Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette premieres on May 19, and as we bite our nails in anticipation of what to expect from her bushel of bachelors, we turn to Chris Harrison for guidance. In an interview with Parade, our level-headed host revealed what producers look for in choosing contestants to compete on the most popular dating series in history. Let’s dive in.
Contrary to what you might think, Chris says ABC producers do NOT specifically look for crazy people or wild stories when casting for potential matches for the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Riiiiiiight. (We’re looking at you Blakeley Shea and Kasey Kahl!) So what is the magic formula?
Chris revealed that producers are just “looking for stories in general, you’re looking for that sincere person.” We have to agree, contestants with the best stories (i.e. stories that tug on heartstrings) do tend to resonate more strongly with the show’s audience. The Bachelor Season 18’s Clare Crawley got our sympathy vote when she revealed she had recently lost her dad to brain cancer, but not before he left her a DVD to give to her future husband. And who can forget Season 15’s Emily Maynard and her tragic story of learning she was pregnant just days after her fiancé had died? Audiences rallied around these two women like nobody’s business, and ABC producers are certainly taking note.
But a story doesn’t have to be tragic to be good. As a single dad, Juan Pablo was a popular contestant during Desiree Hartsock’s reign on The Bachelorette, and that backstory was enough to earn him the adoration of audiences. Says Chris of JPG, “we just thought he was a great fun-loving guy from Venezuela, he was a single dad, it made a great story!”
But just having a great story doesn’t guarantee you a spot in Bachelor Mansion. Casting for the show includes a fairly harrowing process including in-depth personality tests, blood tests, and multiple interviews with producers, a psychiatrist, and even a private investigator. Sheesh, getting into the White House seems easier. At least Andi knows her men really, really want to be there after jumping through all those hoops. Or they really, really want fame. Either way, they’ve got a clean bill of health.
So are there any “good stories” amongst Andi’s crop of rose hopefuls? So far details are hush hush, but chances are one of her super caliente suitors has a backstory that’s gonna melt our hearts. ABC’s gotten really good at finding the kinds of awwwww-inducing tales that get our hearts a-thumpin’.
Are you surprised they don’t look for something else in contestants? What do you think makes the best contestant? Hit the comments to share your thoughts!