Colton Underwood

Flanked with roses, women and drama, Colton Underwood first made himself known to the world through “The Bachelor“ franchise in 2018 and a subsequent role on “The Bachelorette.” Since then, “The Bachelor” fans have watched him as he fell in and out of love, jumped fences and dodged virginity jokes through his experiences on “Bachelor in Paradise” and “The Bachelor.” 

In his recently released memoir “The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV,” the former NFL player and “Bachelor” alum gives insight to his life before the show and provides a drama-filled, behind-the-scenes look into his experience with the franchise. Here are nine “Bachelor” secrets spilled in Underwood’s new book. 

The Bachelor and Bachelorette don’t get to pick who goes on the one-on-one dates

“When producers informed me to get ready for a one-on-one with her, my smile expressed a well of pent-up excitement,” Underwood says as he discusses current girlfriend Cassie Randolph in Chapter 1. Unlike the free will displayed in the show, the Bachelor or Bachelorette actually has no say in who attends their dates, according to Underwood. He explains many times throughout the book that he was unhappy with who the producers picked to accompany him on the one-on-one dates.

Time spent between the Bachelor or Bachelorette and the contestants on the dates is often interrupted by production

While addressing his one-on-one date with Randolph in Thailand, Underwood said the two were constantly pulled for interviews, especially at intimate times. He also talks about how their time together would be largely impacted by production elements like waiting for microphones or getting b-roll. 

Underwood wasn’t planning on attending a Bachelor casting call

Approaching a large group of women out of sheer curiosity at 16th Street Mall in Denver, Underwood read a sign signaling a Bachelor casting call. As he was walking away, Underwood was approached by a casting agent who invited him inside for an interview. Since his relationship with gymnast Aly Raismen recently ended, Underwood obliged. The rest is history.

“The Bachelor” franchise isn’t very patient

After being selected for “The Bachelorette,” Underwood was given only two weeks before filming began. In this time frame, he was expected to sever any obligations, assemble the items on the extensive packing list, sign contracts, disconnect from dating apps, make social media accounts private and explain to family and friends the reason for his three-month absence.  

The mansion’s kitchen is always open and stocked with the cast’s requests 

In the mornings, Underwood describes that contestants would wake up and make meals for themselves, except for rose ceremony days when meals were catered. Contestants submitted grocery requests to producers. Dishes also fall in the hands of the contestants. On Underwood’s season of “The Bachelorette,” they had one rule: if you cooked for the group, you weren’t expected to do dishes. 

Underwood really wanted to be The Bachelor

He said he sincerely loved his time on “The Bachelorette,” as the contest’s push for emotional honesty and vulnerability is something he thrived on. After ending up fourth place in Becca Kufrin’s heart on “The Bachelorette,” he craved more of the experience and genuinely wanted to find love by being The Bachelor. He knew that accepting his offer to be on “Bachelor in Paradise” would increase his chances of being picked for “The Bachelor” by giving him more publicity — even though he wasn’t exactly thrilled to participate in what he described as a “dating-themed Lord of The Flies.” Eventually, however, it paid off and he was chosen for “The Bachelor” over Jason Tartick and Blake Hortsmann.

The Bachelor or Bachelorette is treated like royalty compared to the contestants

Underwood is very open about the special treatment he received as The Bachelor compared to his experience on “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise.” As The Bachelor, he flew first class, received a custom wardrobe and stayed in a lavish hotel room. On ”The Bachelorette,” he flew coach, he was expected to buy his own wardrobe prior to filming and stayed in normal hotel rooms. 

Underwood never planned to jump the fence

In a spur-of-the-moment fit of rage after Randolph left him, Underwood jumped the fence to escape from the fantasy suite in Portugal. He wanted to leave the show; he was done. In the moment, he said his plan was to run away and find some sort of U.S. embassy where he could get a temporary passport and fly home. Eventually, the producers caught up to him and convinced him to return to the show. 

The show isn’t fake

While the producers control a number of aspects on the show, they don’t have any say over the participants’ true emotions. Underwood affirmed The Bachelor or Bachelorette has full say in who stays and who goes. The feelings shared between The Bachelor or Bachelorette and the contestants are real and unscripted. Like with Underwood and Randolph, people really do fall in love on reality TV.

culture@dailynebraskan.com