by McKenna Aiello | Thu., Jul. 21, 2016 5:44 PM
It only took one unsuspecting man handing out roses to a group of even more unsuspecting women for America to get hooked on The Bachelor franchise more than 14 years ago.
At the onset of wildly popular ABC series premiere in 2002, a perfect storm was just about cast for the show and its sister series, The Bachelorette, to completely captivate viewers across its 32-season run. Maybe because reality television was still in its infancy (American Idol debuted months later and the tribe had only spoken on four seasons of Survivor), or the sheer novelty underpinning a competition based on expertly-orchestrated romance that made us cock our heads with an equal dose of awe and horror, but we haven't been able to look away since.
For better or worse, The Bachelor franchise has evolved amidst changing trends in technology, i.e. that little thing we love to call social media. Prior to having Twitter and Facebook and Snapchat at our fingertips, it was much more difficult for spoilers to leak, leaving those insatiable feelings of suspense that the show undoubtedly thrives on fully intact.
Fast forward a decade later and a simple refresher on the aforementioned tools can reveal where the eligible contestants have jetted off to during filming, who's going home after next week's rose ceremony and if there's a sparkly engagement ring waiting for one lucky recipient.
But in recent seasons it can be argued that Bachelor Nation's appetite for tidbits of confidential information that shape our weekly Bachelor bracket and fuel our Monday night debates has led to even higher ratings and overall success on the series' end. Spoilers—by way of social media, fan-driven blogs and accidental slip-ups from family members—are barely avoidable anymore, but there's no denying they add to the guilty pleasure that is tuning in week after week.
JoJo Fletcher's current season of The Bachelorette is no exception to this trend in loose lips, with quite a few details of her journey to find love surfacing long before producers probably intended. Take a look at the latest bombshell that might have just exposed who gets the final rose, and more can't-miss spoilers from seasons' past.
All in the family:
It's never easy to keep a secret, especially when it's a secret meant to be kept completely under wraps from millions of diehard fans. The pressure was on for final four contestant Jordan Rodgers' brother Luke when he gave an interview to Womanista on his first impressions of JoJo during her hometown visit.
When asked to compare the brunette beauty to Jordan's past girlfriends, Luke said, "[JoJo was different in how] she was able to just so easily come lockstep with our family and conversations and stuff, except for the fact that she is missing some crucial movies that we quote a lot, but we're going to catch her up."
Wait, what?! In theory, the only reason the Rodgers clan would need to catch JoJo up is if Jordan is the last man standing, right? Luke quickly backtracked, clarifying, "We could catch her up with that, should she need to be caught up, depending on how this whole thing ends."
Let's hope that non-disclosure agreement penalty isn't too harsh.
It was the accidental Snapchat seen ‘round the world when Kaitlyn Bristowe mistakenly uploaded a selfie of her and now-fiancée Shawn Booth cuddled up together to her story while there were still quite a few men vying for her attention as season 11 continued to air.
Despite talk of the blunder being a mere publicity stunt, The Bachelorette alum admitted to E! News, "We get so excited to do couple things like take pictures. We were on Snapchat sending to one of the producers, just because they're the only people that really know we're together, and I accidentally hit it to my story instead of as a private snap."
"I didn't realize I'd done that, so we're talking, and Shawn picks up his phone and he's on Twitter, and suddenly he's like, "Oh my gosh!" she continued. "He started hyperventilating."
When you see Jojo from the bachelorette filming the new season in Malibu???? pic.twitter.com/xdX1cfUxrd— Taylor Flynn (@taytaychrissy) March 19, 2016
What sets The Bachelor and Bachelorette apart from other reality competition series is its bevy of highly-dedicated sleuths equipped with the tools (and passion) for exposing spoilers long before episodes air. Social media provides a platform for those lucky enough to spot and then share photos of the cast and crew filming. With this in mind, you better believe members of Bachelor Nation are quick to curate a timeline of location hopping and the subsequently dwindling numbers of men and women accompanying the titular star.
During Ben Higgins' season, Lauren Bushnell was targeted as an early favorite because of a private photo that emerged on Instagram showing the contestant wearing what it appeared to be a diamond ring on that finger. Turns out the snapshot was dated back months before filming started, but that didn't stop eagle-eye viewers from maintaining a microscopic look at every contestant's (and their friend's and family's) social media presence.
As fate would have it, Higgins proposed to Lauren with a $95,000 ring and the pair is still happily engaged.
The ‘ol bait and switch:
While Ben's second runner-up Caila Quinn was this close to being named the Bachelorette, with producers even filming in her hometown of Hudson, Ohio, the powers-at-be ultimately pulled a last-minute change, naming JoJo season 12's Bachelorette.
So what happened? Why did producers choose JoJo over Caila?
"It was nothing against Caila, but JoJo's storyline was just so compelling," a source exclusively told E! News. "After seeing how she fell in love with Ben and then had her heart broken, there was no doubt that everyone's going to be rooting for her as Bachelorette."
Chris Harrison's biggest enemy:
If there's one character the masterminds behind The Bachelor franchise might despise, it's Reality Steve. With a highly invested blog responsible for dropping major spoilers throughout each season and more than a hundred thousand loyal followers, this man knows what he's doing.
For example, the controversial figure revealed Higgins' final four women an entire three months before the hometown dates even aired. He's not shy to air contestant's dirty laundry either, most recently sharing an alleged email from Robby Hayes' ex-girlfriend that paints the hopeful in a pretty negative light. Yikes!
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