Yes, that really was a group of Grove City College students on Monday’s episode of “The Bachelor.”
Host Chris Harrison gave a shout out to the College during the ABC TV series’ “Women Tell All” episode as the camera panned to a group of waving, smiling Omicron Xi fraternity brothers in the live studio audience. “I know you boys from Grove City College,” Harrison said. “These are big fans, super fans over in Pennsylvania.”
Harrison invited the brothers – informally known as Okies – to the taping after seeing a short video of their wild reaction to the Jan. 20 episode’s rose ceremony. Shot at one of the Okies’ weekly “Bachelor” watch parties, the 24-second clip went viral after the fraternity shared it with the pop culture blog Barstool Sports. Harrison saw it and posted it with the comment “This is what we call BNE: Bachelor Nation Energy.” Other “Bachelor” stars weighed in as well.
Campus buzzed for a few days about the clip, but the excitement died down as the Okies’ 15 minutes of fame seemed to pass. Behind the scenes, the show’s producers reached out to the fraternity and asked if they were interested in joining the studio audience for the season’s “Women Tell All” episode, one of the most-anticipated installments of the reality show’s season.
A contingent of Okies, who were sworn to secrecy, flew to California for the Feb. 22 taping. They spent a weekend in the Golden State and returned in time for classes on Monday.
“Honestly, it kind of felt like a dream, the whole trip,” Zackery Coryell ’22, who was among the group on television, said. Coryell said they had no idea what to expect. They were pulled out of the main line waiting to enter the studio, given special wristbands and had their picture taken with Harrison. “We were on cloud nine.”
The broadcast drew an estimated audience of more than six million viewers. The reaction on social media to the Grove City College students’ appearance was instant and overwhelming. The men of Omicron Xi are taking it all in stride.
“I don’t think any of us ever thought that ‘The Bachelor’ is what would give us our 15 minutes of fame,” Coryell said. “We kind of joked about our video getting us ‘famous,’ but then we got way more attention than we thought we would. It’s absolutely hilarious to read some of the comments on Instagram and Twitter.”