay a few extra days to prevent spoilers, Carroll added.

If competing with 30 other women sounds like your cup of tea, go for it. There’s nothing stopping you unless you have the aforementioned felony or are running for office. In which case, sit this one out.