The Bachelor and Bachelorette are two of ABC's most watched shows because America can't seem to get enough of the romance. However, there are so many questions that follow: Is it scripted? What does it take to be on the reality show? What goes on behind-the-scenes? Are the winners really in love?
In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, former Bachelorette Season 12 contestant, James Fuertes, gave a few details on what exactly it felt like to be on the hit reality series.
"My experience was good. It was definitely interesting," Fuertes confessed.
The actor was one of 30 bachelors competing for JoJo Fletcher's heart and admitted the whole dynamic of competing with other men was pretty funny, too.
"To me, it was comical," he said of the format. "There were certain guys that I was just sure wouldn't have a chance with her — not because they weren't good guys, they were! It was just, as I got to talk to certain guys and understand their personalities, I was thinking in my mind, 'Okay, I don't think that she'll go for this guy.' So, it wasn't like you're in a house competing with everybody."
"In the end, it's really not necessarily a competition against those guys. It's just, are you going to be true and honest to yourself, and just play that person? She's either going to decide to keep you around or not."
Fuertes was eliminated before having the opportunity of a one-on-one with Fletcher, admitting that he was "blown away" when he was not given a rose.
"I was in shock, to be honest with you. I had not had a chance to talk with JoJo," Fuertes said when explaining he only had a group date, which doesn't provide much time to connect with the woman you're trying to win over.
"So going to that rose ceremony, I thought, 'Okay, I haven't had my one-on-one date with her yet. We haven't really spoke about anything too in depth yet, but there are a few guys still in the house that I know for a fact that she would not go for' ... so when I got eliminated that night, I was blown away because I knew for a fact there were three or four guys in that house she wouldn't go with. Sure enough, those three or four guys went to the next round. I was surprised."
Probably the most asked question when it comes to the show that helps people find love: Is it scripted? The answer is no.
"When you see people get upset, when you see people get fired up, when you see people say silly things, they're not being coerced, and they're not being scripted," Fuertes said. "The show is unscripted ... There is no script. You're saying whatever you want to say. The problem is, depending on how much airtime you get, the audience will only see a brief part of you."
Fuertes — who has appeared in films like Venom and shows like DC Universe's Doom Patrol — says because of his acting career, he was hesitant to appear on a reality series. He actually didn't apply for the show, he was approached. When he finally said yes to moving forward as a contestant, looking back on the audition process he credits the fact that he was "truthfully and honestly" himself as the reason why he made it on the show.
"If you want to get on the show, well, I would not get on the show for the wrong reasons because they're going to see through that," he recommended.
"Just be yourself. Be honest about what your goals are to be on the show," he continued. "If you're seeking fame and fortune, they're going to see through that. If you're just looking for a relationship, then as a by-product you might become a social influencer by the time the show is over, but that can't be your objective getting on the show."
Fuertes has continued with his acting career, even winning an award for best actor for his role in The Odds.