How Much Does It Cost To Be On The Bachelor?

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Tonight we wrap up what is quite possibly the most boring season in Bachelor history. Pilot Pete found love (or something) amidst a bunch of crying, catty girls. 

For those of you wondering, isn’t that what The Bachelor always is? No, it’s not. Usually it’s better than this. But we’ve all suffered so let’s recap what we know: the outfits and make-up in Bachelor Nation are next level, and have the price tag to prove it!

How much money does it cost to be on The Bachelor?

You don’t have to pay to be on The Bachelor (and you won’t be paid to be there either) but you do have to make a significant investment in your appearance. The impact is greater on women as contestants on The Bachelor than men who will be contestants on The Bachelorette. Women are under greater scrutiny, but also stand more to gain if the show launches a media career. 

Furthermore, sites like ShopYourTV share where to buy the outfits of every Bachelor contestant, making their wardrobe choices even more weighty before they embark on their journey for love. I, personally, was very excited to see Hannah Ann and I have the same shoes. (I actually bought them after I saw her wear them in an earlier episode this season!)

8 Weeks and $8,000 of wardrobe

Undoubtedly one of the most challenging aspects of being a contestant on The Bachelor is not knowing how long you’ll be there, but packing a suitcase as if you’re going to proposals. Contestants need outfits for the following:

  • 6-8 cocktail parties
  • 3-6 group or one-on-one dates
  • sportswear
  • swimwear
  • clothes for ALL climates because you don’t know where in the world you’ll travel!
  • shoes for all of the above

You never see contestants wearing the same outfit twice, which means you have to pack quite the wardrobe to make it through the season. Since a cocktail dress can run anywhere from $200 to $600 each, it wouldn’t surprise me if many of the girls packed thousands of dollars worth of dresses for those boozy hours alone. Add in some hiking gear and enough swimsuits to spend 5 days per week poolside and you’re easily pushing a five-figure clothing budget.

A few years ago, E! News found contestants spend $1,000 to $8,000 on clothes for the show, but this number is likely higher now. A 2016 rumor said Elizabeth Caridi spent $40,000 on clothes, which she says is untrue. 

Hair, make-up, and… plastic surgery?

The beauty standards of The Bachelor seem to get upped every season as contestants arrive in their limos ready for a career of hawking hair gummies on Instagram. These women are beautiful, and often it’s in no small part to cosmetic enhancement.

Getting your hair cut and colored for your debut on the Bachelor probably runs only about $400, but many of the girls have semi-permanent cosmetic procedures like spray tans ($60), eyelash extensions ($150), eyebrow microblading ($500), lip injections ($300) and Botox ($300). 

Some also boast nose jobs ($4,000), chin implants ($4,000), breast augmentations ($10,000) and more. Though it’s less likely these surgeries were done specifically to prep for the show, unless they’ve been planning a long time!

Career disruption and unpaid time off

Interrupting your career, or in some cases your education, in order to be on the Bachelor is hands-down the biggest blow to your bank account. It’s also the one everyone seems to ignore!

Filming The Bachelor takes approximately 8 weeks, though it will be shorter if you go home early. However, I suspect most employers aren’t keen to hold your position for 1 to potentially 8 weeks while you look for true love on reality television. For this reason, it’s not surprising most contestants quit their jobs in order to be on the show. 

Missing out of 2 months of income can cost contestants anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000, depending on what they do for a living. While the actual Bachelor or Bachelorette will collect a salary for being on the show, none of the contestants are paid for their appearance. 

What about sponsorship?

It’s likely many, if not all, of the contestants receive some sponsorship opportunities to help with costs both before and after the show. Free beauty treatments and gifted clothing and jewelry can seriously lower the financial impact of being on the show. Likewise, launching an Instagram career afterward could help recoup your initial investment. If you really want to clean up, pull a Jillian Harris who is now worth more than $3 million!

Is it worth the price of true love?

All the contestants of The Bachelor who are there for the right reasons are doing it to find true love. It’s worth noting that in the case for true love the show actually doesn’t have the greatest track record. Also, love is supposed to be one of the “best things in life” that are free, right? 

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About Author

Student debt killer, super saver, and stock market addict. BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta, MBA in Finance from the University of Calgary. CEO x 2 and MOM x 1. Currently residing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but hooked on travelling.

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