‘Bachelor’ Exposé Reveals How ABC Producers Manipulate Contestants

(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Leisure Opportunities)

Jena Greene Reporter
Font Size:

“The Bachelor” concluded with a twist ending last night in the first ever unedited reality TV scene in history.

ABC’s most recent bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr., cancelled his engagement to Becca – the woman he’d originally proposed to – and rekindled his romance with a woman he’d previously sent home. Needless to say, there were tears, there was jealously, and America was shocked.

A post shared by Rebecca Kufrin (@bkoof) on

And while all of this sounds like a crappy soap opera with an all-too-predictable ending, people eat it up. And the “Bachelor” producers know that.

A post shared by bachelorabc (@bachelorabc) on

That’s according to Amy Kaufman at least, who recently released the tell-all book “Bachelor Nation.” The book exposes the ways producers milk contestants for as much drama as they can possibly get out of them and the mind games they’ll play to fit girls into a formula.

A post shared by bachelorabc (@bachelorabc) on

For instance, Kaufman claims that producers would keep track of each girl’s menstrual cycle and interviewed them more during that time.

“When women cycled together in the house, it created a completely different vibe,” a former producer revealed in Kaufman’s book. “So a girl’s now crying mid-interview about nothing, or being reactionary to things that are super small. It helped the producers, because now you’ve got someone who is emotional — and all you want is emotion…she’s probably more willing to tell that guy she loves him. And maybe one of the producers knew she was in that emotional state and was like, ‘You know what? Now’s a better time than ever. You should do it, you should do it, you should do it!'”

Another producer revealed that they try to build trust with contestants so they can extract as much drama as possible. “The endgame … is getting a contestant to open up. To do that, the contestant must feel like they can trust you,” the producer said.

A former male contestant likened the interview process to a police interrogation.

“I was saying lines verbatim from producers because I’d been sitting in a stupid room for an hour and just wanted to go,” he said. “You would say something you totally didn’t even believe or want to say, but they just keep asking you and asking you and asking you — just like you’re being interrogated.”

These revelations are absolutely wild. I’d venture a guess that most of America knew the ABC producers were manipulative but this takes it to a different level. Tracking contestant’s periods and interrogating them about things that are likely false doesn’t sound like a reality show. It sounds like an internment camp. I’m pretty sure the prisoners in Guantanamo have more human rights than most of the girls on “The Bachelor.” In the era of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, it will be very interesting to see whether these revelations upset people concerned with equality and fair treatment of women.

Follow Jena on Twitter