Since the first season of The Bachelor premiered in 2002, the reality dating show has turned into a worldwide phenomenon. The show's 21st season began on ABC on Jan. 2, with 36-year-old Nick Viall slated to sit in the hot seat as 30 women battle it out for a chance to win the heart of America's newest bachelor. And though The Bachelor never fails to entertain the masses with its petty catfights and dramatic rose ceremonies, we have a few suggestions to refresh the long-running reality competition.
Crazy Women Rule, That's Why We Watch
What is it about reality television that turns seemingly normal women into catty, embarrassing versions of themselves? Evidently, all bets are off when you throw a man into the ring. During the first 20 seasons of The Bachelor, there have been more than just a few contestants who have let their freak flags fly. Take Ashley Salter and Kelsey Poe from season 19. Kelsey likened her competitors to onions and attempted to give another contestant a rose just to back off. And Kelsey called her tragic story about losing her husband "amazing" right before sucking face with bachelor Chris Soules. From outrageous limo exits to premature professions of love, each new season comes with a fresh batch of crazies.
Class It Up (with a Live Audience) Like Canada
After the final rose is given out, all the contestants reunite to dish about their experiences on the show. Unfortunately, not every woman's time on The Bachelor is a good one, and the women who feel slighted don't hold back. One thing that eases the tension in the room? Genuine reactions from a live audience. Take one look at the audience during the reunion shows, and it seems fairly obvious that their reactions are a little too dramatic. While perennial host Chris Harrison flashes back on the season's most memorable moments, everyone seems to nod along in agreement or object in unison. Staged much? Producers of the U.S. version of The Bachelor should follow the formula put forth by their neighbors to the north. By filling the studio with actual fans who have no hidden agendas, the vibe of the reunion specials in Canada feels much more authentic.
Where's the Diversity? Too Many Preppies & Hipsters
What does every season of The Bachelor have in common? In a word, diversity (or rather, the lack thereof). In the franchise's long history, the vast majority of bachelors who have clinched the coveted title have been white. In fact, throughout The Bachelor's soon-to-be 21 seasons, there has only been one non-white bachelor -- the American born Juan Pablo Galavis who is of Venezuelan descent. But even the pool of contestants is lopsided. With most participants hailing from predominantly white backgrounds, contestants who fall into the black, Asian, and Latina categories are often the first to be eliminated. Come on, ABC, it's almost 2017! Get with the program and embrace racial diversity.
More Waterfalls, Less Hot Tubs
If The Bachelor has taught us anything, it's that no good can come from hot tub rendezvous. Inhibitions are immediately lowered and no one seems to remember that their every move is being captured on film. During season 13, bachelor Jason Mesnick got hot and heavy with contestant Jillian Harris during a one-on-one date. In a nutshell, there was no shortage of touching and canoodling that night. But hot tubs are overrated -- waterfalls are much classier. Take bachelor Ben Higgins and runner-up JoJo Fletcher's fantasy overnight in season 20. The gorgeous scenery and peaceful ambiance made for a much more elegant date. So make it dreamy, not steamy.
Use the Blindfolded 'Kissing Contest' Anywhere You Can
The Bachelor spinoff series Bachelor Pad introduced the blindfolded kissing contest during its first season in 2010. While blindfolded, each participant must engage in a sloppy make-out session and then vote on who made their toes curl the most. Sure, it's definitely awkward for each of the contestants, but watching the smooch sessions as a viewer is no picnic either. Inevitably, one or two contestants bow out upon hearing about the contest, but most of them come around. After all, they've already signed up to showcase their lives on national television, what else have they really got to lose?
What is it about The Bachelor that keeps you coming back for more? Share with us in the comments!