The Bachelor franchise has suffered its worst ratings ever this season, with TV commentators claiming viewers are getting ‘fatigued’ with the same format year after year.
And on Thursday, radio host Jana Hocking hinted the show’s ‘out of touch’ contestant selection process could be partially to blame, amid claims applicants have to ‘pass an STI test’ in order to appear on the series.
Speaking on her Kinda Sorta Dating podcast, Jana asked Bachelor 2020 star Juliette Herrera about the process, who said: ‘They send a medical form – a blood test, STD check, are you healthy? How’s your heart? An assessment from a doctor.’
Speaking out: On Thursday, dating guru Jana Hocking discussed the bizarre test applicants of The Bachelor have to pass to appear on the show that ‘seem a little out of touch with the modern world’
When asked if someone is ‘automatically out of the running’ if they fail the STD test, Juliette responded that she ‘thinks so, because whoever passes the STD test goes through to the next round of auditions.’
Jana, who worked on the show ‘a million lifetimes ago’, and is now a popular dating guru and radio host, went on to question whether or not it’s OK to shun those who have been infected from an STD from a reality show.
She pointed out that according to the government health website, three quarters of Australian adults are infected with herpes, with one in 10 having the HSV2 strain that affects the genital area.
‘I guess what I’m wondering is: in 2021 is it OK to say anyone who has an STD can’t be cast in a reality TV show? Seems a little out of touch with the modern world!’ she said.
Speaking out: On her Kinda Sorta Dating podcast, Jana asked Bachelor 2020 star Juliette Herrera (pictured) about the application process, who said: ‘They send a medical form – a blood test, STD check, are you healthy? How’s your heart? An assessment from a doctor’
‘If, from a health stand-point, herpes and HPV are fairly common, it seems puzzling that it’s one of the main reasons a person is deemed ineligible for a reality TV show. Especially one, that we now know has a strict rule on no going “all the way”.’
Daily Mail Australia have contacted Ten for further comment.
Indeed, perhaps a change in applications could help to save the show as a whole – particularly as TV insiders claim it’s the Bachelor himself who is not connecting with viewers this season.
Rob McKnight, a former 10 executive who now runs industry website TV Blackbox, recently told Daily Mail Australia the format had become tired and new suitor Jimmy Nicholson had done little to revitalise it.
‘Viewers just aren’t connecting with The Bachelor this season. Yes, the franchise is getting old now and viewers are fatigued, but the record lows of this season would suggest Jimmy is not appealing to viewers,’ McKnight said.
Opinion: ‘I guess what I’m wondering is: in 2021 is it OK to say anyone who has an STD can’t be cast in a reality TV show? Seems a little out of touch with the modern world!’ she said
‘Casting is key with this show, especially when viewers are already starting to drift like they have in recent seasons.’
McKnight said The Bachelor’s spin-off shows – namely Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette – had oversaturated the market and the viewers are ‘over it’.
‘They’re relying on the same shows year in, year out with no plans for the next big show. Just think about how many spin-offs there have been from The Bachelor. You can’t blame the audience for getting over it,’ he said.
McKnight added that there could still be hope for The Bachelor franchise, but only if 10 reduces its offering to just one season per year.
‘The key for 10 will be not killing it off too quickly. But the moment you start seeing multiple seasons a year will ultimately lead to its death,’ he warned.
The Bachelor had its lowest-ever premiere ratings last month, with just 482,000 metro viewers tuning in for pilot Jimmy’s first episode.
This number collapsed to a new record low of 360,000 a week later, following the start of the Tokyo Olympics on Seven.
Trouble: Rob McKnight, a former 10 executive who now runs industry website TV Blackbox, recently told Daily Mail Australia the format had become tired and new suitor Jimmy Nicholson (pictured) had done little to revitalise it