Fans know that The Bachelor season 25 was one of the most criticized seasons of the show due to its problematic depictions of the women and Matt James, and producers may be repeating their mistakes with Clayton Echard. A lot of viewers considered Matt a lackluster lead. However, producers don’t seem to have learned anything from the ordeal that ensued after season 25. Most viewers watch The Bachelor for one thing, which is romance. They were disgusted by the manner in which the women were portrayed on Matt’s The Bachelor season. Before it aired, fans had high hopes, as Matt was the first Black bachelor to be cast in the history of the show, and the women were the most diverse group ever. The show seemed to be changing for the better in terms of diversity. However, the drama between many of the contestants quickly dominated the show, steamrolling over any hope of America getting the chance to truly get to know the contestants. An inordinate amount of screen time was given to the bullying Victoria Larson, who referred to herself as “Queen Victoria.”
Bachelor Nation watched the arguments between the women with frustration and anger because they knew that none of these contestants would be Matt’s final choice, yet they got the most screen time. The negative stereotype that women cannot get along with or support one another was furthered, while the stories of some of Matt’s final 4 contestants, such as Serena Pitt, Bri Springs, Michelle Young, and Rachael Kirkconnell, were sacrificed. Although his relationship with his final choice Rachael was marred by the racism controversy that ultimately resulted in Chris Harrison leaving the franchise, Matt is now in a very supportive and happy relationship with her. However, the end of the show felt very rushed because so much time was spent on the fights between the eliminated women, and viewers did not really get to know the women who made it to the end. They also did not connect with Matt, a Bachelor who had not appeared on a season of The Bachelorette and was only known to them because he is best friends with Tyler Cameron.
The producers are already repeating these mistakes with Clayton’s The Bachelor season. After the backlash that they received for even choosing him in the first place, one would think that they would listen when it comes to what viewers want. However, once again, controversial women (ranging from people confused about their feelings to flat-out villains who clearly will not make it to the end of the season) are stealing the spotlight. At the same time, women worthy of attention are fading into the background. The show should take fans more seriously because they run the risk of alienating them, to the point of losing viewers. The following is a list of mistakes that the producers cannot seem to stop repeating.
Perpetuating Negative Stereotypes About Women By Giving Villains A Voice
Viewers have made it very clear that they are tired of villains getting a major spotlight, but the second episode of the show was again comprised mainly of arguments between the women. Cassidy Timbrooks emerged as a villain when she refused to participate in the group date activity, and instead stole Clayton away for thirty minutes so they could make out. Fans also suspect that a scene in which Cassidy dropped a cake decorated by Genevieve Parisi on the ground was staged, proving that they don’t even believe the drama anymore. The fight between Shanae Ankney and Elizabeth Corrigan, during which Shanae ended up cruelly weaponizing Elizabeth’s ADHD, was hard to watch and received a lot of negative feedback. Cassidy and Shanae were used to perpetuate every negative stereotype about women.
Not Highlighting Female Friendships
Besides the romance, one of the best parts of Bachelor in Paradise is watching the friendships among the contestants. This is rarely aired on The Bachelor, as producers would rather show women tearing each other down than helping each other. One would think that all of the women hated each other, but on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Serena Pitt revealed that she and some of the other women from Matt’s season were great friends. On that same podcast, Susie Evans from Clayton’s season gushed about how she is still best friends with many of the women from the show. Teddi Wright told the hosts of Click Bait with Bachelor Nation that she warned producers that the show would be so boring because all of the women were so nice, and that it would be the first season without drama. Viewers have not yet seen any of these relationships, but they did see Cassidy and Shanae team up as they conspired to undermine the other women.
In 2012, Courtney Robertson gained notoriety on Ben Flajnik’s season when she won the show, despite saying that she “didn’t come here to make friends,” and was very disliked by the other women. She even wrote a book called, “I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.” Her outrageous behavior shocked fans and was the talk of the season at the time. However, in the last decade, tastes have changed. People are over women tearing down other females. The situation is old, tired, and stereotypical. It’s insulting to all women. The Bachelor is determined to turn women against each other, rather than show the supportive friendships that really do exist in the mansion and, by extension, in the real world.
Spending Too Much Time On Contestants Who Are Eliminated Early
Contestants who do not make it past the first few weeks of The Bachelor should not receive more airtime than the ones who make it to the end. Although viewers do not know the outcome before the show airs, the producers certainly do, and they must do a better job of helping fans to understand the love stories. Gone are the days of the great romances of Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter or Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici. Now, the show is more focused on creating “the most dramatic season ever” than the most believable one. This was true on Matt’s season and it is now happening on Clayton’s installment too.
The first episode of Clayton’s season featured Salley Carson, who was engaged to be married right before the show and left on what was supposed to be her wedding day. This segment took up ten minutes of the premiere, which was much more time than even the recipient of the First Impression Rose, Teddi, received. Fans were convinced that Salley would later return to the show because there would be no other reason to devote that much time to her. Perhaps Salley’s story made for some good drama, but is it really worthwhile if viewers see it as a waste of time?
Waiting Until It’s Too Late To Let Viewers Get To Know The Final Contestants
Viewers do not yet know who will make it to the end of the show, but there are already some front runners, such as Teddi Wright and Susie Evans, who have caught Clayton’s attention. Both women are examples of multi-faceted, three-dimensional contestants whose life stories were touched on, but not explored in depth so far on the show. Teddi is a nurse who works with cancer patients. Susie moved to Japan by herself when she was 22 and lived there until she was 25. Both have appeared on podcasts to speak about their lives, and their experiences with the show so far. They shared many details, and while the show cannot disclose everything about the women, fans of the show should not have to listen to podcasts to get to know the women better because so much time is wasted on the villains.
On Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette, problematic men, such as Jamie Skaar, Chris Sutton, and Martin Gelbspan, were quickly dealt with by the other men and/or Michelle and left the show without getting a lot of screen time. This allowed fans to really get to know (and fall in love with Michelle’s final four men), including Rodney Mathews, Joe Coleman, Brandon Jones, and her now-fiancé, Nayte Olukoya. It is frustrating to watch women who seem to be on Clayton’s season for the right reasons take a backseat to the drama because the producers think that viewers want to see a spectacle. This is once again a case of the producers being completely tone-deaf to what Bachelor Nation wants.
Allowing The Drama To Overshadow The Bachelor Himself
One of the biggest problems with the choice of Clayton was that he only had eight minutes of screen time on Michelle’s season. Fans were not connected with him, and they felt that they did not know him. The same thing happened with Matt. However, rather than help viewers to get to know Clayton by showing more about his life, the show mostly portrays him as a man who acts like an adolescent schoolboy at a makeout party. A look at Clayton’s LinkedIn profile reveals that The Bachelor is a multi-faceted man, with a strong education and career. He is even working toward completing his MBA in Health/Health Care Administration/Management. It is hard to believe that he hasn’t discussed this with any of the women, but Bachelor Nation has not seen it. They’ve just seen drama, such as Clayton spending a lot of his group date time dealing with the argument between Shanae and Elizabeth.
The producers of The Bachelor have not learned from their missteps in Matt’s season and are repeating those same mistakes with Clayton. As the audience of the show ages, the producers must take into consideration that viewers want to see strong women portrayed in a positive light, rather than immature girls who only joined the show to gain social media followers. Tastes have changed and people no longer enjoy watching possibly staged drama unfold on reality television. People want to see true romance. If The Bachelor producers do not start listening to their fans, they might find themselves with an audience that rejects their final rose.
Next: Bachelor: Clayton Explains Why He Gave Teddi His First Impression Rose
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
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