Fans of The Bachelor, prepare to be shook! Because these behind-the-scenes details of our favorite show will leave us wanting more.
And thank goodness, there's even more to come! After all, 'Season 23', starring Colton Underwood, premiered just a few days ago. Yay!
From deets on how much contestants are willing to spend on their wardrobe when they show up at the mansion (it rings in the ballpark of five figures!) to the reason why all the eliminated girls cry in the limo even when they barely knew the bachelor, the following will unleash the 'ooh!'s and the 'aah!'s.
Because if we thought it was all glitz and glamour in that mansion, we were wrong. There's a lot the crew and producers don't want us to see.
So here are the 20 behind-the-scenes secrets of The Bachelor that we all want to know.
20 Most Contestants Quit Their Jobs To Be On The Show
Okay, they aren't forced to, but most contestants end up doing just that. After all, employers aren't known to allow unpaid sabbaticals just because you got cast on reality TV.
Besides, most contestants end up becoming famous and go on to do other shows. And if they don't, they usually get a new job elsewhere.
Some have trouble getting hired after the show when they're cast as the villain of the season or shown in a negative light.
"I didn’t understand the magnitude of the show and how hard it is to get a real job right after,” JJ Lane, a contestant on The Bachelorette 'Season 11', told Market Watch. “Everyone knows who you are and employers see it as a distraction."
19 The "Bachelor Mansion" Is Not Owned By The Network
If you thought that the beautiful 9,000 square-feet, 6-bedroom, $7.7 billion mansion in LA belonged to ABC, you thought wrong. Not that it's your fault. Anybody would have thought so when they saw the mansion featured on almost all the seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
According to Insider, the 'Villa De La Vina' mansion is owned by a man named Marshall Haraden who rents to the network twice a year to shoot both the shows. He and his family vacate the house during that time and come back once the film crew leaves.
According to Mr. Haraden, the mansion walls have more than 44 coats of paint over them because the crew always repaints the house before they start shooting.
18 The Settings Might Be Pre-planned But The Drama Is Real
At least, as real as you can call prodding someone into doing something real. Because that's exactly what a lot of producers were supposed to do.
In an exposé on the subject, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, former producer of The Bachelor, told The New Yorker that her job was to befriend the contestants, get them to open up to her, and then give them terrible advice that would drive them to create drama and fill in the shoes of the required cookie-cutter archetypes.
But the worst was what she did to the ultimate loser of her season.
"The night they were going to get dumped, I would go to the hotel room where they were staying and say, 'I'm going to lose my job for telling you this, but he's going to pick you — he's going to propose.'" All just to get them to cry when they were finally eliminated.
Before the final rose ceremony, Shapiro described how she would raise the hopes of the ultimate loser.
17 Filming Can Sometimes Go On Till Daybreak
If you have ever wondered why the first rose ceremony seems to end with dawn breaking out, here's your answer. It really goes on for that long! And it's the same with all the other rose ceremonies after that.
"There's about three to five minutes in between each rose because all 15 cameras have to reposition," Sean Lowe, the bachelor of 'Season 17' told Glamour magazine about this.
"That first night lasts until about 7 A.M., and then each one after that lasts until about 3 or 4."
16 The Contestants Exit From The Limo In The Order Of Who The Producers Think Will Do The Best
According to Insider, the contestants are allowed to be as creative as they want for their grand entrance (with inputs from the producers, of course), but the order in which they exit the limo on the first night is decided completely by the producers of the show.
In an interview with Glamour magazine, Sean Lowe, the star of 'Season 17', said that he was asked to exit the limo first when he was a contestant on The Bachelorette 'Season 8', "I didn't think much of it. But then because you are first, everyone here thinks you are going to do well. They want to get the show started off on the right foot."
15 Out Of The 22 Complete Seasons Aired So Far Only 2 Couples Are Still Together
Don't look so shocked. The star and the girls rarely get time to know each other before they are down to the final four.
"You spend so little time with the person you choose before the final rose ceremony. I would say you probably spend about 72 hours tops with the person you wind up choosing, and 12 of that is spent ‘sleeping’ in the fantasy suite. You can't really get to know a person in that time frame," Ali Fedotowsky, contestant of 'Season 14' told Women's Health magazine.
That's why out of all the couples who get together in the 21 complete seasons so far, only 2 are still together. Namely, Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici-Lowe, and Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham (who was actually a runner-up).
14 The Contestants Aren't Allowed To Eat The Food That Is Laid Out For Them During Dates
“Those delicious meals you see on the one-on-one [dates] are for display, not for eating,” Jackie Parr of 'Season 17' told Women's Health magazine.
Because nobody wants to watch the star and the contestant stuffing their faces while silence reigns in between. Plus, the chomping sounds would get picked up by the microphones. (Although, now that ASMR videos are such a rage, maybe they should reconsider that move. Just saying!)
"We eat before the dates, as we are getting ready," Jaclyn Swartz of 'Season 16' told Refinery 29. "The producers will bring room service to your room, or a plate of food to where you're getting ready in the house."
13 They Don't Have A TV Or An Internet Connection Inside The Mansion
While it sure can seem like the contestants are spending all their days wrapped up in drama and fun activities with the bachelor, in reality, there's a lot of free time where the girls get pretty bored and end up doing each other's nails, soaking up the sunshine, or getting on with their beauty routines.
Why? Because there's no TV or internet inside the house. "The whole thing is to be about the bachelor and the show," Chris Harrison, the host of the show told Entertainment Weekly.
Ashleigh Hunt of 'Season 14' said the same during an interview with The Ashley's Reality Roundup.
"We are not allowed to speak to friends or family until we get home. Phones and computers are taken away the day you get there...We [would] sit in the house or by the pool...It gets pretty boring."
12 The Contestants Receive Goodie Bags Filled With Sponsored Items That They Are Encouraged To Use During The Show
Ah, goodie bags! You know they have to be there in the background somewhere. But don't be jealous yet.
"I remember when I went on the show we got goodie bags filled with some stuff that they wanted us to wear but half of it didn’t even fit. And that was it!!!" Jillian Harris of 'Season 13' wrote on her blog.
So we are guessing it wasn't mandatory to use anything out of the goodie bags. Although, it would guarantee a few seconds on the show, if not more. Remember that time on 'Season 20' where they flew in a sponsored hot tub in the middle of nowhere just so Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell could have some "fun time" after their airplane date?
11 Some Contestants Spend Thousands Of Dollars On Their Wardrobe
While it may not be true that Olivia Caridi spent $40,000 on her wardrobe when she was selected to compete on 'Season 20' of The Bachelor, in reality, a lot of contestants do spend thousands of dollars on updating their clothes before they come to the mansion.
"They want to be wearing the best clothes EVER to be seen on TV in!!! I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing (which is still a lot) … but now that designer labels are even more important, I can see how someone can spend that … easily!!!!!" Jillian Harris wrote on her blog.
And the ones who can't afford it, usually borrow clothes from their friends.
Funnily enough, Harris wrote that the bachelor never pays attention to any of these things, and neither do most of the viewers.
10 But The Mansion Has An Endless Supply Of Food And Drinks Of All Kinds
The no-eating rule only applies during dates. Otherwise, the mansion is packed with food and drinks of all kinds. Even for those who have dietary restrictions or are vegan.
"It’s weird, but the mansion becomes your home so it’s kind of like a really jacked-up, well-stocked sorority house," Katie Levans Loveluck of 'Season 17' said in an interview with College Candy.
"There was also a lot of candy. I recall eating so so so many M&Ms."
Nevertheless, it's not an all-you-can-eat buffet. You have to cook, clean-up, and do all your chores just like you would at your own house. They only do a catered spread on the nights of the rose ceremonies.
9 There's No Gym In The Mansion
No wonder some contestants revealed that they had put on a lot of weight during the show!
"There isn’t a workout room or any kind of equipment in the mansion. So we had to improvise if we wanted to stay in shape. We would run up and down a hill in the backyard and use whatever we could find in the house as free weights. It was pretty comical!" Andi Dorfman of 'Season 18' told Women's Health.
If they are lucky, they would receive yoga mats in their goodie bags, according to The New York Post, which allowed some yoga and pilates sessions. And if they were traveling and the hotel had a gym, everyone would be allotted 30 minutes in turns to workout, Courtney Robertson of 'Season 16' told Allure.
8 Cameras Track The Contestants 24/7
Even when they are sleeping! But all the "dull stuff" gets edited out later.
It's done so that the crew doesn't miss any opportunity of filming any drama breaking out inside the house. And sometimes the producers would ask the girls leading questions to hit reality TV gold.
The only time they get some privacy is when they go on their Fantasy Suite date with the bachelor.
And according to the Insider, most contestants either use that time to talk and learn more about the man they are hoping to marry or just go to sleep! (After all, reality TV contestants are known to not catch much of it.)
7 The Selection Process Is Intense
From answering deeply personal questions about themselves and their love lives to undergoing medical tests, wannabe contestants of The Bachelor have to endure a very tough selection process if they wish to appear on the show. And that's if they get through the application-approval round.
Some contestants believe they got selected because of their application video, like Jessica Holocomb of 'Season 5', who told Cosmopolitan that she had sent in a funny video of her acting like a cat lady. Others felt their messed-up lives got them through the doors. Because, drama!
6 They Get Paid Nothing
Yup, zilch! But then again, the contestants are there to find the love of their life. Not cash in on their fifteen minutes.
Nevertheless, the contestants who stay till the end, especially the final four, do manage to make a quite a good buck off appearances on TV and radio talk shows, getting cast in other reality shows, and sharing the deets in magazine interviews. Some have even gone on to become Instagram influencers!
But they do get paid if they become the star of a season of The Bachelorette.
5 The Fantasy-Suite Dates Are Filmed Over A Span Of Two Weeks
Of course! Because it's humanly impossible to do them back-to-back. We mean, not for the crew. But for the star.
In her book It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After, Andi Dorfman, said that the Fantasy Suite dates are spread out over two weeks in different hotel rooms so that the star "gets a few days to decompress in between".
"It does come in one quick episode, but this isn't back-to-back like viewers see," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
4 The Winning Couple Can Earn An Extra 6-Figure Paycheck If They Decide To Let The Network Film Their Wedding
While most stars and winners of the show don't end up tying the knot, the ones who do are offered a very sweet reward if they allow the camera crew to film the entire wedding. A reward worth six figures!
And according to E! News, ABC pays for the entire thing too. Right down to the wedding dress!
Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici were the first ones to cash in on this when they decided to walk down the aisle in 2014 in front of millions of The Bachelor fans. And the best part is, the couple is still going strong!
3 The Winning Contestant Can Keep Her Neil Lane Engagement Ring Only If The Engagement Lasts Two Years
According to Radar Online, if the winning contestant and the star don't manage to stay engaged for at least two years, they have to give their Neil Lane diamond ring back to ABC. And even after the two years are up, if the couple wants to sell the ring, they must first send a written notice to ABC and take their permission.
Wondering why? It's because each ring costs close to a whopping six-figure!
Sean Lowe revealed in his book For the Right Reasons: America's Favorite Bachelor that the ring he gave Catherine cost $75,000. And US Weekly reported that the 3.6-carat diamond ring that Chris Soules proposed to Whitney Bischoff with was close to $92,000!
2 The Contestants Get Their Hair And Makeup Done Professionally Only For The Grand-Entrance Night And The Finale
Back to the show, contestants only get their hair and makeup done by a professional on the grand-entrance night and for the finale. The rest of the time, they are left to their own devices.
Olivia Caridi told Allure that she had hired a professional makeup artist to teach her the tricks of the trade when she found out she had been selected for the show. "She taught me how to contour. I didn't even know what that was."
The MUA, who had experience working on reality TV, also told her to wear white or nude eyeliner to make her eyes look big. She knew that Caridi would not get to sleep properly during the show.
"A couple days before filming, I went to Sephora and bought foundation, eye shadow palettes, brow fillers, like every single thing you could ever imagine. That was fun and expensive, but it was worth it."
1 The Girl-On-Girl Dynamics Depend On Whether The Bachelor Is Serious About Finding A Wife Or Not
No one said reality TV cannot mimic real life! So of course, there would be tough competition and girl-on-girl fights when it's apparent that the star really wants to find a wife.
Nevertheless, the contestants spend the most time with each other and so they also end up becoming friends.
Remember all the nail paintings and face masking we talked about earlier? This goes beyond that.
"You spend a majority of your time with the other girls, so bonds are formed very quickly. Catherine [Guidici] and I used to bust out raps in the limo on the way to group dates," Jackie Parr of 'Season 17' revealed to Women's Health magazine.
Glamour, Women's Health, Jillian Harris Blog, Market Watch, Insider1, Insider2, E! News, Allure, The List