ABC's sixth 'Bachelor' edition to feature two initial bachelors -- and two "All-Star" bachelorettes
By Reality TV World staff, 08/23/2004
Apparently considering turnabout fair play, ABC has announced that the sixth installment of its The Bachelor series will borrow a couple of elements from other reality dating shows (all of which were pretty much derivatives of ABC's own original reality dating series) and feature two initial bachelors -- as well as the later return of two bachelorettes who appeared on previous editions of the series.
ABC announced today that for first time ever, in a move reminiscent of the beginning of last month's For Love Or Money 4 NBC series, the sixth edition of The Bachelor will open with a "Lady's Choice Ceremony" in which the twenty-five bachelorettes appearing on the program will get to choose between one of two 40-year-old men to star as the program's bachelor.
By allowing the bachelorettes to make the initial selection and casting an "older man" as the Bachelor, the network apparently hopes to capture some of the Bachelorette magic that has seen the female-led editions of the program go 2-for-2 in matchups (so far) while the male-led versions (filled with mostly commitment-phobic 20-something bachelors) have racked up a dismal 0-for-5 track record (and more important to ABC, resulted in an ongoing ratings slide for one of the struggling network's few hit series.)
During the initial "Lady's Choice Ceremony" the twenty-five bachelorettes, who range in age between 26 to 39, will have to choose between two very accomplished but completely different Bachelor candidates named Jay Overbye and Byron Velvick. The initial group of bachelorettes will not include the two unnamed former "All-Star" bachelorettes that will also be returning for another attempt to find love -- as previous participants, they'll apparently be allowed to skip the initial whittling ceremonies and instead only return at some point later in the series.
Bachelor candidate #1 is Jay Overbye, a 40-year-old New Jersey native who has never been married and sells residential real estate. Jay grew up in Massachusetts and went to College of Wooster in Ohio, graduating with a degree in communications. His career took him from the public relations staff of the Cleveland Indians to working in advertising for both Young & Rubicam and PC Magazine to co-founding starting his own computer networking business in 1993. After selling the company in 2002, he traveled the world and "did some modeling" before returning to New York City.
According to ABC, Jay is very close to his family and is "truly looking to fall madly in love." Having never been married, he is said to be "at a place in his life" where he is ready to take that step and start a family. Jay applied for The Bachelor after discussing it with his family and friends and was found at a New York casting call. A big history buff, he loves to play golf and go boating, as well as travel internationally when not working.
The other Bachelor candidate, Byron Velvick, a 40-year-old professional bass fisherman. A California native, Byron graduated of the University of California at Irvine with a degree in English, but realizing he was always interested in fishing, opted to become a professional fisherman. A two-time U.S. Open champion (1991, 1996) on the professional fishing circuit, Byron is a true outdoorsman who also enjoys biking and hiking.
Previously married once and divorced, ABC says Bryon "enjoys being married more than being single." Not wanting to admit to having ever seen The Bachelor before, Bryon claims he applied for the program at the recommendation of friends. A "self-described hopeless romantic," he is excited and ready to find his soul mate, get married and start a family but warns women that he does already have one true love in his life -- his dog Sabrina, who's a mix of Shar Pei and Ridgeback.
When the series begins, the women will not be aware of the program's twist and will have no idea that they will get the chance to select their Bachelor. On the men's side, Jay and Byron will be aware that they are competing for each woman's Lady's Choice rose, but will not have met before the series begins. Additionally, while all the women will continue participating in the program regardless of which man emerges victorious at the Lady's Choice Ceremony, the remaining bachelor will not be aware of how each woman voted before having to narrow the bachelorette group to fifteen during the program's first traditional Rose Ceremony
After the first Rose Ceremony ends there'll be once last initial twist with, for the first time ever, the selected Bachelor joining the women in their move to the Ladies' Villa, where he'll also reside for the duration of the series, creating an environment that should allow for the development of more immediate and stronger relationships between the Bachelor and his suitors.
While ABC promises "other surprises" for the sixth Bachelor edition, so far only one more has been disclosed -- a performance by Grammy Award-winning R&B and pop singer Brandy during the show's second episode (anyone else having flashbacks to Sheryl Crow's concert in the Big Brother 3 backyard?)
ABC's sixth edition of The Bachelor will debut on Wednesday, September 22 at 9PM ET/PT with a special two-hour premiere. Chris Harrison will once again host the series.