Here’s an unpopular opinion: maybe going on a reality television show billed as helping people find true love will… actually result in you finding true love?
Take Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich, the “winners” (do you win this?) of the first season of The Bachelor Australia who announced their engagement with an Instagram post overnight.
The couple, who met on the show in 2013, each took to the social media network to share the news, revealing they were “officially forever” after Robards popped the question as they travelled in a “dinghy” up a “secluded river”.
Speaking about the pressure to get engaged after the show, Heinrich told Fairfax Media last year that, although the media spotlight had put a certain level of pressure on their relationship, the couple were not in a rush to tie the knot.
“I think what’s really good about us is we haven’t just gotten married for everybody else,” she said. “We’re doing it in our own time and when it happens, it’s as real as anyone else’s marriage.”
They aren’t the first couple to become engaged after meeting on The Bachelor Australia.
Sam Wood and Snezana Markoski, from season three of the program, announced their engagement three months after the show’s finale aired in 2015. Earlier this month, the couple revealed they were expecting a baby.
Of course, other seasons of the show have been less successful. Notorious season two winner Blake Garvey ended things with both his original pick, Sam Frost, and now Louise Pillidge, the second runner-up he left Frost for after the show ended in October 2014, providing Woman’s Day with covers until Christmas.
While, season four’s Richie Strahan and Alex Nation have faced rumours of a split, nothing has been confirmed, and the pair attended the Logies together in April.
But, still! A ratio of two engagements to one love rat and one “presumably still a thing” is pretty good. Certainly better than your average stint on Tinder.
Even factoring in the results from the show’s sister program, The Bachelorette Australia, (after her Bachelor betrayal, Sam Frost returned as the Bachelorette and dated Sasha Mielczarak for 18 months before an amicable split; Georgia Love and Lee Elliott from last year’s season are still together), people are still getting engaged a third of the time.
A third of the time! Possibly even two thirds of the time, given an additional third of the couples are still together. And this analysis assumes these people even want to get married.
The fact is, five sixths of these people (by which I do, of course, mean the show’s central characters: your odds are much less promising if you’re a mere contestant, fighting with a couple of dozen others for someone’s attention at a fake cocktail party) are finding themselves in okay-seeming long-term relationships after going on the show. There is a 100 per cent success rate for finding a long-term relationship if we exclude the 2014 debacle as a statistical outlier (or include it and instead classify Blake and Louise as the successful couple emerging from the show).
Looking at these stats, going on The Bachelor actually seems like a completely legitimate dating tool for telegenic people looking for a lifelong partner and a decade of invites to a Melbourne Cup marquee. A good tool, even.
Of course, there is room for improvement in our study: there have only been six seasons of the show in Australia and larger sample sizes in other countries reveal lower rates of success.
In the US, where the show’s season finale often ends in a proposal, 21 seasons of The Bachelor has produced only two still intact marriages. One other couple, the successful partnering from the show’s 21st season, which finished airing in March, are still together.
Although everyone on The Bachelorette in the US has become engaged during the show’s finale (weird), the rate of those who go through with is not super high, although also nothing to be scoffed at: three marriages (two of which were packaged into national television specials, naturally) and two live engagements from 12 seasons.
In Canada, neither their two Bachelors or one Bachelorette are still with their partners from the show.
Over in the UK, the Bachelor from the show’s first season (which aired in 2003) didn’t even pick anyone. The fates of the couples from seasons two and three have escaped Google (no Insta engagement announcements back in the early 2000s) and, when the show came back for a fourth and fifth season six years ago, neither resulting couple managed to stay together for a year (the fifth season’s couple didn’t even make it until the show aired).
But not Down Under.
Here, the stats show our beautiful people are committed to the cause of finding love on television. And good luck to them.