ABC has acknowledged The Bachelor producers deliberately put Victoria Fuller on Peter Weber‘s one-on-one date that included a performance by Chase Rice after learning the bachelorette previously dated the country star.
In the upcoming episode of The Bachelor’s 24th season, Peter will be shown flying Victoria F. to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, OH, for a one-on-one date in which a day of rides and games will be capped off with a VIP concert by Chase.
ABC teased in a press release for the Monday, January 27 episode the entire date “goes off the rails” when Victoria F. “makes a stunning revelation” that she used to date Chase.
“Look, I can’t say that certain things just happen completely by accident. You’d have to be an idiot to buy that some of these things are just happenstance,” ABC reality chief Robert Mills told Variety.
Since it’s pretty clear Chase and Victoria F.’s reunion was not a coincidence, viewers have been left wondering if The Bachelor franchise has become “over-produced” television, with manipulative producers and far too much editing.
“Yes, there is a girl and there is an entertainer on one of the dates and she happened to run into him. We don’t go in saying that we’re going to reverse engineer this, but when you find out about these things, you have to take advantage of it because it is great TV,” Robert admitted.
“So, I wouldn’t say over-produced, but I would say very well-produced. When you watch it, you will say, ‘Wow, that was great TV.'”
Based on a preview of the next episode, Victoria F. appeared shocked, frustrated and displeased when reunited with Chase at the public concert.
And Chase admitted in a November 2019 interview he felt The Bachelor producers were “sneaky” because he “didn’t sign up” to serenade one of his ex-girlfriends during one of Peter’s dates.
“That’s my problem with it,” Chase said at the time of being set up.
“At the end of the day, they had a job to do, and I don’t need to be a part of that. I mean, I went on there to promote my music, and that’s all it should’ve been. It wasn’t.”
While The Bachelor is definitely a show created for entertainment, many fans would argue they’re still looking for a genuine love story to unfold and people’s real lives are on the line.
Robert explained, however, there is a line or ethical boundary producers won’t cross.
“As long as we’re not sabotaging Peter’s chance at finding happiness, then absolutely, we’ve got to produce the most entertaining TV. This is a TV show,” Robert told Variety.
“I’m asking our viewers to spend 25 hours or so with us between January and March, so I’ve got to entertain you.”
Robert continued, “But most importantly, we have to feel at the end of the day that we’ve done our job and that Peter has found the girl that is right for him. We would never say, ‘If we hadn’t done this or this, things could have turned out much differently.'”
Robert also confessed preview clips, promos and trailers for The Bachelor franchise can be misleading in order to get viewers all riled up.
“A lot of times when we tease things, people think, ‘Oh, it’s just editing or they’re trying to make us feel like something is happening,’ and I will admit, most of the time that is true because it’s a promotable thing, and it seems like there’s going to be more drama than there is,” Robert shared.
But in the case of Hannah Brown’s visit on Peter’s The Bachelor season, for example, Robert said what was intended to be “a friendly interaction” between exes turned into an intense plot twist all on its own.
“[Hannah’s visit] was definitely very emotional… [and turned] the season into a different direction that we thought it would go,” Robert said.
Robert apparently believes producers didn’t have to do much to spark romance and drama considering “really great women” were cast for Season 24 of the show.
To read spoilers on the rest of Peter’s The Bachelor season, including what happened after Victoria F. and Chase saw each other again during her one-on-one date with Peter, click here.