Twenty-four eager-to-please young women and one man who’s cemented his celebrity status by living the high life on the telly… Spencer Matthews is in a better position than a Match.com subscriber to find love this summer on Channel 5, right?
He’s got it all; money, looks and a haircut. What’s more, he’s on a game show the entire premise of which is to find him love – surely he cannot fail? But as the Beatles once sang “Haircuts Can’t Buy You Love”...
Although The Bachelor is only in its fifth series in the UK (Channel 5 having picked it up last year after it began life on BBC3), the show in fact has over a decade of history in the United States, where it was born. And it is to the Americas, and the 16 seasons of the show, that we must look to find meaningful data on whether the programme is truly the elixir of love.
The results – well, they’re not quite as rosy as Spencer’s cheeks after a day of champagne quaffing and yachting about the French Riviera…
According to the RadioTimes.com Love Test™ (yes, this is serious journalism) only three of the 16 couples paired by the US version of The Bachelor have enjoyed long-lasting* relationships. That’s despite the show encouraging the couples to get engaged during the finale – and nine of the men actually popping the question on the show.
To add weight to my extensive research, I’ll put this into serious mathematical terms. Although 56 per cent of The Bachelors proposed in the final, the winner has just a 19 per cent chance of a meaningful relationship* arising from the programme.
And what of those who did “make it”? Well in 2004, professional bass fisherman Byron Velvick lived the dream by meeting his wife, Mary Delgado on the show. He proposed in the finale and the couple lived happily ever after – well, they divorced after five years, but that’s still a success story by The Bachelor’s standards.
Indeed, in the very next series, actor Charlie O’Connell also found love(ish) in the shape of Sarah Brice. Although he didn’t propose, the couple enjoyed an on-off relationship for several years before finally calling it quits in 2010.
But the biggest success of all must be the sweet love story between Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney. Although Malaney was the runner-up on the show - and Mesnick had proposed to the winner, Melissa Rycroft, on-air before later splitting with her - the two were married on national television in March 2010. According to the latest available data, they are the only couple to come from the US Bachelor who are currently together.
So what have we learned as far as Spencer’s chances for love go?
Well, it seems they’re pretty low if he’s looking for anything long-term. In fact, the maths says he has only a six per cent chance of remaining with someone from the series for the foreseeable (based on the one couple still together) – and that’s only if he dumps the winner and goes for the runner-up.
Based on the evidence we have before us, the best he can probably hope for is a tabloid friendly will-they-won’t-they relationship that lasts a few years and ultimately ends in failure. Wait a minute, didn’t he have already have that with Caggie and then Louise on Made in Chelsea?
Hmm, I guess Channel 5 pay better than E4…
*more than three months.
The Bachelor continues at 10pm tonight on Channel 5