The Bachelor: Did producers really lock Kelley Flanagan in a closet?

ABC/John Fleenor
ABC/John Fleenor /

We’ve heard the tales of producer manipulation on The Bachelor, but did they go so far as to lock contestant Kelley Flanagan in a closet?!

We’ve all seen that The Bachelor‘s Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan have somewhat rekindled in quarantine, despite Flanagan finishing 5th on Weber’s season. Was there more happening behind the scenes that we were blissfully unaware of? Flanagan recently went on the “Almost Famous” podcast and divulged some interesting tidbits to hosts Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti. Particularly, she alluded to a lot of fourth-wall breakage that likely didn’t go over well with TPTB.

"The first couple of weeks I saw him look at me differently compared to when we got on our one-on-one and I could tell a hundred percent that like producers were in his head, because on the one-on-one, nothing happened between us but he had this, like, demeanor toward me that was so pissed off and I was looking at him, like, ‘What the hell were you told?’"

Flanagan continued that this was the moment she “knew something was going on behind the scenes, and I was like, ‘This is bulls–t’.” Well, that’s certainly a lot to…unpack. Her take about production being in Weber’s head is likely spot-on, especially considering his questionable decisions during the show’s finale. That said, the show typically doesn’t take well to less-than-palatable opinions voiced by former contestants.

However, things only stand to get weirder during Kelley Flanagan’s segment, as she continued that she was allowed to “speak freely” to Weber on their one-on-one, and some extremely bizarre statements flew out. Here’s what we didn’t see that she told Weber during their date:

"‘They don’t let me see you. They locked me up in a closet for three hours last week, and they won’t let me see you.’ I said, ‘You clearly know they push some people forward and they don’t push others forward.’ … It’s just I saw him, like, things were getting in his head that he wasn’t able to make his own decision and it just kind of pissed me off."

I’m sorry, they…locked Kelley in a closet during the show?! Also, is she not blatantly violating an NDA with this reveal? This allegation definitely demands an explanation – however, knowing TPTB, we may never get one. It’s likely they shut any further aired grievances down, as Chris Harrison revealed to ET that he called Flanagan immediately after catching wind of her statement.

“I said, ‘What was that?'” Harrison told ET’s Lauren Zima. “We don’t lock people in closets, so clearly you weren’t locked in a closet for three hours. What did you mean?'”

We’ll probably never get an answer to that juicy bit of gossip, as further statements by Kelley Flanagan are funneled through completely unbiased, neutral arbitrator, Chris Harrison. Harrison explained that Flanagan admitted her statements were “taken out of context,” and that she didn’t think that segment was part of the interview. Right, because an attorney, a clearly intelligent one at that, was blissfully unaware while recording a podcast, that all statements and claims would indeed be subject to inclusion on said podcast.

Harrison furthered that he believes Flanagan was referring to a totally innocent interview with a producer in the ITM room (“In the Moment” room where contestants film their confessionals). To be fair, even if that was the case, it’s not the first time a contestant has alluded to lowkey being held hostage at the mercy of production when they refuse to give the statement they want out of them.

“You’re not in a closet. It’s in a room, and sometimes it takes hours,” Harrison continued. “It depends on what’s going on at the time… I think Kelley was frustrated at the time, and that’s how she articulated that.”

Harrison ended his remarks with an apparent apology on behalf of Flanagan, claiming she indicated, “That was not what I meant to say.’ She’s like, ‘I’m so sorry that it came out that I was locked in a closet.’ So, everybody, it’s OK. Kelly was not locked in a closet, she’s safe and she’s good, and she apologized and I laughed it off. I was like, ‘I get it, I knew what you were trying to say.'”

If you ask me, this all seems suspiciously fishy. What will be telling is if Kelley dares* (*is allowed) to give another interview for the next five months. Methinks there’s usually a bit of truth within a lie, and Kelley, if you’re reading this, blink twice if you’ve found yourself locked in a closet a second time.

Next. Will the next Bachelor be someone we already know?. dark

What’s the verdict? Do you guys think producers locked Kelley Flanagan in a closet? Will we ever know the truth? Let us know your thoughts!