It may come as a shock, but -- wait for it -- not everything that happens on "The Bachelor" happens organically. (We know, we know, we'll let you take a minute to recover from that extraordinary revelation.)
But all jokes aside, it's easy to get sucked into the narrative of a show like "The Bachelor" and assume you understand where the characters, er... contestants, are coming from -- even if you intellectually understand that there are a team of producers behind every date. We recently spoke to former "Bachelor" contestant Sharleen Joynt (who also happens to be a very successful opera singer and Flare columnist). She had some great insights about what actually happens behind the scenes on a reality dating show, pulled straight from her experience as the "most revolutionary 'Bachelor' contestant" on Juan Pablo's season.
Because, when you think about it, is it really surprising that being trapped in a hotel room without Internet or TV while being asked by everyone around you to constantly think about one man might drive a woman to behave a bit "dramatically"?
Here are a few things every informed viewer should understand when watching "The Bachelor."
1. The contestants who aren't on a one-on-one date are encouraged to be aware of the date they are missing. When you see the girls all looking up at an airplane that's just flown Ben H. and his date above them, it's probably not because they've all been staring at the sky pining away for him for the previous three hours. More likely it's because the cameras have all turned skyward, tipping the women off that something is going on up there. The same goes for Monday night's helicopter/fireworks date that the women seemed to be constantly watching from their hotel room.
2. "Bachelor" contestants are generally kept physically and mentally isolated from the outside world. "Legend has it that you can’t bring books, but at our first airport, a producer let me buy a book," said Joynt. "They definitely want to keep you focused on [the Bachelor] all the time. So, no music, no books, no anything that could possibly keep you sane."
3. To get those juicy confessionals, "Bachelor" producers use leading questions. When contestants are in an "In The Moment" interview, as they're called, they are asked very specific questions, and then told to answer in the present tense in complete sentences -- even if the events they're talking about happened hours before. So, "How confident do you feel about your connection with Ben?" could turn into "I feel very confident in my connection with Ben." Or, perhaps, "Do you think of Ben as your husband?" could become "I do think Ben is my husband!"
4. Producers often become very close with the contestants, which is why they end up getting so much "opening up" out of them. "If you bond with your producer more than the other girls in the house, it’s a recipe for disaster," said Joynt.
For more fun tidbits from Joynt, listen to the HuffPost "Here To Make Friends" podcast, below:
Do people love "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette" and "Bachelor in Paradise," or do they love to hate these shows? It's unclear. But here at "Here To Make Friends," we both love and love to hate them -- and we love to snarkily dissect each episode in vivid detail. Podcast edited by Nick Offenberg.
The best tweets about this week's "Bachelor" episode...