Every Wednesday, there are whispers all across campus.
“I cannot believe he didn’t get a rose last night.”
“Man, Chris Harrison is such a legend.”
Like it or not, ABC’s The Bachelorette has a huge following. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a simple recipe; one guy or girl is selected to find love. This comes by simultaneously dating about 30 members of the opposite sex and eliminating them week by week. When it’s down to the winner, a proposal is expected.
Between The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, there have been almost 35 seasons. That’s almost 35 proposals, 35 couples and hundreds of contestants. However, after some Instagram sleuthing, it’s clear that only eight couples have remained married. How then does this show have the longevity and following it has? Why do over 5 million people tune in weekly?
“It’s like the freak shows that would set up outside town,” said Fred Woolley, a psychology professor at BYU-Idaho. “It’s just such a departure from what anyone would actually do that it becomes a fascinating thing to watch.”
Woolley explained how one of the more addicting parts of the show is the drama without consequences for the viewer. Viewers get to sit on their couch and watch something abnormal with high stakes for the individuals involved without any consequences themselves. The bachelorette decides who to send home and figure out who’s ready for marriage without any repercussion for the viewer. This is perhaps what makes the show the success it is.
Megan Hooper, a senior studying healthcare administration, watches the show for a shared experience with her friends.
“We get together every week to watch,” Hooper said. “It’s fun to watch the guys struggle to make a connection with the bachelorette. It can be super awkward to watch but that’s what makes it fun.”
Every episode seems to have something its viewers can talk about or make fun of throughout the week.
“We’re sending each other memes on Instagram from the last episode all the time, they’re always amazing,” Hooper said.
The Bachelorette airs weekly on ABC at 7 p.m. with each episode lasting about two hours. More information about the series and full episodes can be found on ABC’s website.