Things That Don't Happen On The Bachelor Anymore

What things don't happen on The Bachelor anymore? After 18 years and 24 seasons, The Bachelor has become an iconic TV show with a cult following. When the show debuted in 2002, no one knew what a phenomenon it would become. The Bachelor was an entirely new concept, and it was hard for audiences to imagine who would willingly compete with 20 other women on a reality TV show to get married. But shortly after the premiere, the show took off.

Soon, fans were live-tweeting the show on Monday nights and Bachelor Nation found its stride. The Bachelor now has multiple, successful spin-off shows, including The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradisepodcasts detailing the inside scoop; and plenty of post-production drama (via E! News). And though Chris Harrison is still there helping Bachelors and Bachelorettes on their journey to find love, The Bachelor has changed a lot since its first ever season. Keep reading to find out all the things that don't happen on The Bachelor anymore.

Regular people don't star on The Bachelor anymore

Perhaps one of the most noticeable changes in The Bachelor franchise over time is that regular people aren't contestants anymore. When the first season of The Bachelor aired, it was an entirely new concept. And to make it work, producers and casting agents looked for "the most eligible bachelor in America" (via Buzzfeed). They looked for traits in a man the average woman might look for on a first date, like education, career, and looks — your Instagram following didn't matter. 

The first bachelor was Alex Michel — who's older than you realized – a good-looking businessman with degrees from Harvard and Stanford. "Alex was just a normal guy who agreed to jump into the unknown," host Chris Harrison told People. Today, it's tradition to select the new Bachelor or Bachelorette from a pool of popular, well-liked, former contestants.

Contestants on the first season of The Bachelor also looked different than they do today. When The Bachelor first aired, many women on the show wore everyday clothes and makeup. Now, many contestants are influencers, models, and beauty pageant queens, who come prepared with killer wardrobes and hefty makeup collections.

Contestants don't appear on The Bachelor for "the right reason" anymore

On the first season of The Bachelor, there was no talk of women who just want to be on TV, or who just want to grow their Instagram following. In fact, the show itself tried to convince the audience that the women and men on the show were doing it for love, as it was quite an unfamiliar and unrelatable concept at the time.

Today, you can't get through a season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette without at least one contestant accusing another of not being there for the right reasons; it just doesn't happen anymore. With the rise of social media, there's always the suspicion that some women or men are just on the show to promote their brand, and not to fall in love. 

It's not out of the question, either, as former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants have gone on to host podcasts, score huge brand partnerships on Instagram, and even have their own spin-off shows. That's why fellow contestants and viewers at home try to suss out who's there to grow their Instagram following.

Contestants on The Bachelor don't eat while on dates anymore

Believe it or not, contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette used to eat on dates. Now, they don't do that anymore, ever. The show is known for the lavish looking spreads that remain untouched during filming, much to the annoyance of viewers.

It turns out the show learned from experience not to let contestants eat while they have their mics on. During the first few seasons, viewers would occasionally see contestants snack on TV. But in later seasons, no one even touches the food on dates. Season 17 Bachelor Sean Lowe — who married Catherine Lowe — revealed to Glamour that "nobody eats, and that's primarily because nobody wants to watch you eat and the mics will pick up the chewing." 

Lowe also said producers bring stars to a hotel room between takes where they can shower and eat. This was confirmed by Jaclyn Swartz, who told Refinery29 "no one wants to watch people stuffing their face on a date. If you're eating, you aren't talking." Swartz also confirmed producers will bring room service to contestants' rooms, or wherever they're getting ready, before dates.

Contestants don't go on normal dates on The Bachelor anymore

Just as fewer "normal" people star on The Bachelor nowadays, no one goes on normal dates on the show anymore, either. Dates on the first season of The Bachelorette included going to a spa, a casino, and a football game (via Vulture). Yes, those are all nice dates, especially for a first date. But they're not the extravagant, over-the-top, and oftentimes daring dates we see on The Bachelor now. 

Some memorable dates on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have been naked bungee jumping, a bikini tractor race, and attending "flight school." Additionally, contestants do much more traveling for dates than they once did. Now, contestants are flown all around the world for dates and adventures. Some recent destinations have been Thailand, Fiji, and the Bahamas. 

Former Bachelor Sean Lowe told Travel and Leisure that traveling on The Bachelor led to some once-in-a-lifetime experiences. "You're not only traveling to cool destinations, but you're doing things that the general public isn't able to do," he said.

The Bachelor doesn't have a house dog anymore

It's unclear where it was hiding, but it was revealed in the Men Tell All episode in the first season of The Bachelorette that the men had a house dog the entire time (via Vulture). The dog's name was Goldie, and she was absolutely adorable. In fact, Chris Harrison told Entertainment Weekly that some of his favorite memories in Bachelor history involved Goldie, who looks to be a golden retriever. Harrison also revealed that one of the men on that first Bachelorette season ate Goldie's dog food. "Things aren't like that anymore, but maybe that's a good thing!" he said.

Though many Bachelors and Bachelorettes love dogs, they're not allowed in The Bachelor mansion. Since that first season of The Bachelorette, only one other dog has appeared on set. On Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor, one contestant, Catherine Argo, brought her Pomeranian, Lucy, to meet Underwood during her limo arrival.

Lucy certainly left an impression on viewers, and you can keep up with her on her Instagram account.

Thanks to Reality Steve, The Bachelor doesn't have surprises anymore

Since Kaitlyn Bristowe – who's undergone a stunning transformation — famously spoiled her own season by posting a Snapchat with her fiancé before the season finale, The Bachelor has tried to come down on season spoilers. But if you're really that impatient to find out who the Bachelor or Bachelorette ends up with, it's not that difficult. 

Steve Carbone, known as Reality Steve online, is famous for spoiling every episode of The Bachelor before fans can even ask for details. In fact, Carbone has been sued twice by producers for trying to solicit information from contestants. And though he agreed to no longer approach contestants for spoilers, he still has inside sources hard at work, which is why there are no surprises on The Bachelor anymore.

Reality Steve is now a full-time spoiler, and one of the most well-known sources for any information about The Bachelor franchiseCarbone told The Hollywood Reporter he gets hundreds of tips every season from those with ties to the show. And he won't stop posting spoilers anytime soon; he feels a responsibility to share what really goes on behind the scenes with viewers.

They don't have informal rose ceremonies on The Bachelor anymore

It seems that everything on the first few seasons of The Bachelor was a lot less formal than it is now. Even the coveted rose ceremonies were more laid back, as they weren't even called rose ceremonies at that point. 

Back then, the ceremonies were called "invitation nights," and they worked a little differently than they do now. Before giving out any roses, the bachelor, Alex Michel, watched video messages from all the women that they previously recorded. The women are dressed much more casually for invitation nights, opting for nice pants and sweaters over floor-length gowns. And when Michel sends some women home, there are no tears, no meltdowns, and no video footage from the limo ride to the airport. 

That just doesn't happen on The Bachelor anymore. Now, rose ceremonies are arguably the center of the show. The women wear stunning dresses, while the men wear suits. And the night is always filled with drama; women cry over being sent home and bare their souls in the limo ride home. 

They don't have date boxes on The Bachelor anymore

The Bachelor didn't use date cards during the first season, but they still found creative ways to invite contestants out. Instead, the ladies received whole date boxes, complete with cute riddles and little trinkets wrapped up in bows to hint at where the date might be.

That doesn't happen on The Bachelor anymore. Now, contestants receive date cards via a knock at the door. But they still contain mysterious messages that leave contestants guessing at what their date might be. Jason Carbone, a former Bachelor director and co-executive producer from the first few seasons, told Slate producers came up with the idea for the date cards as a way to add some suspense. He said they wanted the cards to be cute (but not too cutesy), along with subtle hints. "We wanted something that would be good television," he revealed. "If you send a note that somebody has to read, it gives you all kinds of options." He added that it can be magical when, for example, a woman's nemesis is the one who reads the card, too.

Contestants on The Bachelor don't get an engagement ring that's not Neil Lane anymore

Though you might associate The Bachelor proposals with ring designer Neil Lane, it wasn't always that way. In the first few seasons of the show, newly-engaged fiancés went to Harry Winston, Tacori, and even the Italian royal family to put a ring on it (via Us Weekly). And while the rings have always been stunning, featuring multi-carat diamonds that cost tens of thousands of dollars, that doesn't happen on The Bachelor anymore.

Neil Lane became the ring designer of choice for Bachelor Nation in 2009 and has been the exclusive ring designer since — but he almost turned down the opportunity. Lane told Rachel Lindsay — the first Black Bachelorette — and guest co-host Becca Kufrin in an episode of Bachelor Happy Hour he wasn't familiar with the show, and only accepted ABC's proposal after one of his assistants advised him to take the deal. Since then, Lane has provided countless rings for Bachelor couples; he also told StyleCaster he's even provided rings for couples that didn't get a Neil Lane ring the first time around.

Quiet limo arrivals don't happen on The Bachelor anymore

In the first few seasons of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the limo arrivals were relatively quiet and normal. Women and men simply exited the limo, dressed nicely of course, and introduced themselves. No costumes or gimmicks were required. However, on the first season of The Bachelorette, one contestant gave first Bachelorette Trista Rehn a Tiffany bracelet, and he was hated for the rest of the season by the other Bachelors for it.

Now, it's almost customary to have a few contestants enter in crazy but memorable ways. In recent years, viewers have seen contestants arrive dressed as brides, chickens, and flowers. Contestants have arrived in hot tubs and on horseback, and have donned costumes such as unicorns and dolphins. The costumes and jokes don't always land with the audience (like when they couldn't figure out if Alexis Waters was a dolphin or a shark, as noted by Vulture), but it certainly makes the first episode of each season interesting. Quiet limo arrivals just don't happen on The Bachelor anymore.

Super fast proposals don't happen on The Bachelor anymore

It may seem like the Bachelors and Bachelorettes are rushed to fall in love now, but they used to have even less time, if that's even possible. In the first season of The Bachelor, couples had only six episodes to fall in love. And if you feel like that's not enough time, you might be right. Bachelor Alex Michel didn't propose to his then-girlfriend from the show, Amanda Marsh, and they split up shortly after filming ended (via People).

Now, Bachelors and Bachelorettes have about nine weeks, or a little over two months, to find love, as noted by Insider. But though it's an improvement from the first season, two months still might not be enough time, as many couples from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette break up shortly after leaving the show. According to Refinery29, after 24 seasons of The Bachelor, 15 seasons of The Bachelorette, and six seasons of Bachelor In Paradise, only 18 couples are still together. And two of those 18 couples include a Bachelor who changed his mind and broke up with the winner to date the runner up.

Contestants don't send video messages on The Bachelor anymore

In the first season of The Bachelor, contestants would leave video messages for Bachelor Alex Michel. Instead of having nearly two dozen one-on-one chats with the women, Michel would watch the video messages before rose ceremonies. According to Us Magazine, some women left sweet video messages for Michel about their love for him, and some left messages begging to stick around so they could spend more time with him.

But that doesn't happen on The Bachelor anymore. Now, rose ceremonies are quite chaotic and filled with emotions. Given the ten-episode time frame, every woman is fighting for more alone time with the Bachelor, and conversations are constantly being interrupted. Indeed, the night is filled with infamous "can I steal you for a second?" moments that create drama between contestants. On top of that, there's often something that goes wrong (like a stolen Champagne bottle) that leaves women crying and feuding for the whole season. 

A season without celebrity guest appearances doesn't happen on The Bachelor anymore

In a word, the first season of The Bachelor was "average." The stars was average, contestants were average, and though the dates were nice, there weren't any crazy, daredevil activities involved. And average isn't something that happens on The Bachelor anymore.

Now, The Bachelor is one of the most popular shows among 18 to 49 year olds, and the ratings are only climbing higher. According to Variety, the season 24 Bachelor finale drew the show's largest audience in four years. And with the show's popularity comes popular guest stars. Famous singers, actors, and athletes all make surprise appearances, often to host a date. Some stars that have appeared on the show include Billy Eichner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and married celebs Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.

The Bachelor franchise also frequently has guest appearances from other Bachelor shows. Other fan-favorite contestants like Hannah Brown and Demi Burnett have shown up to help host dates. And Bachelor in Paradise contestants were invited to Bachelor Nation couple Chris Randone and Krystal Nielson's wedding, which was officiated by none other than Chris Harrison himself, as noted by Us Weekly.

Audience members don't ask questions on The Bachelor anymore

One of the most beloved and most highly-anticipated episodes of The Bachelor is the Women Tell All episode. This episode, which airs just before the finale, unpacks all the drama from the season in front of a live audience — and viewers love it. Contestants hash out all of the issues for the world to see, and even get to tell the Bachelor how they really feel about him. 

Interestingly enough, the Women Tell All episode in the first season of The Bachelor featured questions from a live audience, according to Entertainment Weekly – and the audience didn't hold back. One young audience member named Trevor asked Kim, "Do you think Alex only kept you around because you made out with him right before the rose ceremony?" But Kim wasn't offended by the question. She laughed it off, and in the end agreed with Trevor. "He didn't even know who I was until I made out with him," she admitted. "I don't regret it. He was a great kisser."

It's a shame this doesn't happen on The Bachelor anymore!