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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

So, I’ve been binging this show on Hulu called Unreal, and let me tell you, it’s unreal. The show is technically fiction and it’s about a group of people who work on the set of a show like The Bachelor but, instead, it’s called Everlasting. This show is crazy, and even though it’s not a documentary or factual, some of the stuff that the people on set do in order to make the show good is insane. This show got me thinking about what happens on the sets of actual reality TV shows such as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. How much manipulation goes on behind the scenes? Now, I know I’m not the only one who wonders about this and lucky for you, I did all the work for you – so now all you have to do is read this one article to make up your mind about these shows. 

First and foremost, out of the research I’ve done, it does not seem like there are ever any scripts, so that’s good! However, the drama cannot possibly be raw footage. In an article about The Bachelor, former contestants exposed the show, talking about different plots that they planned. For example, Raven Gates, who was on Nick Viall’s season, said that she used to stay up with the producers and plan out the next day’s drama, which honestly isn’t that surprising. However, the drama seems to be pretty real. Of course, all of these women are fighting over one guy, so they all kinda hate each other. The producers know this for a fact, so they try to prompt these women to stir up drama with their preexisting anger towards the other contestants. I would say that in terms of the drama, the show’s staff does do some tampering, but nothing crazy like in the show I’m watching, phew!

One thing that was really bothering me while thinking about these shows was the mental health and stability of the contestants — are they okay? Turns out, not really. In another article, contestants spoke about the hardships of being on either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, and it’s pretty bad. For example, many contestants will quit their jobs to go on these shows. It seems like the producers act as though they will be very hirable when they get back…LIARS! Many contestants, including JJ Lane from season 11, said it was very difficult getting a job after being on the show. Lane said that after the show, everyone knew who he was, and “employers see it as a distraction,” making it incredibly difficult to secure a job. 

Another thing that I found absolutely shocking was the fact that contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette don’t get paid. So, these people quit their full-time jobs that pay the bills, join a reality TV show, all while hoping that it gets them fame and maybe a ring on the finger. I’m sorry, but I could never take that kind of risk; hats off to those contestants! The stars, however, do get paid fairly well for being on the show, which, I think, is well-deserved considering everything they had to leave behind to get there. 

There are a lot more surprises in the Bachelor world, but I think I’ll stop here for suspense. Overall, I’m actually pretty pleased that it’s not entirely constructed and fake. I do feel like it’s unfair to draw out all of this drama and make the contestants look bad, when they’re really just hustling. And I strongly believe all of those people should be getting paid for going through all of that. However, I’m glad the show isn’t a complete joke; so, I’d say The Bachelor and The Bachelorette get a rose … for now. 

Aria Narang

Columbia Barnard '24

Hi! My name is Aria Narang and I absolutely love writing! I am a singer/songwriter and have written over 50 songs and also have a couple of them out on Spotify! I am very excited to write for Her Campus!