LISTEN to today's conversation with Amy Kaufman!
For sixteen years and thirty-five seasons, The Bachelor and its spinoffs (The Bachelorette, the late Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, and now, Bachelor Winter Games) have been mainstays in American TV viewers’ lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show's popularity and relevance has only grown with more than eight million viewers tuning in to see the conclusion of last season’s The Bachelor.
For BACHELOR NATION, Kaufman interviewed dozens of former cast members and producers, relationship experts and sociologists, and celebrity fans including vocal feminists Amy Schumer, Diablo Cody, and Allison Williams, to give readers never-before-told details of the show's inner workings. Kaufman gets to the bottom of how the show is made and why, despite the lack of successful relationships, and the negative reinforcement of gender roles, women and men alike can’t stop watching.
In an interview, Kaufman will discuss:
· The history of reality dating shows, from The Dating Game to Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire, and how Mike Fleiss changed the game forever when he created The Bachelor;
· The rigorous casting and auditioning process, which includes an invasive questionnaire, a medical examination, a psychological evaluation, and isolation, culminating in a contract you’ll have to read about to believe;
· The Tuscan estate in Malibu that serves as the infamous bachelor mansion, and life inside “the bubble” where contestants have no cell phones and are completely isolated from the outside world;
· The brutal world of producer manipulation, including defining roles (villain, virgin, party girl) before the show even begins taping, the one-on-one ITM (In the Moment) interviews, and even the tracking of female contestants’ menstrual cycles;
· The editing technique dubbed “Frankenbiting”—re-cutting a soundbite so that it has a different meaning and plays into the show’s desired narrative;
· How the extravagant dates, from helicopter rides to beach-side resorts, are planned and paid for, and the science behind the high-adrenaline nature of the rendezvous;
· Just what goes down (or doesn’t) in the fantasy suites;
· Life after The Bachelor: from spin-off shows to hosting podcasts to becoming Insta-famous, and why it rarely involves the Happily Ever After the show sets up.
· How her reporting for the LA Times has often coincided with her enjoyment of The Bachelor, particularly as she reported on the sexual assault accusations against Bachelor in Paradise last summer.
About the Author
Amy Kaufman is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, where she has covered film, celebrity, and pop culture since 2009. On the beat, she reports from industry events like the Academy Awards, the Sundance Film Festival and the Grammys. In addition to profiling hundreds of stars—Lady Gaga, Julia Roberts, Stevie Nicks, Jane Goodall—she has broken major investigative stories on sexual harassment in Hollywood. Amy currently lives in Los Angeles with her Australian Shepherd, Riggins, and dreams of living in a Laurel Canyon tree house.
Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyKinLA