If you go deep enough into the Nevada desert, you will find a very sunburnt venture capitalist. His name is David, and he is not there because he got disoriented in the desert heat and made a wrong turn, or because a mobster from the movie Casino caught him counting cards. Rather, like so many Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants before him, he was sentenced to this cruel fate, abandoned in the middle of nowhere with no way to return, because he went on reality television for the wrong reasons.
Along with fellow contestant Jordan, David was taken to Valley of Fire State Park on a two-on-one date with Becca. If you don’t know what a two-on-one date is (because, presumably, you’ve never gone out on a date with two potential partners at the same time, or been asked to share your date with another suitor), it’s a Bachelor/Bachelorette event with a very specific set of rules. Of the two datees, only one receives a rose, and the other is eliminated. For this reason, the show typically pits two contestants who have been squabbling against each other, knowing that they will likely spend more of the date yelling at each other than focusing on the person they’re supposedly dating. While most Bachelor/ette dates take place at fun locations or have interesting activities, the two-on-one is generally held in the middle of the wilderness. And when the elimination happens, the remaining couple is shown leaving the area in whatever vehicle they used to access this place, therefore stranding the loser in no-man’s-land with no ride and no means of survival whatsoever.
The show strives to hammer home the premise that the loser has literally been left alone in the wilderness. If you look closely at the clip of David’s ditching, about 24 seconds in, you can see a crew member scrambling to get out of the long-distance shot, to make it appear as if David is completely alone. (Another two-on-one date protocol: We have to see a production assistant taking away the loser’s suitcase, presumably to be thrown out, since they sure as hell aren’t bringing it out to the desert for the contestant.)
If there are 30 contestants on a given season of The Bachelorette, one will find love—or, at the very least, spend several months pretending to have found love before publishing a cowritten breakup announcement exclusively on People. Twenty-eight contestants will “lose” but return to more interesting lives than the ones they left—worlds where they have significantly more Instagram followers than before and might get invited onto a spinoff show like Bachelor in Paradise. But one contestant per season does not get that satisfaction. This is the person who loses the two-on-one date. They will not get a limousine ride. They will not get to hawk skincare products on social media. It has become Bachelor tradition to bring these scorned souls to the most godforsaken hellscapes the show’s producers can find and leave them there, stranded, to live out their lives as a warning to passers-by of what happens to those who go on reality television for the wrong reasons.
We have accumulated a list of all the Bachelor contestants left around the globe in various wastelands. Consider it a guidebook. We’re led to believe that these people have been deserted in these far-flung places; somebody should go visit them.
(Not included are any contestants who were shown receiving transportation back from their remote locations: for example, Taylor, who was left in the Louisiana swamps after losing a two-on-one date to Corinne in Season 21 of The Bachelor, but was eventually shown receiving a boat ride back to civilization. She wasn’t stranded, just briefly inconvenienced.)
Kasey, Eyjafjallajokull Subglacial Volcano, Iceland (Season 6, The Bachelorette)
The two-on-one date is a relatively old Bachelor standby, but it didn’t always carry its current baggage. In early seasons, two-on-one dates functioned just like smaller group dates: Not receiving a rose wasn’t an automatic elimination, and the two contestants didn’t outwardly want to murder each other. Later, the show hit upon the “two men enter, one man leaves” format, turning each date into a March Madness game—but even then, the losers got the same treatment as every other person eliminated on the show, being put in limos and given the opportunity to emotionally react to their dumping on camera.
But in 2010, in the sixth season of The Bachelorette, the show finally nailed down the strategy of leaving losers in the most remote, barren locations possible. And boy, did they pick a remote, barren place to leave Kasey:
Kasey had made the mistake of getting a massive wrist tattoo for Bachelorette Ali during the middle of their season, hoping that it’d show how serious his love for her was. This weirded her out, because of course it did. And well, there’s only one thing you can do in that scenario: Abandon this guy to die.
Kasey seemed to accept his fate. If you brought me in a helicopter to a glacier and then took off in the helicopter, I’d probably run after the helicopter jumping and screaming. But Kasey remained calm. After all, he did just reveal that he cared a lot about a person only to have that person reveal they didn’t care that much about him, and if you’ve ever gone through that emotional experience, you know that it’s basically the same as being stranded and left to die on an Icelandic glacier.
And not just any glacier! This is a subglacial volcano that erupted two days after this scene was filmed. Tough break, Kasey.
Most Dangerous Aspect of Abandonment: Gosh, there are so many ways Kasey could have died here. Exposure, since that jacket looks flimsy. Starvation, since he has no supplies and there isn’t a lot of food to come by on a glacier. And oh, yeah—the soon-to-explode volcano. My bet is that he died before the eruption.
Best Chance at Escape: Man, I don’t know. Deserts, mountains, jungles—fine. Glaciers? Nah, you’re dead, unless you have a pack of sled dogs. (Kasey doesn’t.)
Odds of Survival: Zero percent
Can You Visit Him Today? His corpse probably got covered in ash during the volcanic eruption.
Was He Ever Heard From Again? Somehow, Kasey made it onto Season 2 of Bachelor Pad.
Ashley I., Kelsey, Badlands National Park, South Dakota (Season 19, The Bachelor)
For a few years after the Iceland experience, The Bachelor went back to tamer two-on-one dates where contestants weren’t scapegoated and left for Azazel. But since Chris Soules’s season of The Bachelor in 2014, they’ve been a regular occurrence, with roughly one abandonment per season.
In Chris’s season, Ashley was a virgin; Kelsey was a widow who repeatedly mentioned that she “loved” her own story that featured the death of her husband. Their beef peaked during this two-on-one date, with Kelsey using her hands to explain how Ashley was way down there and she was way up here. But after using all their time to squabble, Chris decided to leave both way down there, while taking off in a helicopter that took him way up here.
For some reason, it was decided that the two had to stand on nearby rocks staring in opposite directions:
Most Dangerous Aspect of Abandonment: The Badlands aren’t unsurvivable, but leaving Kelsey and Ashley together is like leaving two betta fish in the same bowl.
Odds of Survival: 50-50, by which I mean one of them is probably getting out alive.
Can You Visit Them Today? The Badlands are noted for how excellent the conditions are for preserving fossils, so, in some sense, yes.
Were They Ever Heard From Again? Kelsey hasn’t been seen on any follow-up shows and has been described as “off the grid.” Ashley, meanwhile, has been on a stunning three spinoffs—two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise and a stint on Bachelor Winter Games, making her one of the most prolific Bachelor alumni ever. What I’m saying is, the evidence points to Ashley surviving and making her way back to humanity by eating Kelsey.
Olivia, Uninhabited Island, the Bahamas (Season 20, The Bachelor)
The villain of her season, Olivia was self-centered to the point that she once interrupted Bachelor Ben’s disclosure of a personal tragedy to tell him not to worry about her cankles. People like seeing bad things happen to villains, so the show had to strand Olivia. She wasn’t even particularly feuding with Emily, the other person on her two-on-one date, but I think the show’s producers realized that everybody really wanted to see Olivia get stuck on a desert island. The camera even pulled back for about 35 seconds so we could comprehend her sheer isolation:
Most Dangerous Aspect of Abandonment: It doesn’t look like there’s any sort of plant life on the island for Olivia to forage.
Best Chance of Escape: I guess swimming? But that’s open ocean. I don’t like her odds.
Odds of Survival: 25 percent
Can You Visit Her Today? Go for it! This little beach island seems like a nice place, so long as you have a boat that can take you back (which Olivia, sadly, did not). Although, the perpetual 95 mph wind might be a drawback.
Was She Ever Heard From Again? Even though Olivia was one of the more captivating characters on her season, she was never featured on any further shows—leading me to believe that she has been living on this island ever since.
Chad, Western Pennsylvania (Season 12, The Bachelorette)
Chad spent his tenure on The Bachelorette acting like a legitimate hunter-gatherer, eating raw sweet potatoes and un-sandwiched sandwich meats and threatening anybody who irked him to a fight. Chad was sent into the woods with Alex, and JoJo picked the man who wasn’t constantly threatening people. However, though the producers thought they could kill off Chad by dropping him in the woods, they were wrong: Soon after his stranding, we were shown clips of Chad returning from the Pennsylvania wilderness:
Chad’s return lends credence to the premise that these people are left stranded in the middle of nowhere with no assistance. We didn’t see Chad get driven or flown back. We were shown video of him trudging through the forest at night, whistling. The footage serves as confirmation: Some abandoned contestants are capable of surviving the rugged environments they are dropped in and fighting their way back to television. Other, less lucky contestants … are not.
Most Dangerous Aspect of Abandonment: Chad isn’t wearing orange, and people in Western Pennsylvania like shooting moving objects in the woods.
Best Chance of Escape: Walking, apparently?
Odds of Survival: 80 percent
Can You Visit Him Today: Sadly, no. If you’d like Chad to threaten to kill you, you’ll have to follow him on Instagram and see where he’s going on any particular day.
Was He Ever Heard From Again? Chad had an extremely brief stint on Bachelor in Paradise.
Lee, Hobol, Norway (Season 13, The Bachelorette)
Ahh, yes, the time The Bachelorette attempted to present racist dialogue as a form of typical reality TV drama! In Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette, Lee kept saying not-very-nice things to black people—while audience members discovered that he’d said additional not-very-nice things about black people (and other racial minorities, and women, and the LGBT community) on a public, somewhat popular forum known as Twitter—so they put him on a two-on-one date with Kenny, who is black. Watch the sparks fly in a not-at-all troubling manner! Anyway, Lee got left in the middle of a Norwegian forest. He seemed chill about the whole incident:
He seems content with living the rest of his life in a forest you need a helicopter to access. He’s got a comfy chair, and maybe even some sort of liquid to subsist on.
Most Dangerous Aspect of Abandonment: This is the nicest place anybody has been left on The Bachelor. He’s got a chair!
Odds of Survival: 90 percent
Can You Visit Him? I’d guess that by this point, Lee has built a nice little porch to sit on in his chair while drinking out of his thermos.
Was He Ever Heard From Again? Nope! I think he’s happy where he is, in the middle of Norway.