The Bachelorette returns to ABC on Tuesday, October 13 at 8 p.m. ET and yours truly could not be more excited. When an editor at DraftKings Nation asked me to write a column about The Bachelorette, I’m not kidding, I may have teared up a little bit. I guess you could say I’m your *clears throat and takes a sip of wine* Basic Bach. I’m punny. I can’t help it.
But if there’s one thing other than watching college football that I love doing, it’s watching pop culture and, by extension, writing about pop culture. This season of The Bachelorette is a total dumpster fire and, believe me, I’m here for every second of it. But it’s not lost on me that the DraftKings audience cares less about men crying in limos and more about placing bets. So just like any sport, y’all need to know the rules and the MVPs.
Let’s say you’ve never seen the show. I’d be willing to bet about 30% of the people who read this have never seen an episode of any show within The Bachelor franchise, and the other 70% watches in secret. I see you silent member of Bachelor Nation and I’m here to tell you it’s ok to let your fandom fly. Because this season is a doozy and you have to talk about it with someone. Why not me? Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride.
If you’re legit new to the show, here’s what you need to know:
The thing about The Bachelor is that it’s more than just a show. It’s more like a sports league (ahhh now I got your attention!) with new players drafted into the franchise each season. The standouts go on to “Bachelor in Paradise,” and the real standouts get to become the next Bachelorette or Bachelor. Bachelor fans and those who’ve been cast on one of the 24 seasons of The Bachelor and the 15 seasons of The Bachelorette are part of Bachelor Nation for life. Bachelor Nation is more than a fandom. It’s a community and a pop culture phenomena. And believe me when I say Bachelor Nation has FEELINGS about this season.
Second, the show knows exactly what it is and lately is becoming much more unapologetic about it. Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with love. The ironic thing is it’s less about vying for the affection of a bachelor or bachelorette as it is vying for the acceptance of the men or women in the house AND the audience at home watching.
Fan favorites and standouts go on to have great careers, and this is less about love and more about strategy.
The Bachelor franchise is political theater at its finest. The crying, the melodrama, the heroes, and the villains all play out each week for you. Yes, you, sitting on your couch snacking your way through the Covid-19. This is the arena where careers are made and destroyed.
Someone might find a legitimate boyfriend or girlfriend and actually get married but really, there’s so much more to it than that. If you think it’s just a show, think again.
Finally, when #bettingonthebach you need a strategy. If you’re looking for some one-off fun, checking the DraftKings Sportsbook free pool. If you want to get more involved, we recommend The Verge’s fantasy league rules, or BachBracket.com which is even more advanced and has more ways to score and lose points. But the most over-the-top and dramatic, as well as those that last the longest before being voted off, tend to score the best. You’re looking for the LeBron of angry crying. The MJ of making out. That’s how you’ll rack up the points here.
Here are just a few of the scoring rules from The Verge version:
- Kiss: +5
- Make out: +2 extra to a kiss score
- Get a rose at Rose Ceremony: +10
- Get a rose pre-ceremony: +15
- Enter the hot tub: +4
- Get naked:+5
- Require medical attention:+10
- Say “for the right reasons”: +5
- Get caught with secret boyfriend or girlfriend: +20
- Steal Bachelor or Bachelorette away from another woman or man: +3
- Actually say “Can I steal you away”: +1
But you can lose points too! Don’t let the negatives outweigh the positives:
- Go on a solo date: -10 (This negative creates a risk / reward for solo dates that reflects the show)
- Leave the show voluntarily: –20
- Get sent home pre-ceremony: -15
- Get sent home at Rose Ceremony: -10
As a general rule there’s some things to know about what and who you’ll see on the show. Here are the big ones.
For sure one, but maybe two villains. Keeping in mind reality TV is heavily edited and that the “character” doesn’t end with their season, expect the villain(s) to make it pretty far in the show. They may or may not have a redeeming character arc if they end up in paradise and find love. There are plenty of “villains” on the show that have ended up winning the hearts and minds of Bachelor Nation over the years. The fans know it’s edited and everyone loves a comeback story. But the thing you need to know is that they usually make it pretty far so keep that in mind.
The First Impression Rose is important. In my best Inigo Montoya voice: Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up: After the first night where the bachelorette or bachelor meets everyone, they give out a most coveted “first impression rose” or FIR for short. The FIR has been a highly accurate indicator in picking the winner. So pay attention. The FIR’s recipient will usually make it pretty far. Place your bets accordingly.
There’s almost always someone who “isn’t here for the right reasons” (as if anyone else there is but whatever, I digress). The show “works” because everyone buys into the premise that “they’re here to find love.” Remember what I said earlier about the show not being about that? Yeah, it’s that too. It’s that tension that keeps things interesting and complicated. There’s literally not enough space in the internet for me to explain this in detail but you just need to know that at some point in time, someone will be called out and maybe sent home for “not being there for the right reasons.”
A contestant that’s “hiding something” is almost always a season staple. It could be that they have a secret girlfriend or boyfriend. It could be that they’re (gasp) a virgin, or at least claim to be. Colton, I’m lookin at you. It could also be something really traumatic that is a really heavy subject. But someone is always hiding something in the cast and depending on what it is, it could make them fan favorites or the ultimate villain. That impacts how long they stick around.
There’s usually a single parent or two. Sometimes that single parent is the bachelorette or bachelor but it’s usually a cast member. Historically that person has made it pretty far in the show so keep that in mind. In the Bach Bracket game, this is worth 15 points.
A cryer. There’s always a cryer. I’ll leave it at that. You’ve seen the commercials. You know what I mean. He or she almost always sticks around to the point where you celebrate when they’re actually asked to pack their bags and go.
You’ll almost always see someone with a weird hobby or occupation. It’s cool to see cast members’ hobbies and “real life” jobs. Sometimes though, things get unconventional at best and weird/creepy at worst. We’ve had a truffle farmer, a taxidermist and a guy who collects expensive perfumes. Whatevs perfume guy. You do you and just don’t ask for feet pictures ok? It’s creepy and rude. Oh did that just happen to me? Ok, never mind. Umm let’s move on.
The religious guy or girl is a classic trope. Nothing against anyone believing in a higher power, but the uber religious guy/girl is almost always a little preachy and judgy. Channeling a Hannah Brown I can have sex and Jesus still loves me vibe, I’m thinking you might not want to go on a show where one guy or girl gets to date 30 of your closest roommates at one time. If you’re uncomfortable, maybe think twice about accepting that rose? Just a thought.
The uber angry guy. There’s always at least one. It’s usually a ‘he” and he’s usually on the show just long enough to be entertaining but just short of being legit dangerous. Producers like to keep him around, because, drama, but he usually (thankfully) doesn’t make it to the final two.
There’s ALWAYS someone, guy or girl, who is like, super SEXED UP. Get ready for the men or women in the house to get super angry if an “overly” aggressive cast member gets the first kiss or goes “too far’ on a date or in a hot tub. Maybe it stems from jealousy, maybe it’s editing, maybe you were mad you didn’t take your top off in the bounce house (sup Corrine).
In the Bachelor nation universe there’s a line between “being here for the right reasons” and too sexed up. Classic slut shaming at its finest. It’s not pretty. It’s not fair but this person usually goes pretty far in their season and almost always gets a ticket to paradise. Good for them right? Insert eggplant and peach emoji.
That’s your primer. So now on Tuesdays we get drunk and watch grown men cry in limos and now you, you lucky duck, can join us — Now that you know the rules and can bet on the Bach accordingly. So pour some wine and make good choices.
XOXO, Your Basic Bach