“The Bachelor” Season 27 Review: The Least Dramatic Season Ever

Ten weeks ago, former Bachelor Jesse Palmer stood before the nation and declared that this would be the most dramatic season of “The Bachelor” yet. This adage has been repeated season after season, and in most cases, save for pilot Peter Weber’s mom verbally abusing his fiance, it is a promise that falls flat. This season was no different. Leading man Zach Shallcross set a standard early on that drama, the very lifeblood of the franchise, would not be tolerated.

Early in the season, production seemed to scramble week by week to find and cultivate a new villain. Whether it was Anastasia Keramidas intentionally misinterpreting Kylee Russell’s attempt to get more time with Shallcross, or Katherine Izzo pulling Shallcross for a kiss right before his date with future Bachelorette Charity Lawson, none quite lived up to a brief but powerful stint from Christina Mandrell, a content creator from Tennessee. 

After an optimistic date with Shallcrosss during which Mandrell told him about her five-year-old daughter, Mandrell seemed like a final-four hopeful. However, the other women didn’t quite see the vulnerable, nurturing side that Shallcross did and, after a particularly uncomfortable incident involving Mandrell sharing that she believed she deserved a group date rose over Lawson, Shallcross made the surprising decision to send her home. This elimination set the tone for the rest of the season. 

“It was very refreshing to see how Zach didn’t tolerate any of the drama that normal Bachelors eat up,” Second-year Environmental Studies major Lili Hargreaves said. 

In true Bachelor fashion, this season had no shortage of creative dates designed to foster connections. During episode six, Shallcross and his remaining women traveled to Estonia where they partook in a witch-led aura cleansing, a wife-carrying competition and a nudist sauna. The very next week, four women accompanied Shallcross to a date with a magician and mentalist whose trick involved exposing the women’s innermost fears and insecurities, causing two to leave the date in tears. One fan, Third-year Mathematics and Computer Science double major Charlie Reade, felt that the date didn’t accomplish what it was intended to.

“Instead of fostering connections, Zach manipulated the women into gaslighting each other into exposing trauma that they had already talked about,” Reade said. “And then the wizard was the real hero all along because the audience knew way too much about the contestants after that episode. I could never look at them the same.” 

In light of the franchise’s recent history of failed relationships and nontraditional seasons, some fans felt refreshed at the by-the-book format of Shallcross’s season—a structure that was emphasized by the persistent presence of former Bachelor Sean Lowe, the only Bachelor who has ever married, and stayed married to, his final pick.

“It felt so true to The Bachelor and its legacy that they chose someone whose values aligned with everything Bachelor Nation stands for,” Second-year Nursing major Mariam Massoudi said. 

While Shallcross had some missteps along the way, the most notable of which involved him deciding not to be intimate during the fantasy suites and subsequently breaking his rule with one of the contestants, in the end, this turned out to be a relatively mild season. Fans of the show appreciated Shallcross’s emotional intelligence and seemingly genuine desire to find a wife. 

In the past, critics of the franchise have accused contestants and leads of being more interested in accruing a following than finding love. However, this season, Instagram followers were brought up only once in reference to Content Marketing Manager Keramidas, who the other contestants felt was there for “the wrong reasons.” 

During the finale, Shallcross ended up getting down on one knee for Kaity Biggar, a woman with whom he had shared a strong connection since early in the season. However, an anonymous tip had many fans convinced that runner-up Gabi Elnicki was going to receive the final rose. Spoilers have become a regular part of the franchise with bloggers like Reality Steve consistently leaking the winner months before the show wraps. For Second-year Nursing major Azalea Groleau, avoiding spoilers made the viewing experience more exciting.

“I was the only one in my house who was unsure who the winner was going to be, which made the season that much more suspenseful,” Groleau said. “One of my roommates had looked up a spoiler early in the season.”

Given the franchise’s success rate, fans aren’t convinced that Shallcross’s last rose will lead to a wedding. However, over four months later, he and Biggar are still together with plans to move in this summer and tie the knot sometime in 2025.