The Bachelor, currently producing it’s 21st season, is one of the oldest reality shows still around. The basic premise hasn’t changed over the years, but the show has evolved a lot since it’s first season. Alex Michel, the first Bachelor, has also grown up a lot. While he spent a period in front of cameras after the show, these days he works behind the scenes, as an industry executive.
Before The Bachelor
Alex Michel was born in 1970 in Charlottesville, Virginia. His dad was a corporate executive, and his mom worked as a marriage counselor. Michel excelled in high school, graduating valedictorian. He also served as the captain of the swim team, and was elected as both student body president and homecoming king.
While he was earning his bachelor’s degree, he worked for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and later, the Executive Office of the President. After graduation, he worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. From there Alex Michel worked briefly at CNET as a producer, and at the Boston Consulting Group. In 1993, while he was working with CNET, Michel was named the Sundance Institute New Producing Fellow.
After his stint at CNET, Alex Michel began working as an independent producer, making travel documentaries. He focused mostly on travel in the developing world, specifically locations just outside of tourist areas. After producing several videos, he returned to college, this team seeking to earn his MBA.
He received his MBA in 1998, at Stanford’s School of Business. He worked as a consultant for a couple media production firms over the next few years after graduating, using the skills he’d gained working as a producer himself. When he was 31, in late 2001, Alex Michel received an e-mail from a friend studying at Harvard. The friend let him know of an upcoming reality TV show where single men would be given an opportunity to find a partner.
Since it’s first season, The Bachelor has become a cornerstone of reality television. While the show has evolved a lot from the early days, the basic premise hasn’t changed. A single eligible bachelor narrows down a pool of potential partners, through the course of the season. The elimination format creates quite a bit of tension through the season, which helps capture viewers. These days, The Bachelor features international romantic getaways, and the runner-up usually gets to host her own season of The Bachelorette as a “consolation prize.” But when Alex Michel was The Bachelor, the show’s budget was lower, and the show had a much faster pace.
In fact, there was a lot of difference between the first season of The Bachelor and what it eventually became. While the show has since cast a lot of diverse men, for the first season, ABC’s producers explicitly wanted a businessman. There was also less assumption that every woman would fall for The Bachelor – according to many interviews, a big part of the show was Michel trying to get women to fall for him.
Like I mentioned, a big part of the difference was that the show took place at a much faster pace than it does these days. With only six weeks to find his match, Alex Michel took the girls to his hometown only four weeks into production. The fast pace also meant that most parts of the show came as a surprise to the girls, who had no idea that they’d get a key to the fantasy suite, or how the show would ultimately end.
The ending of the first season was also different than modern seasons. These days, it’s tradition the season ends with a marriage proposal. But Alex Michel didn’t propose to his pick at the end of the season. When he picked Amanda Marsh during the finale, it was just to ask that they date exclusively. This was probably for the best, since the couple ended up splitting after about a year.
What’s Alex Michel Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
Alex Michel represented the “perfect” Bachelor for a while after the show premiered, and used this to his advantage. He was a spokesperson for Match.com for several years, and became a spokesman for Princess Cruises.
These days, Michel has fallen completely out of the public eye. Not even the host of The Bachelor, Chris Harrison, knows where he is. Last anyone heard, he was back to working in the media production business, and that’s probably still what he’s doing. With years of education in the field, and a first-hand experience most never get, he’s surely a valuable asset to whichever firm he works with.