Entertainment TV The Bachelor: Why Ten is hating its contestants going rogue
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The Bachelor: Why Ten is hating its contestants going rogue

Elly Miles Matt Agnew
The Bachelor frontrunner Elly Miles with leading man Matt Agnew on August 28. Photo: Instagram
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Ten bosses will be “hating” that rogue contestants on The Bachelor are leaking plot twists despite legal non-disclosure agreements, according to a TV executive.

Worst-case scenario? For the first time since reality TV became a global juggernaut, contestants could end up in court over confidentiality breaches.

“Producers have always been able to keep a leash on the contestants just using the show for their 15 minutes of fame, but with the explosion of social media they’re losing control of the narrative,” Robert McKnight told The New Daily.

“That’s a dangerous thing. People who want to self-promote are getting smarter about television.”

Mr McKnight, the host and producer of the TV Blackbox podcast and website, was a producer on Seven’s The Morning Show and Nine’s Today. At Ten, he created and produced Studio 10.

Producers on reality shows rely on “controlling” contestants from spilling secrets for a certain period of time via the non-disclosure agreements, he said.

“But when the contestants realise, ‘What are they going to do if we break them’, they take control of the narrative themselves,” Mr McKnight said.

“Networks absolutely do not want to lose the power.”

During Wednesday’s episode, evictees Vakoo Kauapirura and Rachael Arahill and current hopeful Sogand Mohtat dished out spoilers and criticism on Rachael’s Instagram Live.

The women were drinking and watching the episode, which showed Rachael kicked out by leading man Matt Agnew for allegedly making an off-camera move on a crew member.

As the show aired, she slammed the circumstances as fake: “Obviously the producers set me up.”

In another post, Rachael questioned how she could have given the crew member her phone number when it was his rostered day off.

Rachael then hinted Sogand would be the next bachelorette to go: “It’s another Persian chick… She’s about to get kicked out…” Rachael said, adding hastily, “of my house.” (Sogand got a rose on Thursday.)

In another twist, Vakoo confirmed she is in a relationship with Rachael: “We’re really happy and we’re just exploring.”

This is the first year contestants have “completely gone rogue”, Mr McKnight said, adding Ten has reportedly instigated a ‘three strikes’ policy against serial transgressors.

“If that’s true, they’re going to have to come down hard and decide if they make an example out of someone.”

One penalty Ten could impose on loose cannons is to cut off future potential appearances on shows including The Project and I’m A Celebrity … Get Me out of Here!

But social media means contestants are confident they can milk their 15 minutes of fame without extra TV exposure, and are “rolling the dice” legal action won’t be taken.

“The whole point of an NDA is the networks can sue, but the problem is what comes out in court could make the networks look like the bad guys,” Mr McKnight said.

“Emails could be scrutinised saying what producers are discussing. Raw footage could be shown. Bad practices could be revealed.

“It’s a great get-out-of-jail-free card for contestants.”

The ultimate fear for producers?

“What’s to stop these contestants spilling the beans to a website like yours about who actually won?” Mr McKnight asked.

“The one thing I would say is they’re both using each other. When they’re casting for these shows, they’re looking for people to cause trouble.

“They know some people aren’t looking for love, but now these people are using the shows as much as the show is using them.”

Ten ignored multiple requests from The New Daily for comment.

While the network may be anxious about leaks, it has benefited from ramping up the drama this year, Married at First Sight style.

On August 14, ratings skyrocketed thanks to a bombshell episode that surely set a record for the number of times the phrase ‘dog c–t’ was said on primetime TV.

Viewers and social media users could not get enough of the bizarre ‘Dog-Gate’ scandal.

The show beat The Block and was the No.1 non-news show in Australia for the night.

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