This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
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The Bachelor and The Bachelorette follow a pretty tried-and-true formula these days. ABC producers pick one lucky single, usually from previous seasons of either show, and pair them with 25 potential spouses. At the end of the season, someone gets on one knee and proposes marriage. The key ingredient today is that the Bachelor and Bachelorette are usually nobodies. Yes, they’ve usually traversed the landscape of Bachelor Nation, but they aren’t stars by any means. (All due respect to the men and women involved in the franchise, of course.)
This wasn’t always so. Once upon a time, the franchise courted high-society celebrities to fill the coveted main role. For example, season 9 of The Bachelor featured Prince Lorenzo Borghese, an honest-to-goodness royal. So it may not come as a surprise that Ivanka Trump, she of America’s current first family, was once offered The Bachelorette.
During our daily Ivanka deep dive, we uncovered an interview she gave to People in 2007 revealing that she’d been approached about the series. “I’ve been offered tons of shows, [including] The Bachelorette,” she said when asked about her work on reality television. At the time, she appeared on her father’s show The Apprentice as a guest judge. For Trump, though, being The Bachelorette was an endeavor too frivolous for her business aspirations. She continued, “I’m flattered, but that in no way furthers my objective of being a great real estate developer.”
Just think: Ivanka Trump could have been the Bachelorette! Yes, this means that the “meet the parents” episode would’ve involved The Donald himself. For my two cents, this also means we could have had a very boring season of the popular ABC dating show. As we now know, Ivanka keeps her gilded cards close to her chest. As comedian John Oliver pointed out in a recent episode of Last Week Tonight , Ivanka advised in her 2009 book The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life that “perception is more important that reality.”
She continues, “If someone perceives something to be true, it’s more important than if it is in fact true. This doesn’t mean you should be duplicitous or deceitful, but don’t go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage.”
Let’s just say this means she probably wouldn’t be the most “real” Bachelorette. She’d likely be a very silent lead, commenting only when necessary. And as everyone knows — come on, everyone should know this — the best reality television stars people with unapologetic candor. Like, oh I don’t know, Corinne Olympios or even Donald Trump himself, both known to be somewhat filterless.
So really, we dodged a bullet — especially since the series finally seems to be making a bit of progress. (At least they’re trying to. It’s still not very progressive.) May 22 will see the debut of the first Black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. Lindsay, a lawyer from Dallas, is the antithesis of Ivanka Trump. And we couldn’t ask for a better woman to root for.
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