The Bachelor makes huge change to time slot amid ratings slump

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·Lifestyle & Entertainment producer
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Reality TV fans were shocked during Thursday night’s episode of The Bachelor when Channel 10 decided to extend their usual time slot, resulting in over two hours of dates, cocktail parties and roses.

Yep, from 7:30pm up until 9:45pm, the dating show aired back to back episodes in what’s thought to be a series first.

Bachelor Jimmy.
Channel 10 aired a double episode of The Bachelor on Thursday night. Photo: Channel 10

Keeping in theme with its movie length, the double episode delivered non-stop cinematic drama and pandemonium.

The first bombshell dropped within the first few minutes when it was revealed that clear front-runner Brooke had to temporarily leave the mansion to be with her family after her grandfather’s passing.

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Carlie experienced her first single date and the bachelorettes went ‘back to school’ in a group date to determine who was the best debater and competitor.

Chaotic queen Sierah astounded everyone when she didn’t receive a rose and had to leave, and the shocks kept coming when Laura became the first girl to be refused a kiss from Jimmy in what was both extremely awkward but heartbreaking TV.

Five of the contestant’s mothers appeared on a group date to interrogate Jimmy before a false rumour spread around the mansion that Jay didn’t want kids and almost jeopardised her chance at finding love.

And just when you thought the drama was over, Rebekah decided to speak up mid-rose ceremony and said she wanted to leave.

Bachelor Jimmy and Laura.
Laura became the first girl to be refused a kiss from Bachelor Jimmy. Photo: Channel 10

It was speculated that the changed time slot is so Channel 10 can push out as many episodes of the dating series ASAP due to record-low ratings.

Jimmy Nicholson’s premiere episode received only 482,000 viewers, which is a large drop from Bachelor Locky Gilbert’s premiere seen by 681,000 people last year.

However, Channel 10 have said that Thursday night’s episode, as well as next Wednesday night's episode, was always planned to be a double.

Bachelor contestants.
Fans said they found the double episode “boring”. Photo: Channel 10

Fans online were clearly not impressed with Channel 10’s shake up, with many saying they were “confused”.

“Do not understand why we need double eps, haven’t we suffered enough?” one person tweeted.

“I was so excited for this double episode thinking there was going to be so much extra drama. I am wallowing in despair that it’s just two normal episodes stuck together,” another added.

“Literally no one wanted a double episode. Surely many people have fallen asleep and made the ratings worse than they were right?” someone else pointed out.

"Back to back Bachelor episodes is almost as bad as back to back lockdowns,” a fourth wrote.

“This episode is so long 10play just asked if I was still watching,” a different user joked.

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