Ex-Bachelorette Alysha asks: Are the characters on the show real?

TV3

Nicole tells Jordan she can no longer compete for his heart for family reasons at home.

OPINION: It has to be said: We went to Tauranga, this year's ladies went to Hawaii. Did we have a budgeting issue? I joke, although we were a bit short-changed in the travel department.

But this week I want to talk about the idea that characters on the Bachelor are somehow fabricated. 

That would be in the top three questions I am always asked about the show - was (insert Bachelorette's name here) really like that, or was it clever editing?

Jordan is starting to pick the wheat from the chaff - Shari is among the contenders.
TV3

Jordan is starting to pick the wheat from the chaff - Shari is among the contenders.

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Our Bachelor columnist Alysha Brown says you can control how you are portrayed on the show.
Nicole Johnstone

Our Bachelor columnist Alysha Brown says you can control how you are portrayed on the show.

So here's the answer. To a certain extent, characters are formed by their initial actions and opinions.

You'll always have the token 'house b--h', the wholesome good girl, the one who lacks a little intelligence and substance that we all cringe at, the overly competitive one, and the girl who will be a bit more forward with the kissing.

Bottom line, if you're not particularly clued up then, that's just who you are - what comes out of your mouth is at your discretion.

During interviews, snippets from another bachelorette's one-on-one interviews can be repeated to gain a reaction or for enlightenment. How you choose to respond to this or indulge in the drama is your prerogative. When it comes to editing, if you are being pushed as that personality then yes, certain lines or looks you give will be picked up on and inserted at a pivotal moment or focused on more heavily. This is often exaggerated by particular post production noises or music.

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We love to place people in boxes and give them a label and that is exactly what happens on a show like this. You become memorable by the 'girl' you are perceived and portrayed as. As much as we like to have the one girl we despise, pack mentality brings us together for the mutual distaste we have for that one person.

Teams are formed as we pick our favourite girls, and the audience falls in love with their chosen couple. Your image is crafted around what you give physically and verbally; there is only so much camera work that can be done to veer from your natural character. So all in all, what you see on the screen is an accurate reflection of who that girl really is. True character is certainly revealed when you are put in a competitive environment under stress: to what extent will you go to for love?

The mood has certainly changed in week four. It has become sombre as the girls realise Jordan's connections with some are a lot stronger and the time to make these is dwindling.  The girls are starting to be separated from the women, and he is clearly looking for that wife material, not a girlfriend. Good looks will only get you so far at this stage, as they will in general life. A few dark horses are sneaking up and making themselves known as contenders for Jordan's heart.

Jordan has made it clear that he has picked up on those who are here for the ride and varying other reasons, while others couldn't care less about the glitz and glam of the situation. What resonated with me this week was when he said: "I don't want a passenger." He wants a strong, confident women. Which from what I have seen rules out a number of girls in the house.

I am predicting that in the upcoming weeks two girls will be sent home in one ceremony. He knows who he wants to keep around but he is at the peril of the show rules where only one can be sent packing at a time. As an audience, it is easy to forget that although this is hard on the bachelorettes, he has to see the heartbreak in their eyes and the pressure of knowing you must choose just one girl, in the hope you have made the right decision and not let 'the one' go.

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