The Most Jewish Episode of ‘The Bachelor’ Almost Didn’t Happen

On a recent episode of 'The Viall Files' podcast, Ariel Frenkel opened up about her decision to talk about Judaism on the reality dating show and feeling "other than."

Every time I think I cannot possibly like Jewish “Bachelor” contestant Ariel Frenkel more, I am (happily) proven wrong.

On this week’s “After the Final Rose” episode, Ariel maturely and eloquently destroyed Bachelor Zach Shallcross for not living up to his word about sex during Fantasy Suites. In the process, she also became one of the first (if not the first) “Bachelor” contestants to define the dating show as what it is: an open relationship.

For me, however, the cherry on top came later. After “After the Final Rose,” Ariel joined an episode of “The Viall Files” podcast hosted by former Bachelor Nick Viall and talked about just how carefully she considered discussing her Judaism on the show — so much so that the most Jewish episode of “The Bachelor” ever almost didn’t happen!

“I was debating it a lot because I also had this fear of, if I’m going to be the first outspoken person on the show that is Jewish, if I don’t come off in a great light, people might have a problem with — that might like, cause a surge in some sort of negative feeling towards Jews. Or if my family comes off a certain way, that could cause a negative kind of trope around a Jewish family,” Ariel explained on the podcast.

She added, “I feel like I had to be very particular in the way I spoke and holding myself to a certain standard in that conversation.”

Ariel went on to say that she didn’t appreciate how “The Bachelor” portrayed her family during the Hometowns visit. If you recall, Ariel’s father and brother came off as extremely skeptical and questioning.

“My family is so loving and so welcoming, and being part of the Ukrainian Jewish community, it’s very gregarious,” Ariel expressed, continuing, “Being the first openly Jewish individual on the show, and having my family with that kind of interpretation of being, like, aggressive and all of these things, we almost kind of felt other than.”

She’s thoughtful and unafraid to call out “The Bachelor”? Dayenu!

On a lighter note, Ariel also mentioned in the episode that her favorite Jewish holidays are Hanukkah, Passover and Purim!

Regardless, I think this is just further proof that Ariel would make an absolutely fantastic Jewish Bachelorette. Someone at ABC, please make this happen!

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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