The “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 4 premiere has been buzzed about for all the wrong reasons.
That premiere began Monday night with two hours of mostly standard “Paradise” fare ― and few glimpses of the much-teased scandal that temporarily shut down production and had Bachelor Nation talking all summer.
After allegations of sexual misconduct on the set in June, production shut down. An internal investigation by Warner Bros. found no wrongdoing after examining footage of the incident in question, and filming resumed later that month. The contestants involved, Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, were invited back to continue filming, but both chose not to rejoin the cast.
In promos for the season, ABC has dramatically referenced the scandal, which many believed at the time would mean the end of the road for the summer reality hit. It was revealed that the show would make use of footage from the first days of filming, prior to the shutdown, and would even show the relationship between Olympios and Jackson ― though not the moment that caused production to halt. Indeed, though Jackson told Entertainment Tonight last week, following an extended promo during the “Bachelorette” finale, “I’m glad footage of that day is being shown. ... This is a victory for all men who have been falsely accused,” none of the contentious footage of the couple was aired.
For the most part, on its opening night “Bachelor in Paradise” avoided directly addressing the allegations or the investigation, though the show did take note of the temporary shutdown and its effect on the rest of the season. Instead, the show chose to highlight the lighter side of the show, even the playful flirtation between Jackson and Olympios on the first day of shooting.
The premiere began with host Chris Harrison pacing the beach outside the empty Playa Escondida Resort in Sayulita, Mexico, where “Paradise” is filmed. His tone was somber as he spoke briefly about the effect of having the show on hold, not just on the viewers but on the cast and crew. He also focused on the good that could come out of the show, such as the love stories between past “Paradise” couples, including the recently wed Evan Bass and Carly Waddell ― and, as always, he promised “the most shocking, and yes, the most dramatic” season ever.
The bulk of the episode was classic, upbeat “Paradise” fare. The original cast arrived and began to form first connections ― fan faves Dean Unglert and Kristina Schulman quickly sparked, to the joy of many viewers ― and cast members who had appeared on seasons of “The Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” together reunited joyfully at the bar.
Olympios and Jackson garnered a good amount of screen time. Jackson admitted to the cameras that he hoped for a redemption arc after an embarrassing exit from the last season of “The Bachelorette.” Viewers also witnessed the two discovering a quick attraction and even hopping in the pool together ― fully clothed ― on the first afternoon of filming. They were also shown the following morning, eating breakfast side by side.
The episode ended with producers pulling Olympios and Jackson away from the rest of the group in the midst of the first rose ceremony, at which the women were due to hand out roses to their chosen men. Instead of a rose ceremony, the night ended in confusion, with cameras lowered to the ground and cast members openly wondering what had happened.
But that’s not quite all, folks: A teaser for the Tuesday night conclusion to the premiere revealed that the cast will return to “Paradise” and have a more frank conversation about what happened, leaving the situation unresolved for at least one more night.
For more on “Bachelor In Paradise” check out HuffPost’s Here To Make Friends podcast below:
Do people love “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” or do they love to hate these shows? It’s unclear. But here at “Here to Make Friends,” we both love and love to hate them — and we love to snarkily dissect each episode in vivid detail. Podcast edited by Nick Offenberg.
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