Good news, Bachie lovers! The new season of The Bachelorette Australia is hitting our screens tomorrow night. And, it brings a new twist with not one but two ladies looking for love (and they just happen to be sisters, too).
To get the lowdown on the upcoming season, B&T chatted with executive producer of the show Hilary Innes about the unique choice of lead casting, and why this season is the most realistic look at finding love yet.
This year’s leading lady – sorry – ladies are sisters Elly and Becky Miles. Elly was a fan-favourite on Matt Agnew’s season of The Bachelor, but how did her sister Becky get pulled in on the action?
Innes said the idea slowly “evolved” and that casting the lead in a show about love is inherently tricky.
“It’s not like they need to be able to cook really well or build something, as well as being a good character personality. There are lots of boxes to tick and they are a little more subtle and nebulous when you’re talking about the world of love.
“We’ve always got our eye on people who pop in various seasons. So in this case, we always kept in touch with Elly her because she was such a fan favourite in Matt’s season.”
Innes said looking at Elly’s social media, which often featured her sister, “piqued” the interest of casting because the two women were “great together”.
“They really enhance each other,” said Innes. “Together, they’re more than two girls. It’s like one and one equals three. They actually bring in more than just the two individuals.
“It wasn’t by design. It was really that we kept an eye on Elly and then when we interviewed Becky and had them together, it was a winning combination. We loved what they brought to the whole brand. They felt right.”
Thankfully for The Bachelorette – unlike its Bachelor counterpart – COVID-19 didn’t impact filming too much, except for hometown visits, with some conducted via Zoom.
Innes said all the cast were tested for COVID before heading into the mansion, and while there were some restrictions in place, most of the filming went ahead as normal.
Of course, with two ladies looking for love instead of one, filming was always going to be different, as is the final product to hit our screens.
Innes said what she thinks makes this season most exciting is that it’s a realistic look at the journey to find love.
“There are some double dates, and there’s a lot of chatting amongst the girls because they’re on this journey together. They are both wanting to find love. There’s no doubt that’s what they’re here for. And, because there’s so close, they talk about a lot of the dates they go on.
“The interesting thing is there is a lot of chat between them like you get with best friends and sisters. It gives you a bit more insight into what it’s like being the bachelorette because they’re literally talking about it together and you don’t just have the interview from a single person. You get this interesting chat as they explore the world a bit more together.”
The casting of Elly and Becky didn’t come without its challenges, however, with the fact they are two white female causing a bit of a stir.
When asked if The Bachelorette will ever have a BIPOC leading lady, Innes said the show does try to keep an eye on casting as diversely as possible.
On casting Elly and Becky, however, Innes said: “It was more about the strength of the bond with family and friendship that pushed it through for us.”
While she said the show did try to be diverse with casting its men, Innes said it’s not “easy” because “the people that apply are the ones that apply”. “You do your best,” she said.
“But you’ve also got to make sure you have people here who fit the bill in terms of what sorts of guys that the girls are looking for.”
She said, however, that casting is always looking at diversity in backgrounds, from socioeconomic background, age, where they come from, and racial background.
“It’s the first thing we think about when we’re doing it, and we’re always trying to make we do have a diverse cast, and this year’s cast is quite diverse.
“In terms of the girls, it’s very hard to cast leads. It’s not like there are lots of options in any given year, because there are so many boxes that you have to tick.
“We’ve gone through returners, we’ve gone to people with profile, we’ve gone for people who have that X-factor. But this year, Elly bringing her sister along was a winning combination. But looking to the future, it’s definitely something that’s an incredible priority for us to make sure that we do look and try to be representative.”
The Bachelorette will return to 10 Wednesday October 7 at 7:30pm.
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