Hipster. Erectile dysfunction specialist. Father Christmas. How do they come up with this stuff? As a new group of rose-seekers court The Bachelorette’s JoJo Fletcher (Mondays, 8 p.m., ABC), the show’s producers take a break from set to send in stories about the most memorable occupations.
What prompted you to start getting cheeky with contestants’ listed occupations?
The idea is for the viewer to quickly get a sense of who this person is by glancing at what we call the lower-third chyron. And oftentimes their occupation will do that — “dentist,” for example, or “weatherman.” However, so many traditional monikers have been replaced with terms like “consultant” and “sales director.” What do these even mean, really? So we decided a few years back to make an effort to not just be satisfied with “consultants” and “entrepreneurs.”
Some of the job titles aren’t even jobs at all!
[In those cases] who they are is defined less by [how] they make a living and more by some other dominant trait. Haley and Emily [Ferguson], the twins from Ben’s season, are a good example. They were working in a club as bottle servers/cocktail waitresses, and while this is an occupation that people can easily digest, it didn’t seem to identify them. They were twins before anything else. And thus they were both “twin” on the show.
Are there any memorable chyrons on the cutting-room floor?
There was a cast member on a season of The Bachelorette a few years back who had no real job. He lived in rural Colorado and spent his days living off the land. He was a hunter, a fisher. We discussed at length what his chyron should read. Ultimately, we went with “outdoorsman,” which we quite liked. However, we still have a soft spot for one of the other alternatives: ”mountain man.”
Has a contestant ever complained about their description?
It’s rare that a contestant complains, as we try to work with them to figure it out in advance, but it does happen. It’s more common with men, who can be surprised that we don’t just give the okay to every person who would like to be called an “entrepreneur.” That occupation seems to be the catchall for “I really don’t know what I’m doing with my life but this sure sounds cool.”
Can you tell me about the creative process that lead to 2014’s “pantsapreneur”?
JJ, the much celebrated “pantsapreneur” is a great guy and still a friend of the show. And he is still the only cast member to bring a sewing machine with him on his journey to find love. When we met JJ he was making his own unique pants with plans to start his own line. He was an “entrepreneur” but he was so much more than that. He was a “pants maker” but he was so much more than that. JJ himself suggested we fuse the two and voila, “Pantsapreneur” was born!
What’s your favorite chyron this year? Ever?
“Hipster” seems to be this season’s favorite. Brandon is a really good guy, but he doesn’t actually do anything. He spends his days sleeping in, sifting through bins of vinyl, and trekking across town for a $7 cold brew. As for all-time favorite, “twin” is a classic. There was also a guy who worked at Home Depot, and we took some poetic license and labeled him a “construction consultant.” He had no complaints.