Episode 4 of The Bachelor 2017 broke a typical pattern for the long-running reality dating show. The Bachelor often features group trips to exotic locales, usually first to a location within the United States and then one or two international destinations. Past seasons of the show have featured trips to Las Vegas (Season 20), Santa Fe (Season 19), and San Francisco (Season 16), all popular tourist destinations.
This week’s episode of The Bachelor, however, featured host Chris Harrison telling the contestants that they would be heading to Waukesha, Wisconsin, a small city with a population of just 70,000 — quite the contrast to the typical Bachelor destination. The choice of Waukesha also stood out because the city is Bachelor Nick Viall’s hometown, and contestant Raven even got to meet his parents on their one-on-one date.
Most seasons of The Bachelor follow a strict pattern, and contestants do not meet the Bachelor’s parents and visit their hometown until there are fewer contestants left. This week’s episode of The Bachelor 2017, on the other hand, featured a staggering 15 contestants competing for Nick’s attention, while only one was able to meet Nick’s parents.
According to Bachelor host Chris Harrison, the choice to move Nick Viall and the contestants to Waukesha for the week was a last-minute decision made under extenuating circumstances. Harrison told Yahoo! TV the reason for the change in Bachelor scenery was because of weather.
“Our first trip was supposed to be to Kiawah Island in South Carolina, but Mother Nature had different plans. There was a Category 5 hurricane bearing down on the island, exactly where we were supposed to go, and it wasn’t safe to film. We obviously couldn’t put everyone in the middle of a hurricane — although that would have been good TV, and I’d argue a good way for Nick to see which ladies worked best in a crisis.”
Due to the hurricane threatening filming of The Bachelor, the crew made a quick decision to switch their destination. Kiawah Island is a much more typical Bachelor spot — the island is full of resorts, beaches, and golf courses which would be perfect for a romantic sunset date between Nick and a contestant.
— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) January 17, 2017
The decision to switch the Bachelor 2017 filming location also came very late in the process. All of the dates and housing for filming The Bachelor in Kiawah Island had already been planned, and had to be quickly abandoned at the last minute in order to account for the change in weather. The production staff of The Bachelor had to put an entire new production schedule together “within a matter of 12 to 15 hours.”
“There was no preproduction for that week. We had to change everything about what we were going to do including the location and the dates themselves. We were flying by the seat of our pants, booking random hotel rooms, and setting up dates on the fly.”
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This switch in Bachelor filming locations to Nick Viall’s hometown of Waukesha led to a looser, more relaxed episode with dates that were less structured. Chris Harrison told Yahoo! TV that the choice to change locations gave the episode a sense of spontaneity.
“I said, ‘Let’s just be honest and embrace it and make it fun.’ By the time I had to have the talk with the girls about the week, we still had no idea where we were going. It was like, ‘We are going somewhere today, but we’re not sure where that somewhere is.'”
The contestants on The Bachelor still stayed in luxury, despite the last-minute switch. The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported that the Bachelor contestants stayed in a massive, $1,042-a-night home on the coast of Lake Michigan. Bachelor Nick Viall also brought the contestants to local businesses and explored Waukesha’s downtown.
Are you excited for the rest of The Bachelor 2017?
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]