Single, Mingle, Marriage

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette: How many relationships actually make it off the shows?

Paige Smith | Contributing Writer

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Lights, camera, action. The quiet one, the outgoing one, the promiscuous one and the motherly one are just a few of the girls chosen to represent the potential suitor for the bachelor. The only thing that was talked about more than Beyonce and Jay-Z’s duet during Grammy(s) weekend was the live wedding of The Bachelor alumni, Sean and Catherine. After the proposal this previous season, they were married Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have only produced a total of five successful relationships resulting in marriages out of the 25 previous seasons. One of the most infamous of these relationships developed in season 13 of The Bachelor when Jason Mesnick proposed to Melissa Rycroft and later explained that he changed his mind and wanted to be with the runner-up, Molly Mesnick.

In her book, My Reality, that came out in 2011, Melissa Rycroft wrote, “Once we got back [from New Zealand] we both kind of sat in the real world, and we were talking about how it was different and it in all fairness, I think it is when you take the cameras away.”

Developing a relationship in front of a camera can be seen as abnormal. The wonderment of what goes on when the cameras are off could be a question asked by even the most disinterested person. The downtime couples have in-between filming and airing the show is when reality sets in which could be a factor in the failed relationships. Some relationships may not be strong enough to handle the pressure of keeping that kind of secret from family, friends and even the media.

Rycroft wrote in her memoir: “Our connection didn’t feel as real as it had there [New Zealand]. One main reason for this was that I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I had to come home, resume my normal life, and pretend this journey had never happened—and that took a lot of the emotion out of the whole thing.”

Like this story, each season has had its own share of heartbreak and love; the other failed relationships have deteriorated within a month to a year after the season finale aired.

“I think most of the relationships are forced on TV, and as soon as they go off-camera the dynamic changes and so does the relationship,” junior communications major, Hendrik Schotanus said.

Men and women go on the show in hopes of finding true love and someone to match what they are looking for in a potential spouse.

“What people don’t realize is that it is all staged. None of the situations would happen outside of the context of the show. With the shows like The Bachelor, honestly, they pick a person who you can pretty much tell from the beginning who is going to win. Everything is done intentionally,” sophomore biblical studies and youth ministry major, Meredith Bird said.

Bird thinks every girl is cast for a special reason and that the show relies heavily on casting, not randomly picking women to be on the show.

“I think from day one, the producers and the guy know whom they are going to pick, which is why it doesn’t work out the majority of the time,” Bird said.

If the show is chosen with specific types of individuals in mind, it could be a result of aiming for the highest ratings and the network’s desires. However, it is possible that even the 21 percent of relationships that have become the show’s success stories can be marked as true love.

“As corny and cliché as it sounds, I am a fan of love and people’s pursuits of it. I legitimately enjoy watching people on their love journey. You can get to know these 25 people in a span of nine weeks. You can build some connections to them and it really draws me in,” Scott Kolmer, an APU graduate student said.

Viewers can benefit from watching the show by deciding what type of personality and characteristics they look for in a potential significant other.

The Bachelor can bring happiness to participants in the sense of developing a relationship that can potentially lead to true love or simply to a better understanding of what kind of spouse they are looking to spend the rest of their life with.

“I’m a fan, I know a lot of people aren’t, but give it a chance: watch a full season and let it take over your emotions, and you will change your mind,” Kolmer said.

The Bachelor airs on Sunday nights at 8pm EST on ABC.


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