Yes, sometimes Bachelor Nation’s contestants need a little liquid courage to get in the spirit. But the ABC franchise never forces its competitors to binge drink, insists alum Michael Garofola. (Hear what the single hunk has to say in the video above!)
“Despite what people think, producers are not holding your hair back and dumping bottles of tequila down your throat,” explains Garofola, who vied for Desiree Hartsock’s heart on The Bachelorette before competing on Bachelor in Paradise’s second second. “They constantly come to you and say, ‘What would you like to drink?’ and if you say, ‘You know what? I’d like a tequila on the rocks,’ you’re going to get a tequila on the rocks. If you say ‘I’d like a cup of coffee,’ you’re going to get a cup of coffee. If you say, ‘I want a water,’ you’re going to get a water. I’ve never been in a situation where they’re like, ‘You need another drink’ and they’re topping you off.”
Rather, the NYC-based lawyer says drama often stems from contestants not being aware of their tolerance levels. “People just naturally, who are there, who might be not so mature and cannot handle themselves in these pressure situations, just keep drinking because it’s nerves and everything else and the cameras are rolling,” he continues. “I think it can get out of control for some people that don’t know their own limits. I just want to disquiet these rumors that are going around that producers are pouring alcohol down your throat. That has not been my experience whatsoever. It’s not been the experience of anyone I’ve spoken to at least in the five or six, seven years.”
In fact, Garofola, 37, has even witnessed production step in and help sober up competitors. “Someone has clearly had a little too much to drink and they will say, ‘Hey, let me hold that for you’ and replace it with a bottle of water.”
After all, the ABC franchise prides itself in casting unique characters who don’t necessarily need a drink to let loose. “Every producer is not out to make great television by getting everyone belligerently drunk,” Garofola tells Us. “Great television naturally flows from the situation itself. People don’t need much coaching or prodding to be entertaining or to make good television. There is more enough television on the cutting room floor that could be made into seven more seasons.”
Most recently, while filming in Mexico, Bachelor in Paradise producers attempted to sober up Corinne Olympios after an alleged sexual misconduct incident, a source exclusively told Us. Following a reported dalliance with DeMario Jackson in the pool, “producers took alcohol away from her,” claims the insider, who adds, “she was upset she wasn’t allowed to drink.”
As previously reported, production on season four of the ABC summer smash was shut down after a producer filed a sexual misconduct complaint. After a thorough investigation, Warner Bros. concluded that video footage of the incident “does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member,” the studio said in a statement to Us June 20. “Nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy.”
Production on this season will resume and the show will air later this summer.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!