ABC's Olympics-themed 'Bachelor' spin-off has plenty to delight die-hard fans of the franchise
While many international viewers have their eyes turned towards PyeongChang right now for the “real” Olympic Games, those of us in Bachelor Nation are looking ahead to February 13 at 8 p.m., when the first ever Bachelor Winter Games will kick off from Vermont.
The spin-off brings former Bachelors and Bachelorettes (and rejected contestants) from the US, the UK, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, China, and Japan together for — and I quote — “a global celebration of unity and love.”
Having watched the first two-hour episode, I can report that this is certainly the most creative of the Bachelor/Bachelorette spin-offs we’ve seen so far (though that game of bikini Twister in the series premiere of Bachelor Pad was pretty inspired). It’s extremely unlikely that anyone who’s not a fan of the franchise will bother watching Winter Games, but if you’re a card-carrying member of Bachelor Nation, here are 6 highlights to look forward to — and one thing we never need to see again:
1. Getting a peek at what The Bachelor/Bachelorette looks like around the world.
During the intros for several of the international contestants, we are treated to glimpses of how their seasons went down. In Japan, for example, one “lady” without a rose was left on the tarmac while the Bachelor and his remaining wife candidates took off in a private jet (see above). But no matter where in the world Mike Fleiss’ franchise is filming, there are always plenty of candles. Let’s go to the videotape in Finland:
2. Chris Harrison’s “Winter” look.
No blue shirt? No problem! During production at the Hermitage Club in Vermont, The Bachelor‘s always-stylish host shielded himself from the below-freezing temperatures by growing a scruff-beard, and I don’t think I’ll be alone in thinking that stubble is a very good look for him.
Gotta love that blue accent scarf.
She made it to the top 5 on The Bachelor in Japan, and now she’s here to get what’s hers — language barrier be damned.
Though Yuki’s English is limited, her ebullient personality and love of the camera transcend words. Plus, she’s “super hot,” as Kevin from Canada notes. And while we’re on the subject…
4. The James Marsden Lookalike
Look at this dude! Kevin “won” his season of The Bachelorette in Canada, but after he and his fiancée split, he spent the next four months hitting the gym, going to work, and moping in bed. He hits it off right away with an American Bachelor castoff — no spoilers, but it’s a surprising love match.
5. Not everyone is a size 2!
Perhaps the most refreshing thing about BWG is discovering that in some countries, women don’t have to shop in the Petite Children’s section if they want to compete for a husband on TV.
That’s Ally from New Zealand. She describes herself as “curvy,” and ask you can see, Josiah (from Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette) LOVES it. “We like ‘em thick in the US!” he tells her. “We like the badonkadonk!”
6. Inside Jokes Galore
If there were an Emmy category for chyron writing, The Bachelor franchise would sweep every year. For Winter Games, Team Bachelor uses Olympic-style “athlete” bio shots to ply their trade — and take hilarious shots at the contestants, like this dig at Dean Unglert:
As you’ll recall, last time we saw Dean, he was leading two women on in Paradise, because he simply couldn’t make up his mind. Zing!
Now, the bad news. Because Team Bachelor never met a joke they couldn’t beat into the ground with a cricket bat, fans will also have to endure this:
Ashley I. crying. (Again.)
We get it: She’s a fake lash-wearing, no-chill-having virgin who cries all the time — and then wonders why no guy wants to get within 15 kilometers of her personal space. At this point, I’ve got to believe that Ashley I. is just playing a part for producers… but either way, it’s time to retire this gimmick. Find her a boyfriend or send her off to live in healthy obscurity, okay guys? Thanks.
So rose lovers, will you be watching Bachelor Winter Games? Post your thoughts below!