The Bachelor Has Been Exposed as Fake More Than Ever This Year

Most reality TV connoisseurs know that they’re not exactly watching documentary footage. But fans of the Bachelor franchise typically focus their ire on the contestants themselves, many of whom are suspected to be lying about their intentions. The Bachelor was recently exposed for staging and reshooting key scenes, and it’s marked a growing trend in Bachelor Nation: a focus on how the show’s producers are manipulating what the contestants do and say, and a growing realization that many of the show’s most “authentic” moments were, in fact, coached into place by someone just off screen.

Though producers are often accused of giving one contestant or another a “bad edit,” fans now understand that’s not the only tool ABC can use to present a certain version of events.

The latest revelation about what goes on behind the scenes of The Bachelor comes to us courtesy of Reality Steve, known far and wide as the best online authority for Bachelor spoilers. Reality Steve recently tweeted a series of videos of Peter Weber, the newest Bachelor, filming a date with contestant Kelsey Weir. “Peter and Kelsey leaving Corner Alley and getting on the trolley,” the first caption reads. “Oh wait, they needed to do multiple takes on them walking out…” he continues. His third: “Lets try this again…”

As Cosmopolitan points out, this was filmed in front of a crowd — and if production really wanted to hide the fact that they do this type of reshoot, they might’ve chosen a slightly more secluded location. It’s also not inherently dishonest to reshoot certain aspects: We are, after all, tuning in to see high-quality television, and we accept that what we’re seeing is an augmented version of reality, one that will play well on screen.

But what about when the meddling goes beyond reshoots? In May 2019, a Reddit thread of confessions from people with lapsed NDAs yielded tidbits from former Bachelorette contestants that suggested staging is more explicit than simply trying a few takes to get the sound and visuals right.

One such story: “A huge part of The Bachelorette was scripted,” one Redditor writes. “The company I worked for at the time was a major tourism service provider and featured prominently in one of the seasons. We were all pulled into meetings with the higher up managers, given a speel [sic] about what was in our best interest… and spilling any secrets was punishable by a $5mil lawsuit, ‘Please sign here.'”

The feisty Redditor continued, “‘The ‘Bachelorette’ herself was clearly there to further her public profile or ‘acting’ career. The scenes were always ‘set up’ before filming. Behind the camera nothing was happening. The cast were told where to go, what to do and how to do it.” OK, then!

After this first comment received a lot of attention, another user with a story to share jumped in: “A friend of a friend was on the Bachelor….sort of,” they wrote. “She was chosen and flew to the location and started filming. Once there, the producers started saying all this stuff like ‘Don’t you just luuuv him and wanna marry him and have his babies?’ Clearly egging her on to say ‘I love him and wanna have his babies.’ But since she’s not a crazy person and they had met once, she would reply something like, ‘He seems nice. I hope I get to know him better.’ They sent her home after 2 days and entirely cut her out of the show.”

And there you have it. We’re not trying to spoil your fun, we promise — but next time you’re making fun of a contestant for saying, “I could definitely see myself marrying him,” after one date, keep in mind that there’s probably a producer standing there asking, “Do you think you could see yourself marrying him?” over and over until they get an acceptably soundbite-y response. And all that stuff about people being “there for the wrong reasons?” Keep in mind that extends to off-camera people too.

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