The Interesting Role The Show Psychologist Plays On ‘The Bachelor’
People like Dr. Steven Stein work with shows like The Bachelor (other credits include: Big Brother Canada, Survivor, and The Apprentice) to not only cast the right people, but to keep them mentally sound both during and after filming.
Stein is an emotional intelligence expert with experience mitigating human crises for people engaged in active combat and counterterrorism for the Canadian Forces, special units of the Pentagon, and the FBI Academy, according to Flare. So, yeah, he knows what he’s doing.
Especially when contestants live in close quarters and especially especially when they’re all competing for the same romantic partner, things can get heated.
Whenever there’s an “emotional emergency,” Stein is there.
Often, these emotional emergencies involve contestants considering leaving the show. From Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, audiences may remember his season winner, Cassie Randolph, attempting to leave the show just before her Fantasy Suite. Ultimately, Underwood convinced her to stay. But it’s not uncommon for contestants to leave.
Stein sits down with the contestants and helps them to stay or leave “based on what’s best for their health in the long-term.”
But leaving isn’t the right answer for everyone. Stein told Flare that he’s had contestants contact him years later to thank him for the opportunity to stay and “work through the stress.”
Counseling the villains
Another job of Stein’s and people like him is to help contestants who are branded as “villains” during their time on the show.
The psychologist says that, sometimes, people are shocked to learn that viewers see them as a villain. They thought they had perfectly good intentions.
“I have to prepare them for what’s going to happen once they get out in the world,” he told Flare. “The fact that there are already people who can’t stand them, who hate them.”
Stein helps villainous contestants “separate the role they play on TV with who they are as a person” by focusing on their real relationships with family and friends to keep them grounded.
But sometimes, people applying for shows like The Bachelor actually want to be the villain.
“Some are reality TV junkies and they’ve seen all the shows. They identify with the villains and they believe they are that character.”
That’s all well and good with Stein as long they’re authentically themselves.
“We want real emotions,” says the psychologist. “That’s what people want to watch.”