Another Emmys has passed, and once again The Bachelor franchise is empty-handed. Not that anyone was holding their breath — The Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and host Chris Harrison have never been nominated for an Emmy. This might be surprising to hear, since the show and its spinoffs have been bringing us to our couches on weekday nights since 2002, just one year after the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program was minted, and a year before the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Competition Program was introduced. The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program category came along in 2008, and still, over 10 years later, both Harrison and the show remain empty handed, sans even a nomination. It’s not immediately clear why the Academy continues to snub a show that has proven itself a staple on the TVs of so many Americans.
The Emmys reality category is admittedly hard to parse, and since it’s never happened, it’s not certain which specific category The Bachelor would fall into. Outstanding Reality Program, presented at the Creative Arts Emmy Award ceremony, was split into two sections in 2014: Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program and Outstanding Structured Reality Program. The Bachelor is definitely structured, but it’s technically a competition (even though Harrison would love for us to believe it’s all about ~love~). That would place it in the Outstanding Competition Program alongside shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, which took home the 2019 Emmy on Sunday, and other shows like The Voice and Nailed It!.
But even if that tangled web is a good enough excuse for the show’s snub, the snub of Harrison has no explanation. He, without a doubt, falls into the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program category, but his only Emmy nominations have been for his gig hosting Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.
And even if we accept that The Bachelor franchise has never been Emmy-worthy, and that Chris Harrison doesn’t deserve something for successfully convincing us year after year that we’re about to watch “the most dramatic episode yet,” there’s one category that The Bachelor would undeniably dominate: editing. In our professional Bachelor-loving opinion, the franchise seems like a sure fit in the Outstanding Picture Editing For A Structured Reality Or Competition Program, and its ability to create over-the-top first makeup montages and provide unspoken tongue-in-cheek commentary using cuts between contestants makes the show worth watching — even if you don’t like any of its stars.
The franchise has received some love, but its accolades are often relegated to less-prestigious, fan-voted awards. For instance, Colton Underwood’s fence-jump in The Bachelor‘s last season won Most Meme-able Moment at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, and The Bachelorette is up for the 2019 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Competition TV Show this November. If it wins, that’s all well and good, but surely the Television Academy knows its a cultural phenomenon. A photo of Dylan Barbour proposing to Hannah Godwin on Bachelor in Paradise flashed in the background during the Emmys. It has a name, TV Academy! We know some of you are in Bachelor Fantasy Leagues.
Next year, Television Academy, do America a favor and give The Bachelor your rose.
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