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'Bachelorette' spoilers: Do they make you want to watch more, or ruin the whole darn thing?

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the-bachelorette

Image Credit: ABCSpoilers — they’re called that for a reason. There was a time in the olden days when people didn’t like to know what was coming in their entertainment. Silly them, they thought they were watching/reading/listening to find out what happens next. Turns out those old-fashioned folks were wrong — at least according to the apparent viewing science behind The Bachelorette. If you watched last night’s episode (and I hope you did, because it took reality television to new heights, with calls from secret girlfriends in Canada and leaked voicemails and everything), you saw a lengthy string of scenes extolling what’s “coming this season” on The Bachelorette. Not just the kind of teasers for next week’s episode that we’ve all grown accustomed to in our TV-saturated times; we’re talking clear scenes from weeks in the future that made it fairly obvious who gets hometown dates and, more importantly, revealed a major emotional confrontation between frontrunner Frank and Ali. (ABC hasn’t immediately responded to EW’s calls for comment.) Sure, we’re not 100-percent sure what bomb he drops to make her sob and question whether she’ll ever find love, but we can certainly surmise that there’s a breakup-type scenario in the near future for our heroine and the retail manager/aspiring screenwriter from Geneva, Ill.

And incidentally, anyone whose curiosity is piqued enough can simply go online, Google “Bachelorette spoilers,” and find detailed breakdowns of who leaves each week and why. Virtual play-by-plays of last night’s Justin-Ali showdown, for instance, were floating around the Web weeks ahead of time. Clearly, with the teaser sequence last night, the producers decided to lean into fans’ voracious appetite for spoilers instead of fighting it — after all, this season’s ratings keep climbing as the spoilers tumble out, just as they did during the widely spoiled last season of The Bachelor starring Jake Pavelka.

The question: Since it’s fair to assume we’re not watching for artistic reasons, why do we keep watching the more spoilers we get? Do you like spoilers? Can you resist them? When it comes to your feelings about spoilers, is there a difference between guilty-pleasure romance reality shows and other kinds of shows?