On the season finale of The Bachelorette Tuesday, things got off to a dramatic start but it had nothing to do with roses or relationships. Instead, it was viewers on Twitter noticing that the live studio audience for the After the Final Rose portion of the night was unmasked when host Kaitlyn Bristowe introduced the evening. With some people expressing shock that ABC would show a room full of unmasked people during the current surge with the Omicron variant.
And in a wild turn of events, it turns out that producers of the show were seeing the reactions, because later on in the night when Bristowe, whose normal co-host Tayshia Adams was not there after being exposed to COVID, checked back in with viewers who were still watching the events unfold on The Bachelorette, she gave an update on the audience’s mask status.
“We have seen a lot of chatter online, so just so we’re clear, everyone around me has tested negative,” Bristowe said. “But just to exercise additional caution, our audience will remain masked throughout the rest of the show.”
KAITLYN BRISTOWE: Happy holidays Bachelor Nation. I'm Kaitlyn Bristowe. And welcome to the very festive, very exciting, and, of course, very dramatic live season finale of The Bachelorette.
KYLIE MAR: The three-hour long season finale of The Bachelorette got off to a dramatic start Tuesday. And it had nothing to do with roses or relationships. Instead, it was viewers on Twitter noticing that the live studio audience for the After the Final Rose portion of the night was unmasked saying things like, how many people in The Bachelorette audience get COVID-19? Wear a mask dummies. And I can't believe the Bachelorette really pulled up with a live audience, not a mask in sight, and didn't think anything was wrong with that in the middle of the Omicron surge. And it turns out the powers that be were listening.
- Now we have seen a lot of chatter online. So just so we're clear. Everyone around me has tested negative. But just to exercise additional caution, our audience will remain masked throughout the rest of the show.
KYLIE MAR: Of course viewers had a reaction to that as well. With comments like, I still can't believe Twitter bullied ABC into making everyone in the audience wear a mask when they already took the precautions. And whoever made the decision to have the studio audience mask up so fast should handle all rapid test distribution matters.
Sure enough. When the After the Final Rose portion of the night began, there were the masks.
- Welcome to After the Final Rose. We're here live with our studio audience.
KYLIE MAR: And there was some non mask related drama Tuesday night as well. Because after two hours of the show leading viewers to believe that Nate was not going to be the guy. Guess what happened when he showed up on the Beach?
- Michelle Ann Young, will you marry me?
- Yes, of course.