Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to hate The Bachelor franchise? Every season has a familiar format, favored frontrunners, the unmistakable villain(s), and the inevitable final pick that fans either love or hate, but we still tune in and watch. Then, we wait for the next season. It’s a vicious, but comfortable cycle.
What’s more interesting, is what happens to these contestants after the show ends. When abc launched The Bachelor in 2002, social media didn’t exist. Audiences tuned in live for the season, watched the finale episode, and moved on with their lives. Now, things couldn’t be more different. After the final rose, these people don’t disappear at all (at least not from my life). Thanks to Instagram, you can follow your favorite contestants and talk about them casually amongst your friends (as if you personally know them). That accessibility adds so much fun to the fandom, but also elevates these reality stars in a manner that feels a little unfair.
It’s hard not to be a little jealous. As someone who is happy and in a relationship (and has way too much anxiety to ever be on a show like this) I
don’t won’t have the opportunity to boost myself through a show like The Bachelor. That means no book deals, no brand ambassador opportunities, and zero chances to promote and partner with my favorite bands. Don’t get me wrong, I live a fulfilling life. And I’m not saying these people don’t work hard for their accomplishments, but it appears so much easier to have your dreams come true when your foot is already in the door. This pattern is true of many reality shows, but with The Bachelor’s squeaky clean, abc-approved persona, the process of gaining success from vying for love on television feels a little too streamlined. For those of you wondering, this is not a wild conspiracy theory. Some of the contestants are even starting to outwardly admit it. On this latest season, Jed told Hannah B. that he initially signed up for the show to help his music career and after meeting her, he is falling in love. A questionable angle? Only time will tell.
What do I intend to do about this? Raise a little awareness, and try to support those on the show who seem truly deserving of success. Otherwise, probably nothing. I’ll pursue my dreams like all of the other, non-famous, hardworking people out there. There’s no shame in that. If it didn’t go without saying, I’ll continue to keep watching The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise because at the end of the day, I’m a huge fan. Surely, audiences are bound to witness more contestants gaining exposure just by utilizing their fifteen minutes of fame. Maybe in 2019, that’s why you apply to be on one of these shows? Even if you lose at love, you gain the chance to win at life.
Season 15 of The Bachelorette airs Monday nights, on abc