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Why the Australian Bachelor has a higher love strike rate than the US version.

With news that Australia’s very first Bachelor couple had in fact put a ring on it, reality TV cynics have been particularly quiet in the hours after the announcement.

Both Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich shared images on their respective Instagram accounts on Wednesday night announcing their engagement, just a week after Sam Wood and Snezana Markoski shared their own happy baby news.

What, and reality TV was about fame and not love, eh?

Except, in reality – pun intended – reality television often does err on the side of hiring people in pursuit of fame rather an a more earnest desire to take part in a social experiment.

So how come the Australian branches of The Bachelor and Bachelorette have had such a surprisingly remarkable strike rate? Of the six seasons, we’ve had two engagements, one baby-on-the-way, two solid relationships and two breakups.

Consider for a second the US version of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, who both demand cult followings and whom controversy follows with dogged determination. Of the 33 seasons (yes, that many) The Bachelor has a strike rate of three couples remaining together out of 21 seasons. The Bachelorette has five couples still together out of a possible 12. Do the maths (it’s fine, I can do it for you) and we’re talking a 25 per cent success rate. That compared to Australia’s own 66 per cent.

Sure, you can sit back and argue – quite legitimately – that perhaps it has a lot to do with the fact our franchise is a little newer, a bit fresher and therefore some of the relationships are in their infancy.

But also? Some aren’t.

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It’s no coincidence we have a better strike rate in the US. And it all comes down to casting.

We can laugh and we can mock our own Bachelor series for their propensity to typecast, forever cherry-picking one to be the series villain and another the front runner.

But comparing our series with the US’ own and one thing becomes abundantly clear: The Australian Bachelor actually must occasionally cast those genuinely interested in looking for love. Because how else do you explain the marriages?

A happy coincidence? A lucky lottery?

Perhaps not.

Compound this with the fact our US sister show gives the illusion of being particularly, ah, scripted and bingo.

For all its flaws, the Australian Bachelor seems to be getting something right, accident or not.

That is of course assuming love – and not drama – is the ultimate end game.

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