Colton Underwood made Bachelor fans lose their damn minds during his season. Everything led up to the Fence Jump—after a visit from her dad (thanks to producers flying him out there), contestant Cassie Randolph left the show because she was feeling "confused." After she left, Colton refused to talk with the producers, removed his microphone, and jumped a fence into the wilderness of Portugal. Then, Colton straight-up quit the show to pursue Cassie (without getting engaged), and the couple are still together. It was potentially one of the crazier moments in Bachelor history, all the more so because it was unscripted and totally off-book. But according to an interview Colton did with This American Life (opens in new tab), we don't even know the half of it. Here's what we learned—including some never-before-mentioned aspects of the show.
So apparently the producers are constantly checking in about which girls he'd rank highest. "And very early on, Hannah Godwin was up there. And she got left off of a date...And I sort of recall remember feeling a little burnt when they did that. I was like, so let me get this straight. Hannah's number one on my list right now, and she's not getting a date this week."
So from that moment on, Colton wasn't honest about his top girls. "I don't want you messing with them. So in a weird way, I tried to defend myself and defend the girls by not being truthful to them who my top was."
Also, hang on a sec: The producers pick (at least some of) the group dates?? I certainly didn't know that.
Now it makes sense why poor Hannah was sooooo blindsided when he told her he was breaking up with her. She, and the producers, thought it would be her in the end. "I just kept the top the same. So Hannah was always at the top of the list when I always made the list for them to see, and I never changed it," Colton explained.
The producers flew Cassie's dad out, and Colton could intuit that something bad was about to happen—something that the producers were manipulating. "Normally, during the dinners and during that, the producers are sort of hovering, or they're around to help the conversation flow. Or they're there just to, like, bounce ideas off of when you guys are talking. When we had that dinner, there wasn't a producer in sight. There was just the cameras, and there was just the audios. Everybody else ran. And they didn't want to be near it because I think they knew that I knew."
Also, the fact that producers are there to "help" with dates is hilarious/horrifying! Can you imagine trying to vibe with someone, then some dude in a headset whispering in your ear? No thank you.
Cassie mentioned she had seen her dad before their date, which caused Colton to figure out what was up. "I was thinking that that wasn't her doing. I know what the format of the show is...I don't have the control I thought I had," remembers Colton.
Colton admitted that his attempt to control the situation ended up resulting in producer influence that undermined his true goal—which was to end up with Cassie all along. "I think that it backfired because then they were like, whoa, we thought it was Hannah because you kept telling us even on your list, when you'd rank them, Hannah's one."
After Cassie left, Colton admitted that his first thought was to just get home. "I was like, all right, I'm going to go upstairs. I'm going to grab my wallet. First off, I got to get away from these people. I have to lose my mic. I have to lose the cameras. I have to just be by myself. And my plan was to get out of there and go grab a new passport, because they did have my passport." Oh my GOD.
Then, when he actually got away from everyone, it was freeing. "I jumped the fence, and there was nothing. It was darkness. It was fields. And for me, I was like, this is awesome. So I was like, I'm here. I was like, I don't want them to catch up. So I started running." All told, he was gone for two hours.
According to host Emmanuelle Berry, immediately after he came back, he wasn't ready to talk to producers yet. "There's a rule that you cannot be filmed or recorded while talking to the show's therapist. So he asked for that. He says they talked for an hour while he vented and figured out his next move." I had no idea there was a therapist but that is AMAZING. Way to go, Colton.
Then Colton exercised power as Bachelor, telling the producers he was quitting the show entirely and going against show format. If you watched it, you'll know—it was riveting. It felt like the showrunners truly didn't know what to do, possibly for the first time ever. But Colton gets exactly what he wanted—Cassie accepted his request to just date without being engaged, and he's still apparently friends with the producers (lol).
Even though the show ended up making light of it, Colton explained (and it became obvious when we watched it) that this was no laughing matter. "That was sort of hard for me to deal with because in a way, they're teasing it. America's making jokes about it, making memes about it. And that's their number one marketing and selling piece. Meanwhile, I know the seriousness behind it," he explained.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the craziest moment on Bachelor history happened—and it was totally unplanned.
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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
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