When an innocent plebian makes the bold decision to be a contestant on television's most iconic dating show, they're basically signing away two months of their life to a religious experience that will change them forever. But while Bachelor and Bachelorette host Chris Harrison keeps an eagle-eye on his contestants 24/7, these hotties aren't always filming. Between waiting around during one-on-one dates and being locked in their hotel rooms all night, contestants have plenty of time on their hands. Just think of them as prisoners and Bachelor Mansion as Alcatraz!
So, what do these crazy kids get up to in their downtime (which, by the way, is completely devoid of cell phones, television and the internet)? Read on to find out…
They drink. Like, all day.
We know this is super-duper shocking, but contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette drink all day. Because who needs water when you have wine? Just ask Sean Lowe's homeboy Jesus. And speaking of Sean, his ex-girlfriend Katie Levans dished on Bachelor Mansion's supply, saying "There is, of course, no shortage of every single kind of alcohol you could imagine (in the house and in the limos) but it’s a self-serve situation and you choose whether or not to partake." Meanwhile, Katie's competitor, Leslie Hughes explains “It’s how they get you to be more talkative, more sensitive. 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.’" This explains so much!
They work on their fitness.
Contestants are required to spend about 99 percent of their time undressed (it's basically like a nudist camp up in Bachelor Mansion), so you better believe they work out. The problem? There's no gym, which means they literally wander around the woods in the hope of burning calories. While recent Bachelorette 10 cast off Brian Osborne simply says, "We worked out a ton," Bachelor 13 runner-up Molly Mesnick paints a less alluring picture, saying "There’s no workout room here, but there’s a hill in the back that girls would run up to exercise." Meanwhile, Bachelor 14's Ashleigh Hunt says "One day I ran laps around the outside of the house since there was not a gym." Give the people what they want, Harrison!
They morph into total gamers.
Because contestants are stripped of television and the internet, they have no choice but to do things like play games. We know, the horror. "In downtime we played Cards Against Humanity," Brian Osborne muses. "We played chess, checkers, pool, played football.” It's like a return to the dark ages! Oh, and in even more amazing news, Bachelorette 8 villain Kalon McMahon says the dudes on Emily Maynard's season made a rap video. Do with that information what you will.
There's literally nothing to do all day in Bachelor Mansion, so you better believe there's a lot of bonding among contestants. "We have to talk to each other — we have nothing else to do,” Leslie Hughes says. Luckily, all this bonding leads to some close friendships –– by which we mean bromances. "I got to know the guys very well," Brian Osborne says. "We learned about each other and bonded on a whole different level."
They sit around and tan.
Let's hope Chris Harrison doesn't confiscate contestants' sunscreen, because these Mansion prisoners spend a whole lot of time soaking up sun so their bodies are leathery and Oompa Loompa-like (in a sexy way). "A lot of them work out, they lay out by the pool, they're free to do whatever they want," Chris Harrison says. What is your definition of "free," Chris?
They cook and clean.
The Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants are on their own when it comes to actually nourishing their bodies with anything other than wine. "We have to do our own cooking, our own laundry," Leslie says. "We do everything you would do when you’re at home, except be able to go outside of your home." Um, unacceptable. But at least ABC provides plenty of noms! "Oh my god, there’s so much food," Katie says. "And alcohol. It’s weird, but the mansion becomes your home so it’s kind of like a really jacked up, well-stocked sorority house. The pantry, fridge, freezer, etc. were all overflowing with food to accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions."
They talk about worldly issues… not.
We've established that The Bachelor and Bachelorette's contestants spend a lot of time talking, but their conversations are moderated by ABC's camera crew. Basically, they aren't allowed to speak about anything of substance. “I remember there were times we’d start talking about something that wasn’t related to The Bachelor, like where we worked and the producer would come in and say, ‘Come on guys, wouldn’t you rather talk about how hot Jake is?’ And we’d be like, ‘Really?!’" Ali Fedotowsky says. "You’re always encouraged to talk about The Bachelor. It almost felt like we were rewarded if we did. It’s a very strange situation.”
So, what have we learned? Being on a contestant on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette means you'll spend about two months devoid of human contact, you'll probably end up with a serious sunburn from excess tanning, and you might develop a drinking problem. But it's all worth it because, LOVE!