by KATE FRANKE
Inside a grand white house on 34th St. in Des Moines, Iowa is a group of 15 girls, all laughing at their living room TV screen.
On Monday nights, sorority members and friends gather at the Delta Gamma house at Drake University to participate in a watch party and bracket for the reality TV show “The Bachelor.”
The International Movie Database describes “The Bachelor” as a TV show where one designated bachelor dates several women during the span of multiple weeks, narrowing them down to find his potential wife.
Self-proclaimed “Bachelor” lover, Erin O’Boyle, hosts the event and bracket each week.
“I cannot tell you why we love ‘The Bachelor’ so much, other than it’s fun to laugh at the absurdity of dating, you know, 10 girls at once,” O’Boyle said.
The watch party is a casual event where attendees eat snacks, wear sweats and discuss their favorite contestants while watching the TV show’s newest episode.
“The Bachelor” bracket is similar to fantasy football. Participants make weekly contestant picks and collect points based on their actions or phrases. When contestants cry or claim to be on the show for the right reasons, bracket participants earn points.
Informal, non-sisterhood events, such as “The Bachelor” watch party and bracket, require little planning or preparation. The Vice President of Community Engagement on the Panhellenic Council, Emma Torry, said a post in a Facebook group is all that is needed to spread the word about an informal event. The focus of events such as “The Bachelor” watch party and bracket are not on attendance or participation.
“The purpose is to have fun and get to know people you don’t see on an everyday basis,” Torry said.
“The Bachelor” watch party in Delta Gamma has been going on for more than two years. Dedicated fans set aside homework, dates and phone calls to family to watch the two-hour long episode each Monday.
Abbey Mertz, a former “Bachelor” bracket participant and current watch party attendee, likes watching the TV show in a group more than watching it by herself. Mertz likes to talk about the episode’s drama with friends and gossip about predictions for the rest of the season.
“It is a really fun way to get everyone together and just be a community,” Mertz said.
The impact of Delta Gamma’s “Bachelor” watch party and bracket is bigger than a shared love of a reality TV show. It draws people with varying personalities and interests to one place, where they can collectively enjoy the show.
“The reason we all love it is because we get to spend time doing something we all enjoy together, and that’s sometimes hard to do when we have busy college schedules,” O’Boyle said. “This is one we can all come together for.”