We’d say spoiler alert, but when the Bachelorette herself is the source of the spoiler…does it really matter?
Ahead of The Bachelorette premiere on May 28, Becca Kufrin revealed she is happily engaged, with host Chris Harrison confirming the news as well, writing on his Instagram, “I can tell you today that Becca is indeed happily engaged!”
So yep, the ABC reality hit spoiled season 14 even before it premiered…but it’s not the first time they’ve done it, as the franchise’s previous Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay also revealed she was engaged before her season kicked off.
So what gives, why are the female leads allowed to reveal their outcome so early?
Well, we have a few theories about this.
First? The Bachelorette has a much better track record than The Bachelor when it comes to successful relationships, which means the producers are probably far more confident in those couples’ odds. The last three Bachelorettes (Rachel, JoJo Fletcher and Kaitlyn Bristowe) are still engaged to their winners, while the last five Bachelors all ended their engagements with their winner after less than a year of dating. (And no, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham technically don’t count, as we all know how his season original ended.)
In fact, 6 out of 13 Bachelorettes are still with their winners (and it’s 7 out of 14 if you include Becca), while just one 1 out of 22 Bachelors is with his final pick. (Again, we all know how Jason Mesnick‘s season originally ended.)
Now, for a more cynical theory on why Becca and Rachel were allowed to spoil their journeys: It drums up interest in the season thus leading to a potential ratings boost. The Bachelor always attracts more viewers than The Bachelorette, so providing a spoiler that attracts headlines but provides a mystery element for fans, as we don’t know who the man is, to tune in for to look for clues. Everyone loves to play armchair detective, right?
More than any other franchise, The Bachelor has proven that spoilers don’t matter. In fact, they often help the show. Just look at how teasing Arie’s controversial finale decision early on ended up helping his otherwise lackluster season, ending with season-high numbers.
And remember when Kaitlyn and Shawn Booth accidentally posted on Snapchat that they were together…during their season? Yeah, it didn’t really matter, and really, only helped generate even more headlines about the show.
Finally, our last theory is pretty simple: People want to know that they are getting a return on their investment. There’s a lot of TV these days, probably too much. Sure, Bachelor Nation may tune in initially for the chicken suits and contestant shenanigans, but ultimately, they stay for the fairy tale, unable to help themselves from getting wrapped up in the fantasy of it all.
It’s much easier for audiences to see a woman put through the emotional wringer if they have the comfort of knowing she gets her happily ever after at the end of it all, especially a woman who was just brutally dumped on-camera in a raw unedited scene, with split-screen added to make the bruise last a little longer.
As The Bachelor knows all too well, all’s fair in love and reality TV.
The Bachelorette premieres Monday, May 28 at 8 p.m. on ABC.