Colton Underwood interview: Why 'Bachelor' contestants never eat dinner on camera (Exclusive)

"The Bachelor" is a show about dating, but it's also a show about dates. 

Contestants have had all sorts of wild experiences over the show's 17-year run, from naked bungee jumping in Latvia to dancing on stage with the Backstreet Boys. But the one thing nearly every date leaves out? Eating. And according to former "Bachelor" Colton Underwood, there are plenty of good reasons for that. 

The contestants' tendency to sit idly in front of fully cooked dinners has become an internet obsession in recent years, with breakdowns, think pieces and even podcasts dedicated to the show's uneaten food.  

SEE ALSO: Why Colton Underwood 'wasn't scared' about speaking out about 'Bachelor' producers

When AOL caught up with Underwood at an event in support of his partnership with MorningStar Farms, he helped break down the "Bachelor" food mystery. 

"No one really looks great eating on camera, nor do people at home sitting on their couch want to listen to you eat," Underwood told AOL. "So it doesn’t sound good in the mic, and it doesn’t look appealing either."

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Underwood said the show's dinner dates are typically filmed late in the evening, long after contestants have already eaten off-screen. He said the producers preferred it that way, and he didn't mind either.  

"It’s actually a win-win for everybody. The show doesn’t want it and we don’t want it either," Underwood told AOL. 

Plenty of former contestants have weighed in on the show's food situation over the years. In 2016, Ashley Spivey, a contestant on Brad Womack’s season of "The Bachelor," told Refinery29 that she subsisted almost entirely on hotel room service before her dates. 

"The food on dates is usually good, but the catch is that you aren't supposed to eat it!" Spivey said. "We eat before the dates, as we are getting ready. The producers will bring room service to your room, or a plate of food to where you're getting ready in the house."

RELATED: Take a tour inside the "Bachelor" mansion

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Spivey also weighed in on eating during non-date days, during which she said contestants were usually left to their own devices. 

SEE ALSO: Colton Underwood reveals who he thinks will be the next 'Bachelor' (Exclusive)

"We were responsible for making all of our meals in the house," she told Refinery29, "Dinner would be prepared by whoever felt like cooking for everyone."

While Underwood said his season was largely the same, he also noted how tempting it can be to sit in front of a plate of expensive, well-prepared food for hours at a time. Sometimes, he said, he couldn't help but try a bite. 

"Oh of course I did," Underwood told AOL, laughing. "But it’s so cold too, so you don’t want to try too much."

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