Kaitlyn tells Shawn he’s “the one”
It often seems obvious from the beginning who the lead will choose, but in The Bachelorette Season 11, it was stated outright by the lead herself. Being the rule-breaker we know and love, Kaitlyn snuck over to visit the guys one night and, while Shawn’s roommate Ben Higgins was out of the room, basically told Shawn she was going to choose him.
The Bachelor producers don’t want anything, much less anything important, to happen off-camera. And this instance kind of explains why Kaitlyn’s off-camera confession to Shawn inflated his confidence in their relationship to such a degree that he basically had breakdowns at the thought of her being with other men. He took to showing up at her door, saying he wasn’t sure if he could continue on the season. Eventually, Kaitlyn told him it was “a mistake” to tell him he was the one halfway through the season, and that she had to explore other relationships.
Not only did the off-camera time inject a ton of drama into Kaitlyn and Shawn’s relationship, but it also caused the show to actually change its “written in stone” formula for each season—hometowns, Fantasy Suites, and then the final two meet the lead’s family. After the remaining men in the house found out about the off-camera confession, Kaitlyn suddenly had to cut the group down to three men, so each could have off-camera time before meeting Kaitlyn’s family. I’m not sure exactly why the show felt this was necessary, but it felt like something of a punishment for Kaitlyn breaking one of the most important rules of the show—everything must be recorded!