The Bachelor: Why Was Merissa Pence’s Face Blurred?

The hometowns episode aired this week and a lot more than don’t-hurt-my-daughter-drama went down. It felt as though we skimmed through meeting the families of Kelsey Weier, Hannah Ann Sluss and Madison Prewett so we could get to what happened on Victoria Fuller’s hometown.

Peter Weber | Francisco Roman via Getty Images
Peter Weber | Francisco Roman via Getty Images

After some ice cream and taking old time-y photos, Victoria F. treated Peter Weber to an intimate concert by country singer Hunter Hayes. After the performance, Weber was approached by an ex of his, Merissa Pence, who lives in the area. She told him she knows Victoria F. and that Weber shouldn’t trust her.

According to Reality Steve, there was some back and forth between Pence and production as to whether she should come to filming. Reportedly, she wasn’t given much notice to arrive and when she did, no one from production gave her directions, put a mic on her, or even spoke to her.

Why was Merissa Pence’s face blurred?

When the episode aired, one thing in particular stuck out to fans. Pence’s face was blurred. We know her name, so why would The Bachelor bother to blur her face?

Bachelor fans, of course, have their theories.

“I think I figured out why they blurred Merissa/Marissa: So that they could chop up what she was saying without making it readily apparent when her mouth didn’t match the wording. Because of the sensitivity (legally) of the allegations, they needed to use very specific soundbites, but the way it was shot didn’t give them a lot of options to edit it smoothly like how they often chop up an evening 1:1 date. So by blurring her, they were able to move her words around more without it being obvious (esp. since it was just long shots of Peter’s listening face), thus enabling them to be really really specific about what pieces they aired. My hypothesis!” one person wrote on reddit.

“I kind of wondered if it gave her the air of credibility. By making it seem like she didn’t want to be on the show (which could be presumed given that blurring her face indicates she didn’t give permission), it makes her seem like more like she cares about Peter but doesn’t want the fame-like experience,” wrote another.

Reality Steve says he doesn’t know why production blurred Pence’s face.

The Bachelor hasn’t come out and said why they blurred Weber’s ex’s face. The whole thing seems strange, with them reportedly not giving Pence any direction the day of filming (though she has said in interviews that she did sign paperwork).

It seems as though blurring her face for sound editing reasons is a good possibility, along with making the interaction look organic, like Pence speaking to Weber was unplanned.

Despite his conversation with his ex, Weber still gave Victoria F. a rose. We’re thinking (hoping, at least) he’ll probably talk with her more about Pence’s accusations during fantasy suites.

Read more: ‘The Bachelor’: How Peter Weber Handles Major Heartbreak