Bachelor Nation is booming, filled with enthusiastic fans who watch the series religiously, often with wine in hand. But while fans are pretty tuned into the fact that each series returns at the same time every year, it's probably helpful for devotees to watch with a little context about when The Bachelor is filmed and how much time passes before it hits our televisions. As it turns out, the Bachelors and Bachelorettes both get a little time to ease into their journeys towards love. However, it's also helpful (and so much more dramatic) to consider how the timing affects not just the star of the show, but the contestants whose hearts get broken before they all come back together on national TV for the Women Tell All and Men Tell All.
Last season, The Bachelor ended up being a pretty sour time for supposed winner, Becca Kufrin, who Arie Luyendyk Jr. broke up with not long after giving her the final rose. Naturally, she was named the next Bachelorette, and her season started filming on March 16, 2018, just a little over a week after her breakup became public on national television. However, her break-up with Arie happened in January, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which means that she had just over month or so to prepare to find love again. The start of Becca's journey was pretty close to her heartbreak, but fans had a little more time to adjust by the time the season premiered in May, after about two months of filming (the details are a bit sketchier here, but Reality Steve does have a report that claims Becca filmed her final rose ceremony on May 10, 2018). While Colton Underwood got more time to process between his breakup with Becca in early 2018 before the start of filming his season in Fall 2018, the set-up is quite similar for him.
Before fans knew Colton would take the Bachelor seat, there were a few hints dropped about his filming schedule. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in late August 2018, Chris Harrison said it was "only a matter of weeks" until the new Bachelor would be revealed, because there was a looming deadline: the start of production. A late September start date for production is pretty common for The Bachelor, as former season 17 contestant Leslie Hughes shared with The Daily Beast. She told the site that during her season, they filmed from September to November, and it appears that Colton’s season followed suit.
In a breakdown from Bustle, based on Reality Steve's Bachelor accounts, the past few seasons have all had late September start dates too: Nick Viall and his contestants started filming on Sept. 24, 2016 and Ben Higgins and Sean Lowe also had their first episodes filmed on Sept. 24, in 2015 and 2012, respectively. Chris Soules started on Sept. 25, 2014 and Juan Pablo Galavis had the earliest start to filming, with a Sept. 20, 2013 start date. Since Colton's season followed suit, that would mean that the final rose and possible (hey, he could always choose no one) proposal would have been filmed in late November of 2018.
Colton’s season is off to a rather interesting start, between one contestant dressing up as sloth, one who faked an Australian accent, and Demi's risky move with a robe and a "fantasy closet" in episode 2. (Oh, and don’t forget the virginity jokes about Colton, since that’s unfortunately still a big talking point.) But while the drama goes down, and feelings get hurt, it's important to remember how much time has actually passed — and how long ago all the antics, stolen kisses, and teary breakups were filmed. For many of these contestants, there's been a significant amount of time for them to get over what happened in Bachelor mansion. But for those who stick around into later episodes, those wounds will still be understandably fresh when Women Tell All rolls around.