“Farmer Wants a Wife” is different from other dating shows, says host Jennifer Nettles
Farmer wants a wife the wholesome love story currently missing from reality TV. (Cough: Scandoval.) At least that’s what host Jennifer Nettles thinks.
As the hit international dating franchise makes its US debut Wednesday night, Yahoo spoke with Nettles about what viewers can expect from the Fox iteration. Only farmers really meet The Bachelor? Are the ladies here for a good reason? And these guys actually farmers? Here are some of your burning questions answered Farmer wants a wife.
What is this show about?
Well, the title pretty much sums it up. Four hard-working, and yes, real farmers — Hunter Grayson, 31, of Watkinsville, Ga.; Ryan Black, 32, Shelby, NC; Allen Foster, 32, Williamsport, Tennis; and Landon Heaton, 35, of Alva, Okla. — are looking for soul mates. Each ranch hosts a group of single women who are ready to leave their big cities behind for love and country life.
“It’s a love story,” Nettles explains. “I love storytelling and I’m a huge romantic, so I love being a part of these relationships and watching these romances develop and grow and blossom.”
The Grammy winner says that “romantic reality shows have never been my thing,” but she thinks this one is different.
“What attracted me to this show is how unique it is and how authentic it is, so organic, so heartwarming and engaging because these people are, you know, not trying to be Instagram influencers or 15 seconds of fame,” she explains. According to Nettles, the show is not about causing scandal or about “caddy” women “crying over a rose and a suitor at the end of the night”.
“There are four farmers. They are real people looking for real love,” he claims. “The chosen women have looked at these farmers and want to get to know them and have a chance at love… you always feel that way when you look at them.”
Farmers and women “examined” each other before production
Unlike The Bachelor obsession Love is blindthe contestants on Farmer wants a wife they knew each other before the cameras started rolling. Nettles calls the process legitimate.
“The way this show works, which makes it different and unique and interesting at the same time, is that it’s a two-way street from the beginning,” he explains. “Women are interested in acting [the show] I have to look at these farmers and say these are the ones in this group that I want to meet and get to know more about. It’s like an online dating profile. They watch a video, see a profile and get some information about it.”
Each farmer then had to look at the group of women and choose who he wanted to meet. However, Nettles explains that by giving the power to women first, it created a kind of “safety and openness” that was necessary for the show to work.
“It continues to be a two-way street. Because there are moments when some women just say, ‘I don’t feel a connection, it’s not for me,'” she says. “That’s real life. It goes both ways, you know? Farmers and ladies take it to heart and make themselves vulnerable.”
Are all 32 women really on the show to find love?
Of course you can’t know that. The women range in age from 22 to 39 and come from cities like Los Angeles, Nashville and Miami. They have real jobs—one woman is a cybersecurity analyst, another is a recruiter, and two are therapists—which are different from The Bachelor as the listed occupations were “dog friendly” and “free spirit”. But while Nettles admits that instant fame “could become a problem” once the show premieres, overall she doesn’t think the group of women is just hoping to become Instagram influencers.
“Especially this first season, everyone came in pretty wide-eyed and open-hearted because they didn’t know exactly what to expect,” he says. “Everyone seemed really genuine to me. I didn’t see anyone who felt like an opportunist. It all felt very authentic to me.”
The purpose of the show was to get a diverse cast
In contrast to the problems that plague us all the time The BachelorPortraying a diverse group of contestants was important, Nettles said.
“What I saw in front of the camera was amazing in terms of diversity, especially when you think about the stereotypical image that we have in our heads of what a cowboy is or isn’t. So I think they did a great job in terms of… I hate the ‘casting’ to use the word, but that’s essentially what it’s about. [Producers] he did a great job selecting a diverse group.”
What exactly is Nettles’ role as host?
Although the 48-year-old admits to being part therapist and part narrator, she says she really considers herself a “fairy godmother.”
“I come into group dates and help encourage and sometimes advise and guide, especially the guys I’ve found,” she says, calling the guys “overwhelmed in a lot of ways.”
“They’re real guys, real farmers. They come from small towns. The funny thing is, they know all the women in their town and half of them are related,” he laughs. “Then all of a sudden they have a bunch of wonderful women on their farms with them.”
Nettles said the boys were “anxious” and “shy” at times. “Land life is lived with animals… to pose for the camera [to find love]. I mean, it’s pretty revealing.”
The Exorcist The actress says she was happy “to be there and encourage them and give them advice.”
“You know: ‘Get in, you little buck, let’s go.’ You can do this boy!’ It was a fun part of the job,” he says.
Wait, so this is a successful show?
Sure, Buckaroo. Although there was a short-lived version Farmer wants a wife Aired on the CW in 2008, the show became a real international hit – especially in Australia. According to Fox, which touts the series as “the most successful dating show in the world,” the franchise has spawned 180 marriages and 410 children.
“Sometimes when you say ‘reality TV,’ people think about what’s really hyperreality and what’s not real. It’s very real and heartwarming,” promises Nettles. “Who doesn’t love a true love story?”
Farmer wants a wife airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET on Fox.