By Angela Bekiaris
We’re still glued to see who the gorgeous Lee will give his final rose to at the end of the season. But while the popular reality show franchise only arrived on our shores recently, The Bachelor, and spin-offs The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise have had men and women hooked for years. Here are some interesting facts about the show.
• The first episode of the America version of The Bachelor, hosted by Chris Harrison, aired on 25 March, 2002. The show’s success has resulted in several spin-offs across the globe including Greece, Japan, Russia, and now SA.
• Every contestant must undergo STD screening before appearing on the show.
• The most common reason why hopefuls get rejected is herpes.
• The Bachelor creator, Mike Fleiss, has an infamous relation: Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss, who ran an infamous upscale prostitution ring in the ‘90s before being busted, is his second cousin.
• Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter’s proposal scene almost went up in flames when a candle floating in the pool lit a nearby plant on fire.
• Contestants must be over age 21.
• Show hopefuls must take a 150-question personality test in the final round of auditions.
• During Emily Maynard’s season, her stylist told In Touch magazine that he was given a budget of $350 000 to dress her—and went over that number.
• Contestants have to bring 14 formal outfits in case they make it all the way to the final rose ceremony.
• A family actually lives in the Bachelor mansion. They stay in a hotel while the show is filming. (ABC foots the bill).
• Most of the over-the-top dates on the US show cost ABC close to nothing—restaurants and resorts comp it all for the free publicity.
• There’s a psychologist on staff.
• There’s no gym in the Bachelor mansion, so contestants have to improvise their own workouts, says an insider.
• US host Chris Harrison’s first hosting gig was a high school talent show.
• He is apparently very good at soccer.
• He has written a novel. An insider reveals that Harrison decided to channel all of his useless reality relationship knowledge into writing The Perfect Letter.
• He is married to his college sweetheart.
• SA’s first Bachelor is former Sharks rugby player and international model Lee Thompson from Cape Town.
• Lee is 29 years old and was born in Port Elizabeth.
• Lee studied marketing management through The University of South Africa and Health & Fitness through the Zululand Sports Academy while playing rugby for the Sharks in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
• He has his own businesses, including a cleaning company named Clean Smart and a website design company named Skyler Web. He also manages a gym called F45 Training Camps Bay.
• He uses his Instagram account to mostly share fitness-related content.
• Lee had 10 tailored suits for the season, plus his own wardrobe from home.
• The gorgeous SA ladies were told to bring clothes for all occasions – from swimsuits to cocktail dresses and everything in-between. An M-Net representative revealed that one or two of them brought three suitcases full of clothes.
Catch The Bachelor on M-Net, Thursdays at 19h00