Friday, October 19, 2018

South Africa's TV bachelor and his 25 beauties all tested for sexually transmitted diseases before they meet in M-Net's The Bachelor SA.

South Africa's TV bachelor - as well as the 25 beauties who will be vying for his attention, love and affection in M-Net's upcoming dating reality show - are being tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before they meet and the filming of any interacting scenes might be taking place.

While all of the 25 women are single and not currently dating anyone, TVwithThinus also established that some of the women selected out of the thousands of entries received might already have a child or children.

The Bachelor SA, with Rapid Blue producing the local version of the dating reality format show, will start broadcasting on M-Net (DStv 101) on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2019.

Filming of the bachelor meeting and being introduced to the women will take place soon. M-Net confirmed that the 29-year old bachelor, Lee Thompson, as well as the 25 women chosen for the show and who will live together in an upmarket Johannesburg mansion, has undergone testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

That's in line with the American version where the bachelor and the prospective women also undergo STD screenings.

Earlier this year, in Amy Kaufman's new book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure, she revealed that contestants are asked beforehand if they've ever had a sexually transmitted disease, and if they say yes, they are removed from the selection process immediately.

Some contestants's medical tests also come back as positive for STDs. The most prevalent STD causing prospective contestants to be eliminated from The Bachelor is herpes.

"As soon as the medical tests came back, you’d see that herpes was the biggest thing," said Ben Hatta, in the book and who worked as the executive producer's assistant on The Bachelor. "Sometimes you'd be the first person to tell a contestant that they had herpes. You'd be like, 'Uh, you should call your doctor.' Why? 'We're not going to be able to have you on our show, but you should call your doctor."

M-Net tells TVwithThinus that STD testing has been done on Lee Thompson and the 25 women.

"The selection process for The Bachelor South Africa and the 25 ladies was intense and comprised psychometric tests, medical examinations – which included STD testing  – and a series of interviews with reality show experts."

Filming on The Bachelor SA has now started but only for some background footage. 

Lee Thompson has not yet met the 25 women and he will not be staying with them in the mansion. M-Net and Rapid Blue are keeping the exact date on which the women will be meeting him under wraps.

In the show the bachelor chooses women with whom he wants to go on lavish dates and this will take place across South Africa. Some of the dates are known as "overnight dates" and eventually there are also "Fantasy Suite dates". While some contestants and the bachelor have sex, not everyone does.

Coming with a family?
Interestingly, Lee Thompson might not just snag a women but an "insta-family" with kids.

While the 25 women are all single and will be single when Lee Thompson are introduced to them, some might already have a child or children, and might have been married. 

This has happened in overseas versions. M-Net doesn't want to reveal at this stage whether women who have children are part of the 25 chosen for The Bachelor SA.

M-Net says "the terms and conditions specify that the ladies can be legally divorced or have children, but need to be single to be part of The Bachelor SA. At this stage, we can’t reveal more about the ladies' background".

Lee Thompson says he "can't wait to meet and get to know the 25 ladies. Chemistry often works in mysterious ways and I have no preconceived ideas about who I want to spend the rest of my life with."

The Bachelor SA will have around 25 episodes and end with a live finale on M-Net. It's not yet clear whether the first season will include the midway "Women Tell All" episode where eliminated contestants discuss their experience. 

The host of The Bachelor SA has also not yet been announced.