Fans of The Bachelorette can’t help but obsess over the exotic and romantic dates on the show. And while Emily Maynard’s season has been a bit calmer (so far) than the ones before it, there are still typical date formats that the show continues to utilize this season. Whether Emily is getting on a private jet with frontrunner Arie to spend a private day at Dollywood or dancing in the arms of handsome Chris as Luke Bryan serenades them with a special concert, The Bachelorette/Bachelor franchise has carried on the tradition of it’s over-the-top, dream-like dates — and we can’t but help buy every little piece of it. But there is one question we all seem to wonder: do the stars of this show actually have anything to do with planning these dates?
Well former Bachelorette star Trista Sutter reveals the truth to Hollywood.com exclusively about how the date planning gets done. “Things have changed so much that I'm not sure if it's handled the same, but during my season, the producers did all the planning," she explains. "I did have an initial meeting with the producers, and we talked about all the kinds of things that I would love to do, and what I would like to see planned, but then they took over."
“I don’t know for certain that Emily, or any of the other Bachelors or Bachelorettes, haven’t had a hand in planning,” she continues. “But I have to say that I kind of chuckle every time I hear a contestant say, ‘This is a great date that you planned,’ — because it really is the brainchild of the producers, usually. It’s their show, so they need to get all the permits and do the scheduling, etc, etc, etc. It really has to be producer-driven in that way.”
But whether the producers plan the dates or not, like us, Sutter can’t get enough of certain common aspects of the dates that we see each season. Sutter reveals her three favorite date moments.
1. Trista loves to see dates where people seem most at ease, for example, Emily’s home cooking date with Ryan. “I love the kind of dates where they just hang out at home, go to the grocery store, or do something that they would normally do in their everyday life,” Sutter notes. "It helps to bring reality to reality TV."
2. Sutter also gets swept away by the “fantasy” of some dates. “The private plane rides and the flashy cars — the fantasy that most people normally don’t get to experience,” Trista remarks, “In my season, they got an Aston Martin for me, which is my ultimate dream car. [For Emily] even though Dollywood wasn’t head-to-toe fantasy, they took a the private plane, had Dolly Parton show up, write a song just for them, and even shower Emily with advice on love. It's a fun fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless because it's not something just anyone can say they've experienced.
3. Sutter also loves the exotic aspects of dates. “I know it’s cliché, but helicopters and far away places get me excited," she admits. "That, or having dinner in an unusual spot, like the top of a building. Once in a lifetime opportunities that everyone else can only dream of are what it's all about."
But, while Sutter enjoys the consistencies in the dates each season, she does wish that the show would leave the villains out if it. “I wish they would let it go, and let it be a love story,” she says. “I know that they pretty much have to, as a television show, include some sort of drama. When you write a story, you have to include the villain and the hero. So, naturally, I think it’s their job to include a villain. I just wish that they didn’t have to. I wish they could just focus on the love story that is happening, period, end of story.”
Unfortunately ABC has already teased the two villains of this season: Ryan and Kalon. Ryan appears to be the one that will be involved in the drama of the house. “The comments that he made on Monday night about if she got fat after they were married were completely unnecessary, I thought,” Sutter says. “Even if you think it, there are much more considerate ways of conveying your opinions on the type of person you would like to marry.”
And Kalon seems like he’s going to be just as bad. “When you’re trying to impress a girl, you don’t continuously cut her off and then try to communicate that you would like to finish your story but do it in an incredibly condescending and rude way,” says Sutter. “I just thought he was incredibly inconsiderate.”
Still there is one guy who continually proves to be a winner and that is Arie. “Arie has definitely jumped up to the top,” says Sutter. “I think that Monday night they really touched on if she would be able to fit into his race car lifestyle and that they’re being realistic about it. She has known that life before. She knows what comes with it. I don’t think that she would honestly give him the time of day if she didn’t feel that she could once again fit into that lifestyle. I don’t have any concerns. I absolutely think they are adorable.”