A new excerpt from Los Angeles Times staff writer Amy Kaufman’s forthcoming new book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, gives us some juicy, somewhat depressing details about the show’s casting process.
According to Kaufman’s behind-the-scenes reporting, herpes is the biggest reason people don’t get cast on The Bachelor or Bachelorette.
If it turned out the person had an STD, they would be taken out of the running immediately. And apparently, that’s the top reason applicants don’t make it onto the show.
“As soon as the medical tests came back, you’d see that herpes was the biggest thing,” said Ben Hatta, [creator and executive producer] Mike Fleiss’s old assistant. “And sometimes you’d be the first person to tell a contestant that they had herpes. You’d be like, ‘Uh, you should call your doctor.’ Why? ‘We’re not going to be able to have you on our show, but you should call your doctor.’
“Then they’d realize they’d been denied from ‘The Bachelor’ and now a bunch of people knew they had herpes.”
That, uh, sucks! It isn’t actually all that surprising—herpes is pretty common, affecting 16 percent of women and 8 percent of men ages 14 to 49—but you’d think that other factors, like, say, mental fitness, would be at least equally prevalent barriers to participating in a torturous and nationally televised dating competition. As previous reports indicated, however, that’s not exactly the case.
“There’s psychological tests they have to pass, but there’s a window of the pass, do you know what I mean?” insinuated Michael Carroll, the producer who got so close to contestants that he even crashed in their rooms occasionally. “You’d know there’d be a possibility of [someone] being kind of unhinged — like, she passed, but just barely. You can see it at the casting events during the interviews: ‘Oh, this chick is going to go f–king nuts. She’s amazing.’ ”
Read the full excerpt here.