Forget the sappy fluff you see weekly on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Bachelor in Paradise is where the true magic goes down.
A quick refresher for those not familiar with wonderful world of Bachelor in Paradise: take everything good about The Bachelor, remove all the annoying charades and you get Bachelor in Paradise. The season kicks off with 14 former Bachelor/ette contestants (and I use that word purposely), usually six men and eight women. Each man hands out a rose to a woman at the end of the first week; the two who don’t receive one are sent home. The next week, the opposite sex is in control. Oh, and every week, two new contestants are sent in to add some chaos to the whole thing. All this takes place at a beachside resort where the drinks never cease to flow.
So what makes Bachelor in Paradise so delightful? It doesn’t even try to mask the fact that it’s a game show. BIP is all about adapting a survive-and-advance strategy; find someone of the opposite sex that likes you and latch on, whether you like him/her or not. If someone better drops by, you can always dump your previous guy or gal. Joe did this last year, even telling a mother-of-two that he was falling for her so that he could be there by the time his dream girl, Samantha — who he happened to be texting prior to the show (a HUGE faux pas in the Bachelor Universe) — came by.
Only thing: Samantha was playing him the whole time!
This will be the third season of BIP, and based on the cast that’s already been announced by ABC (aside from Chad, we’re going to avoid the Reality Steve spoilers here), this year has the potential to be the best BIP season EVER. Here are some Way Too Early Power Rankings for Bachelor in Paradise, season 3, which will premiere Aug. 2.
Our favorite ‘roid ragin’, protein-consuming, QB-threatening maniac returns just months after being sent home by JoJo, at least according to reports. The Bachelorette, though, was just a warm-up for Chad. Look at it as a preseason to his BIP appearance. Chad was built for this atmosphere. You see what he’s doing to this yam?
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 7, 2016
On BIP, he’ll be able to do the same thing, only instead it will be another man in his grips. Also, he no longer has to worry about sharing one girl with 12 guys.
"Not … with a group of 12 guys."
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 7, 2016
Best of all, though: BIP wants its male contestants to drink, go for the same girls and then drink some more. It promotes confrontation and no one is more entertaining in confrontational situations than Chad. I have big hopes for you, brah.
Last we saw Amanda, she was introducing her two cute little daughters to Ben, the man she hoped would soon become their stepfather. You know, because there’s no better place to find a father for your two kids than reality TV.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 23, 2016
That didn’t work out — shockingly, our 28-year-old Bachelor didn’t want to suddenly become a father of two — but clearly, Amanda wasn’t deterred. She wants to find love and a father for her kids. Either that or she really wants to be famous and doesn’t care if her kids spend six weeks watching their mother prance around in a bikini and make out on TV. Could be either of the two; I’m not sure.
As for her BIP prospects, well, the Token Mother Searching For a Father is a must-have. We need to see her wonder out loud to the camera whether the 25-year-old bro with washboard abs is ready for fatherhood. We need to hear said 25-year-old with washboard abs wonder out loud whether he’s ready for fatherhood. We need to see that 25-year-old with washboard abs tell The Mother Searching For a Father that he loves her but just isn’t ready to be a father, and see The Mother Searching For a Father cry that she was betrayed. Without it, there’d be no BIP. Take my word: Amanda will be around for a while.
She’s a Veteran and somehow also afraid of heights. No, that’s not relevant here, but it’s just something I can’t get over. Also, she’s certainly got the claws required to survive on BIP.
— Bachelor GIFs (@BachGIFs) February 2, 2016
More importantly, though: BIP is the one series in the Bachelor universe where black people actually have a shot. Make it count, Jubilee.
Our first villain during Ben Higgins’ Bachelor season, and Lace was a damn good one, too. She’s combative. She’s zany. She treats wine like water.
— Bachelor GIFs (@BachGIFs) January 19, 2016
Also, she has a fortune cookie message tattooed to her forearm. It says, “Learn how to love yourself so that you can, one day, experience the joy of loving someone else.”
She perfected the heel turn during the Higgins season, a showing that likely garnered her this BIP invite and makes me optimistic about her BIP prospects. Leah, you’ll remember, was essentially invisible for the first-half of last year’s Bachelor season. Then, after looking around and seeing that she was likely the next one out, decided to make a play. Here’s how I summarized the sequence back when it happened:
She had yet to go on a one-on-one and this week got passed over, again. That was the last straw. After that, the claws came out and they were sunk into the cream-colored skin of Lauren B. Why Leah chose Lauren B is unclear. But this is, essentially, how her smear-job went down later that night:
Leah: I don’t like to say names, but I think the person in the house who you have the strongest connection with is a bitch.
Leah: Fine, you twisted my arm. I’m talking about Lauren B.
Ben, being the slab of wood that he is, thought telling Lauren B. that someone in the house was going after her was the way to go. Dude might be the biggest drama queen of the group. Lauren B. later confronted Leah, who responded with a denial worth an Oscar nomination.
Later on that evening, Leah snuck into Ben’s room to rat on Lauren B. some more. She was soon sent home — where she’s no doubt been mapping out a BIP strategy since.
6 & 7. Haley and Emily
Our favorite professional twins return. Yes, for those in need of a reminder, “TWIN” is the occupation they listed for themselves during last season’s Bachelor.
Job security.. pic.twitter.com/prcC8O4N9W
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) January 19, 2016
Maybe that’s why I can’t remember which one is Haley and which one is Emily.
Working out with your BFF like
What I do remember, though, is that one was completely cool throwing her sister under the bus last season. That means there could be some built-in tension, and that everything is in play. Also, you know Chris Harrison is going to set up some sort of win-or-go-home battle between these two. Again, BIP is all about creating the most ridiculous situation possible. The presence of Haley and Emily should only help.
He’s just 26 years old, and yet this will be his second time on BIP and third time appearing on a Bachelor show. That’s dedication. And never underestimate a veteran who knows how to let a girl down.
Carly + Kirk. Carly + Kirk. Carly + Kirk. That’s all we heard about for the majority of BIP last season. Then, in the finale, Kirk dropped a hammer on Carly. Suddenly our little Ms. Spunk was heartbroken, shell-shocked and depressed. She looked broken and defeated.
So, naturally, she’s back for more.
God, I love these people.
Another Bachelor veteran. Like Jared, this will be Sarah’s second time appearing on BIP. Unlike Jared, she has just one arm. No, really.
Definitely don’t want to underestimate her. Though this whole scene made me think of this one from Austin Powers:
I don’t know or remember who this is. According to ABC’s website, she was sent home by Ben during the first week of last year’s Bachelor. That does not bode well. Then I did some more Googling and read that during the show’s premiere, she exited the limo wearing a onesie and told Ben it was because, “He was the onesie” for her.
Yeah, she’s got no shot.
As mentioned, Bachelor in Paradise will premiere on ABC Tuesday, Aug. 2.