Stanford Hall presents ‘The Notre Dame Bachelor’
Reyna Lim | Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Stanford Hall is in the process of filming its production “The Notre Dame Bachelor: A Made for TV Event,” inspired by the hit dating show “The Bachelor.”
The production stars Giovanni Ghilotti as its lead and is directed by Eric Huberty and Joel Mandell. All proceeds from the event will go to sexual violence prevention, Stanford Hall’s social media says.
The original “The Bachelor” first debuted on the ABC Network in 2002, and has grown into a consistent success and was recently approved for its twenty-sixth season with various spin-off versions.
In the original series, an eligible bachelor is selected to be the lead of the season, and is able to date multiple women over the course of several weeks in an attempt to find, as the show claims, “true love.”
Ghilotti, the Notre Dame Bachelor, was initially hesitant to participate in the production.
“I am honestly not a huge fan of dating shows, which is ironic,” he said. “I was hesitant to sign up for the [Notre Dame] Bachelor because I don’t have a whole lot of respect or appreciation for the actual show itself.”
Upon request from his friends at Stanford Hall, however, Ghilotti decided it would be a unique way to meet new people.
“I used to play football here and with that schedule I found it pretty hard to connect with other students so I was really excited about all of this,” he said.
Once the lead was secured, the next step for producers was to find the potential matches for the Notre Dame Bachelor.
Mandell, one of the organizers of the production, explained that the Notre Dame women starring in the show were chosen through a process of applications and polls.
After an open application allowed anyone to express their interest, an Instagram poll was used for members of each female residential hall to select who would represent them.
“We selected one girl from each dorm and then one from Saint Mary’s,” Mandell said.
Cora Eaton, a sophomore representing Breen-Phillips Hall, went into the experience with no prior knowledge of what would happen next.
“I have never watched the Bachelor so I am flying completely blind,” she said in an email. “I think that this scaled-down event is fun, but I don’t really believe in the real show. I think it promotes a really unequal relationship dynamic.”
While Eaton mentioned her reservations about the culture perpetuated by the original show, she said that she found the experience to be enjoyable overall.
“I thought it would be a fun way to participate in a dorm event and meet girls from other dorms,” Eaton said.
Ghilotti shared the same concerns about the lack of genuineness in dating shows, yet he said his mindset has opened to possibilities of finding real connections.
“I originally went into this with no expectations just because I recognize how superficial the whole format of the Bachelor can be,” he said. “But it is genuinely hard to keep that mindset as I get more opportunities to know everyone.”
He added that he has been watching episodes of The Bachelor to prepare for his role.
“I’ve been trying to study up on when to randomly cry about how badly I want a family and children and to find my wife here,” he said.
Filming of the first few episodes took place this past weekend in the basement of Stanford Hall.
“I think the first episode took around three hours to film, so it was a little exhausting but hopefully it’ll turn out well,” Mandell said.
Eaton agreed that the process was hectic.
“It was kind of crazy going between the floors and getting pulled away for interview footage and things like that,” she said.
Eaton said the most memorable part of the experience so far was the introduction process when each female participant had the chance to present themselves to Ghilotti.
“I had no idea how much ceremony went into it so I had to have some of the girls walk me through what was going to happen,” she said. “It was also really fun seeing how other girls did the intro.”
Mandell called the entrances and introductions of the sixteen women, “one of the most awkward things [he had] ever seen.”
“When Gio gave out the first rose though it brought tears to my eyes,” he added. “He looked beautiful in that suit.”
Up next in the filming agenda will be the first dates between Ghilotti and his eligible matches.
“I’m really looking forward to just meeting some new people and getting some really funny stories,” Eaton said.
Ghilotti called the experience so far as “overwhelming but amazing.”
“It was amazing to meet so many new people, but it can be hard enough trying to genuinely connect with one person,” he said. “Fourteen people at the same time should be super easy, right?”
“The Notre Dame Bachelor” is on schedule to be filmed and released prior to the Dome Dance on Feb. 25, to which Ghilotti will be accompanied by one of the participating women.
Episodes of the production will be available online on platforms such as Instagram and Youtube, and organizers hope to screen the final episode in Washington Hall or the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The final rose ceremony will be held as a live event with all proceeds going to charity.