Some women may prefer an entire bouquet, but when it comes to red roses, contestants on ABC's “The Bachelor” like to collect their flowers one at a time. (If they are lucky, the final rose will come with a Neil Lane diamond engagement ring, too.) Now approaching its 28th season—and its 22nd anniversary!—the network’s flagship reality series has generated numerous hit spinoffs, including “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor In Paradise,” and “The Golden Bachelor.” Clearly, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down.
Wondering how to get cast as a contestant on “The Bachelor” or even as the Bachelor himself? Our guide offers an expansive look at what goes into the rigorous casting process, including what it takes to appeal to the show’s casting team and what will help you stand out amid a sea of hopefuls.
- What is “The Bachelor” about?
- Who is in the cast of “The Bachelor”?
- How does the casting process work for “The Bachelor”?
- Where is “The Bachelor” filmed?
- When does filming for Season 28 start?
- Where can you find “The Bachelor” casting calls and auditions?
- Who is the casting director for “The Bachelor”?
- What are the best tips for landing a spot on “The Bachelor”?
No matter how many proverbial “fish in the sea” there may be, for many seeking love, the dating pool seems far too shallow. But each season of “The Bachelor” is a veritable fish hatchery for the leading man, with an average of 25–30 women cast to compete for his love.
On the ABC show, one man goes on curated dates with said women over roughly 8–10 weeks, with the goal of narrowing the group down to one woman he wants to marry. Each season begins at the Bachelor mansion in California and features a number of local one-on-one and group dates before the cast heads off to explore locations both domestic and international. As he gets to know his potential girlfriends better, each week the Bachelor doles out roses to the women he likes best—leaving the remaining women to squirm, and, for those who do not receive a rose, to go home.
While group dates evoke laughter and rose ceremonies generate tears, the most intense drama erupts between the women when their suitor is not even around. Rivalries make great television, and often dominate “The Bachelor” narrative. And jealousy just gets more fierce as each season goes on, with the introduction of hometown dates (where families are introduced) and fantasy suites (which invite intimacy by offering overnight privacy for the first time). There’s no saying if or when the lead will get down on one knee, as an engagement isn’t always in the cards. But the stakes are always high, and that’s what keeps viewers glued to their screens each week.
The newest Bachelor, Joey Graziadei, 28, was runner-up on last season’s “The Bachelorette,” with Charity Lawson letting him down mid-proposal and accepting the final rose from another man. Now, as the star of “The Bachelor” Season 28, Graziadei will have a second chance, serving up his signature smolder to a cast of 32 potential partners. Here’s a look at who will be vying for his heart this season:
- Autumn Waggoner, 26, account executive
- Allison Hollinger, 26, unknown
- Marlena Haddad, 26, writer/analyst
- Zoe Antona, 23, artist
- Maria Georgas, 28, actor
- Erika Cardenas, 25, model
- Jessica Edwards, 25, unknown
- Natalie Crepeau, 25, surgical nurse
- Lanie Latsios, 27, real estate specialist
- Evalin Clark, 28, business owner
- Daisy Kent, 24, children’s book author
- Sydney Gordon, 28, social media manager
- Sandra Rabadi, 26, cybersecurity technical architect
- Starr Skyler, 25, school counselor
- Rachel Nance, 26, ICU nurse
- Katelyn DeBacker, 25, research technician
- Kelsey Toussant, 31, realtor/boutique owner
- Chrissa Perez, 26, marketing strategist
- Talyah Jackson, 23, lash extension specialist
- Samantha Hale, 30, tax expert
- Kayla Rodgers, 27, high school cheerleading coach
- Jenn Tran, 25, physician’s assistant
- Taylor Wiens, 23, human resources specialist
- Alexandra “Lexi” Young, 30, retail professional
- Kelsey Anderson, 25, consulting project assistant
- Lauren Hollinger, 28, plastic surgery nurse
- Lea Cayanan, 23, operator territory manager
- Madina Alam, 30, mental health therapist/model
- Edwina Dorbor, chief executive officer
- Chandler Dewgard, 25, digital designer
- Samantha Washington, 25, NFL cheerleader
- Kyra Brusch, 25, small business owner
Jesse Palmer, a former Bachelor lead himself, is returning as host, stepping in to deliver date cards and “final rose of the night” announcements as needed. (Chris Harrison was the “Bachelor” franchise’s original host, departing in 2021.)
Ever since the early seasons, “The Bachelorette” leads are plucked from the group of men who didn’t win over the Bachelorette the season prior, so being cast as a contestant on “The Bachelorette” is likely the best path to becoming the Bachelor yourself.
The only Bachelor in recent memory who did not appear on “The Bachelorette” beforehand was the franchise’s first and only Black male lead to date, Matt James. According to Us Weekly, James was originally cast as a contestant on Clare Crawley’s season but due to COVID pandemic-related delays, the casting team selected James to take the lead the following season instead. “Initially, I thought it was a prank call,” James shared. ”It was the middle of COVID. I was living [in] a quarantine house with all my friends.”
James also noted that he was not aware of his history-making turn when producers offered him the lead. He had no idea the franchise had not yet cast a Black male lead, so he wasn’t in it to make a statement. “I didn’t accept the role to be the savior,” he said. “My sole focus was finding someone that I could spend the rest of my life with and fall in love with and just looking for that in my life because I was missing it.” James continued, “It wasn’t until after I accepted it that I really felt the weight of, you know, everyone’s expectations on my journey.”
If you want to be one of the women vying for the upcoming lead’s affection, you can either apply or be nominated; either way, be mindful of the eligibility requirements. Submitting a video clip that showcases your personality will help you stand out from the crowd. Occasionally casting will seek out contestants on social media, so maintaining an interesting online profile could also be your ticket to love. Once chosen, semi-finalists fly to Los Angeles for additional interviews and photoshoots, background and medical checks, and a psychological evaluation.
“The Bachelor” season starts in Los Angeles, California at the infamous Bachelor mansion. After a few weeks of local dates (and eliminations), the remaining participants travel around the country and sometimes even internationally. During the most recent season, Bachelor Zach Shallcross and his dates traveled the globe, hopping between the Bahamas, London, Estonia and Thailand.
ABC announced Graziadei as the next Bachelor during “The Bachelorette” finale in Aug. 2023. Typically, “The Bachelor” begins filming within weeks of the lead being announced. Thus, at the time of this writing, Graziadei and his cast have likely finished their 8-10 weeks of filming. Most seasons begin airing in early January.
Although “The Bachelor” continues to hold casting calls in major cities across the United States, much of the process occurs online. To apply, begin by filling out this application. Have someone else in mind as the perfect participant? To nominate them, fill out this form. No matter your approach, the potential contestant must meet the eligibility requirements before proceeding. Hopefuls should also spruce up their social media presence, as the casting team has been known to scout contestants who’re established on said platforms.
Along with the show’s online application, “The Bachelor” franchise also issues casting notices with us. Currently, “The Bachelorette” is looking for single men to join the upcoming season. You can also explore our roundup of gigs inspired by the franchise’s latest spinoff, “The Golden Bachelor.” And bookmark our main casting call page for new opportunities as they become available.
As “The Bachelor” enters its 28th season, it’s no surprise that there have been considerable changes to the casting process over the years. (Social media didn’t even exist when the show debuted in 2002!) The team of casting directors and producers has evolved as well. Sunny Willebrand has served as a casting producer for “The Bachelor'' and “The Bachelorette'' since 2009 and, as she told M Live in 2010, is “ looking for people who are looking for love and looking to do the show for the right reasons.”
As former casting producer Jazzy Collins explained, changing times call for changing tactics. In 2020 Collins wrote an open letter to the network, criticizing its “white-washed” franchise and encouraging the powers that be to diversify its cast and production team. “During my time at ‘The Bachelor/Bachelorette,’ I was the only Black person in the casting office,” Collins shared with Deadline, “from when I was hired for casting the first season of a Black Bachelorette through the four seasons I worked on afterwards.”
Speaking with Culturess, Collins added, “[T]he most important thing in that I called for was to have more diversity behind the scenes and I’m starting to see that now. I’m starting to see that’s more something that a lot of production companies and networks are working towards and I think it’s really important for us to do. It’s easy to just throw these people on TV and just go you’re filling a quota but if these people are going to be sharing their stories and sharing who they are and being vulnerable, it’s really important to have people that are there that look like them behind the scenes.”
While the franchise has made strides toward change amid this racial reckoning, it has a long way to go.
For women hoping to have a chance at winning the next Bachelor’s heart, Katie Thurston knows what it takes. After all, she was cast as a contestant during Matt James’ season and became the Bachelorette thereafter. She told fans in an Instagram video, your social media presence has a lot of power.
When it comes to filling out the online application, she noted, “This is where things get serious, because this is your one and only shot to make a great first impression. On that application, it lists social media as being optional, but not only should you list all of them, you should make sure your social media is public. I think that’s where a lot of people mess up. if they can’t see what you look like, how you engage with others, and what your activities of interest are, they don’t have time to waste.”
“Also, make sure your social media is up to date. If you have old photos, or outdated love interests on there, it’s time to do a little sprucing up your social media,” Thurston said. “Are you natural on camera? Can you talk to people? Can you handle interviews? Make sure you have a good variety of pictures of you and they should be unfiltered and take off the sunglasses. Really highlight who you are as a person and make that shown and known in your social media.”
Casting directors obviously want to peek inside your life, so make sure your profile shows them why you would be a great contestant.
Meanwhile, if you’re a man who hopes to parlay an appearance on “The Bachelorette” into a leading turn as the Bachelor—after all, only one contestant can win her heart, right?—your entire run on the show will become your audition. Viewers will have the opportunity to fall in love with you before you ever make the move to lead, and social media buzz could possibly influence who casting producers think will generate the highest viewer ratings and greatest fan engagement.
So what’s the casting team looking for in the next Bachelor? “I think it's a combination of sincerity and really just somebody who can have a lot of fun and be entertaining,” Rob Mills, ABC’s SVP of alternative series, specials, and late-night programming, told E! News.
“I think that's why somebody like Sean Lowe worked so well, because he really was the perfect balance of that. He was truly looking for a wife and he was very clear about that, he wanted what his parents and grandparents had. But also, there was a real sense of fun from Sean. A great sense of humor. Everybody has different traits,” Mills added. “That was one where I thought it was sort of the right balance.”