Bachelor Nation has a love-hate relationship with producers of the popular television series. Kelley Flanagan, Melissa Rycroft, Colton Underwood and more members of Bachelor Nation have feuded with producers over the years.
The season 23 Bachelor wrote in his 2020 book, The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV, that he felt betrayed by producers when they called his frontrunner Cassie Randolph’s dad and invited him to Thailand during the final weeks of filming.
“It was all clear and perfect and everything a parent should do. I’m sure that’s why my old pal, supervising producer Ruby Taylor, had called Matt in the first place,” he wrote. “She’d contacted him several days earlier and told him that Cassie was really struggling with her feelings and could use him as a sounding board. … It made me feel like production was working against me and trying to help Cassie break up with me.”
While promoting his book, Colton told Us that he wasn’t allowed to publicly discuss Peter Weber’s season of the show because production knew he would “keep it too real.”
He explained in April 2020, “I feel like that’s the producer’s job is to sort of help guide the lead, guide the person I felt like they hung [Peter] out to dry in so many different ways and set him up for failure.”
He went on to provide more context into his own relationship with producers: “I realize, like, this is an entertainment business, it’s a business and you don’t take things personally, but I’m still gonna maintain a professional relationship with you. I just asked for that in return. I think when the line started getting crossed, and I got told to be a ‘good little boy’ and ‘keep my mouth shut.’ Like that’s when I was like, ‘You don’t get to say that.’”
During Peter’s season of the show, fans learned that he briefly met Kelley Flanagan before filming began. While they had a spark, the pilot sent her packing before hometown dates on season 24, which aired in 2020. Kelley later alleged that production prevented her from forming a relationship with Peter.
“The first couple of weeks I saw him look at me differently compared to when we got on our one-on-one and I could tell a hundred percent that like producers were in his head,” Kelley told Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti on the “Almost Famous” podcast in April 2020. “Because on the one-on-one, nothing happened between us but he had this, like, demeanor toward me that was so pissed off and I was looking at him, like, ‘What the hell were you told?’ because nothing happened here for you to have this attitude. And so right then and there, I knew something was going on behind the scenes, and I was like, ‘This is bulls–t’. … [I told him], ‘They don’t let me see you. They locked me up in a closet for three hours last week, and they won’t let me see you.’ I said, ‘You clearly know they push some people forward and they don’t push others forward.’”
Chris Harrison later revealed that he called Kelley after he heard her claims.
“I said, ‘What was that? ‘We don’t lock people in closets, so clearly, you weren’t locked in a closet for three hours. What did you mean?'” he told Entertainment Tonight in April 2020. “What she meant by that was she was frustrated. She’s a smart girl who I think is used to getting what she wants, and she didn’t get that time with Peter. You’re not in a closet. It’s in a room, and sometimes it takes hours. It depends on what’s going on at the time … I think Kelley was frustrated at the time, and that’s how she articulated that.”
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