Production on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is still moving forward full steam ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, but as you might expect, things are going to look very different this time around!
On Wednesday, ABC‘s Senior VP of Alternative Series, Rob Mills, dropped by On Air with Ryan Seacrest to break down the logistics of how filming will be able to safely take place with leads Clare Crawley and Matt James in the coming months.
First things first, every single contestant and staff member involved will be tested for COVID-19 and will be isolated before and during production.
“We’re going to be in one location and everyone will be tested the week before. Everyone who comes back negative, we shoot inside that bubble basically.”
Fans may recall Crawley’s season was originally set to premiere in May, but it will actually shoot “in about a month,” and will primarily be in one location. James’ journey to finding love will move forward on schedule beginning at the end of September and Mills remains hopeful travel restrictions might ease up by then:
“Matt’s season, we’re hoping to start on time which would be the end of September and we’ll see where the world is. Maybe there’s some travel, maybe it’s just domestic, maybe it’s by bus. We’ll see. If things aren’t that safe, we’ll shoot it the same way where everybody is safe, they’re tested, they’re quarantined and then you can have kissing and arguing and everything else.”
Phew, we’re glad he addressed the elephant in the room! We live for the drama-filled cocktail parties, rose ceremonies, and flirty Fantasy Suite dates, all of which will definitely require close human contact. However, it sounds like the network is doing its due diligence to keep that aspect going at all costs.
Mills said the show’s plans to go to Italy have obviously been scrapped and the entire season will now be taking place in the Los Angeles area, partly at the Bachelor mansion and partly at various resorts:
“ won’t be at the Bachelor mansion. They’ll be at some sort of resort and we’ve scouted several of them. And all of them have been scouted for good date locations and you know, it will not be as over the top as… we had incredible travel planned for Clare’s season, going to Italy, all these places that were going to be great. But they’ll be plenty of different date locations that will hopefully be as close to the Bachelorette as possible.”
Mills also took a moment to address the controversy over James’ casting as the franchise’s first-ever Black male lead, claiming it was always in the cards:
“This really was a symptom of, we’re going to have to shoot these seasons in essence back to back anyway, so Clare’s season would not have even have aired when we started shooting The Bachelor so it just made more sense to announce him now to get people applying and ready.”
So, this was just a scheduling issue? Even though thousands of fans and alum signed a petition for a diverse lead amid the largest movement for social justice we’ve had in years? FYI, the 28-year-old was supposed to appear on Crawley’s season first and many felt his casting was a just a knee-jerk reaction to the times. Way to dance around that one…
Either way, according to Mills, 6,500 women have already applied for Matt’s season, “which is record-setting pace.” As for Clare, she’ll be handing out roses to a completely different group of men than were originally cast back in March, due to how much things have changed since the novel coronavirus halted production. The Bachelorette will now be airing on Tuesday nights instead of Mondays, per Mills via Variety.
What do U think about this proposed format, Perezcious TV addicts?? Did this answer all of your burning questions and do U think it’ll still be worth watching? Let us know (below) in the comments section!
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