On Monday, when Peter Weber visited the family homes of Madison, HannahAnn, Kelsey, and Victoria F., he stepped into suburban mansion after suburban mansion, each house looking as if it could be photographed right then and there for an issue of House Beautiful. Another bizarre detail was that each home seemed to have a front porch with a bench on it– the perfect setting for Peter’s heart-to-heart conversations with his girlfriends’ fathers. Is this a specification for competing on The Bachelor now, or are these houses fake?
Each season, the producers and families have some say in whether the families’ real houses are shown on TV, and to what extent they are shown. On the production side, the powers that be at ABC may decide that a particular family’s home won’t look good on TV or doesn’t provide enough space for lights, cameras, and secret conversations. As for the families, many do not feel comfortable having their real homes shown on national television. In each case, families might move over to a rental home or a relative’s home for dinner that evening.
We do know that some families have been able to keep up a house nice enough to make it onto The Bachelor. For example, Cassie Randolph, who ended up “winning” Colton’s season, likely displayed her family’s real house on TV. The evidence is that the house was shown in multiple episodes, not just the hometown episode, so it is more likely that the Randolph family just tidied up their house for the cameras instead of relocating to a new house twice just to film a few scenes.
This season, it was reported that Kelsey‘s supposed family home was rented for the cameras. According to Reality Steve, Kelsey’s hometown dinner date did not take place at her mother’s actual house, but not necessarily because it wasn’t nice or clean enough: Fans have speculated that, although producers would have loved to have Kelsey’s father make an appearance on her hometown date, the rest of her family insisted that they move to a rental house to reduce the chances of him dropping in.
Even if a contestant’s family decides they’re okay with displaying their house on TV and the production team agrees that it’s nice and spacious enough to show, the producers won’t always stop there. Often, the producers will come in and add decoration to the house (maybe that’s where all the houses get their conversation bench). According to former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, the producers also communicate with the family regarding the food they’ll be serving. Often, the family with opt to cook a meal that’s important to them, but in case they don’t want to do that, producers will arrange catering for them. Sounds like a pretty nice deal!