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Bachelor Nation Review: A Franchise That Will Soon Implode

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

“I’m here to find love.” It’s something almost every contestant of the ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ have said at some point in their time on the show. Is it really true, though? 

If you’re a superfan, or saw any Tiktok or Twitter posts relating to week four’s episode of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ (the show where ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ contestants who did not find love then date each other),  then you’re probably familiar with the Natasha Parker, Brendan Morais and Pieper James love triangle drama. 

In an unedited clip it has been speculated that Morais and James made a plan prior to coming on the show to gain followers. Morais went on to the show first, and then chose Parker to start a connection with but never planned to continue further with her. He planned to wait for James and then stay together the rest of the time. 

This is not the first time the franchise has seen people join the show to gain followers. In season 17 of the ‘Bachelorette’, Katie Thurston sent home Thomas Jacobs after he revealed that he joined the show to become the next Bachelor lead. 

In season 15, Hannah Brown faced the same problem as Thurston. Brown got engaged to Jed Wyatt, who later revealed in the season finale that he had a girlfriend while filming and wanted to further his music career. 

In more recent seasons of the show, there appears to continually be drama between contestants and the leads over who is there for the right reasons. This could be attributed to the fact that nearly every contestant will still gain near-celebrity status the longer they are on the show. 

On Thurston’s season, her fiance Blake Moynes gained 221,000 followers by finale night while Thurston herself only gained 133,000. On Matt James’ season, the final two contestants, Rachael Kirkconnell and Michelle Young gained around 113,000 and 143,000 followers. 

In my opinion, there is a huge difference between recent seasons and older seasons. The more recent seasons appear to be more focused on the drama and becoming famous, while older seasons have a greater emphasis on actually falling in love. The ratings reflect the differences between newer and older seasons.

Ever since Desiree Hartsock’s season, the ‘Bachelorette’ ratings have slowly decreased with Thurston’s seasons having the lowest ratings. Hartsock’s finale had 9 million viewers whereas Thurston only had around 4 million. The trend is similar for the ‘Bachelor’. In Matt James’ season had nearly half the ratings of Sean Lowe. 

Now, these low ratings could be from recent controversies the show has faced, such as a sexual assault scandal and Rachael Kirkconnell’s questionable pas, and not simply from contestants wanting to become influencers. However, if the ratings continue to decline in the next few years, ABC network could be in trouble. 

Considering the amount of money the show makes, the network needs the franchise to continue to prosper so the network can continue to make money.

There are some suggestions on how ABC can boost ratings. Let’s say the show puts in a new policy in the contract for all of their contestants. This policy could only allow ordinary folks with no platforms to join the show. To ensure this, casting producers could specifically search for these kinds of people with more in-depth interviews.  

Another policy the show could put in place is to have contestants sign a document simply stating they will not leave the show to become an influencer. That may sound drastic, but this is a show that does not even allow contestants to listen to music during filming.

Listen, I love this show. I want it to continue, but not like this. I’m tired of the same argument every season about who is on there to become famous or who is on to find love.

Ava Cowles

American '24

Ava is a sophomore at American University and is majoring in Legal Studies. She is passionate about social justice movements, women's rights, reality tv, and all things Taylor Swift. Ava is a contributing writer for HCAU and is excited to spend the next three years in DC.
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