On the sandy beaches of Playa Escondida in Vallarta-Nayarit, Mexico stands host Chris Harrison who, right off the bat, discusses the controversy between Corinne Olympios (Bachelor 21) and DeMario Jackson (Bachelorette 13) that happened within the first two days of filming season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise. In true Bachelor fashion, it only took 50 seconds for Chris to say, “there was trouble in paradise.”
Like previously reported, the show starts from the very beginning, pre-controversy, when we’re introduced to the looking-for-love contestants.
Like seasons before, season 4 begins with a cheesy intro to “Almost Paradise” where we’re introduced to Dean Unglert (Bachelorette 13), Raven Gates (Bachelor 21), Vinny Ventiera (Bachelor in Paradise 3), Amanda Stanton (Bachelor in Paradise 3), Robby Hayes (Bachelorette 12), Diggy Moreland (Bachelorette 13), Matt Munson (Bachelorette 13), Kristina Schulman (Bachelor 21), Ben Zorn (Bachelorette 11), Iggy Rodriguez (Bachelorette 13), Jasmine Goode (Bachelor 21), Danielle Maltby (Bachelor 21), Derek Peth (Bachelorette 12), Taylor Nolan (Bachelor 21), Nick Benvenutti (Bachelorette 12), Jack Stone (Bachelorette 13), Alexis Waters (Bachelor 21), Alex Woytkiw (Bachelorette 12), Corinne and DeMario.
Sadly, Lacey Mark (Bachelor 21) only got one day in paradise because her grandfather passed away. Also only around for one day was the greatest bartender ever, Jorge. He’s leaving to create his own business and to fill the Jorge-sized hole in our hearts is Wells Adams (Bachelor in Paradise 3). Wells said he is in Paradise for the right reasons: “to make drinks” which means, as of now, there is no love connection in the future for him.
Time to dig right into the controversy that caused production to shut down: Corinne and DeMario. It’s clear right away that all of former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay’s BFFs already don’t like DeMario. Their distaste comes after he screwed over their girl on her season. (Recap: his presumed girlfriend showed up to their basketball group date and exposed DeMario for the two-timer America believed him to be).
Within a minute of DeMario stepping onto the Paradise beaches, he tells Chris he’s there for “the right reasons.” Thank God for Raven, who has already had a few drinks it seems, and gives DeMario the third degree. As DeMario continues to make my skin crawl, he says he’s looking for his “Mrs. Jackson” and, of course, the next cut is to Corinne walking in. Corinne immediately says she’s not going after the first guy who gives her attention. Of course, they cut back to DeMario who later says he’s wanted to know Corinne better and calls her the “cream of the crop.” They quickly hit it off while innocently touching and flirting.
Within 30 minutes into paradise, according to Alex’s on-camera interview, both DeMario and Corinne are in the pool. This was apparently “the pool moment” as Alex awkwardly commentates the two’s pool interaction calling it a “one-on-one Top Gun moment.” Now, what they showed looked like normal pool fun and nothing seemed like it went too far. Especially since Alex was standing right there giving us a play-by-play.
After this moment, everything seems to go smoothly in Paradise. Three couples had already gone on their first dates and the girls were about to hand out their first round of roses when producers pulled both Corinne and DeMario aside. The cast immediately discusses their confusion, which is caught on the canopy cameras, as the crew and producers immediately shut everything down and disappear. However, what happened will not be addressed until the second episode what exactly happened while production was stalled.
This 2-hour premiere did a great job of addressing the controversy head-on, while also telling their story leading up to it. Obviously, things are going to change, but based on the season preview, things will quickly get back to normal once the cast returns. The Bachelor franchise has always been scrutinized by their show’s premise alone, but as a decade-long fan, I can say that this issue appeared to be handled the proper way on and off camera.