If you have caught any of the Bachelor-related headlines over the past few weeks, you are likely well aware of the drama that overtook the set of Bachelor in Paradise. During the very beginning stages of filming this year’s summer spin-off of the love-centric reality show, production was put on hold after allegations of sexual misconduct were made. However, after everything was cleared and the BIP crew got the go-ahead, ABC decided to continue on with season 4 of the hit show, which debuted on Monday (August 14th).
Not surprisingly, ABC opted to really play up the whole scandal thing throughout the premiere episode of BIP. Prior to every single commercial break, Chris Harrison teased a particular situation that would shut down production (which we all know happened between contestants Corrine and DiMario).
Prior to all the drama unfolding, the show began as it normally does, as the cast of this season made their way in one-by-one. So who [started off] on this season of Bachelor in Paradise?
Chris Harrison helped welcome in: Raven Gates, Robby Hayes, Taylor Nolan, Derek Peth, Amanda Stanton, Ben Zorn, Alexis Waters, Alex Woytkiw, Lacey Mark, Nick Benvenutti, Corrine Olympios, Vinny Ventiera, Jasmine Goode, Kristina Schulman, Danielle Maltby, and DeMario Jackson.
While most of the arrivals to Paradise came welcomed by all, there was one contestant this season that made waves right away (not in a good way). Chatting amongst each other, the initial few cast mates speculated about who they thought would be showing up next. Subsequently, this prompted several of the contestants – predominantly the women – to admit that they hoped DeMario (from Rachel’s season) wouldn’t show up. Inevitably, this is precisely when DeMario waltzed in, as he annoyingly continued to blow a whistle and beg his fellow contestants for a “new beginning.” As you may or may not know, DeMario was at the center of controversy while he was a contestant on Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette, as it was discovered that he had a girlfriend while he was on the show. Although DeMario denies having a girlfriend, he does tell Chris (as he walks into Paradise) that he did wrongfully lead the girl on. Right as DeMario joins the rest of the cast, Raven blurts out “Are you single?,” making it clear that his fellow Bachelor alumni were not willing to simply sweep his past [alleged] infidelity under the rug.
Not long after DeMarco’s arrival, Corrine shows up in Paradise. Right off the bat DeMario announces to the one-on-one camera that he is going to try and get to know Corrine, as he thinks she is the life of the party (and he is desperately looking for “Mrs. Jackson”).
Meanwhile, various other contestants arrive to Paradise, including Amanda Stanton. As you may remember Amanda participated on last year’s Bachelor in Paradise, where she got engaged to Josh Murray. Inevitably, this didn’t work out and she returned her engagement ring to Chris Harrison as she made her way back to the show’s set.
Of course, ABC eventually turned the spotlight onto the whole Corrine-DiMario situation. In the mid-afternoon, the two contestants are seen getting increasingly intimate in the pool whilst notably intoxicated. Fellow contestant Alex spent some time peeping on them and giving the audience a nice commentary on the whole situation.
Always keeping Bachelor nation on their toes, ABC switched things up with the show’s resident bartender. For the past seasons, a nice man named Jorge has always served as the bartender/advice giver. However, he announced to the contestants that he is going off and starting his very own business, which left the spot open for Wells (from Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season). While Wells may have competed on a previous Bachelor show, he informed the cast that he is merely serving as a bartender on this season of Bachelor in Paradise and will not be going on any dates.
During the first show, several small romances begin to blossom, including one between Taylor and Derek, Iggy and Lacey, as well as Dean and Kristina. In terms of firsts for this season of BIP, Nick and Jasmine was the first couple to go in for a kiss (which was prompted by several people egging them on and subsequently watching the kiss). Kristina was given the first date card, which she presented to Dean. The duo’s date went well, and Kristina even went on to admit that she already felt more chemistry with Dean than she ever did with Nick (note: she was a contestant on Nick Viall’s season).
Robby, who was the runner-up on JoJo’s season, shows up in Paradise with a date card in tow. He winds up taking Raven on the date, which entails jet skiing. When they return, Robby goes off and tells the other men all about his wonderful date. Meanwhile, Raven rants on about how she doesn’t want to date someone who is prettier than she is – making her the most relatable contestant on this season so far.
In terms of handling the scandal, ABC opted not to show any footage of what went down between DiMario and Corrine that caused for production to shut down. The next day (following the incident), things between the two contestants seemed fine. Corrine called him her “homie” and they even shared in a pleasantry fist-bump. However, just before the first rose ceremony production was instructed to stop. The contestants notice that both Corrine and DiMario are missing from the group. To the one-on-one camera, Danielle describes there being a “chill” all over Paradise, as everyone was left to wonder what could have possibly caused for the show to be stopped so abruptly.
And that’s what ABC left viewers with…for now…
Not surprisingly, the network is dragging out the Corrine-DiMario situation as much as they can. It is tough to say which of the relationships, which were beginning to form in this first episode, will last through the show’s hiatus and ensuing drama. However, based on what we were given, I think the couple with the most potential is definitely Dean and Kristina.
The second part of Bachelor in Paradise’s premiere airs Tuesday, August 15th on ABC.