Why Is Country Music So Obsessed with The Bachelor?
Nashville is pretty much the LA of the South
Country music star Waylon Jennings famously sang: “Mammas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,” but he never sang anything about being immortalized in song by one. Which is good news for those who are a part of Bach nation—because it turns out country music is obsessed with the franchise.
Take for example, promos for the January 27 episode of The Bachelor, which hint at a one-on-one date gone awry when Peter Weber and Victoria F. get serenaded by a country music singer. But what’s not so typical—it turns out that the country music singer, Chase Rice, has a history with Victoria F.; as in they were dating until she went on the show. Victoria F., upon seeing Rice, is *clearly* shook—and so are we, but for other reasons. Because Victoria F. is far from the first person in Bach nation to be involved with country music and musicians in some way.
In September 2019, former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and her BF Jason Tartick were featured frolicking and looking loved up on an island in musician Brett Kissel’s music video for “Drink About Me.”
Then in November 2019, Bachelor in Paradise couple Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour were similarly featured in the music vid for singer Dillon Carmichael’s song “I Do For You.”
And if that wasn’t already enough country music/Bach overlap, in early January, country music star Jake Owen wrote a legit diss track about controversial Bachelorette Hannah Brown (which Bach host Chris Harrison seems to love).
And let’s not forget that Season Six of Paradise was pretty much brought to us by Stagecoach music festival (thanks entirely to Blake Horstmann and his sexcapades).
With all of this overlap—of both the musical and personal variety—we have to ask: Why the heck is country music so obsessed with The Bachelor?
They’re all neighbours in Nashville
One of the most reasonable explanations for this seemingly mutual obsession is geography. Because folks, for some reason Nashville, Tennessee, is the place to be. Maybe it’s our obsession with the yeehaw agenda, the continued (and somewhat heightened) popularity of country legend and all around badass Dolly Parton, or the prevalence of wide-brimmed hats in fashion, but there appears to a funnel straight from the Bachelor mansion to the Grand Ole Opry. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the cold, hard facts. Since their time on the show, several Bach alums have made the move down to the southern state, including Season 11 Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe (who initially moved to be with ex-fiancé Shawn Booth). After their split, Kaitlyn stayed in Nashville, and has since relocated her new BF, Season 14 contestant Jason Tartick down to the centre of Dollywood. Also down in good ol’ Nashville? Bachelor Season 20 winner Lauren Lane (née Bushnell), who is married to country music star Chris Lane.
The ties run deep y’all!
And not only are Bach alum moving there, but they’re also just visiting on the reg too. According to her Instagram stories, Season 24 contestant Mykenna Dorn (a Canadian!) is currently planning a girls trip to Music City, U.S.A.
Which is all to say that it’s no wonder Bach nation and country music is so intertwined, everyone probably lives within 5 kilometres of each other. Who’s to say that Kaitlyn and Jason (plus their super adorbs rescue dogs) aren’t next-door neighbours with Brett Kissel? Maybe they all run into each other at Whole Foods? It makes sense that the Los Angeles of country music would tap into its star talent for both music video appearances and potential relationship partners.
Bach contestants are living in a country song IRL
Another reason country music and its musicians might be so into reality-TV-stars-turned B-list-celebs? Maybe because the entire premise of The Bachelor and Bachelorette is pretty much the blueprint to every single country music song, from Taylor Swift’s “Teardrops on My Guitar” (iconic) to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” (even more iconic). In the case of country music, (usually) a woman lusts after one man who’s the object of everyone’s desires (everyone being 25+ other random women), you do everything you can to get his attention (including leaving your job and holing up with strangers for two months) only to be overlooked and heartbroken, left pining after your man and that infamous Neil Lane engagement ring.
At its core, The Bachelor franchise is about doing legit anything for true love or finding love in the most unexpected (and manufactured) of places; so it makes sense that when casting for their songs of the same theme (or writing new songs a la Jake Owen), country musicians would look to Bach alums who have lived out similar experiences IRL.
It’s free labour
And if they’re not doing it for the relatability, country musicians might be looking to Bach alums for the very fact that they can probably include them in their songs and vids for next to nothing—with tons of promo. It’s no secret that a lot of our Bach faves reap in the promos and sponsorships after appearances on the show. Raise your hand if you too have felt targeted by a DIFF Eyewear ad or promos of Hannah G. in Revolve clothing. And that willingness to partner up for promo probably extends to music vids too. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Musicians like Dillon Carmichael are able to capitalize off the popularity of couples like Hannah G. and Dylan, probably getting them for a fraction of the price of other famous couples, while Bach alums like Hannah G. and her fiancé get even more exposure and to extend their time in the spotlight.
Even if it’s not a contractual agreement; you have to admit that Jake Owen writing a diss song about Hannah Brown is pretty nifty; he’s able to capitalize off her current popularity and get on Bach fans’ radar, fully knowing that diss song or not, Hannah will probs respond or promo him because it furthers her 15 minutes of fame. Honestly, it’s genius.
Now, serious question: should I be moving to Nashville? TBH, I’d look fab in a 10-gallon hat.