The Bachelor is one of the most iconic reality TV shows of all time. Whether it’s the original dating series, which premiered in 2002, or its many spin-offs such as The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, or the upcoming Bachelor: Winter Games, the series has dedicated Bachelor Nation fans who tune into the shows every week year-round. While the shows (unfortunately) can’t be on every day of the week, there are some other fun TV shows that any Bachelor fan would gladly hand their rose over to.
Like The Bachelor, there are a lot of entertaining reality competitions that try to capture a little bit of the magic we see in The Bachelor. So, in case you’re in for a binge session when ABC series isn’t gracing our TV screens, you’re bound to love these other shows.
Dancing with the Stars
ABC’s fellow popular competition series, Dancing with the Stars, is a perfect show to watch if you’re all about The Bachelor. And that’s not just because the show alternates the Monday night timeslot with the dating show. You might also tune in for the behind-the-scenes drama that goes into the always-stunning dance routines, or the emotional sob stories on “Most Memorable Year” week. However, this one is mainly the perfect show because there’s a strong chance that it may feature some of your Bachelor Nation faves. In the past, Bachelors Sean Lowe and Nick Viall competed in the competition and Melissa Rycroft, of the iconic Jason Mesnick After the Final Rose love triangle. Original Bachelorette Trista Sutter also competed on the program in its first season in 2005. Although none of them have walked away with the coveted mirrorball trophy, it was fun to see the fan faves head over to the dancing world.
In case you want a bit more hilarity to go wth your Bachelor drama, check out Burning Love. This show is a parody of the longtime ABC staple that works in a similar manner to the show. It has everything you love about the ABC show, even those silly puns à la Janu-Arie (the first suitor was a firefighter hence… Burning Love). There’s even a spot-on Chris Harrison impression from Michael Ian Black. (Though, we all know that no one compares to Harrison.) Bachelor star Jake Pavelka, even made an appearance on the first season of the series.
If you ever wanted to see the likes of Kristen Bell and Adam Brody compete for love, this is the show for you.
Southern Charm‘s Shep Rose decided to take a note out of Arie Luyendyk Jr.‘s playbook with his latest show, RelationShep. The Bravo reality show’s resident playboy decided to turn over a new leaf in his spin-off show. He toured the country, stopping in places like New York City and Los Angeles, in order to try and find love. Then, he took the most eligible candidates back to Charleston and his Southern Charm fam, where the ladies stayed in a Bachelor-style mansion. He didn’t hand out any roses (which would have been totally appropriate, given his last name) or propose at the end of his journey. But, he did choose one woman to be with at the end. (Spoiler alert: He and his final pick didn’t work out… which is actually completely in line with The Bachelor‘s success rate, too. )
Flavor of Love
Flavor of Love was VH1’s hilarious and incredibly entertaining answer to The Bachelor. Flavor Flav took on the role of the suitor for the series, where he courted multiple women in a similar fashion to ABC’s classic series. Just like the ABC show, the series was mainly entertaining because of the women involved in the competition. Flavor of Love should be on your binge list simply because it introduced the world to Tiffany “New York” Pollard a.k.a. the best reality TV personality on Earth. Pollard didn’t walk away with Flavor Flav’s heart but she did provide the world with some instantly classic GIFs and hilarious one-liners. She’s such an iconic figure that ABC would do well to just make her The Bachelorette already!
We had to put one British reality show into the mix – mostly because it’s so close to the premise of Bachelor in Paradise and we all know how addicting that one is. Each week, contestents pair up hoping to be the last duo standing who wins £50,000. Each week, new people enter the mix and some get voted off by other contestants. It’s basically the love-child of BIP, Big Brother, and Survivor. If that sounds good to you, watch this show.
Joe Millionaire was a lot like The Bachelor… with a major twist. The main suitor, Evan Mariott, dated several women under the ruse that he had recently inherited millions of dollars. So, all of the women that he was taking on dates were under the impression that he was a literal millionaire. In fact, he was just your average Joe and worked as a construction worker. At the end of the show, they revealed that Evan wasn’t a millionaire. After the reveal, the winner of the season, Zora Andrich, then decided whether she wanted to stay with the Joe Millionaire. She ultimately decided to make things work with Evan. However, they split up shortly after the finale, as Bachelor couples tend to do. This series sure was a wild ride while it lasted.
Next was like a speed-dating version of The Bachelor. Basically, if you want to watch a fun, short-form of the ABC staple, this is the show for you. On Next, one contestant would have the chance to meet up with up to five dates during the course of one segment on the series. During the course of the date, the contestant would have the chance to immediately eliminate their date for any reason. All they would have to do was say “Next” and the date would end, bringing on the next potential suitor. It was kind of harsh in the moment for the rejected contestant but totally entertaining to watch as a viewer.
Any Bachelor fan is probably dying to find out what goes on behind-the-scenes of the popular show, right? Enter UnReal. The Lifetime series is a scripted take on the action that goes on behind the camera on the reality series. UnReal deals with the inner-workings of a show entitled “Everlasting” which, exactly like The Bachelor, has a male suitor who goes on romantic dates with around 20 women. Of course, drama naturally ensues, on “Everlasting” and behind-the-scenes. The series was co-created by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, who was an associate producer on The Bachelor for three years. So, you can rest assured that it’s well-approved for a Bachelor junkie.
90 Day Fiancé & 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days
90 Day Fiancé and its spin-off 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days contain all of the courtship and drama that viewers have come to love on The Bachelor. These shows are akin to what happens after the fairytale proposal in every finale episode of the ABC series. In that way, it’s almost like Bachelor spin-off Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After! The couples in 90 Day Fiancé, which consist of an American and a foreign partner on a 90 day fiancé visa, have the titular amount of days to decide if they want to get married. Throughout that period of time, the pairs decide whether they actually want to be together, at all.
And if you thought things got real on The Bachelor, wait until you check out these TLC shows. Your views on what makes reality TV great will change once you see someone running away from their girlfriend in the a dangerous Brazilian jungle.
Paris Hilton’s My New BFF
Paris Hilton wasn’t in the search of a romantic partner on her MTV series. Instead, the popular socialite had a competition to find her next BFF. Yep, she had a show where, in Bachelor style, she eliminated people every week until she chose one contestant to be her BFF. Hilton put contestants through challenges that were to determine who would make the best “BFF” for her. And no, Hilton’s former Simple Life co-star, Nicole Richie, was never a part of the cast nor did she appear on the series in a fun cameo.
In case you’re kind of tired of all of the sometimes over-the-top romance on The Bachelor, Paris Hilton‘s My New BFF may just be the charming reality competition series for you.
If you’re a Bachelor fan, there’s a good chance that you’re a fan of some other reality TV shows too. And no one does a reality cooking competition better than Bravo’s Top Chef. Instead of tuning in to see a bunch of women or men fighting over a suitor, you’ll find a ton of talented chefs competing to make the most delicious-looking plate of food and earning the title of “Top Chef.”
Of course, what’s a reality TV series without a little bit of drama? The show’s been known to feature some interesting feuds over the course of its 15 seasons. Whether it’s fights amongst the contestants or even the judges, you’re sure to be in for some entertainment while you lust over all of the yummy-looking dishes.
Real Housewives of New York City
You’d probably love any one of the Real Housewives series if you’re a Bachelor fan. But, the Real Housewives of New York City is your best bet amongst the series’ many locales. RHONY consistently has the best cast and the most entertaining drama in the Real Housewives world. Anyone remember when Housewife Aviva Drescher literally threw her prosthetic leg at a party? It was instantly iconic.
The show also, interestingly enough, features no wives in the cast who are married (sorry, Luann). So, it sometimes shows the ladies as they wade through the waters of the NYC dating scene. It has everything: drama, a journey for love, and the always fashionable looks. What’s not to love?
Bad Girls Club
Everyone who watches The Bachelor knows that the ladies get in their fair share of fights. Bad Girls Club takes things to a whole new level. If you’re mostly into the drama of the dating show, you would be wise to check out this Oxygen reality series. On Bad Girls Club, a group of women are sent to live in a mansion together. They don’t compete for a bachelor. Instead, they’re just competing amongst themselves… for the sake of fighting.
Yep, Bad Girls Club is basically The Bachelor without the titular suitor. However, the bachelorettes don’t get into the same kind of intense brawls you’d see on this Oxygen show.
Say Yes to the Dress
Say Yes To The Dress isn’t a reality competition series, like many other Bachelor-esque shows here. However, if you’re into the fairytale romance aspect of The Bachelor, you might be interested in the wedding-themed show. On this TLC series, one bride-to-be searches for her perfect wedding dress. Of course, the series delves into some serious issues too, relating to body concerns, budgets, and various other personal struggles. The TLC show may not be akin to other reality competitions, but it does bring the “real” and the fairytale aspects that Bachelor fans will love.
Say Yes To The Dress also seems like the perfect show for a recently engaged contestant to appear on. Maybe it’s possible that Bachelorettes Rachel Lindsay and Kaitlyn Bristowe could find themselves on the show?
Similar to Top Chef, Project Runway is must-see TV for any reality competition fan. Contestants aren’t competing for love. But, they are competing to create the most fashionable looks for the likes of Zac Posen and host Heidi Klum. You might think that there wouldn’t be any drama in this fashion design competition. However, you would be totally wrong. Make a bunch of designers craft their clothes in one room and clashes are bound to happen.
On season 16 of the show, Claire Buitendorp, who wasn’t a favorite amongst her fellow contestants by any means, was booted from the show after she supposedly cheated when designing her pieces. Talk about crazy! So, that’s just a taste of the excitement you’ll find on any season of Project Runway.
Married At First Sight
Married At First Sight is pretty much what it sounds like. Couples are set up by relationship experts and marry the first time they meet one another. So, while they don’t get any time to get to know one another, at least they have the relationship experts working hard for them. That’s more than we can say for The Bachelor, honestly. The show is about the drama that naturally ensues when you marry someone that you’ve never even met before. After eight weeks of marriage, the couples decide whether they want to stay together or not.
Can you even imagine a Bachelor choosing one woman to marry in the first episode of a season? That’s basically what Married At First Sight is.
Vanderpump Rules might not have too much in common with the premise of The Bachelor. But, if you’re a Bachelor fan who’s also a fan of reality TV in general, you need to watch Vanderpump Rules. There’s never a dull episode of the show, which follows the antics of the wait staff at Real Housewife Lisa Vanderpump‘s SUR restaurant. If you thought the drama from the likes of Corinne and Chad were exciting, just wait until you see the frenemies of SUR fight about cheating scandals and pasta. Yes, there was a fight “about the pasta” that wasn’t about the pasta… you have to see it to believe it.
Are You The One?
Crank the Bachelor’s journey intensity up to level 100 and that’s Are You The One?. Instead of one suitor, everyone on Are You The One? is looking for their soulmate. The MTV show puts a group of 20-22 singles in the house. By the end of the show, they’re supposed to find love with one of the other people there that a matchmaker set them up with. Simple, right? If everyone in the house finds their secret match, the entire group receives one million dollars. If not, they go home with nothing. It’s a lot harder than it sounds – and the free-pouring booze doesn’t help matters, either. Are You The One? wild, entertaining, and totally up the alley of any Bachelor Nation fan.