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10 of 'The Bachelor' franchise's best L.A. dates

10 of 'The Bachelor' franchise's best L.A. dates
All photographs courtesy ABC

ABC's The Bachelor is back! Love it or hate it, you're sure gonna hear about it. And one of the most talked-about components of the show is the bizarre structure of the franchise’s "dates," including both one-on-one dates as well as group dates, wherein the Bachelor (or Bachelorette) takes out as many as eight suitors at once. The setup has yielded some memorable, remarkable and downright odd dates over the show’s 30 seasons. And because the first few weeks of every season shoots in Los Angeles, these crazy dates happen right here in the city. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorites, worth a read whether you're a diehard fan or not (yet). 

 

10. Though it’s always bragged about by residents that, in Los Angeles, one can visit the snow and the beach in the same day, doing so is actually quite an endeavor, and not something typically within the means of an average L.A. resident. For Bachelorette Andi Dorfman’s first one-on-one date, she took Eric Hill to build sand castles in Ventura before flying to Big Bear for drinks in a mountain lodge. Unfortunately, Eric was killed in a paragliding accident before the season aired (seriously), but he and Andi certainly seemed to have a lot of fun doing the Cali Double.

 

 

9. Bachelor Chris Soules, known affectionately by Bachelor Fandom as "Prince Farming," takes six girls to Downtown L.A. There, he asks each of them to participate in a bikini-clad tractor race through the metropolitan streets of L.A.’s financial center. The tractors were low-speed, of course, providing ample opportunity for Soules and the viewers to observe the gratuitous flesh and confusing spectacle.

 

 

8. Roberto Martinez helps Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky confront her fear of heights, first with a helicopter ride from the San Fernando Valley to Downtown, and then with a side-by-side tightrope walk across a wire suspended between two high rises. Though the duo are individually strapped into safety harnesses, they pause halfway between the two buildings to share a thrilling kiss 30 floors up—naturally.

 

 

7. As one of the Bachelor producers’ weirdest concepts, they put Bachelor Sean Lowe and Lesley Murphy up to the challenge of beating the standing world record for longest on-screen kiss. The kiss took place in front of Hollywood’s Guinness World Records Museum, to the delight of paparazzi and passing strangers. Almost a perfect metaphor for the show, the stunt takes something romantic, like a first kiss, and turns it into a forced, off-putting, competitive act. The kiss, ultimately lasting three minutes and fifteen seconds, is just as cringe-worthy as it sounds.

 

 

6. Two-time Bachelor Brad Womack, a thick hunk who, on both of his stints fronting the franchise, proved to be something of a creep, takes Ashley Spivey to L.A.’s iconic Capitol Records. There, they attempt to record their own version of Seal’s hit song, "Kiss From a Rose." Though they sound dreadful, Seal himself surprisingly arrives to sing the classic jam himself, and Brad and Ashley enjoy dinner on the building’s roof.

 

 

5. After a bizarre session of trying on and then buying wedding outfits on their very first date, Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock takes Brooks Forester for some time up at the Hollywood Sign. Touching briefly on the sign's history, on account of it being (at the time) the sign’s 90th birthday, this date provides a rare and unusual perspective on one of L.A.’s most iconic and well-known landmark—something most Angelenos see every day, but never so close.

 

 

4. Fun-loving, goofball Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe puts six men into the dohyo for an exhausting sumo-wrestling tournament. After a short bout of training, the dudes don their gear, exposing their backsides to Kaitlyn, each other, and America. Though none turn out to be particularly good sumo wrestlers, the contestants do their best, except for noted "softy" Tony, who refuses to participate in such violent displays of affection.

 

 

3. Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis and a gaggle of girls play soccer at Stub-Hub Center, home of L.A.’s soccer team, the Galaxy. The girls are given a brief training session by Galaxy players before being pitted against each other. The team that won this scrimmage was rewarded with an evening with Juan Pablo, himself famously a former professional soccer player. But it must be stressful to know that a potential romantic future hinges on the outcome of an impromptu soccer game.

 

 

2. Bachelor Jake Pavelka, a pilot, had quite a few high-altitude dates, including in buildings, planes and helicopters. But none were more infamous than his bungee jump off a bridge in the San Gabriel Mountains with season-winner Vienna Girardi. It was the high-flying Jake who turned out to be nervous to jump, but the duo went through with it and shared an upside-down kiss while hanging near the bottom.

 

 

1. On his first date, Bachelor Ben Higgins takes 10 girls to Verdugo Hills High School, or as it is renamed for the date, "Bachelor High." Another date where the girls are divided into teams and compete for more time with their suitor, this competition had the girls run through the ringer with vaguely high-school-themed challenges, including a science fair, apple-bobbing in the cafeteria, an embarrassing geography quiz, a free-throw competition in the gymnasium, and a race around the track. The winner received a homecoming jacket, crown and sash, and a ride in a red convertible. Popular! 

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