Reality Show Contracts

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Hall-of-Fame baseball pitcher Jim Palmer once criticized his manager Earl Weaver by saying, “The only thing that Earl knows about big-league pitching is that he couldn’t hit it“.

I feel a little bit like that description of Earl Weaver as I write about the shows Bachelorand Bachelorette and I even had to check the spelling for the shows…that’s how little I know about them.

The only reason this show really got my attention was because a Virginia Beach resident got “not picked-picked” last season. And I cannot even bring myself to write about that nonsense. But I am fascinated with the contracts that the prospective contestants have to sign before going on the show.

Why do I know anything about this show? Maybe it’s all in the presentation?

dog posing for camera

So why am I writing about this show on the blog? Well first, the prospective contestants have to go through a lot of testing. If you want to apply for the show, you are required to send in a video presentation about yourself. Then, potential contestants are given a 150-question personality test.

This test includes questions like “Do you think you can control things with your mind?” and “Have you ever wanted to kill someone?”. I could keep going with this to include the show’s therapist; but suffice it to say, they want people who are “interesting“. They want “angry drunks” on the show. They even have private investigators searching to find if you have made a sex tape or been charged with a DUI. Although, the producers claim that a sexually transmitted disease is bad for the show and a potential contestant is automatically off. Is this sounding creepy? Yes! But they do not care. All for good TV.

The curious factoid about the contestants is that many have quit their jobs. That explains why they are listed with jobs like “Financial Consultant” or “Real Estate Consultant“. However, contestants are typically not paid for their time on the show. If you are the featured bachelor or bachelorette, you could possibly earn up to 100K.

Which leads me to their clothes. On the show, you are constantly expected to dress up like you are always headed to the Royal Wedding. But, you are responsible by contract to provide your own clothes. Some contestants mortgage their homes to spend upwards of 30K on clothing. Or, they cash in their 401K.

By contract, the contestants are isolated to protect the results of the show. As 28 people compete for the right to marry a stranger, no one on the outside world can know the results. It’s why one contestant was reported by her mother as “Missing” to the police. Even cell phones are taken from them. They are allowed to bring a Bible. How about that! Just so the outside world cannot know what is going on with the results, because the ultimate TV ratings would be impacted.

Finally, part of their contract is to waive privacy. They allow the producers 24 hours access to their lives.

Why would anyone agree to all of these crazy contract paragraphs. Well… because they do not read the contract. They just want to be on the show!

I am not going to even ask you what you think about all of this. I already know.

For pic o’ day… being part of the management!

dog with a big branch

 

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