On Monday night, Ben Higgins will wrap up the 20th season of The Bachelor by choosing one of two women — if he follows the standard formula. After Higgins revealed feelings for both of his final two last week, host Chris Harrison teased that the boy-next-door lead goes “3/4 Mesnick” in the finale, referencing the Bachelor who dropped his chosen winner for her runner-up several years ago.
Whatever happens, it will be another season on the resume of Ken Fuchs, a director of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette since 2002. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fuchs revealed that the dating drama that is a hallmark of the reality series has a lot to do with lack of sleep and alcohol; especially during those all-important cocktail parties.
— ken fuchs (@kennyfuchs) January 12, 2016
Fuchs said he’s filmed as late as 5 a.m. for some rose ceremonies. Although the contestants are supported with caffeine to keep them up, cocktail parties take time — especially in the early episodes when the Bachelor or Bachelorette is trying to spend meaningful time with more than two dozen contestants. Fuchs notes that there is a gender difference when it comes to who still has energy in the wee hours — and the techniques they use to stay awake.
“The girls are sometimes a little harder to keep up in the morning I think than the guys. ‘Cause the guys are a little more like crazy. And they’ll jump in the pool you know or something weird to keep themselves up, but they also probably drink more, so I think it’s just a lot of like early morning coffee and a little fresh air.”
THR asked if the late hours heightens the drama.
“It might. It’s an emotional night. It’s an emotional night any way. And if you’re gonna go home and you’re sent home, I’m sure it’s a little more emotional because of how long or how tired you might be. It’s an exhausting process every day.”
But as much as the setting is ripe for drama in the early stages, Fuchs says by the later episodes in the season — the fantasy suite dates — producers’ objective is to film real emotions. Fuchs told The New York Post that contestants and the Bachelor or Bachelorette become accustomed to the cameras as filming goes on, leading to more real moments.
Fuchs commends the crew of more than 100 people who work towards creating beautiful fantasy suite settings. But Fuchs insists they are looking for the Bachelor and Bachelorette participants to give them real moments.
“The most compelling television is when the unexpected and the unplanned happens, and we’ve sorta embraced that.”
He also called current Bachelor Ben Higgins an authentic individual whom viewers can relate to, which is why this series has remained compelling.
— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) March 11, 2016
It’s apparently been compelling enough to warrant a renewal, as ABC announced there will be a Season 21 of The Bachelor and another installment of The Bachelorette.
Monday night Higgins will reach the end of the season with JoJo and Lauren. Us Weekly published a preview clip where JoJo prods Higgins on life’s potential difficulty for the couple once the cameras go dark, a query that appears to make Ben uncomfortable. The conversation happens while Ben and JoJo are on a romantic date in Jamaica.
The season finale of The Bachelor airs Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC. There will be three full hours of Bachelor goodness for fans; the two-hour finale followed by a one-hour special when Ben Higgins will sit down with host Chris Harrison, JoJo and Lauren B.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images]