Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss rarely gives interviews, but when he does he’s at least candid.
In a new interview with After the Rose, Fleiss admits even the producers weren’t happy with Ben Flajnik’s The Bachelor Season 16. He names Jason Mesnick’s controversial Bachelor 13 as his favorite season to date. He says Emily Maynard’s The Bachelorette Season 8 will probably be the most romantic season yet. He even responds to “rumors” that they cast a “certain type” on the show, and since this interview was conducted on April 27, 2012, we can only assume that question is subtly referring to the recent discrimination lawsuit against ABC.
Here are a couple of highlights from the full interview.
On how much longer he sees the show being on the air: “I think the show is going to be on for a very long time. It is still very popular, it is still a top rated show and is still one of the top five shows among female viewers, and it still gets more magazine covers than any show on television. I think the show is going to be around for a good long time.”
How would he like to see the show evolve? “The one thing that I would still like to see happen is for the couple to proclaim their love for each other and to actually get married at the end of their season. … To actually see the couple get married live on the ‘After the [Final] Rose’ special.”
Why Jason’s season was his favorite: “I felt the story of a single dad was very compelling, I felt that Jason was an excellent Bachelor, I felt that he really cared about what he was doing on the show and was really looking for a wife. The show had a great ending to it, a surprise ending when he switched from Melissa [Rycroft] to Molly [Malaney], but also a great ending in that he and Molly are happily married to this day. That season had everything in it that you look for in a great bachelor season.”
On not disappointing the fans again after Bachelor 16: “You know, we love our fans and that was one thing inspired from the fans. We know that without them, there is no show so we try really, really hard to give them what they want. You know, sometimes we don't. I don't think anyone on the show in terms of the producers was really happy with this last season, with Ben's season; we tried to make the best of it like we always do, but it wasn't what we set out to make. I think there was some frustration on the part of the audience with the way it unfolded, but I am virtually certain that the audience will get what they are hoping for with Emily's season. It is probably the most romantic season that we've ever had.”
On “rumors” that ABC casts “certain types” for the show: “[Ou]r casting is really based on one principle; we are looking for sincere people that are really looking for love. That is the beginning, middle, and end of it all. That is what we really want. We try to weed out people who want to further their professional ambitions or are there for the excitement of being on television, and for the most part, we do a pretty good job of that.”