The Television Academy of Arts & Sciences has been handing out Emmys for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program since 2003. The Bachelor, ABC’s rose-strewn dating franchise, premiered in 2002 and recently finished its twenty-second season — but it has never once been nominated for an Emmy in any category. Ever.
I ask you, rose lovers and non-rose lovers alike, How is this possible???
You certainly don’t have to be a member of Bachelor Nation (full disclosure: I so am) to recognize the fact that The Bachelor is a genuine pop culture phenomenon. While once written off as a “guilty pleasure,” today there is no shame in admitting that you watch. Celebrities from Amy Schumer to Charlize Theron openly discuss their fascination with the series, while Ellen DeGeneres regularly interviews contestants on her daytime talk show. Sixteen years after its premiere, The Bachelor is more talked about (and parodied) than ever — what other reality show can say the same? Warner Bros., the studio that produces The Bachelor, tried to capitalize on the show’s famous fans to help earn an Emmy nom in 2016 — to no avail.
Of course, Emmy voters don’t hand out nominations based solely on buzz. A show needs to be original, well-made, and most of all, entertaining. Let’s take these characteristics point by point: Many have tried to copy The Bachelor‘s singletons-compete-for-a-mate format, and all have failed. (R.I.P. Mr. Personality, Average Joe, The Littlest Groom, Beauty and the Geek, Age of Love, The Cougar, Ready for Love, and so many more.) Much like Survivor (which has been nominated for an Outstanding Reality-Competition Series Emmy four times, its last in 2006), The Bachelor is too unique to be successfully replicated.
With the possible exception of Bachelor in Paradise — where everyone always looks sweaty, sandy, and sunburned — production quality on The Bachelor franchise is fantastic. Not only is the Bachelor or Bachelorette always styled to the hilt, the show has also morphed into a drool-worthy travelogue, as contestants are whisked away to the most beautiful places on earth, from Croatia to Curaçao. Even Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s disaster of a finale was made more palatable by the beautiful backdrop, Peru.
If Emmy voters can give 10 wins (!) to The Amazing Race — CBS’s once-great global competition — surely The Bachelor‘s equally awe-inspiring location shoots deserve a nomination? (Hey, we’ll even take one in the Outstanding Cinematography category!)
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Finally, let’s talk entertainment value. Whether or not you enjoy the show (you do, just admit it, this is a safe space), the numbers don’t lie. Last year, three broadcast series were nominated in the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program category — The Voice, American Ninja Warrior, and The Amazing Race — and The Bachelor had more total viewers last season (an average of 6.3 million per week) than two of those three shows. This can’t come as a surprise: The people behind The Bachelor work hard to bring us the most entertaining sh—show on television, and gosh darn it, they deserve to be recognized. (As does host Chris Harrison, the dreamy, blue-eyed glue who holds the entire Bachelor franchise together.)
Thank you, Television Academy, for taking a few minutes to consider this plea. I hope that come June 11, when the nomination round voting begins, you’ll finally be ready to hand The Bachelor a rose.