You would think that being the star of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is a dream come true. Who wouldn’t want to meet dozens of attractive suitors and gain fame at the same time? Before the show begins, the stars need to sign a long contract full of fine print. In the end, you may think that it isn’t as great as you initially thought. Here are 14 things you never knew about The Bachelor contestants’ contractual obligations.
The Producers Get a Say In Who Stays
If you ever watched these shows, you probably wonder why the lead keeps the villain or the psycho around. There is a good chance that they didn’t want to. The contract states that the lead agrees to follow all of the Producer’s rules, directions, and instructions, including the Participant selection. If the producers want someone around, they stay. They often wield this power, but they also give the lead a say. If the lead isn’t happy, the show won’t work.
There Are Hidden Cameras and Microphones
The contract says that the show’s producers can film the lead 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can also record the lead secretly with hidden cameras and microphones. The one place the lead does have privacy is in the bathroom.
It Has To Look Like a Close Race
Many Bachelors and Bachelorettes know who they are going to pick early on, but they must obey their contract. The contract says that the lead must adhere to the format of the show and eliminate a set number of contestants during each show. If the lead is falling in love, they cannot say anything during filming. This goes against the contract.
Contestants Must Keep It Confidential
Contestants on the show must keep everything confidential until the show has finished airing. They cannot even speak about the show to their family. They sign extensive confidentiality contracts. If they breach any part of the contract, ABC can seek legal recourse or monetary compensation. If you are the lead, you can end up owning $5 million.
The Winner Gets To Keep the Ring But Only if They Stay Together For Two Years
Every season, jeweler Neil Lane comes to show rings to the two remaining contestants. The rings cost an average of $150,000. The contestant can keep the ring only if they stay together for two years straight. They don’t need to get married in those two years, but they do need to stay together. If they don’t, it is in the contract that they must return the ring.
The Leads Don’t Choose the Dates
It isn’t up to the leads where to go for their dates. It is up to the production team, and the dates can be as weird, scary, or romantic as they want. The contract states that the lead will go on any date they are given, no matter how dangerous it is. If the lead is told they are going on a skydiving date or a parasailing date, according to their contract, they have to go.
The Lead Gets Paid
Contestants don’t make anything for being on the show, but the lead earns an average of $100,000. Emily Maynard is the highest-paid lead, and she made $250,000. The money that they earn doesn’t include the money that they can make from Instagram endorsements, spin-off shows, and book deals.
There Is no Internet Access
According to the contract that everyone must sign, there are no books, TV, phones, or internet allowed in the mansion. This also applies to the lead. They don’t allow the lead to have internet access so that they cannot research the contestants. The producers want them to make an unbiased decision.
The Couple Must Go On Secret Dates
After the final show, the lead and the winner cannot be seen out in public until the show airs. This is part of their contract. After the final episode, ABC sends them on a five-day vacation near where the proposal is filmed. After that, every ten days, the couple is taken separately to a safe house, where they are allowed to spend time together. When the final episode airs, they are free to go wherever they would like together.
Promotional Appearances Are a Requirement
When the show is done filming, the happy couple’s job isn’t over. According to their contract, the couple must go to any promotional activities that ABC asks. They are required to do this for up to one year.
Contestants Cannot Date While the Show Is Airing
According to the contract, when the show is still airing, the contestants aren’t allowed to date. If they are seen in public or photographed with someone before the whole season has aired, it can ruin the entire season.
No Politics Please
The Bachelor franchise is against any lead or contestant talking about politics. This is because they don’t want to alienate half of the viewing audience. If a lead or contestant starts talking about politics, the producers move the conversation in a different direction.
ABC Controls the Leads’ Future Projects
When the show ends, ABC can dictate what lead can and cannot do for a certain period of time. For example, after the show, many leads go on Dancing With the Stars. When Kaitlyn Bristowe was asked to be on DWTS, creator Mike Fleiss didn’t let her even though he allowed many male leads to be on the show. His reason was that he didn’t want his contestants looking for fame.
ABC Expects a Televised Wedding
Five Bachelor franchise couples have gotten married since the show began. For many of them, ABC paid for the wedding and televised it. Although they hold certain rights over the wedding ceremony, they don’t always hold the couple to it. When Desiree Hartsock got married, ABC didn’t pay or televise the wedding because they didn’t think it would bring in enough viewers.