This year’s The Bachelor is about to launch on our screens tonight at a perfect time to take our minds off lockdown and Covid worries but just what goes into the filming of such an epic reality show?
For those who have watched US drama based on the American version of the show, UnREAL, you may be disappointed to know that not everything is as calculated and manipulated as that. But our show does have its secrets too.
What’s it like living in the mansion?
It may look like a French chateau but it’s certainly not as glamorous as you’d expect moving into a million-dollar mansion. Firstly the girls share rooms, sleeping in bunk beds more akin to a youth hostel. This year’s mansion in Dural, west of Sydney has six spacious bedrooms the girls shared but at least it had 12 bathrooms.
"Our mansion was three quite big rooms and all the girls were in bunk beds in the rooms," Brittany Hockley shared on her podcast with Laura Byrne, Life Uncut. "In my room, it was actually 14 girls all in bunk beds and obviously that dwindled down," she added. "It was like being on school camp which was probably one of the funnest and one of the most difficult parts of the whole thing as well."
Also, you don’t get a lot of time to yourself, or time to sleep! "You're expected to wake up whenever producers tell you to," one source from last year’s show told Woman’s Day. "You barely get a chance to rest because you're going to bed at 1am and being woken at sunrise. It's such an exhausting process, you have to be on call 24/7!"
How long does it take to film?
While the whole season takes a couple of months to film, the most gruelling is probably the first episode. It usually takes two days to film but on Sam Frost's season of The Bachelorette it took four days.
"We'll usually film it over two nights. But for me actually, I got ready for the arrivals on one night and then you do your getting ready shots, put your lip gloss on, and then they did meeting Osher in one night," she told 2DayFM.
"Then the second night you go back, put on the same thing, do arrivals, a little bit of the cocktail party, chat to a few people," she went on to say. "Then by the third night of getting ready, 'did the rose ceremony' and on the fourth day you get it all back [on] again and do the pieces to camera." Phew - let's hope Jimmy had an easier ride!
Are the contestants paid?
Well, it all depends on what you consider payment. The contestants give up a number of months in their lives, often taking unpaid leave or having to quit their jobs so the TV channel compensates them for that.
"It’s not a lot — enough to cover their rent, their phone bills … they’re certainly not making a profit from it," the anonymous producer revealed to news.com.au.
Who chooses who can stay and who goes?
"[The Bachelor]’s not told, but he’s guided towards decisions," an insider told Hit radio.
"I think the Bachelor keeps certain people in because it takes the weight off his shoulders. He knows for the show to do well it’s got to be interesting, but it’s hard for him to be interesting the whole time. If he keeps the crazies in, that’s a great show."
Does the Bachie 'you know' with any of the contestants during the run of the show?
In seasons past many people have speculated as to whether the Bachelor has hooked up with any of the contestants while the show is filming.
"Sex definitely does not happen on the show because there’s a duty of care. On overnight dates, there’s always a producer ‘cock blocking’ them, if you will," an anonymous producer said. "They can chat privately, but not even second base".
The Bachelor Australia. Premieres Wednesday, 21 July On 10 And 10 Play On Demand
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