There are certain traditions that people come to expect during the year — green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, fruitcake on Christmas, and a very anxiety-inducing two-on-one date on both The Bachelorette and The Bachelor. This tense tradition is sometimes just what the doctor ordered for most Bachelorette fans, and yet, those who are really looking forward to one in the coming weeks may be sorely disappointed: there may not be a two-on-one date on Hannah’s season of The Bachelorette.
The Bachelorette and The Bachelor have found success in being a very formulaic ride — group dates, helicopters, tears, roses, in-fighting, Fantasy Suites, saying “I love you” without saying “I love you” (never forget Des & Brooks' complicated list of cardio metaphors). But in recent seasons, the producers have strayed just a bit, introducing the new contestants to the new Bachelor or Bachelorette on the previous season’s After The Final Rose; letting a four-time contestant be the new Bachelor (I’m looking at you, Nick Viall); and having Mike Fleiss, the show’s creator, posting insider info about The Bachelor or Bachelorette on his Twitter and pretending it counts as spoilers (he usually just posts the Bachelor or Bachelorette standing somewhere nondescript). Now, after skipping the two-on-1 date on Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor, Hannah's season might continue into this brave new world.
But why ditch this long-standing tradition in favor of regular old group dates and one-on-one dates? Well, for starters, (Always Be) Cam just went home in episode 3 and does seem to actually be serious about Luke P. based on the promos, which doesn't leave anyone who's had significant enough screen time to make for a truly dramatic pairing (the series always pits two explosive contestants who are nowhere near frontrunner status).
Also, according to Bachelor spoiler extraordinaire Reality Steve (who gets a lot of things right, but whose stories are still just heavy speculation), Hannah’s season might ditch the two-on-one date. Reality Steve recently claimed on Twitter that it seems like the producers didn't plan a two-on-one date for Hannah’s contestants. If he's right, it'd actually make a lot of sense, because...
...Two-on-one dates are really hard to watch. They’re venomous, they’re awkward, and they typically feature two contestants who hate each other’s guts. Remember Ashley I. and Kelsey being left alone in the desert? Or Kenny confronting Lee about his seemingly racist comments? Some of these two-on-one dates have been near-metaphors for the battle of good versus evil (I’ll let you figure out who is who with the aforementioned dates).
With The Bachelor as a whole under scrutiny to modernize and get in touch with both the social media age and a more (and rightfully so) politically correct public, perhaps the show realizes that it’s the pits to watch two women or two men nearly come to blows to win a rose on a reality show. We have enough problems, and though The Bachelorette is escapism at its finest, there’s really no need for icky exploitation like the kind found on a two-on-one date.
According to Variety, Colton Underwood’s Bachelor finale was up in ratings when compared to Arie Luyendyk’s from the year before, but in order to hold onto those eyeballs, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are going to have to make some changes to fit in with today’s TV landscape. It’s hard to be on the air for five seasons, let alone more than 30. If the two-on-one date is one of the cuts The Bachelorette is making in order to freshen up an old franchise, fans will likely be on board, too.