If you love hate-watching the Bachelor, bitching about how much Arie sucks, and diving into the nitty gritty details behind what goes down in the Fantasy Suite, you have to read this book. If you think that the Bachelor/ette is a wholesome family show in which nothing is edited and contestants have a lot of freedom, you also need to read this book. Amy Kaufman had unprecedented access to the Bachelor as a TV writer in LA and she has now exposed the secrets behind those crying ITM moments, those fairytale dates, and the women’s wardrobes.
This book doesn’t just tell us what we already know: they edit the women heavily, ply them with booze, and push everyone towards an engagement. It also looks at the background of Mike Fleiss, the creator of the Bachelor, and puts the Bachelor we know and love in conversation with other dating shows of the past, including Joe Millionaire and Love Match. Kaufman talks to people who worked for Fleiss throughout production of his various shows, who saw things actually go down that never made it on TV, and really just gets the details we need to know. As someone who reads Reality Steve and likes getting the inside scoop but also being above it all, this was the perfect book for me.
One of the chapters I liked best explored the sex dynamics on the show and how it is so wildly different for men and women. Some of the early Bachelor men slept with half the women on their show, many before the Fantasy Suite, but when Kaitlyn Bristowe took Nick Viall back to her hotel room two weeks before the Fantasy Suite it was the end of the world, she was slut-shamed all over the internet, etc. But when Nick Viall asked Andi Dorfman why she made love to him if she wasn’t in love with him people lambasted him for exposing her secrets and trying to slut-shame her. Kaufman explores these dynamics by talking to people involved, producers, and psychologists, and I found it really eye-opening.
At the end of the day, I highly recommend this book to anyone who watches reality TV. The Bachelor may be the most well-known, but you KNOW other shows employ these crazy tactics, which Kaufman explores ing great detail. Also, this may be the only time you find out EXACTLY how to get on the Bachelor and what the application and audition process is like. It’s a must read.