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‘The Mormon Bachelorette’ begins new season

Whitney Sorensen - May 18, 2011
source: LDS Living

Photo from The Mormon Bachelorette.
One Mormon girl is about to go on the ultimate blind date—22 times. On May 30, The Mormon Bachelorette will announce the lucky girl who will be set up with 22 eligible Mormon bachelors in hopes that she will find “true Mormon love” with one of them. 
 
Founded last summer, The Mormon Bachelorette takes the spirit of ABC’s The Bachelorette—a reality series where a woman is set up on a series of elaborate dates—and gives it a unique Mormon spin. Done the Mormon way, the bachelors each plan and pay for their own date with the selected bachelorette. The bachelorette still gives roses to those guys who impress her enough to merit a second date, but at a “mocktail” party instead of a cocktail party. And a marriage proposal is not expected at the end of the month-long show.

The first Mormon bachelorette, Aubrey Messick Laidlaw, and her group of friends started the online reality series in August 2010. “My best friend Erin Elton and I have been loyal fans of ABC's Bachelorette for years and had always joked about starting a Mormon version for the fun of it,” Aubrey said. “Because of my love for The Bachelorette, and my dire need of a boyfriend, I was volunteered by everyone to be the first Mormon bachelorette, and within days we had ourselves a reality series!”
 
Whoever is selected to be the new Mormon bachelorette will follow in the footsteps of Aubrey and the more recent first Mormon bachelor, Rick Buck, who started out as one of Aubrey’s dates. For the second go around, Rick impressed the producers with his video showcasing himself in classic Hollywood films and landed a season of his own. Rick and his chosen bachelorette, Melanie Carney, are still dating, according to an April 14 post on the site. And Aubrey married her chosen bachelor on March 19, 2011, in the Los Angeles California Temple. That’s another place where the Mormon factor comes in—these bachelors and bachelorettes aren’t just looking for a good date; they are serious about finding a committed relationship for eternity.

Did Aubrey really think she would find true Mormon love? Absolutely. “My friends and I felt that we were inspired to begin The Mormon Bachelorette, and because of that, I put my trust in the process and knew that somehow it would lead me to my happy ending.”

Although candidates for the bachelor and bachelorette come from all over the country, Aubrey’s happy ending came from her own backyard. Both she and now-husband Matt Laidlaw lived in Southern California. In fact, Aubrey and Matt had been in the same ward before The Mormon Bachelorette, which gave them a chance to get to know each other better. Snippets of their courtship can still be viewed online, from the first date where Matt showed up on his motorcycle to show Aubrey the town, to the second date where they tested their skills at riding man-made waves, to Matt’s sweet surprise proposal and clips from their wedding reception.
 
April 15 was the deadline for applying to be this season’s Mormon bachelorette, but on May 23, online voting begins for who should be selected for this ultimate Mormon-matchmaking experience. Producers still have the final say about which girl is chosen, but fan favorites will be a major factor in the selection process. That girl will then go on 22 first dates and select her top seven for second dates, plus one bachelor chosen by internet viewers. After those eight dates, she will give out one final rose to the guy she most wants to continue dating. 

Whoever becomes the next Mormon bachelorette, she will never forget her month filled with dates. As the only one to have done this before, Aubrey can testify. “Some of my dates were incredibly fun and creative and I knew that regardless of the outcome of The Mormon Bachelorette, I could look back on the experience and say, ‘That was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life.’  And it was!”

Clips from each of the bachelorette’s dates will be posted to the website, along with her summary of each date, so anyone can follow along.

Of course, all that adventure in such a short time could have its challenges, too, so what advice does Aubrey offer the next bachelorette? “Keep a positive attitude and never talk negatively about the guys who take you out.  Each and every one has probably gone to a lot of trouble to make the date extra special for you so smile, laugh, and enjoy yourself so you can look back at your experience without any regrets!”

With Aubrey married to Matt and Rick and Melanie still having fun dating, the next Mormon bachelorette may be only weeks away from “true Mormon love.”

For more information, visit themormonbachelorette.com.

© LDS Living 2011.
Comments 24 comments

snowyriver said...

12:35 AM
on May 18, 2011

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I am amazed at what this magazine encourages. Those batcheolor shows are based more on beauty then anything and encourages people to be close to strangers regardless of the risk.

mpschmitt said...

04:41 AM
on May 18, 2011

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I was very turned off to the ABC shows "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" by the amount of sexually irresponsible physical intimacy depicted on those programs. Hopefully we hold our dating lives in the church to a much higher standard, but then why do we a seem so eager lately to be so much like the world?

bishopj said...

07:54 AM
on May 18, 2011

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This may be the WORST idea LDS Living has ever come up with..... let's profile and copy a show that encourages lewd behavior and premarital sex...... these shows are TOTALLY what the Church is not about! Somebody did not have their brain turned on when this idea came up! Shame on you!

rockymtnlinda said...

09:03 AM
on May 18, 2011

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Seriously? The people who are under covenant with God shouldn't even watch worldly shows like the Bachelorette, let alone copy them. We're too close to the Savior's return to be wasting timy imitating the filth of the world. We should be standing apart, in many cases, very apart from worldy influences that mock everything we should hold sacred. Incredibly bad idea.

tommysmommy said...

09:17 AM
on May 18, 2011

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Those of you who have already commented may have not read the article correctly, when it stated that LDS standards would apply to this version of the showing. I agree with your opinions of the ABC version which promotes things that are definitely against LDS standards. But, when I heard about this Mormon Bachelorette I was very excited! What a great idea of how to keep up with the world without lowering your standards! The fact that a marriage proposal is not required is a great idea too! This is just a fun way to date and see if the one for you was inspired to join the show as well!

zezette said...

04:32 PM
on May 18, 2011

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Yeah, the original worked so well, let's copy that. Dumb.

rnewcomb said...

06:22 PM
on May 18, 2011

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I feel as if everyone that has left a negative comment might actually live in Provo Utah. Come on people I have never watched ABC's Bachelorette but I still think it's a good idea, namely because it might provide entertainment that has some kind of moral backdrop. Plus, those of us that find it incredibly difficult to be creative with dates they go on might have a bunch of good ideas to use now.

artvandalay said...

02:25 PM
on May 19, 2011

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The bachelorette is what is wrong with TV and society. The last thing we should do is try to copy it. All it teaches is vanity, materialism, and sex. That being said, if I were single, I would probably apply to be on the show.

cakegal said...

05:23 PM
on May 19, 2011

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What an innovative idea! It seems that after you graduate from College, and enter a career world there are very limited opportunities to meet a variety of worthy suitors, and it seems many beautiful, educated, mature young women are being passed over if they haven't found true Mormon love by the age of 23. This was truly inspired and having the profound privilege to participate in the first couples Wedding, I can only say that it was one of the most beautiful, sacred events every Mormon girl dreams of. It saddens me to see the negative comments, and I guess if you try hard enough anything could appear negative. We need to support one another and what works for some, may not work for others. Every Eternal marriage deserves respect no matter how one finds it. My prediction is that you will see a lot of positive things come from this venture and others will be eager to replicate or participate.

kamal said...

11:00 PM
on May 19, 2011

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I think the comments on how "worldly" this sounds are coming from people who have never visited the blog or watched clips of it. It is very far from being worldly. These are really wholesome, strong Lds people who are participating in this. The dates are all very clean, fun and byu-ish. As cheesy at it appears to be, it's such a good idea. Being a young single adult myself I embrace the idea of this because it's a chance to meet new people. People who are actively seeking dating opportunities.

snowyriver said...

11:24 PM
on May 20, 2011

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I did read the whole article. No, I am not from Pravo, Utah. How is it we need to turn to TV now because there are "limited" oppotunities or "uncreative" ways to go on dates and then go one/watch this to find partners or "creative" ways of doing the whole dating thing. Well, people have been dating and being creative without the use of tv for centuries and our workload is far less then it has ever been with the prividledge of technology. So why the issue with finding suitable suitors. Really has the technology of this day along with our me me me attitude made us this lazy?

wahlymom said...

10:06 AM
on May 23, 2011

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Oh come on! Sometimes we LDS can be SOOOOOOO obnoxious. Yes the original ABC Show is full of inappropriate things. If you are offended, change the channel. You may think it is so far out there, but it really is not that far off from the "regular" non-LDS dating scene. The idea to do an LDS version is GREAT! Maybe people will see it and figure out that dating dosen't have to include sex on the third date to be fun. How are we to be examples of the "Lord's way" if we hide our light under a bushel.

lady_arndt said...

10:36 AM
on Jun 01, 2011

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While I loathe the original Bachelor(ette) shows on tv, I see nothing wrong with this. How is it any different than meeting someone, a strange online on what is (or used to be) LDS Singles, an online dating site? That is where I met my husband and we have been happily married for almost 10 years. What works for some does not work for others and what may seem out of the ordinary for some may be perfectly natural for others. Stop being so closed-minded and quick to judge.

motherof3 said...

11:01 AM
on Jul 21, 2011

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i agree with those who comment how the 'bachelor(ette) focus on looks more then what the other has to offer. the world is seeping in like a flood into the lds hearts and minds. start seeking for those whom have firm testimonies, are honorable, are fun, those whom have loads to offer. the young adults in the church are struggling with what the world is screaming to them. i say this is sad that the lds community is doing this type of show. the cutesy girl who is 5'2" so special personality, has enough money, wants mr perfect...well people mr and mrs perfect are not out there...that is what celestial marriage is about...working together to make a near perfect eternal relationship/family. so you are so perfect...good luck you will not find your ken or barbie..well you might and they will be into themselves

stevenson7 said...

09:07 PM
on Jul 23, 2011

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For all those leaving negative comments,.....you are just mad because you didn't think of it first. There isn't one thing different in this type of dating and going to a stake dance or EFY or better yet mormon online dating. The people are just a bit older. This type of dating is just more organized. What's wrong with that? These people aren't doing anything wrong. You have to find an eternal companion somehow. Who are you to criticize the way people meet. Wow, please come down from your ivory! As long as all participants stay morally clean, why in the world would anyone care how they meet or get to know each other? Good luck to all who are willing to put themselves out there in an effort to do what they have been commanded to do, find an eternal companion!

handyman said...

05:42 AM
on Mar 09, 2012

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These type of shows are condescending and embarrasing toward the morals of what we teach. It will teach conceit, vanity, false pride, and dishonesty. I suggest that this program should be v chipped.

sleeplessseattle25 said...

11:44 AM
on Apr 02, 2012

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I never, and I mean NEVER considered myself a conservative even among Mormons. Until now. I can count on one hand the things I hate in this world, simply because I don't want to waste energy on a useless, draining emotion, but I cannot stand The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Any show that promotes that kind of promiscuity, especially with strangers is demeaning and demoralizing to all parties involved, including the spectators. I was really surprised to find upstanding (as far as we know) LDS members intentionally emulating a show that flaunts this behavior. Call me a prude, but I'll happily stay single before parading around before all and sundry like my favors mean nothing.

altorock13 said...

02:37 PM
on Apr 04, 2012

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I don't see anywhere in the article where the people doing this show are flaunting the behavior or emulating the behavior seen on the show the Bachelorette. I also don't see how participating in this show will teach conceit, vanity, false pride and dishonesty. This isn't just like the ABC show. The guys that will be going on a date with her are not living together. They aren't trying to sleep with her. They are returned missionaries, guys who keep to the mormon church standards. I was curious so I watched clips from the first season. It was great. Much better "television" than what's actually on TV. With morals and values, and conversations about your church. Instead of cutting them down, you should be praising them for creating something morally clean that you can watch instead of the crap that's on TV. Bet you didn't think about that though, did ya?

sleeplessseattle25 said...

11:03 AM
on Apr 09, 2012

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I can see your point, yet I simply can't get behind an idea that was inspired by such an awful show. I don't mean to cut anyone down, and I have pondered the pros and cons of such a dating situation, but I know that this is not how I would like to find my eternal companion. Blind dates didn't work for me, and that's the way it goes, but it would've been even worse going in knowing I was one of many, or knowing that my date knew I was dating someone else (or several someones) the very next day. It changes the whole dynamic of dating and trying to get to know a person. I have had friends that dated and traded guys around, all in the name of finding "the one," and even though all parties were upstanding members of the church, it still felt tawdry and people were hurt. Mormon Bachelorette feels like a competition in which men are tried out like new shoes, tossed aside when a cuter pair or better deal flashes by. It might work for some people, just not me. Perhaps I'm too old-fashioned for 21st century dating; the realist in me can accept that. I commend the creators for trying to find a new way for LDS singles to mingle, but I question the method.

bridget said...

11:23 AM
on Sep 20, 2012

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I agree with mpschmitt. These dating shows diminish the sanctity of marriage by reducing it to physical attraction. I think it is completely inappropriate for Mormons to follow the world in this, as well as in any of their dating practices. The Lord has called us to be a holy people, and that means being chaste and honorable, not debased and debauched. You may not disparage someone's worth by their apparent physical and social attributes. Each person is a son or daughter of God. You ought really to act toward them as you would toward the King's children, because that's who they are. The merit of a person is in his obedience to the Lord, not in his appearance or social/financial standing.

mrsjackson630 said...

08:56 AM
on Oct 01, 2012

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I think this is a great idea! How awesome is it that someone had an idea to turn a bad thing into a good thing! I love that a marriage proposal isn't required at the end and that the dates will be fun, wholesome activities. What better way is there to show that we can still be "normal" without being worldly?! I am surprised at all of the negativity. If one gets married in the temple, does it matter how they got there? How is this any different from online dating? That can be considered disgusting (some of the comments on places like eharmony, plenty of fish, etc) but then someone created ldssingles...this is no different in my opinion.

mrsjackson630 said...

09:03 AM
on Oct 01, 2012

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Also, for all of you saying things about physical attraction and how this show reduces everything to that...I Don't think that's the case. There are a lot of people who get married after knowing each other a short time. When you know, you know. Besides, how many of us would really say that physical attraction isn't important in a marriage?! We are even told to increase our intimacy in marriages. You need to be physically attracted to do this! It shouldn't be the only thing, and I don't think it is in the case of this show, either. It really showcases creativity and allows for prayerful and wholesome dating.

mrsjackson630 said...

09:08 AM
on Oct 01, 2012

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and motherof3...it's not about finding someone PERFECT. it's about finding someone who is PERFECT FOR YOU. "First there must be the proper approach toward marriage. A person must try to select a spouse who is as nearly perfect as possible in all the matters which are of importance to him. Second, there must be a great unselfishness. All should be done for the good of the family. Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing. Fourth, the commandments of the Lord, as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ, must be lived completely." -President and Sister Kimball Here's the full article in case you were wondering: http://www.lds.org/liahona/1978/06/oneness-in-marriage?lang=eng&query=increase+intimacy+marriages Sorry for so many posts! So much to say!

commanderpete said...

12:07 PM
on Jul 03, 2013

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Worldly? That's the last of my concerns. Stupid? That's the first.
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