Will “The Mormon Bachelor” Create More Marriages than ABC’s?

Does religion play a role in the type of person you date? If you’re an evangelical Christian, would you date a Muslim?  If you’re a Jew, would you date a Mormon? On ABC’s popular reality television show, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” one person is presented with a couple dozen options of potential spouses. All of the contestants are attractive, physically fit, and in the same age range.  But there’s one factor producers don’t seem to consider: faith.

The current Bachelorette, Emily Maynard, is an evangelical Christian, but one of her suitors, Jef Holm, attends a Mormon church.  (He says he is not an “active Mormon,” but attends church services regularly.)  Wouldn’t this be an issue for one – or both – of them? After all, marrying outside of one’s faith is a major reason for divorce. The American Religious Identification Survey of 2001, indicated that “people who had been in mixed-religion marriages were three times more likely to be divorced or separated than those who were in same-religion marriages.”

Yet, ABC producers don’t seem to be sensitive to this “faith factor.” For example, when Jason Mesnick was selected as the first Jewish Bachelor, producers set him up with 25 non-Jewish women. On Jewish websites, fans complained, “Intermarriage, brought to you by ABC.”  Later, when the non-religious Bachelorette Ashley Hebert was cast, she showed interest in Bentley Williams, a 28-year-old divorced Mormon from Salt Lake City.  However, Bentley wanted to marry someone within his religion and was indifferent to Ashley.  (His cruel lack of interest got him branded a super-villain, and she later picked Jewish J.P. Rosenbaum. She later converted to Judaism.)

However, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a solution to all of this religious-confusion: The Mormon Bachelorette, an online spin-off of the ABC Bachelor/Bachelorette series.  The show was created after Erin Elton and Aubrey Laidlaw applied to be on ABC’s show, but weren’t chosen as potential suitors.  Realizing  their faith was a central of their dating choices, they created the Mormons-Only web series.  Aubrey was the first Mormon Bachelorette, and — sure enough — ended up with a temple wedding.  (That’s the ultimate goal.  In fact, studies show that marriages which take place in the temple are some of the most successful.  According to a 2000 study, only 6% of those who undergo the demanding temple marriage break up.)

After three seasons, hers is the only wedding that The Mormon Bachelor has produced.  Yet, this is still a much higher percentage than ABC’s The Bachelor’s track record of zero successful marriages.  In fact, only four couples have stayed together from this franchise: Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum, and Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertso.  Sadly, even host Chris Harrison is divorcing.

Will other religions follow suit and create their religion-specific dating shows?

And take note, ABC.  If you are really interested in creating successful marriages, maybe you should pay attention to a contestant’s faith as much as their hair extensions, abs, and dental veneers.

Here’s hoping successful marriages are ultimately created in all of these shows. To watch The Mormon Bachelor, tune into their YouTube channel MormonBachelor on July 5th. Meet The Mormon Bachelor here:


You might also enjoy these Bachelor-related posts:

Jef Holm Explains to Good Morning America that He and Emily Aren’t Living Together

Sean Lowe: My Faith in Jesus Helped Me Get Over Heartbreak Over Emily

Jef from The Bachelorette: “I’m Not a Practicing Mormon”

Religion on The Bachelorette: Just Under the Surface

The Bachelorette Won’t Shack Up Before Marriage

Is Jef Holm Shy? Why Appear on The Bachelorette?

Southern Bachelorette Vows: No Hot Tub Kissing Sessions

What happened to Jef’s last “F?”

Jake, The Moral Bachelor?

The Worst Season Finale of The Bachelor Ever?

Conservative Christian Parents Finally Reject The Bachelor

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  • Timothy Dalrymple

    Great post, but I have a question. You say zero successful marriages, but four couples have stayed together. I know at least one of those couples is married, nd I believe at least several are. Granted that there is more to success than staying together, but what do you mean by these two statements?

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  • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French

    Hey Tim — sorry for the confusion. There are two franchises, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. While there are four couples that are still together, only two come from The Bachelor. (Ben isn’t married yet, so I’m not counting him as having a successful marriage yet.) However Jason Mesnick should arguably be counted as having a successful marriage. Why is he an asterisk? Because he originally proposed to Melissa Rycroft on the show! Even by the After the Rose ceremony, they’d broken up. He later married another contestant on the show. So that one should count, it just depends on how you count it.

  • MrNirom

    To be evenly yoked.. one must consider faith. As a Latter Day Saint who was at one time in my life inactive, I still had my core beliefs. I could not ever see myself joining another religion for the sake of my spouse. And if I had, and then decided to get my life together and become active, I am sure it would create some sort of divide between us. When one is active in their faith, then it should be of a top priority to find someone who believes as you do. It can only add to the relationship.. not take away.

  • Es

    I don’t think Religion is the only factor here. It’s a really broad generalization you’ve made. The reality is, if you watch the behind the scenes for the Bachelor and Bachelorette, they purposely choose “the bad guys” and people that will cause drama on the show. That instantly makes this a non-recipe for the perfect matches to work. The ABC show is out there to make money. Also, if you hear the stats – the average Bachelor or Bachelorette sleeps with around 3 people per season. Bob slept with “five.five” how ever that works. Religion helps for the Mormom bachelor/bachelorette because you start with the same foundation – hopefully. But the reality is, even then, Mormon’s value different things. I dated a “great” Mormon guy – he was perfect. He was the young men’s president. He went to the temple regularly. He was super active in church. He had a great job, lived in a great city. 3 months later, I found out he was also “dating” the married Young Women’s president and mother of one. 3 months later, he was excommunicated. My priorities changed for wanting someone who just was “perfect” with the religious background. My husband that I married 2 years later, was married to a woman who slept around. They were married in the temple – and it should have been a great marriage based on your stats in your article. Temple and Religion are not the instant formula for Successful marriages. Even then, I think women in this church do not value themselves and expect more from men than they should. There is a reason the General Authorities said, “lock your cupboards”. Here is my generalization. Women in the church GIVE and don’t expect much but activity in the men they date. I know several men at BYU that never had to ask a girl out because they were always asked. okay, I’ll stop my soap box for now.

  • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French


    I see where you are coming from. Yes, the producers do encourage the weirdos to join the cast as well. (Remember the girl who wore fangs??)

    And I hate the sleeping around expectation.

    I know “temple marriages” don’t all work — I’m not LDS. I got married in a restaurant in France holding flowers I bought off the street! Thanks for the comment.

  • Kris

    This line in the article is misleading: “However, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a solution to all of this religious-confusion…” “The Mormon Bachelor” is not endorsed or sponsored or anything else by the LDS Church; it is merely a creation of two of the religion’s members. Get it right.

  • Starla Smith

    I sure do wish that the Mormon Bachelor was televised on the LDS channel???????????

  • Starla Smith

    I sure do wish the Mormon Bachelor was televised on the LDS channel?????

  • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French

    You can see it on YouTube!! Let me know if you watch it. I am very very tempted. LOL. Not even LDS!

  • Jonathan Trottier

    As a mormon I say this show depending on who the person is could have a very successful marriage. Marriage is a very sacred and very important to mormons. There are no words that describe how important a marriage is to mormon’s. To us it is eternal covenant to the spouse and god.

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  • http://progressplanet.com/ Nancy Hunter

    Holy, Wow! A Mormon Bachelor web series! This is going to be a-mazing to watch. What a discovery! I am an uber super fan of the ABC shows, and I’m completely non-religious, but I find the Mormon faith to be eternally interesting so I can’t wait to watch this web series!!

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  • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French

    Dear Kris, Thanks for how kindly you pointed that out.

  • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French

    Nancy — Tell us how you like it!!

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