The Fall of “The Bachelor”

From bullying to racist remarks, season 25 may not even be worth watching

picture credit: (ABC)

picture credit: (ABC)

Jaelyn Sprague, Staff Writer

“The Bachelor” season 25 has been one that is truly like no other, for better and for worse.

The season appears to be something new with a progressive lead in Matt James, the first black bachelor, and the illusion of interesting and endearing contestants to cheer on. However, there has been so much controversy and manufactured drama that, as a viewer, it kind of takes away the novelty of the show. 

“The Bachelor” is a reality TV dating contest in which contestants compete for the love of one bachelor/bachelorette. The series takes place over a couple of months as contestants go on group dates, one-on-ones, travel the world, and get eliminated week by week until the final rose is given.

Now, tension and drama is not something new to “The Bachelor,” this along with the debate of forged or real connection, proves to be the main appeals of the show. The problem with this season is that all the on screen drama seems too manufactured, and the producer intervention is too apparent.

Some of the most notable events of the season thus far have been the various and consistent accusations of bullying among the contestants. As for producer created drama, they are bringing in new contestants when the process is well underway, constantly making toxic and competitive group dates, and adding a contestant in the week before “hometown dates” just to send them home. 

Watching this season has felt so draining because every week there has been a new conflict that has been created. While I am sure it has been difficult to make the show interesting during quarantine, I do not think shifting the focus from the relationship to focus on more drama is the way to maintain interest in this season. 

It is interesting because what makes “The Bachelor” so appealing is how ridiculous the premise is; all reality tv is dramatic, so this premise is what sets the show apart. The intrigue in “The Bachelor” series is the concept of one person dating over 30 other people at one time, the viewer is most interested in the drama that that creates in itself.

All of these complaints and critiques of the show do not even begin to mention the consistent “race problems” the show has had. Most recently a contestant from this season, Rachel Kirkconnell, was exposed for attending an Old South antebellum party in 2018 and was accused of bullying people in highschool for liking black men.

This recent issue totally exemplifies the problem with this season’s contestants because it took Kirkconnell six weeks to apologize since the news first came out. Not to mention Chris Harrison, long time host of the show, defending her actions to one of the only two black bachelorettes, Rachael Lindsey, in a very ignorant manner.

This begs the question, is still worth it to support the show? While it looks like they have been trying to be more progressive with their cast, this comes after 24 seasons of white leads and mostly white contestants. Is it better to watch a show that I once enjoyed and hope it changes for the better? Or would it be more useful to support a show that has less controversy and is more true to itself? Those are the pressing questions for many loyal viewers like myself.