As far as a romantic experience goes, there is nothing appealing about the group dates on The Bachelor. Group dates exist for one reason and one reason only: to prove that The Bachelor producers are some of the most sadistic people working in television. Whether they make for good or bad TV, group dates will almost certainly embarrass everyone involved.
Despite what some contestants think, no one has ever won the heart of a Bachelor (or a Bachelorette) from how they acted on a group date. This doesn’t mean that contestants can’t “win” the date and earn a rose ensuring their safety. Here are five tips for group dates, which probably won’t get the contestant an engagement ring, but will keep them safe for one or two more weeks.
Have a Gimmick
The Bachelor imposes a lot of ridiculous and humiliating gimmicks on its contestants for group dates. Are you trying to make this guy fall in love with you? Yes? Well be sure to wear this insane costume and prove to America this show can’t possibly be fake because you do not have a lick of acting talent in this improv challenge.
The most successful “group daters” on The Bachelor will come to their mortification buffet with a unique twist all their own. You don’t need to film a bad PSA to stick out if you are special enough on your own. There are always one or two Bachelor contestants who have something very specific about themselves and they will mention it and/or act on it at every opportunity.
Let’s face it, in season 21, Alexis, the aspiring dolphin trainer who doesn’t know the difference between a dolphin and a shark, did not have much of a chance of staying past week 1. Unless she did exactly what she did, which was wear her shark/dolphin costume on the first night and make an impression. Bringing your costume isn’t required, though it can certainly help for the first night. The important thing is to have something that is going to make you memorable and/or make The Bachelor look like a terrible person if they kick you to the curb. It doesn’t matter what it is exactly. You can be a single mother, you can be a virgin waiting for the “right guy” or can just be a quirky lovable weirdo like Alexis, but you need to have something no other girl can take from you. Plus if it doesn’t work out on The Bachelor you will almost certainly end up on Bachelor in Paradise.
Steal Him for a “Minute”
This is the hallmark of every Bachelor group date. It seems like a basic requirement for every lady on the show to hover awkwardly in the corner during a group date while your “boyfriend” makes out with another girl. When they are done sticking their tongues down each other’s throats, you have to sweep in and ask to steal him for a minute. A minute is a loose term on The Bachelor, which makes sense because time itself is rather weird on the show. It is perfectly acceptable to get engaged to someone after only knowing them for a couple months, in other words. The point is that you need to get in there and make time during a group date because “stealing” The Bachelor has never blown up in a girl’s face. It may, and probably will, make the contestants hate the stealer but The Bachelor star is almost always into it.
Be Aggressive, Be, Be, Aggressive
One of the reasons that stealing tends to work so well is that no matter how different the individual men of The Bachelor seem, they all share one thing. They are incredibly (stupidly) attracted to an aggressive woman. Just like time, aggressive is another loosely defined concept. It can be used as the diplomatic way to describe someone who is completely crazy and the undisputed villain of the season or it can be used as an actual compliment for someone who is confident and genuinely attractive. It is vital, though, to never falter on a Bachelor group date.
Being confident helps in two ways. First and maybe most important, it will impress The Bachelor because by and large all stars of the franchise are weird man-babies who cannot cope with tears or serious emotions from anyone but themselves. The other factor is the other women don’t see you as weak and therefore cannot easily pounce and (metaphorically) destroy you. The women of The Bachelor are a desperate shark tank of single women. They will stop at nothing to get to that Fantasy Suite and that ring. The moment you show a crack they will try to expose you for “not being here for the right reasons.”
Throw a Sob Story in There
Ideally you want to give your tragic backstory on a one-on-one date. Dead family members or romantic partners almost always get confessed on the solo dates. They also involve The Bachelor being so turned on by the tragedy that they start playing aggressive tonsil hockey with the girl who is very likely still grieving. If you can’t get The Bachelor alone, however, it is good to just throw something tear-jerking into “casual” conversation on a group date.
You probably won’t get the requisite make-out but you’ll usually get a rose. In season 20, Ben Higgins went into a group date after his close family friends had died in a plane crash. After he confessed this event, contestant Olivia decided it would be the perfect time to cry about her (non-existent) cankles to him. Olivia, shockingly, still got a rose, presumably because she was so pathetic it would be cruel to send her packing after that display.
Show Some Skin … OK, a Lot of Skin
If a Bachelor group date isn’t forcing some kind insane way to mock the contestants, they are throwing them into manufactured sexy situations. Even if the date isn’t “sexy” it is a good idea for a contestant to show some skin on a group date. Not every Bachelor star is a misogynistic Juan Pablo type but they are all horndogs of varying degrees. Even the “nice ones” like born-again virgin (still not a thing) Sean Lowe and way-too-Midwestern Ben Higgins will lose their mind over the slightest reminder that the contestants have breasts. It is best to be “tasteful” with your nudity but it is the rare Bachelor who is going to boot a girl for showing too much skin.
Shove Another Girl Under the Bus
This is a tricky move but it also can be pretty effective. You can’t pull a Leah from season 20 and go after the girl who is obviously going to win and is clearly the “front-runner” of the whole thing. Yet it is not the worst idea in the world to try to take down the villain and ensure yourself a few more weeks of safety by riding that wave.
From Olivia Caridi to Kelsey Poe and even Rozlyn Papa (AKA the contestant who slept with a producer) The Bachelor villains are usually taken out by other contestants exposing their awful behavior to the suitor. If you find that red flag you wave it as hard and fast as you can. It won’t work every time but if you can get rid of the villain of the season you’ve ensured yourself at least two more weeks of safety because a Bachelor can’t rightfully get rid of the villain and their conqueror in back-to-back episodes.
So what do you think of these tips? Do they work? Has anyone ever really impressed on a group date? Which of these strategies would you most likely employ? How do you feel about Bachelor group dates in general? Are they just a trainwreck or an entertaining mess?
The Bachelor season 21 airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
(Images courtesy of ABC)