Sounds Like A Cult - The Cult of The Bachelor (Bonus Part 2!)

Episode Date: August 22, 2023

A heavily controlled, totally isolated group of women who worship one "charismatic” male figure and aren’t allowed to read magazines, watch TV, or speak to their families… is this a cult or the ...most popular reality dating show in history? This week, we’re re-airing one of our fave Season 1 episodes with a new, updated intro. It’s the “cult” of The Bachelor Franchise, featuring special guest, former contestant, Kendall Long! We got the juicy inside scoop on how culty The Bachelor *really* is to try and figure out whether this objectively bizarre pop culture phenomenon is a Live Your Life, a Watch Your Back, or a Get the Fuck Out-level “cult.” 🌹  To support Sounds Like A Cult, keep up with our live show dates, see Isa's live comedy, buy a copy of Amanda's book Cultish, or visit our website, click here! Or follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @isaamedinaa @amanda_montell

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 The views expressed on this episode, as with all episodes of Sounds Like A Cult, are solely host opinions and quoted allegations. The content here should not be taken as indisputable facts. This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. The episodes that will air this week and next week are ad-free bonus episodes. We'll be back with regularly scheduled content the week of September 4th with a much-intisicated episode on the cult of Burning Man. And in the meantime, we hope you enjoy these bonuses.
Starting point is 00:00:29 This is Sounds Like a Cult, a show about the modern day cults we all follow. I'm Eesa Medina, I'm a stand-up comedian and you can catch my tour dates on my Instagram. I'm Amanda Montel, author of the book Cultish. Every week on our show, we discuss a different group or guru that puts the cult in culture from cryptobros to child stars to try and answer the big question.
Starting point is 00:00:49 This group sounds like a cult but is it really bonus addition? BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM We are so multi-dimensional. We are. And we're so multi-dimensional that hey, sometimes we release an episode that everyone's like, hey, you guys should do an episode on this. You guys should do an episode on this. It's like, guess what, Blades? We all read you dead.
Starting point is 00:01:22 It's in the back catalog. We have gotten so many requests to do the Cult of the Bachelor. Every time I meet somebody, they're like, do the Cult of the Bachelor and here's the thing. Maybe you have heard the episode before, but we wanted to give you a new hot take because obviously there are new seasons of the Bachelor every year
Starting point is 00:01:41 and there are things we forgot to mention. So we were like, let's have a little chat about it. There are things we didn't even know to mention. I mean, I was a brand spanking new Bachelor viewer when we aired that episode. I had only ever seen one season all the way through the Claret Asia season iconic, but now that I've continued to watch,
Starting point is 00:02:00 and we've actually both guested on Bachelor recap podcast, the Claret and the podcast. I love to see it. So we've learned a lot more about this cult. And actually, since we made the episode, it's been called a cult on late night prime time television. Yeah, Jimmy came all literally stole the premise of our podcast. Yes.
Starting point is 00:02:22 And then used it as a segment on his TV show. No, Shane, we love the world. We love you, Jimmy. We love you, Jimmy. Have a son. Basically, what happened is that Zach Schellcross, one of the recent bachelors, went on Jimmy Kimmel to promote his season of the show. He was trying to promote the finale.
Starting point is 00:02:40 And Jimmy basically said that one of his producers had pointed out that the bachelor checks off every red flag of a cult. And he went down some list, and here's the thing that I want to say. I don't know where this list that he read of of Coltie Red flags came from. And we can talk about it. Literally. Literally Like there's no way his producers did that much research.
Starting point is 00:03:03 Not as much as you and Coltish. Okay, well, but here's the thing is that like there is no definitive checklist for what makes a call. But it's a fair enough list. It is a list, if not the definitive list, of Coltie Red Flags. He was like, the bachelor checks off everyone
Starting point is 00:03:20 and it is really true. It is, and I mean, the list kind of does look like one that when we were developing the show, remember we wanted to list everything at the end of every episode. Remember we came up with our own list. A rubric. It was like a rubric.
Starting point is 00:03:34 Yeah, this is what makes a live your life. This is what makes a watcher back. This is what makes it get the fuck out. But then we tried to keep it more casual because it just got two in the weeds. It got super in the weeds and also at the end of the day, it's like, isn't everyone having sleep deprivation these days? Yes, it's so subjective, like coldishness is in the eye of the beholder ultimately. Let's go down this list that Jimmy Kimmel
Starting point is 00:03:56 our best friend came up with. She went down this list and he was like, okay, Zach, let's look at what you guys do on the show. There's sleep deprivation. One, wait, Amanda, do you want to give me the ding since we're not gonna add? So there's sleep deprivation. Dang! Charismatic leaders to members are zealous, loyal, and protective. Dang! What are those dings? There's a most behind page. I know, it's a comment. It's a parody of a day. Oh, it's like in Ted Lasso when the coach is like, whistle.
Starting point is 00:04:37 Yeah, instead of blowing on the whistle, he says whistle. That's really funny. Okay, required, required cohabitation. Ding. Yes. Oh, that's so much more Okay. Required, required cohabitation. Ding. Yes. Oh, that's so much more pleasant. Okay, we'll go with that. Isolation, physical separation from friends and family and society.
Starting point is 00:04:53 Ding. Games where obscure rules are introduced. Ding. Love bombing, creating a sense of belonging through excessive flattery. Ding. A common goal. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding These women were pushed to a breaking point. Like there was a point in the season when he got sick and then one of the contestants got sick. They really had COVID.
Starting point is 00:05:29 Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so people were forced to stay in their rooms without any human contact for days, if not weeks, on end. And so by the time they actually got to connect with Zach, their charismatic leader, they were behaving unhinged. And I think that's part of what cult leaders try to create. That's the behavior that they want. They're like, they wanna create a sense of desperation
Starting point is 00:05:50 with all of these different techniques. Yeah, and we talked about this in the OG episode, but like, obviously Rose ceremonies are so culty in that there's like the leader at the front, they're all standing there. Also, the Rose ceremonies go on all night because they stop like every five, ten minutes to do testimonials and interviews
Starting point is 00:06:07 and so these girls are delusional by the end of the night. But the time that felt the most culty as a viewer was when he literally Zach got COVID and he conducted a Rose Ceremonie through his room. It was so funny. I honestly, I couldn't walk any. I couldn't stand it. I honestly't, I couldn't stand it. I honestly fast forwarded through a lot of that season
Starting point is 00:06:28 because he know a fanzaki, but it's so bland. Like he's just, okay, but remember the contestants were like, he's so funny, he's so goofy, and I think you got little glimmers of it, but I think this speaks to the cultishness of the production. They really zapped the contestants' personality, including the Bachelor of Bachelor at, they just want them to meet the super conformist standard.
Starting point is 00:06:49 They want them to be sort of step 30 in a sense to appeal to the lowest common denominator of American. So I think they've got rid of his personality. Yeah, it's true, that's like kind of what the Bachelor is doing and that they take away the personality because you also kind of want all the millions of viewers at home to fall in love with the bachelor and if their personality is too specific,
Starting point is 00:07:12 then exactly all the viewers at home are not gonna be able to project whatever they want onto him. There's a lot of projection going on with this fandom. And I think that's why like, I remember when I was in high school, the basic girl was always the most loved,
Starting point is 00:07:28 the most popular. When you look at popular girls, it's the girl that literally has no fence to any popular girl he's listening, but it was always the same thing. It didn't feel like they had a personality, they were just nice to everyone. I always got picked as prom queen,
Starting point is 00:07:44 and I never even got nominated. And it's like, oh, but it's whatever. I didn't wanna be nominated anyway. Whatever. Okay, here's the thing. I think the reason I was like offended that I wasn't nominated is because I was like, look, I'm friends with the nerds
Starting point is 00:07:58 and the popular kids and the weirdos. I actually was friends with everyone. Whereas like this like fake cool girl was pretend friends with everyone, whereas this fake, cool girl was pretend friends with everyone, you know, just because she was baseline nice to everyone. I was like, I was in the ukulele club. I was in the tennis club. I was in the honor roll society.
Starting point is 00:08:16 And I also was throwing parties in my basement. So why wasn't I picked? Oh, it's just like, just my question. You know, it actually makes sense. It's like no wonder that you tend to join the types of modern day cults that we cover on the show, you know, like the sorority and the running team and everything because it's, you know,
Starting point is 00:08:37 you're still looking to belong or be the prom queen of something. And I think probably a lot of people can relate to that. I am, but I think the problem is something I learned in therapy. The last few years is that I feel my feelings a lot. As you know. Yeah. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:08:54 I get really emotional. And people who are popular are really good at like not showing that. They're cool. And I have in standard. Like, I think it's lovely to have a big personality. And the Bachelor franchise in general discourages that, which is the culty side of the production. Yes. I think more broadly, the Bachelor is kind of this distilled personification of how scarcity
Starting point is 00:09:17 minded and hierarchical our culture encourages us to be from a very young age. Like, it's no coincidence that a culty show like this was born in and thrives in the cult of American society in general. Yeah, sorry, really quickly. That's why I like shows like Never Have I Ever. I think you liked it too, right? Did you watch that show? Which one I ever?
Starting point is 00:09:37 It's about the girl whose dad dies. It's a Mindy Kaling show. And she's in high school and she wants to lose her virginity. Oh shoot, I haven't seen it. On Netflix. It sounds good. Oh, I think you would love it. I love Mindy Kaling show and she's in high school and she wants to lose her virginity. Oh shoot. I haven't seen it on Netflix. Oh, I think you would love it. I love it. And Kaling's writing.
Starting point is 00:09:48 Yeah. So it's like, it's funny because it's like, it's a kids show kind of, but it also is for like young adults like hashtag me or young ish at all. I'm an elder so. No, but like, I feel like, like, I'm like even millennials like it. No, truly, like everyone loves the show, but pretty much she becomes kind of popular and she has like such a strong and loud personality.
Starting point is 00:10:13 And I think like it's cool to see that in media because I feel like the reason the popular girls were like more chill and like suppress personalities is because that's what you saw in like 16 candles or that's what you saw in like media back in the day. Yeah, give representation to personality. God, hello. Hello.
Starting point is 00:10:33 Well, with that, we are going to leave you to this re-air. We interviewed Kendall Long, who is famously one of the contestants from an earlier season. She was a big taxidermy girl, big ukulele girl. And she also, she dated grocery Joe and came back to try to steal grocery Joe back on that one season of Bachelor in Paradise. By the end of the last season, I was like, that doesn't seem like paradise.
Starting point is 00:10:58 Like they don't have air conditioning. They have the same food every day. I'd be like, get me the fuck out of here. Small beach with 100% humidity. If that's not a cold, honey. Yeah. What was that? Here is our reared bachelor episode.
Starting point is 00:11:12 I did first want to mention that we recorded this before charity season for those who are keeping up. So we weren't able to comment on that. But since her finale just aired this week, I wanted to mention her because that girl had charisma, loved her. Anyway, just wanted to shout out charity. I hand with that. Enjoy the rest of this best of Sansa Gekoldo-Pissot.
Starting point is 00:11:32 I think men create cults in order to have sex the way they want to have sex. That's the basis of a cult is sex. Sex, money, and power. Yep, which, you know, the bachelor. Yeah. Sex, money, and power. Yep, which, you know, the bachelor. Yeah. This is Sounds Like a Colt, a show about the modern day. Colts, we all follow. I'm Esa Medina, a comedian and documentarian. And I'm Amanda Montel, an author and linguist.
Starting point is 00:12:00 This week's Colt is the Bachelor franchise. And we're going to analyze the good, the bad, and the culty to try and answer the big question. This group sounds like a cult, but is it really? Okay, so would you rather have to be cast on the next season of the Bachelor and sign up for all the commitments that that entails? Or spend two weeks as a practicing Scientologist? Ooh, that's a good question. I said this the other day and my roommate looked at me like I was crazy.
Starting point is 00:12:38 I've always said I kind of feel a pull to either try heroin or try Scientology. But I know I can't do either because you either try heroin or try cyanology. I'm fine. Good on. But I know I can't do either because you're done for after the first try. But if in this would you rather situation I could actually just do cyanology for two weeks and come out clean, I think I would do cyanology over bachelor. I think that says a lot about you and a lot about the bachelor. Yeah. We're not so much here to talk about the fan cult of the bachelor,
Starting point is 00:13:06 though I think it's safe to say that Amanda and I are both casual bachelor fans. Right, so to start, ESA, what is the origin story of your bachelor fandom? Well, I actually, I have friends who watched it religiously in high school, and I always was like, this show is so stupid, why would you watch it? But then in college, as we all all know I was in a sorority the fatal flaw yeah and a lot of girls watched the bachelor and they were all talking shit about these people on TV who they didn't know and I was like that sounds kind of fun yeah that sounds very you so I was like okay this is like a
Starting point is 00:13:42 non-harmful form of gossip, right? And I think obviously like don't go on Twitter and start shit talking them. We'll talk about that later because that's problematic. But it's fun to just shoot the shit with your roommates. I mean, I know from linguistics that gossip is just a solidarity forming practice to keep everyone in the circle updated on information to bond. I love how you phrase it that way Does that mean that like we've solidified our friendship? Yeah, we are our solidarity is strong I mean you just started watching the bachelor this year during the COVID Yeah, and it's not because I feel above trashy reality television like I love me some dance moms
Starting point is 00:14:27 There was this reality dating show on MTV that I fucking binge watched last year because they had a queer season where everybody was sexually fluid Oh my gosh that reminds me happy pride I literally had a dream on the night of pride I literally had a dream on the night of Pride month eve that I was selected to go on the Bachelor and I was so excited because I was going to become an influencer, but then I ended up falling in love with one of the girls who was also a contestant. Yes, see, I would watch the absolute shit out of that. I am not above reality dating programs at all. It's just that the Bachelor always felt a basic, like the
Starting point is 00:15:07 drama was not interesting. I was like, okay, here are a bunch of LA influencers making up bullshit, which was the other problem. It felt very insincere. But then, but then in quarantine, I was finally like, okay, my most intellectual friends are gearing up to watch Claire slash Tasha's season. And I was like,, okay, my most intellectual friends are gearing up to watch Claire slash Tasha's season. And I was like, peer pressure, I guess I really have to start. I watched Tasha's season and I was like, wait a second, if this is what the bachelor is, then sign me the hell up. I really feel like this is sort of just like cotton candy
Starting point is 00:15:39 at the end of my day. As a viewer, I don't think it's a culty experience, but as a participant, I think it's definitely one to discuss. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And we're going to get into that for sure, because I think there's a difference between the franchise itself and what it means to audition for and be cast on and be on the Bachelor
Starting point is 00:15:58 and just watch it as a member of that sort of pop culture, stand on the board. Because this podcast is founded on the theory a member of that sort of pop culture, stand-um. Because this podcast is founded on the theory that cults fall on a spectrum and they're not all equally dangerous, the cult of the Bachelor might have its own spectrum and super fans fall on a different point than people who are like actually officially involved with the show. So how do we want to talk about it this week? How do you want to go about this? So I found this list of rules online on
Starting point is 00:16:35 It was this article on listing. The internet, have you heard of it? I found this list of 50 of the most intense extreme behind the scenes rules that Bachelor contestants have to follow and actually shout out one of my friends, Mara Bonner, wrote the article, Hey girl! We love you, girl! So I was reading through this list and some of them are just sort of standard entertainment
Starting point is 00:17:01 rules that you could expect being on any reality show, but some of them were like next level cultish. And so I thought we could go through some of them. I'm doing it. I evaluate the stakes. I love evaluating. We love evaluating the stakes. And I think the fact that these rules exist is really interesting and that there are so many of them because a classic cult red flag is to many of them because a classic cult red flag is to institute so many extremely specific, some very ridiculous and bizarre protocols, rituals that a person doesn't even have time
Starting point is 00:17:32 to sit down and evaluate them all. They just have to like go, go, go, go, go, like sign the contract, follow the rules. It's kind of like a distraction and a means of exerting control over them. Yeah. And the fact that it's such a well-known show and everyone wants to be on it, they give you a piece of paper and they're like, here, sign your life away.
Starting point is 00:17:50 You're gonna sign it because you're like, I wanna be on the bachelor. 100%. So the first rule that active members of the Cult of the Bachelor contestants on the show have to follow, this should be obvious, but when you see it all on paper, it's really disturbing. You're not allowed to communicate with the outside world at
Starting point is 00:18:08 all cell phone confiscated, can't read magazines, can't watch TV, obviously can't use social media, you can't listen to music, and you can only watch movies approved by production on so-called blackout days when contestants are allowed to rest. You can't watch a movie? No, it's kind of like being in one flow over the kukus-ness. Like the evil nurses will agree on a film and then everybody. I bet you they only let them watch like old school romcoms, like the wedding planner,
Starting point is 00:18:38 so that they, like in the mindset that they want to get me. Yeah, you're right, right. I didn't see that the movie interstellar was approved. Oh, okay. I do love me out. Yeah, you're right. I did see that the movie Interstellar was approved. Oh, okay. I do love that movie. Yeah. But it's just that isolation element, you know. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:18:52 It kind of reminds me of in cells when you're only talking. You love talking about in cells. It's because I just learned how to pronounce the word. I used to say in cells. I love when I learn how to pronounce word in saying wrong. But it's like when in cells only talk to one type of person and they only further radicalize themselves. These girls are only talking to each other. They're further radicalizing themselves into feeling like they need to get
Starting point is 00:19:16 married to this one man. Yeah. Okay. Next rule, no one's allowed to eat the food. I actually heard about this because a girl in my serenity, like on the bachelor, um, during Ari season. Oh, she was the one who was getting a PhD. They barely showed her even though she made it into like the top six. PhDs aren't sexy. Exactly. And apparently they had like a really good relationship, but she was like, I want to move back to New York and like finish my PhD. And I don't think that's the path that he wanted. And she said that she was starving the whole time. Oh my God. Well yeah, you have to like eat by yourself
Starting point is 00:19:51 in your room first because nobody looks cute while they're eating on camera. I feel like if they actually just ate it would make the conversations on the one-on-ones just way more natural. More natural. Like you're on a real date. That's what I'm saying.
Starting point is 00:20:04 Like with so many protocols, it's just so contrived. Yeah. Speaking of personality, you're forced to complete a 150 question personality test before you go on the bachelor, which is I think funny because that's also what they make you do at the Church of Scientology. Really? Yes. I have a story about how I was kidnapped by the church of
Starting point is 00:20:26 Scientology when I was 19. You can read about it, my beloved. But literally they really win by making you take a personality test. Also, the problem I find with personality tests is that they're multiple choice, right? So like, you usually have a couple personalities to choose from, right? So they just like make you think you have to fall into a certain category. And I feel like probably the girls who are auditioning for the show, they're thinking they need to be a certain type of woman. The same way, when you write in a journal, when you're a kid, and you're writing in a way that makes you seem cool.
Starting point is 00:20:59 In the case of someone reads your journal. Definitely. I feel like the girls are taking the personality test in a way that they think that the producers will want that. It's like the fact of observing something changes that which is being observed. And when they're taking this personality test, they're not taking it by themselves to get them to know themselves better. They're taking it trying to mold themselves to the bachelor ideal. Yeah. Oh, here's my favorite one because cult language. God, I love it. You aren't allowed to say process,
Starting point is 00:21:31 at least not when describing the literal plot of the show. You show up, you go on dates, you get roses, or you don't, you get kicked off, but blah, blah. One of the bachelor's told Glamour Magazine that anytime you call the thing a process, they make you retap it and say, journey instead. You know they're always saying journey. Yeah, it's a journey, not a destination.
Starting point is 00:21:54 Well, this explains a lot because all of the bachelors contestants, and you see this especially during the after the final row ceremonies, they all speak in the exact same very media-trained, very vague dialect of like, I am a bachelor contestant. I speak in these sort of new age platitudes. Yeah, and I feel like with the newer seasons, they want to seem more progressive and forward-thinking, but I feel like even the language that they use that is, quote, unquote, progressive is pre-approved. 100%. So there are a bunch of these that I'm just gonna read
Starting point is 00:22:27 through quickly. You have to forfeit the rights to your own wedding. You cannot skip any dates, even if you're feeling sick or whatever. And if you spoil the show, apparently you have to deal with a $5 million fine. Oh my gosh, that's so scary. I literally would like just go to an island
Starting point is 00:22:46 because I would accidentally just be like talking to someone in a grocery store and spoil the whole thing. We would both spill the beans. We could not. No, we would not be eligible for this. That's frightening. Everyone contractually agrees to be humiliated. What?
Starting point is 00:23:02 In the fine print of the show's eligibility requirements, it says, Revelation of personal information and recordings may be embarrassing, unfavorable, humiliating, and or derogatory, and or may portray him or her in a false light. That's the opposite of reality TV. Technically, right?
Starting point is 00:23:21 Yeah, it's like uncanny television. That's what they should call it they definitely should also I I can't imagine myself signing something like that okay and here's the wild thing is that I don't want to watch someone be humiliated in fact whenever they do those group dates where like the women have to punch each other in the face I fast forward through I like yeah bear it and it also creates this false idea that the one that they're chasing after is God-like special. Okay, here was really the most shocking thing to me out of everything. Obviously, you have to agree as a part of Bachelor of Franchise to do a shit ton of press. But what was shocking to me is how long you have to be attached to the show that you were on for a few months of your life.
Starting point is 00:24:08 In the year following the finale of your season, you have to be available to take part in interviews, photo shoots, and chats for publicity. And you have to take part in any special episodes of the show like the After the Final Rose or other reunions for three years. Three years. Do they get paid for that? I don't think so. Okay, okay, but this is my theory. The Bachelor itself is a cult, like the institution, the franchise, whatever you call it. And then they're trying to create many cult leaders with their own, many cult followings
Starting point is 00:24:42 out of all of the contestants turned influencers. Yeah. And they can't really steer away from non-bachelored content because they'll lose their followers. And you can say, you can say like, where, where, I don't feel bad for these influencers. And of course, the stakes and consequences for bachelor nation or the bachelor franchise are going to be different, very different than someone in a Get the Fuck Out level cult, although I guess we'll get to that later.
Starting point is 00:25:08 Yeah, 100%. And the thing that's cultiest to me is that it's something that presents as natural and normal and organic, but it's someone's real life, real relationship, being entirely controlled by a higher power. Up next, we're going to get an inside perspective on the Cult of the Bachelor from a special guest who was actually on the show.
Starting point is 00:25:34 Kendall Long, who you may remember as the ukulele playing taxidermy collecting twin from Aure season. We caught up with Kendall to talk about all the cultiest parts of her bachelor experience, for better, or for worse. It was a lot of fun. Here's Kendall. Oh, and there's a couple points where you might hear whimpering in the background.
Starting point is 00:25:54 That's Kendall's dog, Pistachio, who was very concerned about up-a-all. Thanks for making time to talk to us. Yeah, I liked the idea of your podcast. It sounds really cool. Thank you. So, Kendall, when we DMed you on Instagram about this interview, you were like, LOL, this is funny, because Bachelor did seem like a cult in some ways. So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about that.
Starting point is 00:26:24 Like, what does feel like the cultiest part of the Bachelor to you? Is it the fact that you're isolated? Is it the followers? Is it all the rules? Like, talk more about that. Yeah, like as a former contestant. The first part that makes me think the Bachelor feels like a cult,
Starting point is 00:26:39 at least for all the people who are participating in it, is that the main bachelor or a bachelor at is like the cult leader. And then everybody envisions themselves with this one person, you know. You almost forget that other men exist, at least when I was on it. And I think that can bring about like a lot of love, but you almost put that person on a pedestal, you know. And they're just like every other guy. And a cult is one of those things where you can't leave. If you do leave, you're not part of the group anymore.
Starting point is 00:27:12 Or you're like ostracized in some sense. There's no content to the outside world that you're filming at all. So yeah, I would say that's kind of how being on the show feels a little bit like a cult. Yeah, totally. We were kind of saying before that there's the cult of the bachelor which is at the top, but then almost it's like the franchise is trying to force or encourage each of the contestants to create their own mini cults with their
Starting point is 00:27:40 own followers. Yeah. It's like a cult section. Because I feel like today, a lot of people go on to kind of like create that following on Instagram and things like that. Yeah, I mean, Instagram itself is kind of a series of mini cults. I wasn't like that big on Instagram before, before all this. I had a really weird obscure Instagram name in the beginning
Starting point is 00:28:01 and I didn't know that people like used Instagram as a job, but it's cool to have a voice like that. I think especially since there's so many movements that are happening right now, people discovering their voice and like how they can place themselves with everything that's going on has been really, it's been a balance, it's been like difficult, but also I think it's important. So for sure, it's not just like a blanket negative cult experience. Yes, positive aspects to being in a cult. Speaking of that, what would you say was the most
Starting point is 00:28:30 positive thing that happened to you because of the bachelor and what would you say was the most negative aspect of it in a cultie sense? I mean, I feel like I liked being disconnected from the outside world. I liked having my phone taken away. When it came to paradise, I was like I liked being disconnected from the outside world. I liked having my phone taken away. When it came to Paradise, I was like, please take my phone.
Starting point is 00:28:48 I don't wanna even think about having to do all that. And some people would sneak in phones. They would try to sneak in phones. They'd inspect your bag. Like prison. Oh my gosh. No, it's so true. People would try to sneak in like different forms
Starting point is 00:29:02 of technology, but I liked being detached from the outside world. Because then you feel like you have to trust yourself more because you can't get other people's perspectives, you know, before you go through it yourself. The most negative aspect is I think learning to be in a relationship outside of the cultish area of the bachelor is difficult, you know, because you're used to falling in love in this world. And for me, it worked. I fell in love when I was on bachelor. And then when you come out of it, and if that relationship doesn't work, now you have to figure out how to make it work outside of
Starting point is 00:29:35 that setting, which is a learning curve. So a lot of people who join cults and then leave cults have, you know, effects that they deal with after in the long run. Do you think that having been on the Bachelor has affected the way you date today? Yeah, I would say that there's good and bad, good because I was never the kind of person that would. I never really talked about marriage or future or stuff like that.
Starting point is 00:30:00 I just wasn't even on my mind before I went on the Bachelor and when I went on the show, everyone was just like openly talking about marriage and what their wedding was gonna look like and all this stuff and it was so foreign to me and so I became more comfortable with expressing what I want and what I see in the future and then also After going on the show, it is kind of difficult to date I find a lot of guys are ashamed of watching the show or they don't want to admit that they've seen you. They love it.
Starting point is 00:30:27 They love the show. Oh, completely. My dad is the one that loves talking about bachelor drama more than anybody. Yeah. I'll tell my dad some behind the scenes, even like you can't tell anyone. And he's like, of course not.
Starting point is 00:30:38 No one loves the bachelor more than dudes. We were talking about that earlier, especially in a relationship. Like they'll be using their girlfriend as an excuse to watch and be like, oh, like my girlfriend. I mean, it's like almost eight. It's like a permission structure for men to care about love or like rom-com content. Oh, so true. So true. My dad and brother always sneak in when we watch it when we are younger. But because of that, I feel like if I ever do we'll go on a date with a guy.
Starting point is 00:31:07 They'll usually not be as forthcoming with the fact that they've seen me make out and cry on TV before. They're like, oh, that, like what, that's your word? I'm like, but I've had people lie to me about knowing who I was before, which honestly, I just don't want people lying. If you genuinely haven't seen it,
Starting point is 00:31:24 guys would react away. That's like, oh, genuinely curious. I've never seen it, which honestly, I just don't want people lying. If you genuinely haven't seen it, guys would react away. That's like, oh, genuinely curious. I've never seen it, but like, you'd tell me about it. When a guy lies about it, they're usually like, oh, I don't watch that. Like, I would never watch that. Anyway, dating hasn't been so awful.
Starting point is 00:31:37 It was just something that I had to kind of learn. Just don't date guys to our liars, that's all. Yeah. For sure. I'm sure if you were a more anxious person, you might feel more paranoid, but it sounds like you were pretty healthy outlook. Yeah, you seem like super healthy.
Starting point is 00:31:51 Oh, I'm glad you're doing well. E-S-S-S-I-C-O-L-G-O-G-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-E-S-O-R-H-S-O-R-H-R TikTok go viral and I was like, don't look at me. Oh gosh, yeah, because in all the time, I had a bunch of anxiety coming off the show too. So one of those things, I would go out and try to dance. And then people would sneakily try to film me dancing and I'm just like, I can't dance anymore, you know? Yeah, okay, so we have one more question for you and then we're gonna play a little game. Oh, yay, excited. What would you question for you and then we're gonna play a little game Oh, yeah excited
Starting point is 00:32:26 What would you say to someone who is in the scouting process in terms of it being culty or not culty? Like would you be like don't do this if you're X type of person? I think I would say don't have like a Mask or facade when you go on because I think those are the people that end up being villains because it's really hard in a three month period. I was on the show for three months filming. It's really difficult to like stay that person without cracking and breaking and feeling like you're being cornered. For me, the best thing was like, you know, it's not like the producers are going to force you to do anything that you don't want to do. If you don't want to do
Starting point is 00:33:03 something to say no, it's like a friend getting you bad do anything that you don't want to do. You don't want to do something to say no. It's like a friend getting you bad advice. If you don't want to do that, don't do it. No one forces you to do anything. That's interesting. So it's like stay true to yourself. Don't crack under the pressure and then it won't be a damaging cult. Exactly. Exactly. I think people tend to freak out when they lose control. I'm a very easygoing California girl. When I was on there, I was like, where are we going tomorrow? Paris is sweet. I don't care. I don't know what we're not going to eat.
Starting point is 00:33:31 We're not going to sleep. I think, you know, for a couple hours, that's totally fine. But some people are on striker jeans. They're like, I need to work out every day. I need to eat this. I need to do this. Those are the people that I'm cracking under pressure. You're like just surrender to the cult.
Starting point is 00:33:44 It'll all be fine. Yeah, you know, in the Bachelor world, your mind is your own worst enemy. Okay, so now we're gonna play a quick round of the game. It's a classic, would you rather, Bachelor edition? Okay. And I do have to give all props to Amanda. She wrote these and I was like, these are good.
Starting point is 00:34:09 These are juicy. Feeling honest today. So you know, like, that's what we like to hear. Okay. Okay. Okay. So the first one is, would you rather only be allowed to socialize and be friends with other bachelor nation
Starting point is 00:34:23 contestants for the rest of your life, family excluded, or have to join a remote cult in the woods, not physically dangerous or anything, and live there for six months. A remote cult for sure. Yeah, that's right. That would be so cool. You learn how to make your own food. You learn survival techniques. I gained so much more. I don't really hang out with a lot of the bachelor people. I do stay ahead with a couple, but they're not like my core friend group. But yeah, if I didn't have to have sex with a cult leader, I can see how a cult would be pretty attractive. Yeah. I love that for you. Okay, second question, would you rather have to film
Starting point is 00:35:09 another season of Bachelor in Paradise, but in a 1000 square foot doomsday preppers bunker below ground, or have to monogamously date an extreme doomsday prepper for three months, but you're allowed to live your normal three life not in a bunker. No, I do the bunker maybe. I don't know, because I feel like that would be mentally challenging, but then being forced to date somebody with those extreme views, I feel like maybe my, I can see like my mind deteriorating. Not that I'm against Doomsday Preppers,
Starting point is 00:35:46 I think if you're gonna prep, that's cool. Wait, you crack, that's so funny. I always am like the other day I said something about bald people and I was like, nothing against bald people. No, I guess like, I don't know, dating someone, like you have to be really close to that person. Try to make me feel like there's zombies.
Starting point is 00:36:05 I don't know. Make me be against my family and friends because they're having chips from the vaccine. Like I don't know something like that, but. Yeah. Yeah. That's a prudent, prudent answer, I can say. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:36:17 I agree. I actually had to originally go on with the opposite, but I think thinking it through, yeah, men can be toxic. Okay, would you rather have to dress every day of your life like you're going to a rose ceremony, or never be allowed to wear makeup again in any of your TV appearances or on social media? I don't have no makeup maybe. I'm not wearing makeup now, you Hmm. I was gonna know makeup maybe. I'm not wearing makeup now, you know. I don't wear makeup that often.
Starting point is 00:36:50 I'm like, what I'd be able to go hiking ever again, go swimming, you know, there's some activities. Yeah. She's too adventurous. Like, she really just needs to join a traditional, remote, rural cult in the woods. Yes. Okay, last would you rather question?
Starting point is 00:37:07 Would you rather have to go on another season of the Bachelor but get cast as the villain? Hmm. Or wake up tomorrow and have your whole Bachelor experience erased. You know, I would probably... I had great experience. I still remember the experiences. Yeah, you would still remember them, but nobody else would. I'd be okay with erasing it. I feel
Starting point is 00:37:30 like I learned a lot from being on the show, and I've realized this kind of like also with so much going on. There is like a sense of like pressure that you have to be a certain way. You have to express yourself in a certain way, and that could be crippling in a lot of senses. Luckily, I have a really strong friend and family group, but if everyone was to forget about it, I think that would be great. And I could just continue on with stuff without having to. I could just delete Instagram, like, why am I, you know? Yeah. I think the one thing that makes me feel like I wouldn't want to be a villain is because's because villains now, not so much, my season wasn't so bad, but a lot of people are getting death threats.
Starting point is 00:38:08 There's a lot of cruelty, like bullying people that are on the show is huge. Even for me, where I wasn't necessarily a villain, I've had people be mean to me and my family and friends would try to defend me. And then I would have to get involved because I'd have to defend them. I mean, so.
Starting point is 00:38:24 Yeah, we talked about that with Stan Culture. We're gonna do an episode. then I would have to get involved because I'd have to defend them. You know what I mean? So... Yeah, we talked about that with Stan Culture. We're going to do an episode. I'm curious about what you guys have to say about it. Anybody who has a significant following on Instagram, it's kind of like a microphone, you know, and I think a lot of people want attention, they want their voice to be heard. It's hard not to feed into answering back to only negative comments because you're like, I need to defend my honor. And there's a lot of people that I see reposting negative
Starting point is 00:38:48 comments and reposting things that are pretty cruel thinking that maybe their audience will help fight that battle or they'll like shame them into not being mean. But I don't think that's necessarily the best way to go about it because it is giving that microphone to negativity whereas like I try to share things that are positive, but also vulnerability gets addicting. Because you're self-deprecating and you talk that about yourself on social media, people will say really nice things to you.
Starting point is 00:39:17 If you end up saying, oh, I'm great, I'm super confident, I'm feeling good, then people will be mean to you. We tend to like applaud or encourage people to like speak negatively of themselves and to share negative things. Yeah. So true. It's almost like what you were saying. Attention is the commodity and the easiest way to get attention is through negativity. Like that's what people are attracted to for some reason. Yeah. I think a lot of fans see themselves as your friends.
Starting point is 00:39:45 They know who you are. Like they see what you're doing every day. And so I'm going to stick up for my friend, which I love. But again, it's just like, then you feel like you have to support other people who are trying to stick up for you, because you don't want them to get bullied. So yeah, it's a interesting cycle. MUSIC
Starting point is 00:40:03 Cool. Well, that's all we have. Thank you so much for doing this. What a fascinating discussion. Yeah. All the things helped. So where can listeners find you? I know we've been talking about this this whole time,
Starting point is 00:40:17 but how would you like listeners to find you and how would you like them to engage with you? I would like to join Michael. My Instagram is It's Kendall Long. I have a book called Just Curious so that's kind of what I'm doing now. Well, we support people joining your cult because it seems like a safe space. Yeah, Michael is cool. Everyone else is cult, not cool. So, exactly. Red, black, no. That's not what I mean. Yeah. So what category do you think the Bachelor falls under? Live your life.
Starting point is 00:40:54 Watch your back. Or get the fuck out. It's funny because when we were going through all of the rules on that Cosmo list, I was like, this show brings out the worst qualities in all of us Americans. We're just like watching these people be exploited and voyeuristically enjoying it. That's so fucked up. It's a get the fuck out level cult. I hate this.
Starting point is 00:41:18 But now I'm like, look, two huge cult red flags for me are when a cult is super deceptive about what your membership is gonna require, like the Light You, the Love Bomb You, Baton Switch You, and then it makes it really hard to get out. But with the Bachelor, they're pretty frickin' transparent out of the gate about what the experience is going to be like for you. And then ultimately, like your contract does run out and you can get rid of your Instagram and go on your merry way. So just because I would never in a million years go hold on the bachelor doesn't mean I can judge it too harshly. Yeah, that said, it doesn't come completely without risks.
Starting point is 00:42:01 So I'm going to call it a watch your back level light. I was kind of on the same page as you for different reasons. I wanted to say get the fuck out because to me it felt like there were people pulling the strings on the back end like the executives, but after speaking with Kendall, I realized that there is still a sense of autonomy. So if you go into the experience with a sense of ease, then you're not gonna get pulled in. And that's why I agree. It's like, it's a watch your back, low carb.
Starting point is 00:42:32 It's a low carb watch your back. Yeah. Yeah, Kendall really brought us back down the earth. Yeah, thank you, Kendall. Thanks, Kendall. We love you. [♪ OUTRO MUSIC PLAYING [♪ That's our show. Thanks for listening. We love you. Music That's our show. Thanks for listening.
Starting point is 00:42:48 We'll be back with a new cult next week and in the meantime, stay Coltie. But not too Coltie. Coltie. Sounds like a cult was created, produced and edited by Amanda Montel and E. Samadina. Our theme music is by Casey Colbe and our production assistant slash intern is Courtney Archer. And if you like this episode feel free to give us a rating and review on Apple podcasts.

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