The Real Reason More Contestants Were Added To Matt James’ Bachelor Season

Following an intensely heated episode of The Bachelor in which five new women showed up to win Matt James’ heart, fans are wondering why the last two installments of the hit series have included bringing on new contestants mid season. While Clare Crawley’s time as the Bachelorette posed extenuating circumstances after she left with Dale Moss, this season didn’t seem to need any additional contestants. But, the producers have given us a few clues as to why the new women joined the show.

During Monday’s episode, host Chris Harrison told a surprised-looking James that so many women had applied for the chance to win his heart that they needed to bring more of them onto the show. Apparently, that may not be far from the truth. An ABC executive, Robert Mills, spoke with Variety about the mid-season twist, saying, “We got a record number of submissions. We couldn’t fit everyone in night one, and we had some really interesting girls.”

“These were women that we had already met with. It was decided pretty much before filming began [that they would join later],” he continued. “It was good to throw them in the mix. It wasn’t just to shake things up.”

Bachelor producers insist the new additions weren't just for drama

While rumors of producers influencing the course of the show have been rampant this season, Mills insists that it isn’t the case. “You can’t have people who are not going to do really anything and will just be wallflowers,” he explained. “I’m not saying the show is made purely to stir up drama, but certainly a strong personality like that is good.”

According to Us Weekly, the five new women who joined the show quickly sent shockwaves amongst the original contestants. Plus, after James sent two of the “OGs” home and only one of the new girls, the women in the house quickly descended into bullying. With Anna claiming that new contestant, Brittany, worked as an escort in Chicago and Victoria being especially vicious towards other women in the house, many have accused them of bullying. 

Even James conceded that the new additions “shake things up,” when speaking to Entertainment Tonight. But, according to the people in charge, there were just too many women who fit Matt James’ type to let the season go on without them.

As for what the producers will cop to helping out with? The contestants names are tough to remember, especially on the first night when each of them makes their grand entrance, so the crew will help the current Bachelor or Bachelorette keep them straight, Us Weekly notes. Plus, the final three contestants get professional hair and makeup for the last episodes each season. But as far as manipulating the show’s outcome and posturing for drama, Mills played coy. 

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