The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

How season 28 of “The Bachelor” made the franchise bloom

Bachelor Nation
Charmingly, vulnerably and quickly, season 28 of “The Bachelor ” has essentially reignited a spark for the 22-year franchise. From engaging plotlines to a relatable lead in Joey Graziadei, fans have fallen head over heels all over again with Bachelor Nation. As the season finale looms, audiences can not wait to witness the heart throbbing lead find love right in front of their eyes.

Over the course of “The Bachelor’s” 22-year run, the show has dabbled with a fair share of romance, despair and thousands of dollars spent on roses. However, like every long-term relationship, the franchise experienced a bit of a rut throughout its tenure. Between problematic political stances from contestants in recent seasons to long–time host Chris Harrison leaving the show in 2021, “The Bachelor” struggled to maintain its footing for the earlier parts of the 2020s. At least, until January 22, 2024, when the latest season of The Bachelor premiered, starring the sweetly empathetic tennis coach Joey Graziadei. With a relatable cast of women, heavy engagement from social media and a lovable lead, Grazidei’s season has aided in waking up Bachelor Nation, one Monday at a time. 

After an emotional breakup with season 20 Bachelorette Charity Lawson, Grazidei captured the hearts of audiences with his sincere demeanor and authentic spirit. His vulnerability shined through his interactions with Lawson and encouraged fans to root for him as his season began. What audiences love about Graziadei — next to his attractive physique — lies in his ability to empathize with the women he dates and allow them to feel heard. His charming demeanor pulls in audiences in droves: for example, the episodes detailing their first destination trip to Malta garnered up to 5.9 million views. This season’s leading man also shows a genuine commitment to the unique dating experience, as he intentionally asks important questions with the women, and welcomes potentially difficult conversations throughout their dates. 

“This season was way better than the others because of Joey himself. He’s one of the first leads to actually show his insecurities while also validating the girls’. I hope Bachelor Nation continues to find people who are as real and interesting as this season’s cast because it really made a difference in the quality of the show,” magnet sophomore Avery Moore said.

Although Graziadei leads his season with his heart on his sleeve, behind every stellar Bachelor stands a group of 32 charismatic women, ready to steal a scene at any moment. The show may focus on the escapades of Graziadei and the gorgeous contestants, but this season’s cast has truly left a mark on modern audiences. For starters, this season’s cast featured a diverse group of women, a trend that has only recently begun in the Bachelor franchise. Across different countries, job ventures and cultural identities, this season broadcasts a refreshing amount of perspectives and upbringings. This best shines through the week eight hometown episode of Racheal Nance, who shows Graziadei the beauty of her Hawaiian culture during their date. Pennsylvanian sisters Allison and Lauren Hollinger joined the women this season vying for the love of the same man, a storyline that entertained audiences — at least until they did not receive roses

Instantaneous favorites such as Maria Georgas succinctly captivated fans with her confidence, humor and fashionable outfits. Her willingness to stand up to the “mean girls” of her season willied watchers of the show to root for her, ultimately until her elimination during week eight. Daisy Kent and Alexandra “Lexi” Young showed much vulnerability on the show by opening up to both fans and Graziadei about their health struggles and how they have impacted their views on love and dating. Even the aforementioned “bullies” on the show brought forth titillating drama and engaging conflict that helped stir up excitement within the viewers’ living room. From Sydney Gordon to Jessica “Jess” Edwards, iconic moments from this season emitted from their tirades and tears. Through group dates and confessionals, the ladies of Grazaidei’s season ushered in a new energy to “The Bachelor,” and allowed audiences to resonate with their stories. 

Social media has contributed significantly to how season 28 of “The Bachelor” resonated with mainstream fans. Bachelor Nation’s TikTok account has exploded with videos showcasing female contestants on group dates or attending cocktail parties. Kent, Nance and Kelsey Anderson have utilized their platforms to promote the show with “Get Ready with Me’s,” Q&As and photos from their dates with Graziadei. Popular sounds have gone viral on the platform, such as Lea Cayanan lauding over her hair and nails in a confessional interview. With live reactions to rose ceremonies or social media pages posting where contestants buy their outfits, social media holds a pivotal stake in the show’s current success. 

Above all else, the latest season of “The Bachelor” represents a fresh face of relatability on reality television. Graziadei fully expressed his worries and concerns about finding a partner, only for her not to choose him back at the end of the show. This further encouraged the women of his season to express their vulnerabilities and even reservations about relationships as well, which has created a safe space for audiences. With storylines such as Kent’s and Young’s, women with chronic health issues may also see their own dating journeys represented in a way they have not witnessed before. Even with the openness presented in this season, the show cleverly presents its fair share of content left for the imagination as the franchise progresses. 

“I hope in the future to see more bachelor or bachelorette parties from Bachelor Nation because I feel like getting together with your friends to watch the show is just the best thing ever. Me and my dad always sit together with our sweet treats and watch the show. It’s like our own bonding time but also we love to debrief afterwards and express our thoughts or opinions but also what we would’ve done differently if we were in Joey’s shoes,” senior Avery Gensheimer said. 

While love, laughter and lust control the lion’s share of the popular program, thanks to Graziadei and his engaging cast of women, season 28 of “The Bachelor” issues a new era of the show. As his season draws to a close, our leading man faces the difficult task of choosing between two women during next week’s finale on ABC. After 10 weeks of watching Grazidei’s journey to engagement, fans wait eagerly to witness this reinvigorating season’s conclusion.

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About the Contributor
Ciara Whimbush
Ciara Whimbush, Copy Editor
One fateful day in 2013, Ciara Whimbush wrote a story about two girls visiting a witch’s house in the woods. Throughout the process, she stumbled across the thing that made her feel the most like herself: writing. As Whimbush embarks on her junior year as a member of NC’s magnet program, she aims to continue to expand her view of the world through a journalistic lens. As a newly minted editor, Whimbush excitedly looks upon this new school year to hone her craft and build upon her new discipline. She holds the field of social studies in high regard, as she actively participates in NC’s Model UN club, as well as HiStory Retold, an organization that seeks to diversify curriculums across classrooms. Aside from typing away on her keyboard, her other interests include spinning her flag and rifle on the NC Color Guard, baking sweets, making Dad jokes, taking pictures of the sky and indulging in various video essays riddled on YouTube. During her second year at The Chant, Whimbush hopes to become a better writer, an impactful editor and a citizen of the world; whether it be with interviews, articles, or exploring out of her comfort zone. Her main goal surrounds making her first-grade self proud of how far she has come.       

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