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Fantasy built on reality: For some 'Bachelor' fans, the tears are worth points

FARGO - Playing fantasy sports lets fans make a game out of the games, picking players whose stats will determine whether they win. Interest in fantasy games is growing, with leagues branching out past football and baseball to sports like golf, a...

Seated behind some "pepperoni pizza roses" and "Better Than Ben" cake are, from left to right, Katie Staiger, Betsy Staiger, Lisa Staiger and Rose Dunn at her Moorhead home on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Dunn is speaking with her daughter, Serena, via Skype. The group gathers each week to watch the latest episode of "The Bachelor." Rick Abbott / The Forum
Seated behind some "pepperoni pizza roses" and "Better Than Ben" cake are, from left to right, Katie Staiger, Betsy Staiger, Lisa Staiger and Rose Dunn at her Moorhead home on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Dunn is speaking with her daughter, Serena, via Skype. The group gathers each week to watch the latest episode of "The Bachelor." Rick Abbott / The Forum

FARGO – Playing fantasy sports lets fans make a game out of the games, picking players whose stats will determine whether they win. Interest in fantasy games is growing, with leagues branching out past football and baseball to sports like golf, auto racing and even reality TV shows. If you don't think reality shows generate statistics, you don't watch "The Bachelor" like some people. Among the millions of viewers tuning in tonight to see who Ben Higgins chooses to be his one true love in the show's 20th "Final Rose" season finale, groups locally and across the nation will keep an especially close watch on who's crying. Kjiesta Moch, a 25-year-old Fargo woman, plays in a "Bachelor" fantasy league with 20 or so of her fellow teachers at Eastwood Elementary in West Fargo. She considers the show a guilty pleasure. "It's a way to get drama when you don't have it in your life," she said. Adding a fantasy game extracts even more drama from a reality show. Several websites provide a framework for the fantasy version of "The Bachelor" and other reality series, including "Dancing with the Stars," "American Idol," "Survivor" and many more. The teachers from Eastwood use bachfantasy.com, where you can get a downloadable spreadsheet to keep track of scoring. Players pick those who they think can go the distance on the show. They rack up points based on weekly rose ceremonies and other things contestants say or do.
For example, a player's contestant who dances or goes in the hot tub on the show will only earn them five points. Being selected to go on a group date is worth 10 points, discussing her virginity is worth 15 points and crying on camera, with the stipulation "must actually see moisture fall," can net 25 points. Having a body part blurred out is good for 30 points, and the ultimate prize, winning the Final Rose, is worth 100 points. "It's kind of a nice way to stay connected and as a staff to get together and talk about it," Moch said. While the group is mostly women, ranging in age from 20s to 50s, a couple of men who teach physical education at Eastwood are also in on the fun. They all got together to watch the first episode of Season 20 of the "The Bachelor" in early January, and hoped to gather for the finale tonight, which airs at 7 on ABC affiliate WDAY TV Channel 6. But real life will trump the make-believe. Due to parent-teacher conferences in West Fargo, they'll have to watch a recorded version of the finale later. Gary Dunn, a 22-year-old student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, started watching the show at the urging of a roommate. "We all said, 'This is stupid,' and then he made us sit down and watch an episode," Dunn said. "When we did, we actually found it entertaining." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2388718","attributes":{"alt":"Some of the Bachelor-themed snacks include pepperoni pizza roses and \"Better Than Ben\" cake. Rick Abbott / The Forum","class":"media-image","height":"800","title":"Some of the Bachelor-themed snacks include pepperoni pizza roses and \"Better Than Ben\" cake. Rick Abbott / The Forum","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] There are about a dozen friends in their fantasy "Bachelor" league. They held a draft at the beginning of the season, and each player was supposed to put in $5. One of the contestants Dunn drafted was Lauren B., one of the two remaining women on the show vying to be the rose winner. If Dunn wins, he's hoping to collect some cash, but won't hold his breath. "I'd be pretty surprised if I see all $60," he said. Like with fantasy sports, the competitiveness of leagues varies. Dunn's mother, Rose Dunn of Moorhead, said her "Bachelor" fantasy league takes a laid-back approach. They don't keep track of points or even care much about who picks whom. "If the one we picked goes home, we just pick another one," Rose Dunn said. And for Rose, her sister Lisa Staiger and Lisa's daughters Katie,15, and Betsy, 13, the show is also a good reminder about "what not to do" in a relationship. They get together every Monday night, with Rose's daughter Serena joining in via Skype, to watch the drama unfold. "We discuss how ridiculous it is," Dunn said. "Can you imagine, you think you're going to get engaged and there's another girl in a hotel room thinking the same thing?" Even though it's preposterous, "doesn't mean it's not highly entertaining," she adds. Another part of the fun is the food. Rose plans a special menu every Monday night-she's made heart shaped pizzas, pizza roses and cupcakes with frosting roses. So whether it's Lauren B. or the other contestant JoJo who wins the Bachelor's heart, it won't really matter to Rose. There's no money on the line. "There's not much at stake here-a box of chocolates with a fake rose on top," she laughs.FARGO – Playing fantasy sports lets fans make a game out of the games, picking players whose stats will determine whether they win. Interest in fantasy games is growing, with leagues branching out past football and baseball to sports like golf, auto racing and even reality TV shows. If you don't think reality shows generate statistics, you don't watch "The Bachelor" like some people. Among the millions of viewers tuning in tonight to see who Ben Higgins chooses to be his one true love in the show's 20th "Final Rose" season finale, groups locally and across the nation will keep an especially close watch on who's crying. Kjiesta Moch, a 25-year-old Fargo woman, plays in a "Bachelor" fantasy league with 20 or so of her fellow teachers at Eastwood Elementary in West Fargo. She considers the show a guilty pleasure. "It's a way to get drama when you don't have it in your life," she said. Adding a fantasy game extracts even more drama from a reality show. Several websites provide a framework for the fantasy version of "The Bachelor" and other reality series, including "Dancing with the Stars," "American Idol," "Survivor" and many more. The teachers from Eastwood use bachfantasy.com, where you can get a downloadable spreadsheet to keep track of scoring. Players pick those who they think can go the distance on the show. They rack up points based on weekly rose ceremonies and other things contestants say or do. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2388717","attributes":{"alt":"A group watches \"The Bachelor\" at the Moorhead home of Rose Dunn, third from left. Rick Abbott / The Forum","class":"media-image","height":"800","title":"A group watches \"The Bachelor\" at the Moorhead home of Rose Dunn, third from left. Rick Abbott / The Forum","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] For example, a player's contestant who dances or goes in the hot tub on the show will only earn them five points. Being selected to go on a group date is worth 10 points, discussing her virginity is worth 15 points and crying on camera, with the stipulation "must actually see moisture fall," can net 25 points. Having a body part blurred out is good for 30 points, and the ultimate prize, winning the Final Rose, is worth 100 points. "It's kind of a nice way to stay connected and as a staff to get together and talk about it," Moch said. While the group is mostly women, ranging in age from 20s to 50s, a couple of men who teach physical education at Eastwood are also in on the fun. They all got together to watch the first episode of Season 20 of the "The Bachelor" in early January, and hoped to gather for the finale tonight, which airs at 7 on ABC affiliate WDAY TV Channel 6. But real life will trump the make-believe. Due to parent-teacher conferences in West Fargo, they'll have to watch a recorded version of the finale later. Gary Dunn, a 22-year-old student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, started watching the show at the urging of a roommate. "We all said, 'This is stupid,' and then he made us sit down and watch an episode," Dunn said. "When we did, we actually found it entertaining."
There are about a dozen friends in their fantasy "Bachelor" league. They held a draft at the beginning of the season, and each player was supposed to put in $5. One of the contestants Dunn drafted was Lauren B., one of the two remaining women on the show vying to be the rose winner. If Dunn wins, he's hoping to collect some cash, but won't hold his breath. "I'd be pretty surprised if I see all $60," he said. Like with fantasy sports, the competitiveness of leagues varies. Dunn's mother, Rose Dunn of Moorhead, said her "Bachelor" fantasy league takes a laid-back approach. They don't keep track of points or even care much about who picks whom. "If the one we picked goes home, we just pick another one," Rose Dunn said. And for Rose, her sister Lisa Staiger and Lisa's daughters Katie,15, and Betsy, 13, the show is also a good reminder about "what not to do" in a relationship. They get together every Monday night, with Rose's daughter Serena joining in via Skype, to watch the drama unfold. "We discuss how ridiculous it is," Dunn said. "Can you imagine, you think you're going to get engaged and there's another girl in a hotel room thinking the same thing?" Even though it's preposterous, "doesn't mean it's not highly entertaining," she adds. Another part of the fun is the food. Rose plans a special menu every Monday night-she's made heart shaped pizzas, pizza roses and cupcakes with frosting roses. So whether it's Lauren B. or the other contestant JoJo who wins the Bachelor's heart, it won't really matter to Rose. There's no money on the line. "There's not much at stake here-a box of chocolates with a fake rose on top," she laughs.FARGO – Playing fantasy sports lets fans make a game out of the games, picking players whose stats will determine whether they win.Interest in fantasy games is growing, with leagues branching out past football and baseball to sports like golf, auto racing and even reality TV shows.If you don't think reality shows generate statistics, you don't watch "The Bachelor" like some people.Among the millions of viewers tuning in tonight to see who Ben Higgins chooses to be his one true love in the show's 20th "Final Rose" season finale, groups locally and across the nation will keep an especially close watch on who's crying.Kjiesta Moch, a 25-year-old Fargo woman, plays in a "Bachelor" fantasy league with 20 or so of her fellow teachers at Eastwood Elementary in West Fargo. She considers the show a guilty pleasure."It's a way to get drama when you don't have it in your life," she said.Adding a fantasy game extracts even more drama from a reality show. Several websites provide a framework for the fantasy version of "The Bachelor" and other reality series, including "Dancing with the Stars," "American Idol," "Survivor" and many more.The teachers from Eastwood use bachfantasy.com, where you can get a downloadable spreadsheet to keep track of scoring.Players pick those who they think can go the distance on the show. They rack up points based on weekly rose ceremonies and other things contestants say or do.
For example, a player's contestant who dances or goes in the hot tub on the show will only earn them five points. Being selected to go on a group date is worth 10 points, discussing her virginity is worth 15 points and crying on camera, with the stipulation "must actually see moisture fall," can net 25 points. Having a body part blurred out is good for 30 points, and the ultimate prize, winning the Final Rose, is worth 100 points."It's kind of a nice way to stay connected and as a staff to get together and talk about it," Moch said.While the group is mostly women, ranging in age from 20s to 50s, a couple of men who teach physical education at Eastwood are also in on the fun. They all got together to watch the first episode of Season 20 of the "The Bachelor" in early January, and hoped to gather for the finale tonight, which airs at 7 on ABC affiliate WDAY TV Channel 6.But real life will trump the make-believe. Due to parent-teacher conferences in West Fargo, they'll have to watch a recorded version of the finale later.Gary Dunn, a 22-year-old student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, started watching the show at the urging of a roommate."We all said, 'This is stupid,' and then he made us sit down and watch an episode," Dunn said. "When we did, we actually found it entertaining."[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2388718","attributes":{"alt":"Some of the Bachelor-themed snacks include pepperoni pizza roses and \"Better Than Ben\" cake. Rick Abbott / The Forum","class":"media-image","height":"800","title":"Some of the Bachelor-themed snacks include pepperoni pizza roses and \"Better Than Ben\" cake. Rick Abbott / The Forum","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]There are about a dozen friends in their fantasy "Bachelor" league. They held a draft at the beginning of the season, and each player was supposed to put in $5.One of the contestants Dunn drafted was Lauren B., one of the two remaining women on the show vying to be the rose winner. If Dunn wins, he's hoping to collect some cash, but won't hold his breath."I'd be pretty surprised if I see all $60," he said.Like with fantasy sports, the competitiveness of leagues varies.Dunn's mother, Rose Dunn of Moorhead, said her "Bachelor" fantasy league takes a laid-back approach. They don't keep track of points or even care much about who picks whom."If the one we picked goes home, we just pick another one," Rose Dunn said.And for Rose, her sister Lisa Staiger and Lisa's daughters Katie,15, and Betsy, 13, the show is also a good reminder about "what not to do" in a relationship.They get together every Monday night, with Rose's daughter Serena joining in via Skype, to watch the drama unfold."We discuss how ridiculous it is," Dunn said. "Can you imagine, you think you're going to get engaged and there's another girl in a hotel room thinking the same thing?"Even though it's preposterous, "doesn't mean it's not highly entertaining," she adds.Another part of the fun is the food. Rose plans a special menu every Monday night-she's made heart shaped pizzas, pizza roses and cupcakes with frosting roses.So whether it's Lauren B. or the other contestant JoJo who wins the Bachelor's heart, it won't really matter to Rose. There's no money on the line."There's not much at stake here-a box of chocolates with a fake rose on top," she laughs.FARGO – Playing fantasy sports lets fans make a game out of the games, picking players whose stats will determine whether they win.Interest in fantasy games is growing, with leagues branching out past football and baseball to sports like golf, auto racing and even reality TV shows.If you don't think reality shows generate statistics, you don't watch "The Bachelor" like some people.Among the millions of viewers tuning in tonight to see who Ben Higgins chooses to be his one true love in the show's 20th "Final Rose" season finale, groups locally and across the nation will keep an especially close watch on who's crying.Kjiesta Moch, a 25-year-old Fargo woman, plays in a "Bachelor" fantasy league with 20 or so of her fellow teachers at Eastwood Elementary in West Fargo. She considers the show a guilty pleasure."It's a way to get drama when you don't have it in your life," she said.Adding a fantasy game extracts even more drama from a reality show. Several websites provide a framework for the fantasy version of "The Bachelor" and other reality series, including "Dancing with the Stars," "American Idol," "Survivor" and many more.The teachers from Eastwood use bachfantasy.com, where you can get a downloadable spreadsheet to keep track of scoring.Players pick those who they think can go the distance on the show. They rack up points based on weekly rose ceremonies and other things contestants say or do.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2388717","attributes":{"alt":"A group watches \"The Bachelor\" at the Moorhead home of Rose Dunn, third from left. Rick Abbott / The Forum","class":"media-image","height":"800","title":"A group watches \"The Bachelor\" at the Moorhead home of Rose Dunn, third from left. Rick Abbott / The Forum","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]For example, a player's contestant who dances or goes in the hot tub on the show will only earn them five points. Being selected to go on a group date is worth 10 points, discussing her virginity is worth 15 points and crying on camera, with the stipulation "must actually see moisture fall," can net 25 points. Having a body part blurred out is good for 30 points, and the ultimate prize, winning the Final Rose, is worth 100 points."It's kind of a nice way to stay connected and as a staff to get together and talk about it," Moch said.While the group is mostly women, ranging in age from 20s to 50s, a couple of men who teach physical education at Eastwood are also in on the fun. They all got together to watch the first episode of Season 20 of the "The Bachelor" in early January, and hoped to gather for the finale tonight, which airs at 7 on ABC affiliate WDAY TV Channel 6.But real life will trump the make-believe. Due to parent-teacher conferences in West Fargo, they'll have to watch a recorded version of the finale later.Gary Dunn, a 22-year-old student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, started watching the show at the urging of a roommate."We all said, 'This is stupid,' and then he made us sit down and watch an episode," Dunn said. "When we did, we actually found it entertaining."
There are about a dozen friends in their fantasy "Bachelor" league. They held a draft at the beginning of the season, and each player was supposed to put in $5.One of the contestants Dunn drafted was Lauren B., one of the two remaining women on the show vying to be the rose winner. If Dunn wins, he's hoping to collect some cash, but won't hold his breath."I'd be pretty surprised if I see all $60," he said.Like with fantasy sports, the competitiveness of leagues varies.Dunn's mother, Rose Dunn of Moorhead, said her "Bachelor" fantasy league takes a laid-back approach. They don't keep track of points or even care much about who picks whom."If the one we picked goes home, we just pick another one," Rose Dunn said.And for Rose, her sister Lisa Staiger and Lisa's daughters Katie,15, and Betsy, 13, the show is also a good reminder about "what not to do" in a relationship.They get together every Monday night, with Rose's daughter Serena joining in via Skype, to watch the drama unfold."We discuss how ridiculous it is," Dunn said. "Can you imagine, you think you're going to get engaged and there's another girl in a hotel room thinking the same thing?"Even though it's preposterous, "doesn't mean it's not highly entertaining," she adds.Another part of the fun is the food. Rose plans a special menu every Monday night-she's made heart shaped pizzas, pizza roses and cupcakes with frosting roses.So whether it's Lauren B. or the other contestant JoJo who wins the Bachelor's heart, it won't really matter to Rose. There's no money on the line."There's not much at stake here-a box of chocolates with a fake rose on top," she laughs.

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