As far as reality television goes, the sense of reality in a show like The Bachelor, is, as we’ve come to see, a little contrived.
Each woman steps out of the limo, background music and camera pans dictating exactly which character this one will play, selective quotes leading us in a very specific direction: villian, love interest, or background filler?
But for all its casting of the occasional contestant whose pursuit of fame, not love, is all but apparent, our strike rate for the Australian Bachelor suggests for all its flaws, there are actually people on the program who – just maybe – are looking for love.
Want to listen to all things Bach Chat? Michelle Andrews and I de-bunk every tiny detail of Thursday’s episode here:
After all, how else can you explain the fact that in six seasons, we’ve had two engagements, one baby-on-the-way, two solid relationships and two breakups?
That, traditionally, has been one of the key differences between the US and Australian versions of the Bachelor. The Australian version has love with a sprinkling of drama, and the US version has drama with a sprinkling of love.
Consider this: Of the 33 seasons of the franchise (yes, that many) the US 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.
For lack of a better word, the US Bachelor‘s currency is in the crazy. In casting the characters that will create the drama, the US Bachelor is far better known for it’s “cat fights” than its love stories.