Welcome back to Paradise, Bachelor Nation!
A new year, a new cast, and a brand new location in Mexico. Right outside Sayulita, at a beautiful resort called Playa Escondida, we brought together some of your favorite Bachelors and Bachelorettes from past seasons, and what you’ve seen so far is only just the beginning.
There are so many things to discuss, but before we dive right in, I want to send a huge congratulations to Marcus and Lacy. Last year, we tried something new with Bachelor in Paradise, and we really hoped that people would find love. Marcus and Lacy beautifully proved that it was possible. Having them keep their wedding a secret was tough, but we really wanted to surprise everyone. We flew their families down to Mexico, and our new cast didn’t know what was happening until they were in their seats. More than a few tears were shed, and it was one of the more romantic and fun wedding ceremonies that I have ever been a part of. I wish them a lifetime of happiness and plenty of Bachelor babies.
Now from the best example of love to the not-so-best example so far, I want to talk about Ashley I. bringing her sister. One of the things I like most about Paradise is that there really aren’t any rules. Anything can happen. Ashley I. wanted to bring her sister, and her sister told us she was single and looking, so we figured why not give one more person an opportunity to find love in this very special way. It became pretty clear right away that Lauren didn’t really know what she was getting herself into, and next week, you’ll get the full story on why things seem so hard for her, and let me tell you, it’s a doozy.
Speaking of that family, Ashley I. is back and as emotional as ever. It seemed like she basically fell in love with Jared the minute she saw him and spent all week trying to make sure that he was going to fall in love with her also. I think it’s pretty clear that Jared is moving a little slower after his very recent breakup with Kaitlyn and may not be exactly moving at the same pace, or be on the same page, as Ashley. Jared is the talk of the town though, and all the women of Paradise seem to like him, as is evidenced by a burgeoning romance with Clare. And as Ashley has described her disdain for older women going after her men, you can tell that’s going to be massively explosive.
I think a lot of people wonder how much Ashley I. really cries, and the answer is “a lot more than you think.” We only have three hours a week, and there is no question that Ashley I. cries more than three hours a week. But it’s not just crying. She’s a very emotional person, and I think she’s perfect to try and find love in Paradise.
Speaking of Ashley… Ashley S. is back. Many of you know her as Onion Girl, but this season, you’re going to get to see a lot more of her. There’s no question she’s wacky, and she was the only person to go and talk to the birds during her introduction with me — but hey, it’s really not all that weird to want to look at birds. She has a blossoming romance with Dan, who has recently grown a beard, and it’ll be fun to watch that play out.
Other new romances include Mikey and Clare, Jade and Tanner, and even Kirk and Carly, who shared Paradise’s first kiss. Some of those couples seem on the same page. Others, not so much. The next few weeks will help us figure out what Paradise has in store for these couples.
Jillian was the first person to be cast out of Paradise, and we will miss her and her little black box. But next Sunday, there will be brand new men to shake things up, and I guarantee you that next week is even crazier than this week.
We hope you enjoyed the return of Bachelor in Paradise and the premiere of After Paradise, and we will see you next Sunday at 8 for more Clare, more crabs, and more catastrophes here in Paradise. Until then, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC; After Paradise airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC.