Former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe Accuses The Bachelor Of Faking Zach Shallcross’ COVID Scenes

Bachelor Nation witnessed franchise history in this season of The Bachelor, when Zach Shallcross tested positive for COVID and was forced to sit out the majority of the London leg of Season 27’s journey. The women toured the city and went full 2020, with Zoom dates and even a virtual rose ceremony, as the Bachelor was shown laid up in bed drinking tea. All may not have been as it seemed, though, as former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe said those nose-blowing shots of Shallcross were not filmed in London, but rather stateside from sunny Los Angeles.

Zach Shallcross has seemingly been embraced by Bachelor Nation fans, as some say he’s the perfect Bachelor, in spite of (or because of?) all the dad jokes. However, he was sidelined when the production went across the pond, and while the camera crew did appear to check in on the bed-ridden Bachelor, some on social media weren’t buying his performance, and Bachelor/Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe said there’s a good reason for that. On her podcast Off the Vine (opens in new tab), the former lead revealed: 

When they show B-roll of Zach, and he, like, really doesn’t look like he’s doing too bad despite the dramatic footage of him blowing his nose. Do you remember? He’s, like, in his hotel room, in the bed, blowing his nose, he’s got a little fake cup of tea. That’s a hotel in L.A.

Kaitlyn Bristowe said she recognized the hotel as the one regularly used by the show when contestants are flown in for the in-studio specials, like the “Men/Women Tell All” and “After the Final Rose.” It was the headboard that gave it away, she said, pointing out the “very specific bed that has writing on the back.” She continued: 

So they must have had to be like, ‘Oh shit, we need some B-roll of Zach looking sick.’ And so, then, he’s back in L.A., and they’re like, ‘Can we just get you blowing your nose and, like, holding a cup of tea in the hotel room?’

It actually makes sense that if Zach Shallcross had COVID, they wouldn’t send a camera crew in to film him blowing his nose, etc., when such shots could be easily recreated later when they didn’t have to risk exposing anyone else to the virus. An added bonus for fans was that the Bachelor’s sick act led to some pretty funny memes: 

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When it comes to producer manipulation, this is definitely on the less egregious side of things the franchise has done, in comparison to, say, using old audio to mislead viewers or (possibly) editing a giant bug into Bachelor in Paradise

If anybody would recognize the ABC franchise’s preferred choice of hotel, it would be Kaitlyn Bristowe. She first appeared on Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor before becoming The Bachelorette herself, and following Chris Harrison’s exit as host, she and Tayshia Adams co-hosted Seasons 17 and 18 of The Bachelorette, before Jesse Palmer was hired as a permanent replacement.

Next week we’ll hopefully see a fully recovered Zach Shallcross continue his journey to find love, so tune in at 8 p.m. ET Monday, February 27, on ABC. You can also check out our 2023 TV schedule to see what other shows are premiering soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.