People Who Worked Behind The Scenes On Reality Dating Shows Are Sharing What It's Really Like, And My Jaw Is On The Floor
Do you accept this reality? I mean...ROSE?!
Recently, Reddit user u/Fartfartfart69 (LOL) posed the question, "People who have appeared on dating shows, what’s it like behind the cameras?"
As an avid fan of reality TV, you know I simply ***HAD*** to go through and round up the best answers. So, here they are!!!
1. "A friend of mine was a male model and said the dating shows would call his agency on a semi-regular basis."
"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. I totally believe it."
2. "On the show I worked on, it was always so essential for the producers to capture the authentic first reaction that the bachelor had to 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."
3. "I was once offered $100 to play the 'bitchy girlfriend' on Parental Control. (I didn't think that was enough money to publicly ruin my reputation)."
4. "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."
5. "I wasn't on a dating show, but I saw one being filmed and it was VERY clear that this wasn't a real date."
"It was a young couple probably in their late-twenties at this axe-throwing place. While we were waiting outside, the team had to film the couple descending the steps several times because they weren't showing enough affection. They also filmed them exiting the venue and walking away about 3–4 times.
You could absolutely tell that these actors weren't into each other at all, and they had to film the girl throwing an axe 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. It was super awkward to watch and I cannot for the life of me believe anyone would think this was a real date."
6. "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 twelve men to date."
"The gimmick of the show is that each of the twelve 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."
7. "A good buddy of mine was on a Bachelorette-style show. He was drunk most of time."
"It was interesting to see parts of his 'story' being told as a sweet and kind man, but as a good friend, I could tell how drunk he was on a lot of his dates. He ended up winning. They also NDA'd him to hell and he refused to talk about the show in any capacity until a year or so after it aired."
8. "My father met the parents of some woman who was on The Bachelor. After some chit-chat, he asked how much of it was fake. They said EVERYTHING."
"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 7 episodes minimum, but she didn't get a rose, which eliminated her at 5 episodes."
9. "My friend was on the Irish First Dates. 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, and this took a long time as they had to change microphones. Afterwards, they had to wait around to be filmed talking about the date. They were given €20 towards the meal and had to pay the rest themselves. The taxi afterwards is just for filming purposes and drops them off around the corner, so contestants have to make their own way home."
10. "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.'"
11. "I was an actor in the '90s/'00s. Our agency supplied actors to dating shows."
"We had three people pretending to be in a love triangle, and when we watched a recording of it in our classes, the three people laughed at the sheer falsehood of it all. It was basically improv. I actually didn't know until then that the contestants were faked."
12. "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."
13. "When I worked on a dating show, bachelorettes and bachelors could absolutely not meet each other under any circumstances before the cameras were rolling and ready — security on this was practically tighter than the president."
14. "A girl I went to high school with was on Married At First Sight, and she said it was mostly scripted and edited to make her look super bad because people 'love the drama.'"
"Except, I couldn't tell it was edited. That's just how she was. Anyway, she's engaged again. So it obviously didn't make her look too bad."
15. "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 said I wasn't, but I'd be happy to be friends. For a long time, I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't use my episode because I thought it was really funny. 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."
16. "If the showrunner can turn a molehill into a mountain by taking things out of context or clever editing, they will."
"They tried to make it look like there was drama even if there wasn't, and would later ask leading questions during interviews and take those clips out of context so they had more footage to 'support' the drama storyline. The show my friend was involved in got canceled because they filmed someone without consent in an attempt to build that drama storyline and the person filmed threatened to sue. I don't know all the details after that, but all the 'actors' got paid even though the show didn't air."
17. "Producers never stop trying to bullshit their way into getting free stuff for the show: locations, product placements, free admittance to things for filming, etc. They genuinely believe that just because we show a restaurant on TV, people will flood it later because they saw it on [insert show title]. This goes for all reality TV, really."
18. "I was on First Dates (in the Netherlands) as a date in the background."
"You arrive at a large empty room with the rest of the background date people and then you have to sign some stuff. I couldn’t wear color or a print (that was too distracting) and the attention should be on the real participants. We saw the participants in the same empty room, but we couldn’t talk to them. Then we went to the restaurant, which was actually a small TV studio. There was no music at all because they had to edit the footage later, so they told us to speak loudly. The food was good and the waiters were really nice."
19. "One of my family members was on dating show, did quite well, but they didn't end up with the guy."
"She said that a lot of the personalities depicted for certain women were very much just cherry picking specific scenes to portray them differently than they were in the house. She also said they were confined to the house with very little opportunities to leave, essentially creating a stressful environment where tensions are likely to boil over."
20. "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. I went to this small office and had a discussion before being taken to a room with newspapers over the glass walls. There was a man behind the camera and a woman ready to ask questions. They asked a few things whilst recording, then asked me to get naked. I obliged. 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? Anyway, the whole thing was weird, but not awkward."
21. "I was on Love Connection and can tell you they put A LOT of thought into selecting my matches."
"I had to go through psych evals and drug and STD tests. I answered a lot of questions and had multiple interviews on what I was looking for in a partner."
22. "Surprisingly little is fabricated outright compared to what people think about reality TV in general, at least for bigger shows with large audiences."
"Most of what you see are real choices, decisions, and outcomes — the planning and manipulation people think happens comes 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."