Is The Bachelor About Finding Love Or Money?

Published on March 2, 2020

Are reality dating shows simply a gateway for the creation of new influencers? On a previous episode of The Bachelor, ABC’s show where a group of thirty women (or men for the popular Bachelorette spin-off) vie for the titular lead’s heart, a rather different type of fight erupted between two of the contestants.

Rather than argue over who was better suited for the Bachelor Pilot Pete’s heart, one woman accused the other of spending more time obsessing over what brand hashtags she would create from her newfound fame from the show. The accused woman took extreme offense to that accusation, particularly when it was brought up to Peter as evidence that she wasn’t there for “the right reasons.”

Is it a crime to go on a reality television program to gain fame? Many of the contestants past and present have banked off their newfound popularity, frequently promoting brands on their Instagram pages for millions of followers. Other contestants have also partnered with clothing companies to create and sell their own clothing lines after their time on the show wraps.

Bachelor Backlash

Although many contestants post relatively harmless ads on their social media pages, one recent Bachelor winner came under fire for her influencing. Cassie Randolph happened to make a sponsored post on the very day legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant perished in a helicopter crash. Randolph apologized for the faux pas, but her fans leapt to her defense, saying that she shouldn’t have to stop her job just because a celebrity had died. Nevertheless, Randolph’s popularity didn’t decrease one iota and she keeps continuing to post sponsored content.
Even fellow contestants on the same show are willing to call out and poke fun at influencer culture the show generates. Former Bachelor Sean Lowe had this to when the current season of the show premiered.

Lowe also frequently posts sponsored content but always pokes fun at himself for it. The star of the last season of The Bachelorette, Hannah Brown also has poked fun at the influencer posts her fellow contestants make. On her Instagram highlights Brown created an entire series of short videos parodying sponsored ads with fake products. (Brown titled the highlight reel #influencer.)

Brown said in an interview with Marie Claire that, “A lot of these people [from Bachelor Nation] make a lot of money really fast. It’s been sickening how much money I’ve passed up…because I’m not doing the low-hanging fruit,” (Referring to the promoted content her fellow contestants would post to get paid.) The former Bachelorette’s refusal to buy into influencer culture hasn’t cost her. She has 2.7 million followers and many fans wanted her to be The Bachelorette again.

A Paycheck is More Steady Than A Relationship

After 38 combined seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the series has produced far more influencers than steady couples, let alone marriages. The show premiered in 2002, before the power of social media eclipsed the actual purpose of finding a spouse. For better or worse the show does help its contestants find a source of steady income after they finish filming as long as they stand out somewhat on their season. There is nothing wrong with becoming an influencer and banking on The Bachelor to do so but the issue remains. Has The Bachelor ever truly been about romantic love? After all paychecks last longer than red roses.

Katherine Stinson is an award-winning journalist and Staff Reporter at Grit Daily News, where she covers Texas and Southern states' startup and entrepreneurship news. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she also contributes to ScreenRant, Outlander TV News, and San Antonio Magazine.

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