Los Angeles Occasions employees author Amy Kaufman’s new ebook, “Bachelor Nation: Contained in the World of America’s Favourite Responsible Pleasure” (Dutton, out March 6), pulls again the velvet curtains on one of many highest-rated actuality exhibits on tv, ABC’s “The Bachelor.” And it’s not all rose petals and champagne flutes. Kaufman reveals that the present’s supervising producer, Scott Jeffress, would inspire the opposite producers with money, holding a wad of $100 payments for anybody who delivered the products. “The primary producer to get tears? 100 bucks! You get [the bachelor] to make out with the precise lady? 100 bucks! Catch a chick puking on-camera? 100 bucks!”
The circumstances within the “Bachelor” mansion set the stage for a chaotic, nerve-racking setting: Contestants “typically sleep 12 to a room in bunk beds,” and so they aren’t allowed to depart the property, take heed to music, learn books or magazines, work out or compensate for the information.
“It’s all a part of a well-designed producer technique known as ‘The Bubble,’” writes Kaufman.
“Contained in the bubble, all that issues is the present.”
However how do you get into the bubble? On this excerpt, Kaufman reveals who will get on “The Bachelor.”
After filling out an intensive utility and submitting 5 to 15 footage of themselves, candidates should produce a “well-lit” video of themselves “dressed as if going to a pleasant dinner,” displaying off their condo, their pets, and speaking about what their final fantasy date can be.
If the producers determine they’re all in favour of a possible contestant, that particular person can be invited to return to LA for certainly one of two remaining audition weekends — all bills paid — to satisfy the manufacturing staff in particular person.
A 150-question persona take a look at is crammed with multiple-choice and true-or-false questions: Do you’ve got out-of-body experiences? Do you assume you possibly can management issues together with your thoughts? Have you ever ever wished to kill somebody? A few of these questions can be requested a number of instances, with totally different wording.
The subsequent day, a Saturday, they might be escorted to a room to have a one-on-one interview with a producer. There would probably be candles and temper lighting.
After 20 minutes of talking with the producer privately, they might be walked to an adjoining room, the place they might be greeted by roughly two dozen producers sitting stadium-style. The producers would have the potential contestants sit down and would begin asking them questions, rapid-fire. Had they watched the final season of “The Bachelorette”? Did any of the blokes stand out? What had been they on the lookout for in a person? What was their dream job? If they might have that dream job in the event that they reduce off certainly one of their limbs, would they do it? Would they somewhat have a DDD bra cup or write a canopy story for Vogue?
Simply because the questions began to turn out to be extra outlandish, the producers would wrap up the session and a handler would take the particular person to satisfy with the present’s therapist. From 2002 by way of summer time 2017, that was Dr. Catherine Selden.
‘We lose loads of nice potential characters as a result of we’re so powerful and stringent … Anybody who has any type of borderline persona dysfunction or instability … we simply can’t take the chance.’
In accordance with the California Board of Psychology, Selden is a state-licensed psychologist who graduated from Pepperdine College and has no disciplinary actions in opposition to her license. She was at all times made out there to contestants all through the season — she was not a presence on set however emerged any time she was requested — and solid members had been supposed to satisfy along with her after they had been eradicated.
However contestants had been first acquainted with Dr. Selden throughout the casting course of. So she can be in possession of the persona take a look at that they had beforehand crammed out and would spend roughly an hour asking questions on it.
At instances, she would get private: Had they ever cheated on anybody? Did they’ve a historical past of psychological sickness or melancholy? Did they ever drink an excessive amount of? Did they ever get into fights after they had been drunk?
Subsequent, the handler would deliver them to a personal investigator. This particular person can be skilled to dig up any skeletons within the closet — partly to make use of for his or her storyline but additionally to get forward of any tabloid tales that would come to the floor in the event that they had been on the present. Had they ever been arrested? Had they ever despatched nude images to anybody? Had they ever made a intercourse tape? Had they gotten a DUI?
Lastly, the potential contestant can be taken for a medical examination. Samples of their blood and urine can be collected. These samples can be examined for medicine and sexually transmitted illnesses. They’d fill out their medical historical past and reply questions on their well being. In the event that they had been on any treatment, they might inform the medical skilled, who would need to know whether or not they would wish their capsules throughout manufacturing.
If it turned out the particular person had an STD, they might be taken out of the working instantly. And apparently, that’s the highest motive candidates don’t make it onto the present.
“As quickly because the medical exams got here again, you’d see that herpes was the most important factor,” stated Ben Hatta, [creator and executive producer] Mike Fleiss’s outdated assistant. “And typically you’d be the primary particular person to inform a contestant that that they had herpes. You’d be like, ‘Uh, it’s best to name your physician.’ Why? ‘We’re not going to have the ability to have you ever on our present, however it’s best to name your physician.’
“Then they’d notice they’d been denied from ‘The Bachelor’ and now a bunch of individuals knew that they had herpes.”
As for the psychological testing, Fleiss likes to say that “The Bachelor” has among the most thorough background checks within the enterprise.
“We’re actually cautious about who we let on the present,” he stated on the Banff World Media Competition in 2012. “We lose loads of nice potential characters as a result of we’re so powerful and stringent . . . Anybody who has any type of borderline persona dysfunction or instability or any type of previous involving contemplation of suicide — we simply can’t take the chance. We simply don’t.”
However based on quite a few producers who’ve labored on “The Bachelor,” the foundations aren’t at all times that strict.
“There’s psychological exams they need to cross, however there’s a window of the cross, have you learnt what I imply?” insinuated Michael Carroll, the producer who received so near contestants that he even crashed of their rooms sometimes. “You’d know there’d be a risk of [someone] being form of unhinged — like, she handed, however simply barely. You may see it on the casting occasions throughout the interviews: ‘Oh, this chick goes to go f–king nuts. She’s superb.’ ”
Say, for instance, Carroll instructed a lady to explain her past love. You don’t need the lady who says her first boyfriend performed lacrosse and went to Harvard. You need the lady who dated a man who rode a bike and was the bane of her mother and father’ existence. “You need the lady who’s like, ‘Oh, he was tremendous cool and we might go f–okay in his mother and father’ pool,’ ” Carroll defined. “You get the sensation of who pops on TV and who’s coming unhinged and who’s gonna go for it.”
Rozlyn PapaABCRozlyn Papa, an notorious “Bachelor” villain, recalled her session with Dr. Selden being notably troubling. The psychologist requested Papa if she had ever struggled with psychological sickness, and the one mom was candid about her battle with melancholy. Although she wasn’t feeling low on the time, she was sincere about the truth that melancholy was an ongoing situation in her life.
“In the event that they had been actually making an attempt to guard you, you’d assume that may be type of a crimson flag and they’d say, ‘Properly, perhaps that is somebody who can’t deal with this type of strain,’” stated Papa, who ended up getting kicked off Jake Pavelka’s season in 2010. “However as an alternative, it was nearly like, ‘OK, good. You’re good for the present. You’re going to cry. You’re going to say some actually screwed-up stuff.’ it, I can see why I mustn’t have been a candidate.”
Contestants signal contracts during which they have to comply with be filmed as much as 24 hours a day, seven days every week. However this will even be “by way of hidden cameras and microphones,” based on the contract — that means they’re probably going to be caught, sooner or later, in a less-than-positive mild. They need to have “no expectation of privateness.”
Moreover, as a result of it is a actuality present, contestants should acknowledge that “components of shock” can be included. They have to be “ready for something,” together with “twists” and “surprises.”
“Producers or others related to the present,” the contract reads, “might deliberately or unintentionally make misrepresentations or omissions regarding the Collection.” Mainly: The producers can mislead the contestants, and that’s completely kosher.
After which there’s this clause: I UNDERSTAND, ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT PRODUCER MAY USE OR REVEAL PERSONAL INFORMATION WHICH MAY BE EMBARRASSING, UNFAVORABLE, SHOCKING, HUMILIATING, DISPARAGING, AND/OR DEROGATORY, MAY SUBJECT ME TO PUBLIC RIDICULE AND/OR CONDEMNATION, AND MAY PORTRAY ME IN A FALSE LIGHT.
In different phrases: If you happen to get drunk, bare, or simply downright bitchy, come off wanting horrible, after which lose all your mates and your job? That’s on you. Even worse, something embarrassing that you just do on the present — whether or not you had been “clothed, partially clothed, or bare” or “conscious or unaware” of being filmed — is owned by the franchise ceaselessly.
Although everybody on the present is suggested to “chorus from all types of violence and intimidation,” you may be in “shut bodily proximity” to contestants who might exhibit “bodily or verbal aggression.”
Within the yr following the finale of your season, you have to be out there to participate in a “affordable quantity” of interviews, photograph shoots, and chats for publicity.
You additionally need to agree to participate in any particular episodes of the present — like “After the Closing Rose” or different reunions — for 3 years.
Roses earlier than being handed out to “Bachelor” contestantsGetty ImagesAnd for those who make it to the top of “The Bachelor” and determine to get married throughout the two years following the present, the producers personal the unique rights to your wedding ceremony. In the event that they train these rights, they’re solely going to pay you $10,000 per hour of televised programming about your union. As for the ring given to you by Neil Lane? You don’t personal it — and subsequently can’t promote it — for 2 years.
Given all these pointers, the query stays: Why would anybody comply with go on this rattling present? Don’t the dangers very clearly outweigh the advantages?
There are many former contestants who admitted, outright, that they merely didn’t learn the contract. They wished to be on TV and figured, “What the hell? How dangerous might issues get?”
Hardly ever, it appeared, had been previous contestants sincere about what drew them to be on a actuality present — probably as a result of that may imply admitting to being sad with the monotony of their off-screen lives.
“Give it some thought,” reasoned Papa. “Nearly all of women on that present both don’t have a job, or they’ve a job the place they’ll depart for six weeks. You’re ladies who aren’t actually in a stable place in life, and possibly have points with id or love or shallowness.”
Tailored from “Bachelor Nation: Contained in the World of America’s Favourite Responsible Pleasure” by Amy Kaufman, to be printed on March 6, 2018, by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random Home, LLC. Copyright © 2018 by Amy Kaufman.