The Daily Gamecock

Column: Gen-Z loves 'The Bachelor' for its relatability, diverse contestants

For 32 women, going on the reality television show “The Bachelor” offers a chance to find love.

Th latest season's bachelor, Joey Graziadei, took the spotlight with enthusiasm and grace, providing an enjoyable watching experience. While he was an excellent and attractive lead, it was the diversity of the women — in both personality and age — that truly carried the show. 

"I used to watch it when I was younger and not really understand it, but now I'm like — I feel like they're my age. I could be on (the show). I can relate to them," third-year pharmacy student Sailor Countermarsh said

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The youngest woman to appear on the show, Lea Cayanan, is only 23 — a year or or two older than most college seniors. Since many of the female contestants on the show identify as Gen Z, which the Pew Research Center recognizes as individuals born from 1997-2012, younger audiences are able to relate to them.

The women on season 28 were able to appeal to younger audiences by posting content on their social media platforms as the show progressed. For example, social media personality Daisy Kent uploaded a video to TikTok showcasing a behind-the-scenes moment in between filming with another contestant, Kelsey Anderson. The video received almost a million likes and had 1.2 million views. 

Before each episode would air, Kent would share how she was feeling about millions of people watching her find love. These clips acted as a preview for what was to come, leaving fans wanting more.

These videos gained immense popularity amongst college students and other members of Gen Z since they are able to relate to her emotions through their own dating experiences.

"I definitely think (social media) made the show more popular because a lot of people that hadn't heard of 'The Bachelor' heard of it through Instagram and TikTok," first-year nursing student Katelyn Shackelford said

Whether it was intentional or not, these social media posts were a successful marketing technique in getting more people to tune into the show. By week four, the episode had nearly 5.9 million viewers tuning in, according to an article by Variety. This was a 69% increase in viewings from when the season premiere originally aired.

The first episode introduced Joey — and all of the show’s viewers — to the female contestants. Millions of people continued to tune in to meet the women who would be competing for Joey’s heart. 

“They all had different personalities,” Countermarsh said. "It was really interesting to watch." 

Shackelford said she thinks more people were interested in watching the show after seeing women get kicked off by Graziadei on social media.

The show also provides members of Gen-Z with a different perspective of dating than they are used to. We live in a world of persistent hookup culture and heavy influence of dating apps. But "The Bachelor" gives younger audiences insight on more face-to-face romance, as Graziadei selects a group date and a one-on-one date each week, getting to know the women in person rather than from behind a screen. 

Through Graziadei's leading charisma, the presence of young, diverse contestants and social media preview content, the latest season of "The Bachelor" has garnered the largest audience in over two years.

The next bachelor has yet to be announced, but the bar for the next season has been set high after the success of season 28. 


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