A Bachelor Franchise Update

A Bachelor Franchise Update

After turmoil over the past year uncovered the racist behavior of some previous contestants and the departure of Chris Harrison from the Bachelor Nation franchise, this year’s “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and “The Bachelor” are leaving some fans waiting to see how the popular dating shows will pivot accordingly. 

Further, the controversies incited additional conversation regarding the show’s race issues. In a statement, “The Bachelor” franchise stated, “we are dedicated to improving the Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks.”

Seattle University Third-year Criminal Justice major Danielle Miller thought that the performance of inclusion didn’t necessarily add up to be a great season for Bachelor Matt James. 

“Honestly, Matt’s season was a FLOP. They were looking forward to the first Black Bachelor, but he was terribly uncharismatic, made terrible decisions and didn’t give some women a real chance,” Miller said in a written statement to The Spectator.  

James and his final pick Rachel Kirkconnell broke up for a brief period after the show as public backlash surfaced regarding her past. Matt admitted in the reunion episode “After the Final Rose” that he needed “to take a step back” and told Rachael “the work and the reconciliation that needs to be done is work that I can’t do for you.” However, the couple has been seen and is back together.

While disappointed by James’ season, Miller is looking forward to season 18 of “The Bachelorette.”

In the wake of a year riddled with Bachelor Nation scandals, the highly anticipated 18th season of “The Bachelorette” premiered Oct. 19 with Bachelorette Michelle Young leaving audiences eagerly awaiting to see how the rest of the season unfolds. 

“I am excited for Michelle’s season because she is a badass woman and deserves to find love. The rumors I’ve heard of the upcoming Bachelor seem promising, but I hope they keep going with their modernized demographics and feature more women of color,” Miller said.

This season is once again hosted by former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. The search for a permanent Bachelor Nation host continues after Chris Harrison’s exit last year following his remarks towards Rachael Kirkconnell’s past involvement in an antebellum-themed party during Matt James’ turbulent season.

Second-year Nursing student Olivia Gordley started watching shows from the Bachelor franchise years ago with her older sister, and is looking forward to the new season of “The Bachelorette”. From what she’s seen Gordley likes Young.

“I think Michelle is a good bachelorette because they almost never have people of color. I don’t think they’ve had many people of color before that so it’s nice that they’re making that effort,” Gordley said. “I think it’s for show, for sure. Regardless, it’s happening. I think it’s a long time coming, the first Black Bachelorette was only a few years ago, and how did we get this far with it only being white people, how did that happen?”

Gordley thinks that Michelle’s casting represents at least a step in a good direction, even if it may have been from the wrong motivations.

Second-year Psychology major Ellie Strauss is hopeful about the upcoming season, and is appreciative of the diversity the show is working towards. She likes to watch with her friends and her mom, and always looks forward to Bachelor Nation shows for an entertaining Tuesday night.

“A lot of people are die hard fans, they believe in ‘The Bachelor,’ they believe they can find love. I watch it more for the comedic drama purposes of it, I think it’s funny. I like to make fun of a lot of the people who are on it, depending on their personality” Strauss said.

As far as new hosts, Strauss thought a returner could be beneficial to the show.

“I think I like having someone who has already been on the show. A lot of the contestants like to talk to the host to tell them how they’re feeling and I think it’s better if someone knows what they’ve been going through, it’s more interesting,” Strauss said. 

As Bachelor Nation pushes for the inclusion of the BIPOC community in “The Bachelor” franchise’s productions, there have now been three Black leads in the history of the show. The hope is that producers will continue to make conscious decisions to bring people of color into a predominantly white show. 

In regards to hosting duties, rumors have flown about former Bachelor Jesse Palmer remaining the permanent host for “The Bachelor” following his role in the upcoming 26th season.