Editorials

The Bachelor vs Love Island UK: Soundtrack Showdown

No spoilers, I pinky promise 😉

This winter I decided to fully immerse myself in the world of dating television. I say that like it was purely for research purposes, but truthfully I’ve started watching these shows and have found myself yelling at the TV like how my dad is while watching sports. Something that has really jumped out at me over the last few weeks is the different music on The Bachelor and Love Island UK. It begs the question: What does the type of music say about the show?

Let me speak in terms which I have no authority to use: science! Think of both shows– The Bachelor and Love Island UK— as holding some odd scientific quantity that represents their potential for entertainment. It is scientifically proven (by me, right now), that the type and variety of music played during a show directly correlates to that quantity. 

So, by that logic (basically falling to my personal opinions) Love Island UK rules and The Bachelor drools. I hope everyone can still follow and understand my extremely intellectual language as I proceed in backing up this bold statement with at least a little evidence. 

image source: https://www.tvinsider.com/846484/tenille-arts-the-bachelor-performers/

We all know that The Bachelor has a boner for country music (again, very appropriate academic language), which is directly related to the super snooze-fest it has been this season. Now, I’m not a “Bachelor Nation” expert or anything, but I think that makes me particularly more qualified to criticize on the basis of music. I’m not as invested in the show as die-hard fans, making it much easier for me to watch performances by country artists Tenille Arts, Chase Rice, and Hunter Hayes and think, Hmmm why has there been SO MUCH COUNTRY? It’s not a matter of bashing an entire genre– people don’t all have to like the same things. It is, however, evidence for my bizarre use of musical math. 

image source: https://www.nashvillescene.com/arts-culture/tv/article/21116705/the-bachelor-recap-hometowns-baby

Variety breeds entertainment! And this season, The Bachelor has really missed the mark. Music is a great way to engage with viewers and provide different artists with a platform on which to grow. This show basically has tunnel vision for cowboy boots. Zeroing in on only one genre of music also really limits the show to a strangely specific group as far as participation. The men and women who end up on the cast of this show are all essentially the same brand of dramatic, and who wants that? Personally, I’m watching for the booze, shouting, and tears (and the music of course…?), and it’d be much more fun if there were a wider range of contestants. And so, back to the math: the virtual lack of variety in music on The Bachelor corresponds to the very slight variation in participants, and therefore truly limits its potential for entertainment. 

Love Island UK could destroy The Bachelor in a fight… And it all comes down to the music.

I take my point about The Bachelor a little further by exploring the musical selections featured on Love Island UK. While The Bachelor can’t seem to pry itself away from country music, Love Island is much more open-minded. This is absolutely proven by the mere fact that when I searched both these dating shows, only one garnered search results including a complete playlist (guess which one). Season 24 of The Bachelor, however, does lead in a sheer number of live performances. Love Island has featured one live show by Sean Paul this season, and I see why there haven’t been more. It was definitely weird watching a concert for like 9 people dancing in their backyard. The show makes up for this in a variety of music. It’s even organized online! 

image source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7985401/Love-Island-Sean-Paul-enters-villa-hotly-anticipated-performance.html

At the top of my google search, “love island uk season 6 soundtrack” was a playlist categorized by episode, demonstrating the dedicated fanbase curated when a show broadens its horizons and incorporates more than one genre of music. Despite exhaustive searching, I could not seem to find anything similar for The Bachelor.

The Love Island UK Season 6 playlist that I found features a wide range of music, including some electronic, rap/R&B, and of course a whole lot of pop. I’ll link it here for you to check out if you want to check it out! 

So, what to do now?

Well… if you’re choosing one guilty pleasure show, I’d go with Love Island. The variety of music makes for a greater potential for entertainment, attracting a range of different participants and viewers across the globe. 

I know none of this was real science, but I did do a little research and had fun looking into this (even though I accidentally stumbled across some spoilers).

Mallory Dwortz

Junior at the University of Michigan, loves reading, writing, and blurry pictures

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