Jake Pavelka, Vienna Girardi

Ellen DeGeneres Show

I'm sort of addicted to the Jake and Vienna public breakup. Were the two of them forced by The Bachelor's producers to stay together for show?
—PrimLuv, via the Answer B!tch inbox

It did seem like close quarters there for a while, between Jake, Vienna, her victim complex and his thundering narcissism. (You really didn't think they'd make it, did you? Plural marriage is illegal, you know.) Anyway, I found out what goes on behind the scenes after filming wraps on these types of shows ...

First of all, nobody can force a couple to stay together after a show ends, no matter how high-profile the series or how popular the contestants.

However, most contracts bar contestants from doing anything that could damage a show's storyline or reputation for riveting reality. And that means that if a Bachelor dumps his rose (or if Vienna calls off her engagement with Jake) and starts dating someone else, he'd better not get spotted doing it. At least, not until after the show finale airs and the reunion show has wrapped.

Take it away, Lewis Fenton, a producer who has worked on projects ranging from The Bachelorette to the Omarosa-centric dating show The Ultimate Merger.

"In most cases, the production company or network will build in contractual language protecting the show from willful damage," says Fenton, who is also working on the new dating show starring Chad Ochocinco as The Ultimate Catch.

And just what is willful damage? Well, "publicly making out with some new person at a Lakers game," certainly, Fenton volunteers. But even if a former Bachelor or Bachelorette tries to move on quietly and happens to get snapped by a persistent paparazzo, that could count as a violation of the contract, Fenton suggests.

And that, in turn, could trigger a lawsuit against the contestant for millions of dollars.

Unfair? Too harsh? Maybe. Or maybe, seriously, not.

"The contestants haven't been pawns in all this," Fenton points out. "They appreciate the show, they came on the show for whatever reason they had, and they're also wanting to make the show a success. They don't want to blow it up."

Indeed. As Vienna might put it, there's always more fame-whoring to do.

Follow @answerbitch on Twitter, 'K?


Get the dirt on some more big ol' Celebrity Splits.

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