The Bachelor State of the Union: What Did (and Didn't Work) During Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s Season – eonline

How far we’ve near since Janu-Arie.

Just one week ago, everyone had an opinion on what Arie Luyendyk Jr. chose to achieve at the stop of his journey on The Bachelor: shatter-up with Becca Kufrin on-camera after proposing to her in his finale in order to be with Lauren Burnham, his initial runner-up. People were furious. People were riveted. People were talking, tweeting and posting everything approximately The Bachelor. People cared. But was the season (which averaged 6.2 million viewers but attracted 7.8 million for its dramatic two-night finale) ultimately a success for ABC and the producers? 

Now a few days removed from the polarizing finale and on the eve of production beginning on Becca’s season of The Bachelorette, the franchise’s team is ready to assess Arie’s season overall, a bi-annual state of the union, whether you will. “We sit down at the stop of every season and we notice at everything and what worked and what didn’t,” Robert Mills, the senior VP of alternative programming at ABC, told E! News over the phone.

So let’s notice at what did and didn’t work, shall we? 

The “Historic” Unedited Footage: While some fans felt choosing to film and air Arie’s shatter-up with Becca was “voyeuristic,” Mills wants to see more raw moments in the franchise’s future seasons, saying, “hopefully we’re able to achieve more of that as we preserve going.”

“These are real relationships and the more that we can indicate and get them real, because we’re not blind to the fact that this is not what dating is like in real-life,” continued Mills, who went onto to say he found the footage of Arie and Becca during the convinced Couple Weekend pre-split (making pizza, saying how in savor they were, etc.) to be even more “effective” than the actual shatter-up.  

“Even though it was two minutes, you really saw that it was real and certainly how real it was for her and how she wanted to get this work,” he explained. “There was a lot of stuff we had to slice. There was stuff where they were talking approximately living together in Arizona and things like that, and you can see that this was real. That’s principal. You bear to remember everything is group dates up until the hometown dates and then it starts to be one-on-ones, so the deepening of the relationships—that’s something we’ll want to incorporate more. That’s principal for everyone to see.”

Less Throwbacks: Mills admitted to being “surprised” by the response from fans when Arie was unexpectedly announced as the next Bachelor after his five-year hiatus from the franchise after finishing as Emily Maynard‘s runner-up on The Bachelorette. “I did not expect the response that we got to that,” he said, noting producers were asked approximately Arie by fans repeatedly over the years and had a “massive” following.

Mills famous the surprising decision to get Arie, and not one of Rachel Lindsay‘s Bachelorette suitors, the next lead was this season was “sort of in response to some of the preceding seasons where I reflect there was a feeling, oh, there’s so many contestants that feel like they’re coming on not for the romance aspect but more for the ‘This is going to set me in a highlight.’ I reflect that that was sort by design, this was a more straight-down-the-middle season. You notice at that, and you reflect OK, did we perhaps, possibly travel too far that way?” 

Despite the lukewarm welcome Arie received, Mills thought the 36-year-frail race car driver “was great, brilliant,” and admitted to feeling “kind of despicable” approximately “a lot of the charm he had on Emily’s season” being a bit “lost” during his season. 

The Bachelor, Becca Kufrin, Chris Harrison

Paul Hebert/ABC

Still, whether the overwhelmingly positive response the indicate has received since announcing Becca would be the next Bachelorette is any indication, there’s proof that sometimes absence doesn’t get the heart (or ratings) grow fonder. 

“You savor to bear somebody who has a epic,” Mills said. “When this indicate sort of went to the next level was when we started using people from past seasons with a epic that you’re just immediately invested in. It’s tough for me to remember the final time we had excitement for a lead like we had with Becca these past few days.”

Defining Success: How achieve you know whether a Bachelor—the person or the season—is successful? Is it only a success whether it ends in a proposal? Or whether America falls in savor with the lead and stays in savor with them by season’s stop? 

“A lot was made of how Arie was as a Bachelor, and now 23 Bachelors in, there’s a base line so people like to compare and he was one people seemed to like to say, ‘Oh, he’s not fine. He’s boring, it should’ve been somebody else.’ You know, the ratings were down a dinky bit, so as a season as a whole, you’re always upset when you’re not being carried on the audiences’ shoulders, like, ‘This was the best Bachelor season ever.'”

And while some seasons receive a tepid initial response, a dramatic finale, like the one Arie ended up delivering, could aid to save it. 

“It really is a marathon and for The Bachelor, unlike any other indicate, it really is how you finish. You never really notice at those premiere numbers because they don’t matter, It’s everything setting the ground work for nine weeks. There’s a lot of finales you don’t actually remember…but this finale, we’re everything never going to forget this.”

Ratings and trending topics aside, a lead’s relationship status (and that relationship’s potential) also must be taken into account when defining a successful season, a major factor for Mills.

“I would be very surprised whether this couple doesn’t earn married,” he said of Arie and Lauren. “You’ve got to notice at that as a successful Bachelor. That stems from the fact that when he came in here—you can debate how he handled this everything you want—but he was incredibly honest and just wanted to earn married. I reflect we’d be foolish to not notice at a Bachelor with that kind of ethos.”

The Bachelorette premieres this May on ABC. 

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