You hate them, but you love them, and you hate that you love them. That’s the reality of reality TV shows. From “Love Island” to “The Bachelor,” we pretend that we only watch it for a good laugh, but, secretly, we wish we were the ones experiencing the romance.
It turns out dating shows are not all that glamorous. We already knew some of it was scripted, but just how much? Find out from those who experienced it firsthand!
They Just Want Models
“They just wanted good-looking people for their show. It was all an act. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my friend said his agent was telling him most of those reality TV shows will reach out to agencies looking for good-looking or ‘interesting’-looking people.” —MikoSkyns / Reddit
It would explain why we have yet to see a plus-size woman as the next bachelorette!
It’s All About The Editing
“My cousin was on a reality cooking show. They edited it to make her look bad. After the airing, one lady found her on Facebook and sent her a nasty message about what a terrible person she was.”
“My cousin screenshotted the message and posted it to her Facebook profile. All of the other contestants messaged the sender back and told her how wrong she was and what kind of person my cousin really was.” —MrQuickLine / Reddit
Capturing The Same Reaction Over Again
“On the show I worked on, it was always so essential for the producers to capture the authentic first reaction that the bachelor had seeing each bachelorette for the very first time. After that initial reaction, we’d shoot it again a few times to get different angles, but those reactions you see are real.” —HammerheadMorty / Reddit
It would require some type of talent to be able to naturally reproduce the same reaction over and over again.
Reputation Is A Persona
“I was once offered $100 to play the ‘b***** girlfriend’ on ‘Parental Control.’ (I didn’t think that was enough money to publicly ruin my reputation.” —Daughterofthebeast / Reddit
It’s actually sad how many contestants have had their lives torn apart and been blasted with comments on social media simply based on the way they were portrayed on television.
A Lot Of Alcohol Is Involved
“A good buddy of mine was on a bachelorette-style show. He was drunk most of the time. They had PAs restock whiskey and replace kegs more than they used it to record actual audio for the show.”
“It was interesting to see parts of his ‘story’ being told as a sweet and kind man, but as a good friend, I could just see the drunk on his face on a lot of his dates/interactions. He ended up winning.” —tdjustin / Reddit
The Crew Takes Bets On The Contestants
“Crews bet on everything. If it’s a competition in any way, crews have money flying all around it. Only producers keep out of the betting rings. This goes for basically every reality show.” —HammerheadMorty / Reddit
This becomes dangerous when they start to try to influence the contestants to favor the bets or get good ratings.
Dates Are Dragged On For Hours
“A friend was on the [First Dates Ireland]. She said everything took ages. They had to get there early and wait for hours to be called. They were told to take a toilet break during the date so they could be filmed phoning someone, this took a long time as they had to change microphones.”
“They were given €20 for the meal and had to pay the rest themselves. The taxi afterward is just for footage.” —spodokomodo / Reddit
The Feelings Aren’t Genuine
“We were waiting outside the ax-throwing place. The team had to film the couple descending the steps several times because they weren’t showing enough affection.”
“You could absolutely tell that these actors weren’t into each other at all, and they had to film the girl throwing an ax about 10 times before she got a good shot. When she finally got one, the dude wasn’t even paying attention, so we had to wait for her to try another 5–6 times before she hit one and he ran up and gave her a kiss.” —CouragetheCowardly / Reddit
The Stars Don’t Actually Align
“I don’t speak Spanish fluently, but one time I appeared on ‘Doce Corazones’ (Twelve Hearts), which is a Spanish dating show where a woman has to choose from 12 men to date.”
“The gimmick of the show is that each of the 12 guys has a different zodiac sign, and I guess that’s part of the matchmaker’s recommendation to the woman. I didn’t really understand what was going on, but they didn’t care what my actual birthday was. They just told me to pretend to be a Sagittarius for the show.” —Jscott1986 / Reddit
“The Bachelor” Offers A Contracted Number Of Episodes
“My father met the parents of some woman who [was] on ‘The Bachelor.’ Their daughter wasn’t an elementary school teacher, she was a model. She was given instructions to be much cattier in a few scenes, which they reshot with all the other hired models who were the girls.”
“In fact, they said their daughter was currently in a legal scuffle with the production because she was contracted to appear in seven episodes minimum, but she didn’t get a rose, which eliminated her at five episodes.” —Nitrostoat / Reddit
Gotta Stick With The Script
“I had a non-actor friend on MTV’s ‘Next’ in the early ’00s as one of the three suitors on the bus.”
“I watched the episode and the banter didn’t sound like him at all. I asked and he said ‘every single word out of my mouth was scripted.‘” —SaltedandSmoked / Reddit
Love Is A Speed Test
“I did a car dating show when I was an actor in LA. It was fun and we did a lot of fun trivia games and such. After two hours they took me aside and asked if I was in love with the girl. I honestly said that I wasn’t but I’d be happy to be friends.”
“Turns out they only use the episodes where people actually fall in love with each other in two hours. That’s a little fast for me.” —bigblueberry / Reddit
Fired Before The First Day
“On ‘The Apprentice UK,’ they film the ‘getting into the taxi after being fired’ bit on day one. They make all contestants wear a big coat and a scarf to hide their outfits for consistency’s sake.” —SirLoremIpsum
Nothing like embracing failure on the first day to really motivate a contestant.
Marrying A Stranger
“I have a friend that was a model in LA and somehow found herself on one of those shows. She was paired up with this guy and the premise was that they were planning their dream wedding.”
“They had this unlimited budget and cameras followed them as they planned it all. I don’t know a lot of the details about how it all went down, but she actually (legally) married the guy. They divorced.” —wisertime07 / Reddit
Comfortable With The Birthday Suit
“I was on ‘Naked Attraction,’ S2E10. I was ‘volunteered’ by my friends and just kept on going along with it. For the audition process, they advised me that I’d have to get naked.”
“There was a man behind the camera and a woman ready to ask questions. So I was just chatting to them whilst nude. They then asked me to do a few things, like do a few cheesy poses because the ‘higher ups’ love that stuff. I think they asked me to do star jumps at one point?” —TAFHUC / Reddit
Not Everything Is Fake
“Surprisingly little is fabricated outright compared to what people think about reality TV. Most of what you see are real choices, decisions, and outcomes—the planning and manipulation is all in pre-production based on extensive interviews with contestants on things.”
“As an extreme example, someone’s afraid of heights? Congrats! Your date is now bungee jumping and eating at a glass floor restaurant dinner. It’s always about eliciting strong reactions from vibrant people.” —HammerheadMorty / Reddit