With its buzz-worthy mix of romance and competition, “The Bachelor” franchise earns high ratings season after season. The shows boast fantastical getaways, heart-warming moments and endless drama. But what is it about shows like “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor In Paradise” that have viewers obsessed?
According to Psychology Today, it’s not the romance that keeps ratings sky-high; it’s the pain.
Like a car accident you can’t look away from, viewers are captivated by the pain contestants feel as they’re sent home each week. The harsh breakups, heated arguments and tearful goodbyes send ratings skyrocketing.
But why are people drawn to the drama?
Therapist Erin Asquith told Psychology Today that watching awkward or painful moments sparks empathy and helps to “compare our drama to external drama [which] enables one to see that their drama is not too bad, helping one feel more at ease.”
Each week’s Rose Ceremony gives viewers a front row seat to heartbreak. Fans of the show, often referred to as “Bachelor Nation,” flock to their TVs by the millions.
The recent finale of “The Bachelorette” was no different. Viewers tuned in to watch Hannah Brown call off her engagement to Jed Wyatt due to claims that he had a girlfriend when he signed up for the show and used the competition as a means to propel his music career.
As if their public breakup wasn’t painful enough, Brown and Wyatt sat down for a tearful reunion in front of a live audience. Ratings reached a two-year high and social media flooded with mentions of the show.
Even some “Bachelor” contestants seem to be aware of what keeps viewers tuning in.
Former contestant Demi Burnett promised fans will enjoy the upcoming season of “Bachelor in Paradise” because it has “drama that you just get to sit back and watch.”
“It’s your good old-fashioned dumpster fire,” Burnett said in an interview with ET.
So it’s probably not the envy of finding true love that keeps “Bachelor Nation” intrigued. People just need to see what will happen at the end of each episode when one unlucky contestant is inevitably sent home.