‘The Bachelor’: How This Contestant’s Heartbreaking Story Highlights a Bigger Issue within the Franchise Concept

by Jeremy Spirogis
Kelsey Weier

With “Champaign Gate” in The Bachelor’s previous, followers lastly obtained a more in-depth have a look at who Kelsey Weier is — exterior of the drama. During a one-on-one with Peter Weber, Kelsey informed a heartbreaking story that resonated with a whole lot of viewers. Here’s how Kelsey’s previous traumas shed a lightweight on one key problem inside the Bachelor franchise.

‘The Bachelor’ creator has been accused of ‘hating women’ by former contestants

Kelsey Weier
Miss USA 2017 contestant Kelsey Weier, Miss Iowa USA 2017, at Nashville Unplugged | Benjamin Askinas/WME IMG through Getty Images

With Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor in full swing, it’s price referencing how and why the present began. One man relationship over two dozen girls could also be a dream for some, however not all.

Since 2002, The Bachelor wad mentioned to be “ahead of its time” by way of progressive relationship. In some ways, it’s. In the age of know-how the place swiping proper is the go-to, The Bachelor profiles one other method to discover love.

However, the present’s creator, Mike Fleiss, has a problematic previous. This drives some potential viewers away — particularly earlier contestants who know the goings-on behind-the-scenes.

“I always question watching every season due to a little PTSD, overwhelming emotions, and knowing a little too much,” former bachelorette, Kailin Bristowe, mentioned on a throwback picture posted to her Instagram web page.

“But I just always want to support the people going through this ‘journey.’ So while I have bitter feelings towards one person (not a contestant), out of hundreds, I will choose to love the hundreds of others who changed my life,” she added. “I will try to remember the positive experiences.”

That one individual Bristowe referred to, is Fleiss. In an interview with Nikki Glaser on an episode of Talkhouse Podcast, Bristowe opened up in regards to the contentious relationship she has with Fleiss. She started along with his alleged prevention of her participation with Dancing With the Stars.

Bristowe didn’t mince phrases about Fleiss

“Anybody that listens to this podcast is aware of why I can not go on Dancing with the Stars. And it’s as a result of, and I’ll say this with a mic in my hand and a smile on face, that Mike Fleiss is a chunk of s**t. He is the creator of The Bachelor, and he hates girls,” she mentioned, through People.

She continued: “So [Fleiss] lets all of the Bachelors go on and the one purpose he let Hannah go on this season of Dancing with the Stars is as a result of — nicely, I hope I had one thing to do with it, that I mentioned one thing — however as a result of he’s in sizzling water as a result of there’s some s**t that got here out on him abusing his spouse. So he’s like, ‘Look at me, I love women.’ As lengthy as he’s in energy with ABC, I’ll by no means get on that present.”

Bristowe referred to a decide’s order for Fleiss to remain 100 yards away from estranged spouse, Laura Kaeppeler. She’d filed grievance accusing Fleiss of bodily and verbal abuse. One of the incidents was caught on digicam.

The particulars are painful to learn, although Fleiss denies any wrongdoing on his half. He requested authorized custody of their so and later that month, the 2 reached a divorce settlement which incorporates 50/50 custody.

In Nov. 2019, Fleiss and Kaeppeler reconciled, “working together with the help of a marriage counselor to rebuild what we lost.”

What occurred on Kelsey and Weber’s date?

On the Jan. 27 episode, Kelsey Weier had the prospect to speak to Peter about her upbringing, which is nothing in need of heartwrenching. During their one-on-one date, Kelsey revealed that she maintains her “tough exterior” due to what occurred between her dad and mom.

She was in seventh grade when her dad and mom separated. One day, she discovered a letter accompanied by her father’s marriage ceremony ring. He left the household and moved to Mexico, as Kelsey mentioned, to start out a brand new life with a brand new household.

She didn’t see her father for 12 years. As evident by her tears, that is one thing that impacts Kelsey to this present day. Fans weighed in in regards to the scene with many in full assist of the weak contestant.

“When Kelsey said ‘a lot of my character traits come from my parents’ divorce’ I felt that,” one fan tweeted. “Dear god Kelsey that is heartbreaking, I’m so sorry about that,” another added. “Her story y’all,” one fan added with a crying face emoji.”

Kelsey’s story hit near dwelling for a lot of. However, there’s nonetheless one main flaw with The Bachelor to start with.

Here’s why Kelsey’s story connects with the ‘Bachelor’ franchise at giant

In a earlier interview with The Cut, former producer, Jason Carbone, mentioned the unique premise started with 50 girls, not 25. He added that Fleiss “sold the notion of Cinderella on a grand scale.” They interviewed many potential males earlier than deciding to edit the present’s idea.

“In order to make it palatable that 25 girls would date one man, the primary Bachelor needed to be the best man to launch the format. We needed to put him on a pedestal.”

That idea — one the place weak girls flock to a actuality relationship collection to search out love — could be seen as exploitation. Bringing Kelsey on, the place she’s compelled to face traumas of her previous, may imply one thing if she finally ends up with Weber ultimately.

If Kelsey is distributed dwelling, how will that rejection fare within the grand scheme of all she’s been by already? It makes some marvel if producers care in regards to the contestant’s well-being in any respect, or if it’s nearly making good TV.

It’s the identical method producers introduced Victoria Fuller’s ex-boyfriend Chase Rice on the present with out her data and the identical method Colton Underwood’s virginity was emphasised.

“I tried to be subtle by just saying I had never been in a serious relationship, and I was really inexperienced in that department in pretty much every way,” former Bachelor contestant, Ashley Iaconetti echoed. “I was later encouraged to be more blunt about it.”

The producers know what they’re doing

Another former producer, Ben Hatta, beforehand informed Page Six, “The endgame is getting a contestant to open up. To do that, the contestant must feel like they can trust you.”

He continued: “If a girl’s feeling the butterflies for a guy already, when she gets into that state, her feelings just become more powerful, so she’s probably more willing to tell that guy she loves him. And maybe one of the producers knew she was in that emotional state and was like, ‘You know what? Now’s a better time than ever. You should do it, you should do it, you should do it!’”

The idea of the present gained’t change anytime quickly, and the franchise has its justifiable share of devotees no matter what occurs. Some simply hope these already scarred by traumatic pasts, like Kelsey, aren’t additional harm by the present’s course of.

The Bachelor airs Mondays at eight p.m. ET on ABC.

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