“The Bachelor” franchise named its Season 24 leading man and he’s ready for love to take off.
Former “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” leads Ben Higgins and Becca Kufrin have explained the concept of “Bachelor Live on Stage” in podcasts, interviews and social media posts at length over the past few months.
But even the live show’s co-hosts know there’s some confusion about exactly what a fan can expect from the event, which kicks off in Mesa, Arizona, on Feb. 13 and travels to 66 cities across the country through May.
Kufrin admitted it’s not the easiest event to describe.
“That’s what we get asked the most — ‘What is this?,'” she told The Arizona Republic, which is part of the USA TODAY Network. “Basically, it’s going to be the actual ‘Bachelor’ season condensed into two hours.”
What is ‘Bachelor Live on Stage’?
At each show,a pre-selected local bachelor will “date” 10 contestants from the area who are chosen from online applications and members of the crowd.
On the ABC reality show, couples have left “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” engaged after two months; Higgins and Kufrin both did, though Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Lane (now married) eventually broke up. That won’t happen at the live show.
Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Lane (Photo: Rick Rowell, ABC)
“There’s no engagement at the end of this,” Kufrin said. “It’s much more lighthearted, but we want our bachelor to find someone they’re intrigued with. This is just helping someone find a person in their city they’re compatible with.”
As for what to expect from the hosts, who have been rehearsing for months, Kufrin said they’ve been working with a choreographer and dance crew for reasons that will remain a surprise, as well as an improv team to help them riff with the contestants.
“I’m going to have to get a lot better at my wit,” Higgins said in the midst of rehearsals.
What to expect at the live show
Similar to the TV show, the stage version will have contestants take part in ice breakers such as competitions and group dates. There will be a first impression rose, group date roses and a final rose. The audience will have opportunities to give feedback on whom they like and don’t like.
“That first date is always awkward, always nerve-wracking. What this show will do is it’ll break the ice to where if you do date afterwards you’ll have a funny, fun, cool story to share about it that’ll hopefully be the foundation for maybe that second and third date,” Higgins said.
The latest ‘Bachelor’ recap:: Peter cuts six women amid intensifying Alayah, Kelsey drama
His role, he said, is “to be the bridge between the audience and the contestants.”
Becca Kufrin was the “Bachelorette” for Season 14. (Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC)
There’s a twist that they can’t reveal yet, Kufrin said, but “It’s really going to be up to both the bachelor and the final contestant to say yes or no.”
The local bachelor’s identity is announced ahead of the show, but the contestants will not be revealed until the event. But that’s not to say that Kufrin hasn’t taken a peek at whom she could be sharing the stage with by going through some of the applications.
“I’ve just had so much fun reading through these that I’ve gone down a rabbit hole now,” she said. “I’m creeping on some of their Instagrams. I just came across a girl the other night who applied and has a boyfriend!”
While she acknowledges that having participants who are — as past contestants have accused in an oft-used phrase — “there for the wrong reasons” could fuel some entertaining drama on stage, she hopes most of them will be genuine. Kufrin believes some of them could become candidates for future seasons of the TV show.
“This is going to be a great way to pull a whole new group of people into the ‘Bachelor’ world and Bachelor Nation,” she said.
Introducing Arizona’s bachelor
The tour kicks off with a former Olympic long jumper from Sydney, Australia. Fabrice Lapierre came to the U.S. to attend Texas A&M University. He now lives in Scottsdale, where he runs an online fitness training program.
Lapierre is “looking for a confident partner who can match his sense of humor,” according to a press release. His dream date? “Dinner on a yacht in Monaco, then a nightcap in the Monte Carlo.”
Organizers are making periodic announcements of the local bachelors’ identities on social media. So far, the bachelors in Chicago, Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Jose and Modesto, California, have been revealed.
Some “Bachelorette” alums have been selected. Connor Saeli, from Season 15 with Bachelorette Hannah Brown, and Diggy Moreland, from Season 13 with Rachel Lindsay Abasolo, will be dating contestants in Los Angeles and Chicago, respectively.
Surprise Bachelor Nation guests are likely
Given that one of the ticket options is a $150 package that includes a meet and greet with “the show hosts, famous former Bachelor/Bachelorettes and local contestants,” according to Mesa Arts Center, it’s almost certain that past contestants will be at the Mesa show.
Kufrin was mum on whether there might be a cameo by longtime “Bachelor” TV host Chris Harrison during the tour, but she shared her wish list for surprise guests.
“People generally will see some familiar faces in these shows,” she said. “I would love to see some of my girlfriends that I met on Arie (Luyendyk)’s season — I love Tia (Booth), I love Caroline (Lunny); I think Bekah (Martinez) could be fun if she wanted to do it.”
‘Bachelor Live on Stage’
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.
Where: Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St.
Admission: $40-$80; $150 for meet and greet with hosts and former contestants.
Details: 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com.
Reach the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-444-4968. Follow her on Twitter @kimirobin.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/02/09/the-bachelor-live-on-stage-national-tour-kicks-off/4707921002/