The INSIDER Summary:
- Contestants drink a lot of alcohol on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”
- They drink just as much — if not more — on “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- The recent alleged scandal on “Bachelor in Paradise” may involve over-drinking.
- Fans of the series shouldn’t be surprised.
As allegations and statements continue to emerge about the scandal swirling around ABC’s “Bachelor in Paradise” reality show, one thing that remains unsurprising to fans of the franchise is that the alleged incident involved alcohol.
Contestants drink a lot on “The Bachelor” and its spinoff shows, and the producers are said to purposefully keep the alcohol readily available during taping.
Contestants who have appeared on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” — where the cast for “Bachelor in Paradise” is harvested from the rejected suitors — have even given interviews about how much alcohol is readily available to them.
Alcohol on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” is unlimited.
“It’s how they get you to be more talkative, more sensitive,” season 17 contestant Leslie Hughes told The Daily Beast. “When I came in for the producers’ weekend, I remember it was like 12 noon, and they were like, ‘You want some champagne, wine?’ And I was like, ‘It’s 12 p.m., noon!’ And they’re like, ‘Welcome to the Bachelor family.'”
“A lot of people drink. If you are smart you don’t drink that much! I was in the middle,” Ali Fedotowsky, a former “Bachelor” contestant and “Bachelorette,” revealed in an interview with A Drink With Chicago.
Essentially, contestants say they’re drinking unlimited beverages — wine, beer, champagne, shots, you name it — for free for as long as they were on the show. The drinking is a way for producers to get contestants to open up, start drama, and forget about the cameras.
But sometimes, the drinking does get out of hand. On season 19, contestant Jordan Branch got incoherently drunk at a “Bachelor” cocktail party. After she was eliminated, she told TMZ that “producers manipulated contestants by constantly refreshing their glasses.”
Branch also said she had confided to producers that she was worried about over-drinking on the show, but that they did nothing to stop her from blacking out while taping and handing her more drinks.
“Bachelor in Paradise” is a whole different ballgame.
The show — which shoots for about three weeks in Mexico — is essentially filmed around the resort’s beach bar where drinks and shots and are handed out like water, if footage from the show’s first three seasons are to be believed.
And behavior in the past has escalated dangerously. In season three of “Bachelor in Paradise,” “Bachelorette” villain Chad Johnson appeared to get volatile and handsy with one of the women on the first night of the show. Johnson was sent home, and was shown drinking excessively in the car on his way to the airport.
That first day and night on “Bachelor in Paradise” is especially centered around drinking at the Mexican resort. The men and women hang out by the bar as new arrivals pour in, and they all drink as they talk to each other and try to form connections and friendships. Just like cocktail hours on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” it’s a way for them to relax around the cameras, producers, and each other.
After the alleged scandal, we see just how far this type of behavior can go — and that it might not be stopped by producers.
The situation is not ideal for alcoholics.
Of course, the contestants don’t have to drink, and show sources explained to TMZ that “contestants are free to make their own decisions about drinking, and sometimes those decisions are ‘not good ones.'”
But this responsibility to make the right choice can be hard on contestants, especially alcoholics who are pushed to drink. “Bachelor” contestant and “Bachelorette” star Meredith Phillips, who later opened up about her alcoholism and drinking on the show, said it’s hard to turn down.
“It’s always right there,” Phillips told ABC News in 2013. “There’s a lot of booze.”
Though she said it was her choice to consume it, it was too available for her to resist.
“It shouldn’t be prevalent all the time,” she said. “It shouldn’t be available, you know? I mean, it was just too easy.”
Loveline host and addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky told Entertainment Tonight that he’s treated alcoholics who have been on these types of reality TV programs and that it’s not a good environment for them.
“What really disturbed me was, I was treating alcoholics who had been on reality shows, and they were very clear that, in spite of talking about their alcoholism, they were still encouraged to drink,” said Pinsky. “In a way, you can’t blame reality producers for encouraging drinking, but it’s certainly not healthy.”
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