After fulfilling a fantasy of hosting episodes of the heterosexual-focused Bachelor In Paradise, super-fan Lance Bass now wants to host an LGBT season of The Bachelor.
“If you want the most dramatic season ever, do an LGBT version,” Bass tells Variety. “I think maybe it’s the time for The Bachelor to do a gay Bachelor. I think that would be so much fun. And I definitely know a host if you need it.”
“I have not talked to anyone about that, but I would be so down,” he adds. The former *NSYNC member became the first gay host within The Bachelor franchise, and will be followed by Tituss Burgess later in the season.
There are few examples of LGBT-led reality dating series, especially on network television. Bass actually hosted one of the rare examples, Finding Prince Charming, in 2016 for the Logo network. However, the short-lived series was cancelled after the first season. Bravo ran a similar show, Boy Meets Boy, which also only ran for one season in 2003; it had the problematic twist that half of the men competing for the love of the lead were straight. In 2018, MTV’s Are You The One? made strides by having their eighth season only consist of sexually fluid contestants. While many reality dating shows have begun to incorporate LGBT contestants into their series, there has yet to be a long-standing series take the leap to a full queer roster. When looking across the board, Bass states, “I think it’s so needed.”
Within the Bachelor Nation there’s only been one same sex couple: Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty. The 2019 season of Bachelor in Paradise actually ended with their proposal, but the couple called things off shortly after. Burnett is now back in paradise for season 6. “Demi obviously had the first LGBT storyline on Bachelor In Paradise, so that seems like a place that is a great venue for all love stories,” he says.
Other reality series like U.K.’s Love Island have pushed back against having LGBT seasons. ITV’s director of television Kevin Lygo recently said that a same-sex season of the villa-based show would never happen due to “logistical difficulties,” as if putting 12 men or women versus 6 women and 6 men in a house together really changes the rundown of the show. That’s not to say that a same-sex pairing has never happened on the show, as Sophie Grandon made history when she coupled up with Katie Salmon during season 2.
As The Bachelor franchise continues to expand, with its next venture focusing on senior citizens, Bass thinks it only makes sense to look into a LGBT version of the show. “They’re doing the seniors next, which I think is such a great idea. I like that they’re trying different things and I think the next step, the obvious step, would to be an LGBT version,” Bass says. “I would love to see a show where you had lesbian, gay, trans, bi. To me, bisexual is just such an interesting thing to watch because everyone is an option.”