The Bachelor Australia 2017 Contestants on Instagram

It may be hard to believe, but The Bachelor Australia is in its fifth year. (Yes, Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich fell in love five years ago. Let that sink in.)

As with any other reality show that returns annually, changes need to be made to the format to keep things interesting.

In the show’s second season—which will always be remembered for its disastrous and ~controversial~ ending, in which Blake Garvey proposed to Sam Frost, only to realise he was in love with the show’s second runner-up, Louise Pillidge—producers introduced the concept of the ‘white rose’, which has since returned in various iterations, but basically allowed its receiver to spend more quality time with the Bachelor.

In 2017, it seems there is no white rose (unless it hasn’t been brought up yet—and we’re only two episodes in, so it’s early days), but the introduction of the Secret Garden, which allows Matty J, this year’s leading man, and a lucky lady of his choice to enjoy some uninterrupted time at a cocktail party.

However, this isn’t a big deal compared to one major change that separates this season of The Bachelor Australia from the previous ones, but gives it more in common with its U.S. counterpart. And it’s not happening on camera.

You see, this year, the contestants are allowed to have public social media profiles.

If this seems like a small thing, it’s not. The final result of The Bachelor Australia is one of the television industry’s most guarded secrets, which is why contestants in the past have been told to either stay off social media, or keep their accounts private for the duration of their time on the show.

Keeping the secret of a massive show becomes difficult when you throw social media into the mix. It makes a TV publicist’s job all the more harder if they have to control 22 women’s schedules, appearances and what they post on Instagram.

But the game has changed this year, to the…

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