Amy Kaufman is banned from attending The Bachelor events. The LA Times journalist’s unadulterated coverage proved a little to revealing for the American matchmaking show’s home network, ABC. Undeterred, she’s gone on to write a book – entirely unauthorised, of course.
Based on interviews with dozens of contestants, producers and insiders, Bachelor Nation gives readers unprecedented insight into the inner workings of the reality TV phenomenon; from the manipulative tactics of producers to the fervent fandom.
In this extract, Kaufman exposes the rigorous audition process, (genital) warts and all…
After filling out an extensive application and submitting five to 15 pictures of themselves, applicants must produce a “well-lit” video of themselves “dressed as if going to a nice dinner,” showing off their apartment, their pets, and talking about what their ultimate fantasy date would be.
If the producers decide they’re interested in a potential contestant, that person would be invited to come to LA for one of two final audition weekends — all expenses paid — to meet the production team in person.
A 150-question personality test is filled with multiple-choice and true-or-false questions: Do you have out-of-body experiences? Do you think you can control things with your mind? Have you ever wanted to kill someone? Some of these questions would be asked several times, with different wording.
The next day, a Saturday, they would be escorted to a room to have a one-on-one interview with a producer. There would likely be candles and mood lighting.
After 20 minutes of speaking with the producer privately, they would be walked to an adjoining room, where they would be greeted by roughly two dozen producers sitting stadium-style. The producers would have the potential contestants sit down and would start asking them questions, rapid-fire. Had they watched the last season of “The Bachelorette”? Did any of the guys stand out? What were they looking for in a man? What was their dream job? If they could have that dream job if they cut off one of their limbs, would they do it? Would they rather have a DDD bra cup or write a cover story for Vogue?
Just as the questions started to become more outlandish, the producers would wrap up the session and a handler would take the person to meet with the show’s therapist. From 2002 through summer 2017, that was Dr. Catherine Selden.
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of The Bachelor? Amy Kaufman shares the inside goss on No Filter. (Post continues below.)
According to the California Board of Psychology, Selden is a state-licensed psychologist who graduated from Pepperdine University and has no disciplinary actions against her license. She was always made available to contestants throughout the season — she was not a presence on set but emerged any time she was requested — and cast members were supposed to meet with her after they were eliminated.
But contestants were first acquainted with Dr. Selden during the casting process. So she would be in possession of the personality test they had previously filled out and would spend roughly an hour asking questions about it.
At times, she would get personal: Had they ever cheated on anyone? Did they have a history of mental illness or depression? Did they ever drink too much? Did they ever get into fights when they were drunk?
Next, the handler would bring them to a private investigator. This person would be trained to dig up any skeletons in the closet — partly to use for their storyline but also to get ahead of any tabloid stories that could come to the surface if they were on the show. Had they ever been arrested? Had they ever sent nude photos to anyone? Had they ever made a sex tape? Had they gotten a DUI?