News & Politics

Reality TV Fans, Rejoice! There’s a DC Quarantine Version of “The Bachelor” Coming.

The virtual dating show will premiere May 10 via Facebook.

Image courtesy of Beth Cormack.
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There’s no scientific proof that quarantine would be slightly more bearable if it was paired with the release of a new series from The Bachelor franchise. But, you know, it might help. (And no, the new spin-off Listen to Your Heart does not count because. . . well, have you watched it??) With the group postponing production on the next season of The Bachelorette and The Bachelor: Summer Games, there’s no telling when we’ll next be lulled into comfort by catfights and Neil Lane diamonds.

Luckily, a DC quarantine version is soon coming our way. Digital Bachelor: DC Quarantine Edition will launch May 10 via a private Facebook group, where folks can stream the drama as 20 DC women virtually vie for the heart of a DC bachelor.

The online dating show will be spearheaded by the group JBC Events, which is made up by Jad Bouchebel, Nayef Issa, and Beth Cormack. You know that last name from the other virtual dating events Cormack has created during the pandemic, such as DC Is Blind and Pitch a Friend: Quarantine Edition.

“All my friends are super invested,” says Cormack of The Bachelor franchise. “We have Bachelor Monday nights and we drink wine and have cheese boards.” So, with the current pause on new Bachelor drama, plus Cormack’s experience in organizing virtual dating projects, she figured she might as well create her own version of the ABC show while everyone’s sitting at home.

Here’s how it will work: During the three-week season, the digital bachelor will go on virtual dates with the 20 contestants via Zoom. Like the show, these will start out as group dates (aka group Zooms), and eventually move into one-on-one sessions. Cormack, who will serve as the Chris Harrison-style host, envisions the dates will consist of virtual activities like karaoke sessions, contestants cooking “together,” or ordering takeout from a local restaurants and eating a romantic dinner. These will be pre-recorded and then uploaded to the private Facebook group for folks to watch at home.

Contestants will then be eliminated via live-streamed virtual rose ceremonies, but instead of handing out flowers, the bachelor will ask contestants, “Will you accept this socially distant Zoom meeting?”

And, yes, there will be virtual versions of hometown visits, an integral part of The Bachelor series where the bachelor or bachelorette visits contestants’ homes and meets their families. (But no, Cormack says, there will not be an online equivalent of the Fantasy Suite, the moment in the show where the bachelor and bachelorette spend the night and hook up with their top contestants. Some things just can’t translate into the virtual world.)

Throughout, the contestants and the bachelor will film confessional-style videos, where they speak candidly to the camera, and the women competing will have a WhatsApp group where they can talk about dating the bachelor.

Viewers will pay $15 to get access to the private Facebook group where the episodes will be streamed and uploaded. And the group is accepting applications for both the bachelor and the contestants: Folks who identify as men have until May 4 to apply, and those identifying as women have until May 6 to apply to be a contestant.

“We’re looking for an eclectic mix of people,” says Cormack of potential applicants. “Someone very charismatic who doesn’t mind being in the spotlight.”

And, of course, someone who’s willing to make the time commitment to go on a series of virtual dates, film confessional videos, and potentially be dumped via a public live stream. But, then again. . . do you really have anything better to do right now?

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.