It’s hard to envision it now, but there was a time when the world didn’t know anything about ABC’s The Bachelor. The dating competition launched on its longtime network in 2002 and hasn’t slowed down since. In January 2023, The Bachelor celebrated its 27th season with a new single (Zach Shallcross), hoping to meet his match in front of millions of viewers.
Like the seasons before, Season 27 includes women who travel nationwide to meet their Prince Charming. Several contestants have regular, everyday jobs before they join The Bachelor. But longtime Bachelor fans know their reality TV show fame could lead to fruitful careers after their time is up. However, do the contestants receive any cash when it comes to the actual competition? Keep reading to find out if you get paid to be on The Bachelor!
Do you get paid to be on ‘The Bachelor’? Apparently, not if you’re a contestant.
The Bachelor aired its first episode on March 25, 2002. Since then, the show has stuck to its original premise of having one lucky “bachelor” watch a group of women vying for his attention. Unfortunately, Zach and past bachelors like Sean Lowe, Arie Luyendyk, Jr., and Colton Underwood are the only ones who receive payments for their time on The Bachelor.
According to StyleCaster, contestants don’t get paid to be on The Bachelor. While many former hopefuls like Cassie Randolph and Tayshia Adams made money after the show, they funded everything themselves on The Bachelor. The expenses included the women’s styling fees for dresses, hair, and makeup during the show’s rose ceremonies.
In January 2016, The Mic reported that ABC only provides dresses to The Bachelor’s final two contestants for the finale episode, and the rest is on the contestants’ dime. During the 10-week challenge, many women have reportedly lived beyond their means to gain extra attention from their bachelors and fans. But when the cameras stop rolling, TV blogger Dana Weiss said many contestants rack up an insurmountable debt.
“I know that there are women in the past who cashed out their 401(k)s for the show," Dana told The Mic, adding that “some have gone into serious credit card debt."
While The Bachelor contestants don’t receive any money from ABC, one lucky contestant benefits from the leads’ earnings after the finale. The Bachelors themselves reportedly earn over $100,000 to appear on the show. The eligible men also seemingly don’t have to fund their wardrobes or styling services.
‘The Bachelorette’ contestants aren’t paid to be on the show, either.
Like its predecessor, The Bachelorette doesn’t give its contestants any money before or after the show. The male contestants vying for their bachelorette’s attention also fund and style their outfits during the eliminations, often including a suit and styling their hair. Compared to The Bachelor contestants, the men on The Bachelorette spend far less on their grooming during the two-month filming process.
While the men on The Bachelorette aren’t paid during production, the leads can afford to live comfortably after their season ends. The standard Bachelorette salary is a minimum of $100,000, and StyleCaster reports leads have negotiated more than that. In Season 8 of The Bachelorette, Emily Maynard reportedly got the network to bump her salary to $250,000, nearly triple the cost of past contestants.
The Bachelor airs new episodes on Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.