The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
By Stephanie Downs
As Her Campus previously reported, Bachelor in Paradise is officially back on after it was concluded that no misconduct occurred on set. This was great news not only because, in a more obvious sense, a crime allegedly didn’t occur, but also because it meant fans everywhere would get a chance to see the show after all.
I’m a diehard fan of anything Bachelor-adjacent. Reality TV, and The Bachelor franchise especially, is true escapism for me. Why deal with real-world problems when I can follow Rachel’s search for love or Carly and Evan’s unlikely path to an engagement? I look forward to every single season, and always have a glass of wine and Twitter at the ready for each new episode. I’m a Bachelor Nation superfan. Put the word “Bachelor” in any TV show title and I am 100 percent there. But, my intense excitement over the news soon gave way to some mixed feelings about the show’s return.
Are we just supposed to forget about these allegations and tune in to watch people get drunk and potentially find love, as we had before? It seems odd to head right back to a happy-go-lucky Paradise world after Corinne, who was at the center of the allegation, said in her official statement about the incident that she was, “a victim.” Are viewers supposed to forget that fact once Bachelor in Paradise starts up again? It’s a bold and straightforward statement on Corinne’s part, one that shouldn’t be forgotten so easily. Corinne and her legal team don’t seem to be finished with this matter. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Corinne’s legal team responded to Warner Bros. by saying that, “Our own investigation will continue.”
If that’s the case, it doesn’t seem like this is over for DeMario either, who was the other cast member at the center of the issue. He’s supposedly in the clear now, but it will be difficult not to think of the allegations against him while watching the show. I’m not sure about other viewers, but I know that I’ll have some trouble enjoying Paradise knowing that this ordeal still isn’t over, at least for Corinne and DeMario — even though Warner Bros. would like us to think so.
The statement by Warner Bros. statement included a promise to ramp up protections for contestants, which left me with even more questions. Why weren’t there sufficient protections in place beforehand? I thought Bachelor Nation shows vouched for the safety of the cast. Bachelor Nation contestants came out of the woodwork to defend the nature of the show. Evan Bass, who married Carly Waddell at the Mexican resort where Bachelor in Paradise is filmed, made a passionate plea in The Hollywood Reporter to save the show. Ashley Iaconetti and former Bachelor Ben Higgins took to their new podcast, The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast, to talk about how safe they’ve felt on the show.
Was this an issue at play in the scandal or not? Maybe it wasn’t and they’re just trying to be overly cautious to assure viewers that Bachelor in Paradise can still exist after all of this. But, the statement did make me question what really went wrong in Paradise and if the safety of the contestants was ever in jeopardy. These are questions that I will still be left with as the show starts up again, even if the contestants and producers are trying to convince me otherwise. That’s mainly because the two contestants are still caught up in the entire issue.
While I have mixed feelings over the whole Bachelor in Paradise scandal, I would still call myself a Bachelor Nation superfan. I don’t have any problems with The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. It’s the next season of Bachelor in Paradise, and the show as a whole, that doesn’t sit well with me. While I was dying to see the next season of Paradise, I would have understood and respected the decision if it was cancelled for this summer. Now, the next season of Paradise will be connected to this scandal, even if the allegations were cleared. I’ll still watch it, but it will be under a careful eye and a little less enthusiasm.