22 Shady ‘Bachelor’ Secrets To Keep In Mind If You Think Nick Viall Is About To Find Love

Nick Viall Instagram
Nick Viall Instagram

ABC does a lot of painstaking work to make The Bachelor look like a fairytale. They show us limos and helicopter dates, beautiful people with overprotective families whose biggest flaw is that they’re a single parent or have a glass of wine too many on camera. What they don’t show is the seedy underbelly: how producers provide copius booze and little food to get ‘the best’ storylines (re: drunk contestants), how short the ‘seasons’ actually are (they refer to each date taking place in a different ‘week’ which, lol, no), and how non-romantic and manufactured the whole process is. Read on for the juiciest behind-the-scenes insights I’ve gathered from the most loose-lipped members of #BachelorNation.

Before getting engaged, you spend ‘max 72 hours’ with the person you pick

“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

Life after the show isn’t always that great

“I lost hair, got down to 92 pounds, and formed an anxiety disorder.” — Jillian Harris

Ben Flajnik Instagram
Ben Flajnik Instagram

Sometimes the bachelors are actually just assholes

“When we were in Panama, we visited a poor local village and hung out with the natives. It was cold and rainy that day, and we all infamously wore skimpy bikinis adorned with beautiful beads made by the tribal women (Ben wore a loincloth with nothing underneath). Well, all the ladies were cold and miserable but sucking it up. I’ll never forget what Ben said right in front of these wonderful people, as we ate cold sandwiches in one of their huts, which had no indoor plumbing. “I can’t wait to get back to the hotel and take a hot shower and have a warm meal,” he moaned. I was totally grossed out and he became so unattractive, I didn’t care about getting a rose. “I like these cold sandwiches,” I shot back.” — Jamie Otis, Ben Flajnik’s season

The contestants really aren’t there ‘for the right reasons’

“People think, we’re desperate to find love, we have a hard time [dating] in real life, so we’re going to go on a reality show to find love? Give me a break.” — Sharleen Joynt, Juan Pablo’s season

“I go work the next day, and I realize working really sucks, and a free vacation sounds really good right now. So that was my motivation behind getting on The Bachelorette.” — Sean Lowe

Producers secretly ‘date’ the contestants

“There are more of these producer/contestant relationships than viewers realize—they’re always kept hush-hush.” — Jamie Otis, Ben Flajnik’s season

Jojo Fletcher's Instagram
Jojo Fletcher’s Instagram

You need serious $$$ to be a contestant — you must bring 14 evening gowns with you

“I know that there are women in the past who cashed out their 401(k)s for the show… some have gone into serious credit card debt.” — Dana Weiss, Bachelor fashion recapper

“I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing” — Jillian Harris

“I’m the girliest of my friends, but when I joined The Bachelor, I was like, “I don’t even compare to these girls!” I met Michelle Money in Paradise, and when she arrived, she showed up with three suitcases full of makeup and accessories alone. It was all categorized and labeled in Tupperware. I was like, “What am I getting myself into?” I had a breakdown because the girls put so much effort into their appearance and I do not. It’s not my thing.” — Sarah Herron, Sean Lowe’s season

And you don’t get paid to be a contestant (though you do get something to be the bachelor/bachelorette)

“You don’t do The Bachelor to make money, I will say that. There are opportunities post-Bachelor sometimes, but as the bachelor they really just match whatever you’d be making in the real world during the months that it tapes. And then you have the experience that kind of pays for the rest.” — Ben Higgins

Ben Higgins' Instagram
Ben Higgins’ Instagram

Producers don’t show un-romantic conversations — like those about religion and money

“I would never have proposed to Lauren if our faith wasn’t talked about before our engagement. But I think I get it when I watch the show back. Yeah, it’d be great to have that shown, but as far as the overall storyline, the overall storyline is that we fell in love, and that’s a beautiful thing. And that’s what was shown. But yeah, those conversations are definitely had, but a lot later. Not had with every woman there. They usually take place a couple weeks down the road.” — Ben Higgins

Getting a rose means making a fool out of yourself

“And the seven episodes I made it through were torture for me. I had zero friends—I was the unpopular outsider who never found a clique. I was scared and anxious and lonely. Ben barely knew I was alive and even the producers started giving up on me. I’d never been a quitter so, as Courtney would say, I pulled on my big girl panties and decided to try hard one last time to capture Ben’s heart. Chris Harrison encouraged me to “open up” and in Bachelor terms that meant two things.

1. Open up about something traumatic…
2. Do something sexual. Ben had already made out with everyone in our house, except for me. As we all know by now, this would be difficult because I was still the most awkward person on the planet sexually. But I wasn’t a quitter and Ben didn’t deserve Option No. 1 so I decided to go with Option No. 2.” — Jamie Otis, Ben Flajnik’s season

Filming the rose ceremony takes all night

“We didn’t start until 7 at night and we didn’t finish until 8 in the morning!” — Leslie Hughes, Sean Lowe’s season

You don’t actually get to eat any of the nice food on the fancy dinner dates

“Before we [he and the girls] went on the date[s], the producers sent food to our hotel rooms. We ate in our rooms and then went out for dinner.” — Sean Lowe

The psychological testing is actually insane

“They lock you in a hotel room for three days and give you a psychological evaluation.” — Jesse Csincsak, Deanna Pappas’ season

Lauren Bushnell Instagram
Lauren Bushnell Instagram

You have to stay together for two years after the show — or give up your Neil Lane diamond

“The Bachelorette‘s standard contract specifies that the ring remains the property of the show’s producers unless the couple remains together for two consecutive years. They do not have to marry within that time period.” — Radar Online

The fantasy suite isn’t as sexy as it seems

“It’s the first time that you can put your guard down in terms of just turning things off. Lauren and I sat in silence for the first time on our fantasy suite date. Having just even that night with her allowed me to see, like, I would just love to spend every night with her. I think there’s a stigma behind the fantasy suite date that’s sometimes correct, sometimes isn’t, but really that is an important date. It should be a week during The Bachelor that fans look at and say, there’s gonna be a lot that happens that can sway a decision.” — Ben Higgins

Courtney Robertson Instagram
Courtney Robertson Instagram

But people **are** having sex on the show

“To answer your question, yes. Ben and I did have sex in the ocean. On-camera. It was immediate but it was only for about 20 seconds and, um, it was just the tip.” — Courtney Robertson, Ben Flajnik’s season

and also this gem:

“We did every position under the sun, but I believe I sealed the deal when we successfully completed the reverse cowgirl.” — Courtney Robertson, Ben Flajnik’s season

Producers make the girls redo their date looks to interview them after the fact

“They want to make it seem like we’re on that same location with a similar background, so they would tell me what my outfit was and what my hair and makeup was like and I had to do it. This was annoying when I wanted my hair to be straight for the night but had pickups during the day.” — Catherine Lowe, Sean Lowe’s season

Sometimes the bachelor/bachelorette decide long before the final rose ceremony

“There are a lot of special moments that the camera doesn’t capture. My favorite was when Sean [Lowe] slipped me a note during our flight to St. Croix. He did it secretively so no one else could see. He had crossed out the destination on his airline ticket and written ‘Snugglesville’ instead…letting me know he wanted to cuddle with me and no one else.” — Catherine Lowe, Sean Lowe’s season

The women still find time for… personal exploration

“Luckily, most of us had brought vibrators. Some of the girls would names their sex toys and sing songs about them when we were going to bed. I highly advise all future contestants to pack a vibrator. You’re going to need it!” — Lacy Faddoul, Juan Pablo’s season

Andi Dorfman Instagram
Andi Dorfman Instagram

The hometown dates aren’t always their actual homes

“I have heard that some people will do their hometown in a different house…like an uncle’s house or a rich grandfather’s house.” — Andi Dorfman

You’re not allowed phones or internet access, or even magazines or books

“Well, you can’t leave the mansion or hotel you’re staying at. We’d sometimes get 30 minutes of gym time. Actually, there was one time they allowed us to get our nails done, and it was a big deal. There are these things called “dark days” on the day after the rose-ceremony taping. Rose ceremonies last until 4 a.m. or 6 a.m. so the next day is dark. One time, they allowed us to watch movie. Another time, we went to a spa and could get two things done.” — Catherine Lowe, Sean Lowe’s season

“When the cameras aren’t rolling, they don’t want you to talk to anyone. And there are no phones, computers, newspapers, nothing. Only producers. Your body becomes starved for a connection with anyone, which makes it easier to fall in love. You’re starving for that intimacy. It was like Stockholm syndrome, but it’s a TV show.” — Jillian Harris

Jillian Harris Instagram
Jillian Harris Instagram

Producers will try to make participants lose ‘undesirable’ accents

“Apparently they didn’t like my Canadian accent so they had me go to speech therapy, but after three or four classes, the producers realized I was losing my quirkiness so they cancelled the classes. I wasn’t offended because I was the show’s first out-of-country person. They were just afraid Americans wouldn’t be able to connect.” — Jillian Harris

Chris Harrison gives good beauty tips

“Chris Harrison, who became a good friend, taught me this one: Midol with caffeine. I’d take one on days that I was tired and bloated. It’s a diuretic. If my face was puffy, it would debloat me, and it has a painkiller so it made my feet feel better in heels. Now, before I go out at night, I’ll take one an hour before. It’s really no different from taking Advil.” — Jillian Harris Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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