It’s not always easy finding love, and for contestants on “The Bachelor,” it can be expensive and disruptive. Here are some of the sacrifices contestants make in the name of love.
Dropping money on a new wardrobe
In one episode from the 20th season of “The Bachelor,” it was rumoured that contestant Olivia Caridi had spent $40,000 on her wardrobe for the show.
She denied spending that much in a Q&A published on her site, but contestants are required to provide their own clothing — except for the two finalists during the finale — for the duration of their time on the show. Caridi said that her stylist friend helped her pick out her wardrobe.
Some people borrow clothing from friends to avoid spending a ton of money on a new wardrobe. Lesley Murphy, from season 17 of “The Bachelor,” told MarketWatch in an article reporting on the lengths “Bachelor” contestants go to for the reality-TV opportunity. “I have really great friends, and they have even better closets.”
Others do spend a ton of money in preparing. Jillian Harris, the second runner-up from the 13th season of “The Bachelor” and star of the fifth season of “The Bachelorette,” wrote on her blog, “I had remortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing.”
Chad Johnson, a contestant on the current season of “The Bachelorette,” told Glamour that he packed an entire suitcase full of protein and spent around $7,000 on clothes.
Contestants have said, however, that they receive gift bags with sponsored items to use or wear when they arrive.
Uprooting their entire lives
When contestants pack, they don’t know how long they will be in the “Bachelor” mansion. After they have been accepted, they have roughly two to three weeks to tell their employer that they will be gone for up to six weeks and to figure out their financial situation. They are unable to use phones or the internet or to watch TV while at the mansion.
Isabel Goodkind, who was eliminated during the first episode of the 20th season, spoke with AV Club about going through months of the application process and packing her bags for every possible situation — and then leaving on the first day.
“I packed my life up for a long time. I packed for all types of weather,” she said. “We’re not given any information … I packed everything possible.”
After she was cut, she did her exit interview and that was it.
“And that was after going through months of applications, and videos, and back and forth, and giving up my job, and leaving my life behind, and for it all to come out beneath me overnight was so overwhelming,” she said. “That was, I think, the hardest for me, wrapping my head around that I had just gone through so much to get here, and it was over within 13 hours.”
Many contestants do leave their jobs to compete on the show.
While Caridi gave up her job for the show, she said, “I did not give up my career. I am confident that I will get another job in broadcast news to continue my career in the television news industry.”
Returning to normalcy
After making significant sacrifices to appear on the show, some contestants encounter difficulty returning to the normal world.
Murphy was able to return to her old job, though she ended up changing her career path later.
JJ Lane, a contestant on season 11 of “The Bachelorette,” told MarketWatch that he had difficulties finding a job after appearing on the show.
“I didn’t understand the magnitude of the show and how hard it is to get a real job right after,” Lane said. “Everyone knows who you are and employers see it as a distraction.” He was still job searching in March 2016, nearly a year after the season he was on aired.
He added that former contestants may find a supplemental salary from appearances and product promotion.
“It’s not a way to make a living,” he said. “It is more of a supplemental way to get something out of being on the show.”
Goodkind told AV Club that she had thought about staying in California to continue her graphic design career but after vacationing for a bit, decided to head back to the East Coast. She now lives in New York City and is a freelance graphic designer.
“I considered staying out there; I had nothing really holding me back here,” she said. I was considering moving out there and starting a graphic design job out there. I really just took time to unwind … I think about where this took me … That’s interesting to me to think about — that because I went home night one, and I stayed in L.A. for five days, I’m here right now because of it, and I’m very, very happy.”
Most contestants get sent home with nothing. But each one has to decide ahead of time whether the shot at finding love — or fame — is worth it.
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