Has it really been seven years since Ben Higgins broke Bachelor protocol and told two women he loved them? On April 12, 2023, Ben visited Us Weekly’s Here for the Right Reasons podcast and discussed the show’s waning popularity. US Weekly has all the details.
In the early days of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the franchise enjoyed a “golden era,” Ben said. “We didn’t have a lot of competition.”
“The thing that made it unique and special,” the Season 20 lead added, “is the fact that most of the people you knew were getting together to watch and talk about the show. And that’s not the case anymore.”
The former software salesman blamed the decline in ratings on the explosion of copycat shows and social media. American viewers have so many more options to choose from than they did in 2002.
“Everybody was talking about it [in the early days],” Ben continued. “Everybody was criticizing it, everybody was celebrating it.” Even my husband’s sports radio hosts were speculating about who would get the Final Rose back then.
Twenty-one years on, “If you watch The Bachelor, you’re not on an island alone,” the Indiana native continued. “There [are] still many people that watch it — but it’s a smaller island than it was.” Ben has some ideas about how he would revamp the aging Bachelor franchise if he were running the show.
Believing it’s time to “modernize” the show’s concept, Ben admitted that showrunners manage to “come up with something new and different every season.” Like what? The most innovative idea I’ve seen on this show in the past twenty years was the use of a cruise ship as both transportation and living quarters during Season 19 of The Bachelorette.
“If I was in charge, this would be my big home run,” Ben claimed. “I would really lean into this [rumored] senior dating show. I don’t think television has ever seen anything like it.” There’s a reason for that, Ben. Nobody wants to see that. I can’t imagine any college sororities having a “Rosé and Roses” party for a show about horny geriatrics. Ugh.
Despite my feelings on the subject, ABC has been teasing a Bygone Bachelor for years. Ben thinks the show would be “hilarious” and “heartwarming.” More like creepy, boring, and exploitative.
“This generation that’s in their 20s and 30s, we get criticized for not leaning on our elderly for wisdom and advice,” the IU grad continued. “I do think that’s something we should be doing — listening to the voices that have been through this before.“
Taking his idea a step further, Ben added, “This would give us a whole new outlook on, ‘Why do they say the things they say? Why do they think the way they think? Why are they so slow to pick up new advancements in technology in this world?’ I think this would be great.”
I think that sounds insulting. He makes older people sound like animals in the zoo. Come on, Ben. Be better.
Obviously, Ben imagines himself in the role of the show host. “Oh, I’ve done it since they started announcing it,” he said of pitching himself. “I’ve wanted [the job] since the moment I first saw the commercial, I said, ‘This is my dream.’”
While denying he’s trying to edge out Bachelor host Jesse Palmer, Ben said he’d do anything to be on the show. “I’m not asking for a lot . . . Just let me, like, be there as the medicine passer outer, or just let me figure out what blue pill to put in the bottle.”
Really? Again with the insulting stereotypes. Is he assuming all old people take medication? And does that “blue pill” refer to Viagra, by any chance? Ewwwwww! Please tell me the old people won’t be going to any Geriatric Fantasy Suite. Nobody wants to see that.
During the most recent season, Jesse and Bachelor Nation favorite Sean Lowe were available to offer advice to lead Zach Shallcross. Zach made an embarrassing mess of things by publicly proclaiming he wouldn’t have sex during Fantasy Week, only to have consensual sex with Gabi Elnicki. He made things worse by insisting on telling everyone about his and Gabi’s private business, before finally proposing to Kaity Biggar.
When asked what advice he would have given Zach had he been called in to help, Ben had a different outlook. He would have advised the Bachelor to think of the others involved in the situation, and not just think of himself.
He would have told Zach, “At this point in time, [it’s] not just about you. This is no longer your season of The Bachelor. This is you and these women trying to figure out if this is gonna work or not. And so these big topics . . . that are gonna be dramatic and they’re gonna be headlines. Keep ’em to yourself, buddy. You don’t need to give the show anything more. Keep it to yourself. Talk about it behind the door, talk about it between the two of you.”
TELL US – DO YOU THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE A SENIOR BACHELOR SHOW? WOULD YOU WATCH THAT? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE BEN AS THE HOST?
[Photo Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin]