Ex-Bachelor producer reveals dirty tactics used against contestants

Ex-Bachelor producers reveal the horrifying tactics they used to manipulate show’s stars for sake of explosive TV – from plying them with alcohol to preying on trauma and tragedy to make them CRY on camera

  • Producers of the ABC dating show would take information they acquired during the screening process and ‘wield it like a weapon’
  • They had special measures used to make contestants cry on camera
  • Alcohol was also supplied to cast members, they reveal in damning ViceTV doc
  • READ MORE: Bling Empire star Kevin Kreider, 39, reveals he was paid LESS than a UPS worker for starring in hit Netflix show about wealth and excess

Former producers of The Bachelor have revealed they purposefully weaponized personal information against stars to ‘wreck them psychologically’ in a mission to make more explosive TV – admitting that they used to ply them with alcohol and prey on their personal traumas to make them cry on camera.

The ABC dating show, which was created by Mike Fleiss and made its grand debut in 2002, was put under the microscope in the latest episode of the ViceTV docuseries Dark Side of the 2000, with ex-employees and participants exposing the grim reality of how the program was manufactured.

The shocking deep dive into The Bachelor’s early years comes just weeks after reality stars accused NBC and Bravo of deliberately damaging the mental health of cast members by plying them with alcohol and depriving them of food and sleep.

Michael Carroll, who worked as a producer on The Bachelor during the 2000s, admitted that they would cast the contestants with particular archetypes in mind, such as a villain, before investigating what would make them tick.

Dating show giant: The Bachelor, created by Mike Fleiss,  launched in 2002 with their very first Bachelor, Alex Michel

Coming clean: Producers have opened up about the exploitation of cast members in a damning new ViceTV documentary 

‘We needed a bimbo. We needed a ho. We needed a ditzy girl that everyone could make fun of,’ he said. 

Ex-casting director Marki Costello explained that they would then create boards that had a little backstory so that they could work out the contestants’ tendencies.

‘She just went through a breakup, she just got over anorexia, she has been a bridesmaid 15 times but never a bride. She’s gonna f*** somebody on day one. She’s a virgin and she’s never gonna f***. That’s the reality. They want to know what’s gonna happen in that house.’

They would then take the information they acquired during the screening process and ‘wield it like a weapon’ to get what the explosive storylines they wanted.

‘Bringing up things that don’t need to be brought up and just, you know, wrecking them psychologically,’ Carroll said.

When the cameras started running, producers were tasked with creating even more drama and so they use dirty tactics to get a contestant cry.

‘We had a lot of tactics on how to get a girl to cry on camera, everyone had their own shtick. You had to go for their hot buttons,’ Caroll continued.

‘Their dad left them when they were eight years old. They were left at the altar. And that’s how it is if you want to be on The Bachelor.

‘You’re gonna cry right here, and if you don’t cry enough, we’re going to find a way to get you out, and then we’re gonna make you cry when you leave because you didn’t get The Bachelor. So… you better cry.’

Dishing the dirt: Former Bachelor producer Michael Carroll admitted to ‘wrecking’ cast members ‘psychologically’ 

Savage tactics: Producers would take information they acquired during the screening process and ‘wield it like a weapon’

Exploitative: Producers would push contestants’ buttons in order to get them to cry on camera

Specific archetypes: Ex-casting director Marki Costello sought out specific characters and would work out their tendencies

Producers would also use alcohol in a bid to manufacture drama and would make sure the cast was well stocked.

Recalling the first episode of season one, Carroll remembered that the women were kept in a limousine with a load of booze and nowhere to go to the bathroom.

‘They’re just sitting in the limo, drinking champagne until they’re blotto,’ he said.

‘There’s nowhere for them to go to the bathroom, so all the beautiful girls, 25, have to get out of the car and pee on the side of the road in their gowns. Fantastic.’

Kelly Jo Higgins, who appeared on the fourth season of The Bachelor was confident the producers would get the contestants drunk on purpose.

Truth serum: Producers admitted to plying cast members with alcohol during filming

Reflecting on her experience: Former contestant Kelly Jo Higgins said that alcohol ‘played a part’ on the show 

‘Let the journey continue’: Mike Fleiss, the creator of the The Bachelor, quit the franchise in March after 21 years at its helm 

‘It’s like a truth serum in a situation like The Bachelor,’ she said in the documentary. ‘So yes, of course, I think alcohol played a part in some people either being more comfortable in front of the camera or willing to share more.’

Fleiss, the creator of the The Bachelor, launched the hit dating series back in 2002 with their very first Bachelor, Alex Michel, and host Chris Harrison, who remained with the franchise for years before his departure in 2021 following a controversy.

The show has evolved massively over the years with their female-led spin-off, The Bachelorette, debuting in 2003.

Its success has also led to spin-offs Bachelor Pad, Bachelor Winter Games, and the wildly popular Bachelor In Paradise.   

Fleiss, however, announced his departure from the franchise in March after 21 years at the helm, four years after he was accused of attacking his wife Laura, which he denied.

She obtained a temporary restraining order against him, and they filed for divorce, only to reconcile. The restraining order was also dropped.

Earlier this month, reality stars sent a damning letter to NBC and Bravo in which they alleged ‘grotesque and depraved mistreatment’ and claimed they were ‘mentally, physically, and financially victimized’. 

‘At the outset, we require our third-party production partners to have appropriate workplace policies and training in place,’ a spokesperson for NBCUniversal said in a statement to DailyMail.com.

‘If complaints are brought to our attention, we work with our production partners to ensure that timely, appropriate action is or has been taken, including investigations, medical and/or psychological support, and other remedial action that may be warranted such as personnel changes.’

Dark Side of the 2000s airs Tuesdays at 9pm on ViceTV

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