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Here's Why The Bachelorette Spoilers Are Becoming Impossible to Avoid

A Hulu glitch has viewers frustrated, but the results of Season 20 were leaked weeks ago anyway.
  • The Bachelorette's Charity Lawson is engaged, but to who?! The spoiler was easy to find even before the finale aired. (Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin)
    The Bachelorette's Charity Lawson is engaged, but to who?! The spoiler was easy to find even before the finale aired. (Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin)

    Fans of The Bachelorette who watch the episodes on Hulu woke up to an unpleasant surprise the day after the Season 20 finale aired on ABC. As of 12:15 PM ET, Hulu still hadn’t dropped the latest episode, despite regular season episodes typically premiering on the streamer at 5:00 AM ET on the day after airing. Even some viewers who tried their best to watch live were thwarted — Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA aired a pre-season NFL game between the Washington Commanders and the Baltimore Ravens instead of The Bachelorette.

    Even after the official Bachelorette Twitter page announced at 6:00 AM ET that the finale was streaming on Hulu, the episode was still nowhere to be seen. Many not-so-patient fans took to Twitter to complain. At 9:00 AM ET, a Hulu customer service rep told Primetimer that the episode had not yet been provided to the streamer and the system did not have an expected time for it to be uploaded — they also confirmed that they were assisting several other customers reaching out about the same issue.

    Hulu Support responded to complaints on Twitter writing, “We do our best to make new episodes available ASAP, but there can be delays due to a variety of factors.” (Primetimer has reached out to Disney, which owns Hulu and ABC, for comment about the delay and will update with its response.)

    Viewers were especially upset about these scheduling hiccups because they’ve been trying to avoid spoilers. And even ABC seems to know that’s a priority for Bachelorette viewers who watch the next day. “SPOILER WARNING: Hulu viewers – Keep scrolling!!” a post from the Bachelorette Twitter page reads before a video of (SPOILER ALERT) Dotun Oloniyo’s proposal to Charity Lawson starts automatically playing. When even the network is giving people only a few seconds to decide whether or not they want to know what happened in the finale, it’s clear that spoilers for the Bachelor franchise are becoming impossible to avoid.

    Social media and the continuing reign of blogger “Reality Steve” (a.k.a. Steve Carbone) have contributed to the constant flow of details about seasons of the reality series, often before the premiere even airs. Because so many of the dates are public and involve a crowd, there are plenty of witnesses to capture moments like Charity and Joey Graziadei’s record-breaking kiss and Charity and Dotun’s 5K date in New Orleans. Even The Bachelorette’s promos give away clues — Reality Steve zeroed in on a split-second shot of Xavier Bonner kissing Charity in Fiji from a season preview to determine he made it to Fantasy Suite Week.

    Reality Steve has long been the greatest offender of spilling Bachelor and Bachelorette secrets, and this year he posted an in-depth post about how each week of eliminations would shake out before the first episode of The Bachelorette Season 20 even aired. He’s already tweeted spoilers for Season 9 of Bachelor in Paradise, which premieres on September 28, and now that it’s officially been announced that Joey is the next Bachelor, it’s likely only a matter of time before spoilers for that season start rolling in. But Steve has claimed that he will not “dive too deep” into The Golden Bachelor, which will now premiere on September 28 after a scheduling change.

    With information like that spreading all over social media, it doesn’t even matter if Hulu posts the episode when it’s supposed to — opening up Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok could reveal details from a one-on-one date or a hometown visit months before the episode it’s featured in airs. And Reality Steve has been at this since 2004, just two years after The Bachelor premiered. At this point, navigating inevitable spoilers is just a part of the Bachelor Nation experience, and how far viewers go to avoid them, no matter how futile the task may be, is entirely up to them.

    The Bachelorette Season 20 Episodes 5 through 8 are streaming on Hulu (as of publication, the finale, Episode 9, has still not been posted). Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: The Bachelorette, ABC, Hulu, The Bachelor, Bachelor in Paradise, The Golden Bachelor, Charity Lawson, Dotun Olubeko , Joey Graziadei, Reality Steve