Music is a powerful thing. Music connects us to people as well as our biggest, defining moments: graduations, weddings, funerals and more. Something about it brings us closer. Among a group of people there could be complete silence, but play a song and immediately, everyone jumps in with excitement. You could hear a song and all of a sudden, you’re reminiscing of you and your first crush driving to your first date, or you’re reminded of the day you started a new job. Music bonds us to everything through the most intimate moments in our lives.
Though music glues us to people, memories and feelings, I was skeptical of the premise of “The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart” — that by singing songs that people could find their person and fall in love. With very little knowledge about the show, I imagined individuals pairing up and singing to each other and boom — they’re in love. If you had watched the trailers, I promise you would’ve thought the same. However, after diving into this new spin on “The Bachelor,” I’m slowly believing that maybe it is possible to fall in love through music (along with much-needed everyday conversation and one-on-one dating, of course).
“The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart” is “The Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” all rolled up into one, with a twist. Sounds like a lot to wrap your brain around but it can easily and quickly be explained. Similar to “The Bachelor,” in the first couple episodes, both the bachelors and bachelorettes have their turn at a rose ceremony to choose who they want to pursue. But similar to “Bachelor in Paradise,” in these same episodes, new arrivals come into the group to stir the pot. In “Listen to Your Heart,” however, couples must be solidified by Episode 3, and their journey continues based on judges’ opinions of the couple’s chemistry during their musical performance.
I was at first taken aback that these couples’ fates are in the hands of judges who base their opinion off a single performance. Eventually, I realized that a couple’s energy and chemistry can clearly reveal itself through a performance. Their body language, eye contact and the combined voices can demonstrate their level of connection.
Like all contestants on “The Bachelor” series, these individuals are young, single and ready to mingle, but these particular singles are also musicians. Therefore, some of them may have other motives for coming onto the show. “The Bachelor Series: Listen to Your Heart” is not only an opportunity for these people to find love, but it is a chance for these artists to gain exposure. “The Bachelor“ franchise accumulates a large audience and generates a lot of media, so it’d be no surprise that an aspiring and struggling, good-looking artist would jump at this chance.
Even aside from making a name for themselves, juggling a new relationship on top of performing in front of a live audience is a tall order. These are talented, yet amateur, artists with little performing experience. They’re trying to develop a relationship while dealing with the nerves of making and performing music for an audience of a size they never imagined. Although unintentional, it’s apparent that a few relationships are being put under stress by the pressures of performing. However, in some cases, this has actually strengthened couples.
Writing music and performing requires a new level of vulnerability. Everyone can relate to the idea that sometimes it’s easier for us to write our feelings down rather than verbalize how we’re feeling; hence why most of us express anger or sadness over text. “The Bachelor Series: Listen to Your Heart” artists not only need to be vulnerable when communicating with each other, but they also express that vulnerability and intimacy in front of millions of people. The series further demonstrates the strength and patience it takes for a couple to collaborate and solve conflict through their love for music.
Chris Harrison told Refinery29, “Yes, there is a musical element to this, but early on we learned from ‘Bachelor,’ ‘Bachelorette,’ ‘Bachelor Pad,’ and even ‘Paradise’ that the foundation has to be relationships and it has to be about love and finding that.” This is definitely the intention behind the new series, but whether love or music comes first to these artists we have yet to see the ultimate results. While some couples have shown us a promising relationship, how many of them will last outside “The Bachelor Series: Listen to Your Heart”? Only time — and stalking their social media accounts — will tell.