March 6, 2008
-- The series revolves around a bachelor courted by 25 women. The show follows the bachelor as he goes on a series of dates with the women, some of them group dates, some one-on-one dates. On each episode women are eliminated, generally during the rose ceremony at the end of the episode, but sometimes on the dates (during what are called "elimination dates"). The process culminates towards the end of the season with a few of the women going on overnight dates and meetings between the bachelor, the women, and their respective families. The program is a roller coaster ride of emotions for both the Bachelor and the women. At the end of the show, the bachelor is to pick one woman with whom he would like to continue a relationship. Sometimes he proposes marriage and sometimes other levels of commitment.
The series quickly gained popularity. Many of its catchphrases have entered into the pop culture lexicon, such as the refrain, "Will you accept this rose?" The runner-up from the first season, Trista Rehn, later starred in The Bachelorette, a spin-off program in which the format was gender-reversed. In light of the fact many of the couples formed during previous seasons later ended their relationships, the premise of finding true love has proven difficult to sustain. To maintain interest, producers added an assortment of "twists" to the format. The fourth season featured Bob Guiney, popular comic relief from the first season of The Bachelorette. The fifth season featured NFL player Jesse Palmer. The sixth season had yet another new twist, as the women of the house were forced to choose between two eligible bachelors. They chose fisherman Byron Velvick; he ultimately ended up with none of the original women, as season four contestant Mary Delgado returned to the show and became his final choice.
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