Originally Posted by BritLit
ABC Press Release
Re: Swiderski Absence and Return
Many viewers have written to us inquiring about the “fairness” of allowing competitor Ed Swiderski to return to the Bachelorette after having left for business reasons. Many of you have expressed concern that Mr. Swiderski may have received preferential treatment and indemnity from elimination in several episodes by his absence. In order to reassure viewers that all individuals appearing on the show receive equal consideration, we have decided to reveal a hitherto unknown aspect of show competition.
While the desires of the show’s “star”, the Bachelorette (or Bachelor, as the case may be) are certainly of paramount importance in the decision as to who receives roses each week, there are other factors, such as diversity, entertainment value, humor, and conflict potential, which must be taken into consideration in those decisions. To determine who is chosen to stay for another episode each week, we have for several seasons adhered to a Point Assignment System.
It would be counterproductive, and no doubt induce needless controversy, to delineate the entire gamut of reasons for point assignment. However, in order to make the system more comprehensible, we shall mention just a few: a one on one date generates 10 points; Special Quality Time on a group date merits 5 points; scandalous behavior, i.e. removal of clothing on camera, is worth 6 points; a kiss of more than 30 seconds duration is worth 7 points.
Obviously, not every competitor has equal opportunities to earn points in any given week. To compensate for that discrepancy, at the beginning of the season, the bachelors who survive the Meet and Greet episode are divided into two teams—only top production staff is privy to the identities of team members. At the end of each week, the points earned by all team members are added together and averaged, so that each member of Team A and each member of Team B receive the same scores. Scoring is cumulative for the season. After elimination ceremonies, some team members may be reassigned to keep numbers of team members equal.
This season, we faced a unique challenge in that Mr. Swiderski, due to circumstances beyond his control, was forced to leave the show for a period of time. Once the decision was made to allow his return to filming, the problem arose as to how Mr. Swiderski was to be scored for the missing time period. In the interest of fairness, it was decided to use the system which has worked so well for Dancing with the Stars and to assign Mr. Swiderski the same points earned by the other members of his team during his absence. This enabled him to rejoin the other contestants without penalty.
We hope that this answers any questions which views may have and alleviates any concerns about the equity of allowing a contestant to leave and then return to the show.