When The Bachelor premieres on Jan. 4, the franchise will officially be back on its usual schedule. That's thanks in part to when Matt James' Bachelor season was filmed. After ABC had to skip Bachelor in Paradise in 2020, Matt handed over his phone for filming on Sept. 22. That's on par with the late September starts that previous Bachelor seasons have had. However, the pandemic did shift things a bit for the franchise rookie.
According to Variety, Matt went into the quarantine bubble in September, but filming didn't actually begin until October. With the cast and crew's health and safety in mind, everyone quarantined for two weeks first. ABC Entertainment’s Rob Mills explained that domestic travel was ruled out, and extra contestants were brought in as backup if anyone tested positive for COVID. Luckily, none did. Like with Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams' season, the entirety of filming took place at one resort to reduce travel and exposure. To differentiate from The Bachelorette's Palm Springs setting, production traveled to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania, per Entertainment Tonight.
"We're very lucky that this resort is massive because it's conducive for all different types of dates at multiple locations," Mills told Variety. "The look of it will be completely different. It was nice to have a change of scenery, but beyond that, the protocols and everything are the same — we have a good system in place for as long as we’re in pandemic mode."
Now, if everything could stay on track, Bachelor Nation might actually get a Bachelor, Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise season in the coming months. 2021, don't mess this up.