You don’t need The Bachelor spoilers to tell you that fan reaction to Peter Weber’s season has been rather … mixed.
It’s had its share of entertaining moments, but many viewers consider Peter the worst Bachelor in the show’s history.
This is really saying a lot, considering some of the schmucks who have been chosen as the face of the franchise.
And then there are the ladies.
We’re not sure if there’s ever been a less-popular group of finalists than Peter’s final four, a crew consisting of Hannah Ann Sluss (23), Madison Prewitt (23), Victoria Fuller (who turned 26 during filming), and Kelsey Weir (below, who is 28, but cries about as much as teething infant).
To his credit, Peter has chosen a relatively diverse group in terms of temperament– if not ethinicity.
But there’s a concern among fans that none of them seem quite ready for marriage.
We’ve spoken before about the possibility of raising the minimum age for Bachelor contestants, and many feel it’s an idea whose time has come.
It’s 2020. People are marrying later than ever, and there are plenty of other options for early-twentysomethings like Hannah Ann (above) who feel compelled to look for love on a reality dating show.
More importantly – at least as far as network executives are concerned – there’s a feeling among fans that the youthful nature of the contestant pool is affecting the quality of the show.
Thus far, that complaint has not resulted in a significant drop in ratings.
But for how many more years will fans continue to take an interest in the endless stream of tears coming from 22-year-old Mykenna (above) types, who would probably be more at home on Are You the One?
The criticism been so prevalent that it’s finally reached the ears of at least one network exec.
Robert Mills, ABC’s Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming talked to Entertainment Tonight about the age question this week.
“I don’t think you ever say you’d do anything differently, but I think it’s that we need to look at things going forward,” said Mills.
“You see a lot of people talking about the age of contestants, I think that’s something we’d probably look at and say, ‘Does it need to be aged up? Are these girls ready?’”
Mills also addressed the "right reasons" issue.
As fans know all too well, the show faces problems it didn’t have in its first season, thanks to contestants signing on just to increase their Instagram following and gain clout online.
“This is a show about hopefully finding a life mate, and that has happened on this show," he said.
"I think just making sure everybody’s ready, and you can’t ignore the fact that, not even for the right reasons anymore, but are you there to be an influencer? Are you there for Peter? Looking at all that.”
Mills went on to say that the contestants are thoroughly vetted, and he believes all of this year’s hopefuls were really there for Peter.
“They all, I think, are very sincere,” he said.
“I think the girls are actually great, but you look at everything and take that into account moving forward as we think about who the next Bachelorette is going to be.”
Hmm … we appreciate his optimism – but something tells us this guy didn’t watch any of the Alayah Benavidez episodes.