Trigger Warning: This article discusses mental health and may be difficult for some readers.

We all know that producers love to be selective when it comes to what goes to air on The Bachelor, which makes for some piping hot tea when all the behind the scenes goss comes creepin’ out of the woodwork!

As revealed on episode 96 of So Dramatic With Megan Pustetto, a 2021 contestant has spilled all the tea on this year’s Bachie production, including drama revolving around paparazzi, contracts and the stress-induced panic attacks the contestants had on set!

Contests Reprimanded For Paparazzi Shots

The former contestant and So Dramatic! source revealed that there were a number of girls caught setting up pap shots with the Daily Mail for exposure, which producers were less than thrilled about!

“All the girls who have been papped have gotten in big trouble from producers for setting up photos,” she revealed. “The producers know that everything on the Daily Mail is set up.

“They told them it’s so fake, embarrassing and tacky to be seen on the Daily Mail, so they all got in massive sh*t,” the contestant said, noting that production “would rather have no publicity” than that of the Daily Mail. Ouch!

We did a quick investigation into who has been papped since filming and the culprits include Holly, Brooke and Stevie, as well as the Bach himself, Jimmy!  Uh oh!

The tea was also spilled on a banned birthday meet-up for a contestant, which was organised by the girls but promptly shut down by production because they aren’t allowed to hang out with each other until the show finished airing!

“It was Ashlee’s 35th birthday so we all tried to organise a small gathering for her,” our insider said. “Producers got wind of it and shut it down.” While this seems like sad news for the girls, you will all be glad to know that they still met up and had the birthday anyway — good for them!

Holly Kingston and Carlie Hodges raise a toast (Image: Network Ten)

The Girls’ Strict Contracts

We revealed in episode 87 of So Dramatic With Megan Pustetto that this year’s Bachelor contestants were bound by air-tight contracts which offered the girls $5,000 at the end of the experience if they adhered to additional terms which includes not speaking to any media or utilising their social media accounts, which have been taken over by third parties while the show is being broadcast.

We can only assume that the ‘no birthday parties’ rule and other strict regulations are a part of these whopper contracts the contestants were made to sign — which tells us that if you’re looking for your 15 minutes of reality TV fame, The Bachelor isn’t the show for you!

So Dramatic! was informed that the girls don’t get paid their $5,000 bonus until the end of the ‘performance period’, which is three months after the finale is aired! We can’t see all the girls upholding their end of the bargain if that’s the case, because three months is a loooong time not to slip up!

But while the contestants must wait an additional three months for their pay day, their social media accounts are surrendered two weeks after they leave the mansion, although they must be careful who they’re sending DMs to, because rumour has it the producers still have access to the accounts until the end of the performance period also. Eeep!

A source revealed that if the contestants want to post anything before the period is up, it has to be submitted alongside a caption for approval from producers, then the photo is posted on your behalf! Seems like a lot of red tape for a selfie if you ask us!

Contestants’ Mental Health Affected By The Experience

The harsh restrictions placed on the girls’ movements has really affected the quality of the contestants’ experience on the show, according to our source.

“No one feels positive about their experience,” she confessed. “Some of the girls are full on depressed.”

The contestants also regret signing onto the additional terms, due to “hat[ing] not having access to their social media and not being able to defend themselves”.

We can’t imagine how they feel after having to endure 12 hour days, when we’re already sick and tired of the show after watching it two hours a week!

Not only are the girls upset about the lack of exposure they’ve received for their time on the show, but according to our contestant source, the on-set experience was “extremely traumatising” and that girls were falling sick from the stress of it all!

“A lot of the girls were having panic attacks, hyperventilating, fainting, vomiting,” they told So Dramatic! of the “pressure cooker environment”.

Steph Lynch allegedly struggled with all of the mansion drama (Image: Network Ten)

Gamer girl Steph Lynch suffered the most during the experience after having a panic attack during one night while filming.

“[Production] started asking people questions like, ‘Do you think Steph’s the villain?’, and then we told Steph they said that,” our source said of night one, after Steph spoke in length about her pilot ex.

“She was so scared her ex, the pilot, was going to see her talking shit… on TV and see her being a villain and hate her for it… and she fully had a panic attack… so they let her talk to her mum on the phone.”

The On-Set Bartender Fired After Plying The Girls With Drinks! 

Now, it turns out the girls’ aren’t the only ones who were in hot water with the producers for breaking certain rules — the show’s bartender was FIRED for serving the contestants more drinks than he was allowed to!

“He was like 18[years-old] or something… he was loving all the attention from the girls so he kept giving us refills when he wasn’t meant to,” the source said, revealing that the contestants were only allowed to have one standard drink per hour.

The former contestant also said the young bartender was “free pouring” drinks and serving the girls multiple bevvies behind the producers’ backs until they found out and fired him halfway through the season.

“We all loved him because he was the one legend that helped us and hooked us up with drinks because our only source of joy in the mansion was the alcohol.” OMG, harsh!

Looks like the drama doesn’t stop once the cameras stop rolling!

If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counselors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

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Get the tea first! Follow So Dramatic! on Instagram, and tune in on Mondays to get your reality tea fix with the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto.