Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: Why is The Bachelor / The Bachelorette so popular? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
1. It’s not believable.
Falling in love on a reality show with other contestants isn’t something that happens in real life. It goes against this fantasy that we grow up believing that you have your soul mate and that you live happily ever after and falling in love is simple. The Bachelor or The Bachelorette could be your soulmate, but instead of just you meeting them for the first time, you’re typically meeting them at the same time as 24 other contestants. Also, the timeline for most relationships isn’t within the span of a few months where you date until you’re the last one standing and then you get engaged. The television series is a relationship on steroids.
2. People like drama.
If reality television has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t get enough of drama. I don’t envy these contestants. The competition and being stuck in this house with people you don’t want to be friends with and watching the person you like date other people at the same time has to be difficult. Women always get the bad rap for being the “drama queens,” but because the show has spun off into “The Bachelorette” it proves that guys can have just as much drama.
Finding love is challenging enough already, but the reality television series takes it up a notch with competitions littered throughout the season. Not only are you competing with other contestants to be the last one getting the final rose, but there are competitions everywhere including all of their group dates, two-on-one dates, the first impression rose, the one liner out of the limo, and alone time at the cocktail parties before the rose ceremonies.
4. Someone to root for.
In every season, there’s always someone that you are introduced to that you hope will make it to the very end. Even though it’s a reality show, we like to think that these are people that we see a little bit of ourselves in and that we can relate to. I was really conflicted during Sean Lowe’s season because Desiree Hartsock was the contestant that I felt I identified the most with in terms of personality, but then Catherine Giudici was the underdog that flew under the radar and was from Seattle. It was a tough call, but I was really happy that Catherine ended up being Sean’s pick and even though Desiree got let go earlier she still found love in the end when she was picked to become the next Bachelorette.
5. You’re not alone.
Bachelor Nation is strong and there’s always someone that you know that watches the series. Throughout college, my roommate and I would have people over in our dorm room to watch the series with us after we’d finished our homework. At work, we have a group of fans that discusses the episode every Tuesday after we’ve watched it…and a private Slack channel to discuss all of the Bachelor/Bachelorette gossip.
As much as you want to hate it, you can’t! I try to convince myself before every season starts that I don’t love the next Bachelor or Bachelorette enough to watch an entire season about them finding love, or that I’m too busy, or that it’s time to let the show go already, but it never works.