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EXPLAINED: How is the US Bachelor different to the Australian Bachelor?

Oh The Bachelor… home of Sophie Monk, the rose ceremony, and semi-awkward meet-cutes that turn into blossoming relationships and more, and sometimes all in the one episode. However in this case, a show by any other name couldn’t be more different, and essentially the US Bachelor is the Aussie version on steroids… more pashing, more private jets and more drama.

For example… the most lavish first date in the current US cycle where Arie Luyendyk Jr. (son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk) took contestant Becca K. on what was essentially a $30,000 USD ($38,001 AUD) shopping spree with designer Rachel Zoe, and gifted her with another $300,000 worth of Neil Lane diamonds. Casual.

But with the current season of The Bachelor (US) playing away, diamonds, ballgowns and all, and applications for The Bachelor (Aus) open right now, we thought now would be a good time for a revision lesson in how the two shows differ.

And oh how they do.

LISTEN: How taking sex out of the equation helped Sophie Monk. Post continues after audio.

1. The number of contestants.

Rule of thumb, on the US Bachelor there tends to be many, many more women. The most recent series of the US Bachelor featured 29 contestants vying for Arie Luyendyk’s love. It’s safe to say the more women, the more drama.

The Aussie version usually includes 24 contestants, though this season featuring Matty Johnson had 22 women competing for Matty J’s heart.

The original Bachelor contestants. Image via Channel 10.

2. The entry.

The women on the US Bachelor tend to go all out for their first introduction. This season Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher wore a giant unicorn mask, and Lace kissed Ben on the lips, wanting to be his 'first kiss' on the show. No, they're not all crazy - those gimmicks and the order the girls appear in is all planned by producers.

The women on the Aussie show haven't bowed to that pressure. According to Penny Palman who was on the first series of the Aussie Bachelor with Tim Robards, the producers suggested to her things to do during her entrance. "They were saying [the producers] so and so is going to do this and she's got that and you're not going to stand out unless you do something. There was a lot of pressure to come up with something cool," Penny said.

3. The outfits.

On the US Bachelor, the contestants need to buy all of their own dresses. The Network, ABC, only supplies dresses for the two finalists during the finale. If you ask us, we would have expected more given the extravagance of the US version in comparison to others.

On the Aussie Bachelor the women are provided with outfits for the rose ceremonies but wear their own clothing on the dates and in the house. So it appears they get a better deal in that regard.

However, a former producer on the show told Mamamia the women are often given sample sizes of dresses and are sewn into their outfits.

Check out some of the best outfits we've seen so far. (Post continues after gallery.)

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4. The hometown dates.

While we're led to believe all of the homes visited during the hometown dates are those of the contestants, that's not always the case. On the US Bachelor, the women will often use a wealthier relative's home instead of theirs or their family's house. After all, it needs to look impressive, right?

On the Aussie Bachelor, producers will have us go incredibly far to believe the homes featured in the home dates are those of the contestants. There was much controversy in the second season of The Bachelor featuring Blake Garvey, when it was revealed that Lisa's expensive home on the coast of Noosa, Queensland, was in fact a rental.

Keira is still single after the The Bachelor. Read all about it here.

A Shine Australia spokesperson later told the Sydney Morning Herald that the property was rented on Lisa's parents behalf. "Their current family home in Noosa was not able to be used for production purposes," they said in a statement.

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5. The pay.

Believe it or not, contestants on the US Bachelor don't get paid to be on the show. That's right, they do it for love (and probably the fame). The Bachelor however is said to be paid well over $100,000 for his participation. Not a sum to be laughed at.

On the Aussie Bachelor, the contestants DO get paid - but it's not much. The Daily Mail reported that women earn a mere $90 a day, so for the winner, that means after three months in the house they’re taking home $6300 (or $2100 tax free per month).

The show’s producers say they are paying such a small sum because they want to make sure the women are there for the “right reasons.” *Cough*

Listen to Mamamia ask one of the former Bachelor contestants all of the questions you secretly want to know. (Post continues after audio.)

6. The Fantasy Suite.

The Fantasy Suite is an option provided on the US Bachelor when there are only three contestants left. The contestants are asked whether they would like to forgo their individual rooms to share a night with the Bachelor. It's never mentioned what the actual purpose of the date is but many assume it involves sex. Some couples DO use it just to talk and get time alone away from the cameras. Which seems like the safest option given there are apparently no condoms supplied in the fantasy suite.

In the Aussie version they omit the Fantasy Suite entirely. Many have questioned the reason for this, particularly when at the end of the show the Bachelor is expected to propose at the end of season, without checking whether there is a genuine physical connection. In a show about consenting adults looking for love, it seems a bit strange that the Australians have been so coy about this.

7. The ring.

On the US Bachelor, in order for the winner to keep the diamond ring (sponsored by Neil Lane), the couple must stay together for at least two years. That's right, two years - minimum. If the couple wants to sell the ring after that time, they need to give written notice to ABC.

On the Aussie Bachelor, things aren't so clear-cut. Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich from season one are still together, so Anna is still in possession of the ring after almost three years.

At the end of last season's Bachelor, Sam Wood gave a *very* controversial ring.

Video via Dan and Maz

But Sam Frost from season two, who was proposed to by Blake Garvey before separating the following day, did not have to give her ring back to Shine Australia or the suppliers of the ring, Bunda. Sam sold her ring for a tidy $58,000 in an online auction via website Leonard Joel. Which seems fair after all the drama, really.

Of course Snezana Markoski and Sam Wood from the latest season are currently engaged and Snezana still has the ring which was dubbed 'the Cheezel' due to it's bulky appearance.

Have you spotted any other differences between the US and Aussie Bachelor? 

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