On Monday night, ABC News aired a special edition of 20/20 called Inside The Bachelor: Stories Behind the Rose. And while the special didn’t offer anything groundbreaking, viewers were given an in-depth look at what makes the hit reality show work.
With 14 seasons of The Bachelor and 5 seasons of The Bachelorette already in the can (with Season 6 of The Bachelorette currently filming), this franchise shows no signs of slowing down.
Most interesting was the commentary from series Executive Producer, Mike Fleiss. He made no bones about how he likes scandal and controversy on the show- and seeing brokenhearted girls crying makes it all the merrier. Fleiss has become a master of “turning lemons into lemonade”. Examples? The recent scandal involving contestant Rozlyn Papa and a producer. Also, Jason Mesnick’s on-air break up with Melissa Rycroft brought the show a ton of publicity.
Fleiss also seems to relish in finding who is on the show to find love- or to further their career. The show portrayed Season 5 Bachelorette contestant Wes Hayden as a villain out to further his career as a country music singer. One of the biggest “scandals” on that season was the Hayden allegedly had a girlfriend back home while he was pursuing Bachelorette Jillian Harris, although Hayden has claimed all along that he did not have a girlfriend while during the time he was on the show. Fleiss also revealed that only about half of the contestants go on the show to find love. The others have their own agendas.
There were a few juicy tidbits leaked. ABC footed the bill for Bachelor Matt Grant to get some dental work done before his stint on The Bachelor:London Calling (the cost: $20,000).Season 4 Bachelor, funnyman Bob Guiney, apparently hooked up with the most ladies on his season. And Melissa Rycroft, famously thought to be blindsided when Jason Mesnick dumped her on the Season 13 After the Final Rose show, knew her relationship with Mesnick was done- she just didn’t know he was still in love with Molly Malaney.
The most telling? The interview with the original “Most Hated Bachelor” (before Mesnick). Season 11 Bachelor, Brad Womack, who broke up with both DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft at his final rose ceremony, seems to be the most sane one out of everyone. He knew neither girl was right for him so he decided not to lead either one on. He ended up with a lot of fallout from that sensible decision, and admitted that he had become somewhat of a recluse over the past few years.
All in all, The Bachelor: Stories Behind the Rose was some good fluff to tide fans over until May, when Ali Fedotowsky’s stint as The Bachelorette airs.
Sources: 20/20: The Bachelor: Stories Behind the Rose, March 15, 2010, ABC TV