I know most people will have their televisions turned to the Olympics in PyeongChang during these next two weeks, but you should really consider carving out time for The Bachelor Winter Games.
You might be reading this and thinking, “Really, Bryna? Another Bachelor spin-off? I know you like them, but why would I waste my time with this?” Well, first off it’s not the snooze-fest that is Arie’s current season of The Bachelor, so that already makes it a win. But the show also has a cool concept that only a storied franchise like The Bachelor could pull off with its many iterations around the world.
The premise is simple, it brings former Bachelors and Bachelorettes (and rejected contestants) from the US, the UK, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, China, and Japan together for a mix of winter sports, structured dating, and most importantly: drama.
The contestants are pretty great as well. From fan-favorites like Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti (my personal favorites) to unknown-to-American-viewers international contestants, they really delivered an eclectic cast. Competing in the first ever Winter Games are:
Ben, 29, “The Bachelor” Season 20
Dean, 26, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Eric, 29, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Jamey, 33, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Josiah, 29, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Luke, 33, “The Bachelorette” Season 12 (JoJo Fletcher)
Michael, 37, “The Bachelorette” Season 9 (Desiree Hartsock Siegfried)
Ashley I., 29, “The Bachelor” Season 19 (Chris Soules)
Clare, 36, “The Bachelor” Season 18 (Juan Pablo Galavis)
Lesley, 30, “The Bachelor” Season 17 (Sean Lowe)
Bibiana, 30, “The Bachelor, Season 22 (Arie Luyendyk Jr.)
Lauren G., 27, “The Bachelor, Season 22 (Arie Luyendyk Jr.)
Benoit, 31, “The Bachelorette” Season 1 – Canada
Christian, 34, “The Bachelorette” Season 1 – Switzerland and Germany
Courtney, 31, “The Bachelorette” Season 2 – Australia
Jordan, 34, “The Bachelor” Season 2 – New Zealand
Kevin, 33, “The Bachelorette” Season 1 – Canada
Ally, 24, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – New Zealand
Jenny, 34, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – Finland
Laura, 29, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – United Kingdom
Lily, 21, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – New Zealand
Nastassia, 26, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – Sweden
Rebecca, 26, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – Sweden
Tiffany, 31, “The Bachelor” Season 4 – Australia
Yuki, 21, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – Japan
Zoe, 25, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – China
I got to watch the premiere episode early so without further ado, here are 40 thoughts I had while watching The Bachelor Winter Games premiere.
- “A global celebration of unity and love.” Oh god, what am I getting myself into.
- “I am going for Kevin. A virgin’s gotta do what a virgin’s gotta do.” Oh jeez, is this another season of Ashley I. being known solely as the “virgin?” She’s so much more than that.
- They’re playing clips of Ben and Lauren during this intro package and OMG HE LOOKS SO YOUNG.
- Ben has said multiple times on The Almost Famous Podcast with Ben and Ashley I that he is not ready to date again after he broke off his engagement from Lauren in 2017. I highly doubt he’s going to “move on” because of Winter Games.
- DEAN. GOD, NO. NOT AGAIN. YOU WERE SUCH A PIECE OF SHIT ON BACHELOR IN PARADISE. I CAN’T GO THROUGH ALL THOSE EMOTIONS AGAIN.
- I thought Clare was done with all of the Bachelor-related shows. Why is she back for a fourth time?
- I honestly forgot about Lesley. I loved her on Sean’s season. Why hasn’t she been around more?
- Ashley I. is, without a doubt, my favorite person to come out of this franchise. I love her so much.
- OMG, THEY BROUGHT IN HANNAH STORM FROM ESPN. SHE IS ONE OF MY SPORTSCASTER IDOLS.
- They also brought in a “sideline” reporter. They are taking this so seriously and I kind of love it.
- Eric Bigger: the winner of The Bachelor Winter Games in my heart, regardless of what happens with him.
- Yuki is from Japan and doesn’t speak English. I have so many questions about how this is going to logistically work. Will she have a translator at all times? During the competition? Not at all?
- Hellooooooooooooooo Benoit and Kevin. That’s totally who I would have gone for if I was there.
- Apparently, there was one kiss in the entire season of The Bachelor: China. Curious to see what Zoe thinks about how fast people move on The Bachelor Winter Games.
- Chris Harrison brings up a great question: Why don’t more people flip off the Bachelor or Bachelorette after they get eliminated?
- OH! Tiffany is the girl who made headlines for falling in love with a fellow female contestant on her season. Super excited to see her interact with everyone on this show.
- OMG, THEY HAD SOMEBODY WRITE AND PERFORM AN ANTHEM FOR THESE GAMES. I’M DEAD. ACTUALLY DEAD.
- Trista and Ryan: the real MVPs of this franchise. Of course they would be involved somehow. How could they not be?
- Did we really need 15 minutes of this opening ceremony, especially after we saw 10 minutes of introduction packages? I would prefer that we moved straight into the show itself. We really didn’t need to see the Ruthie Collins performance.
- That villa is absolutely breathtaking.
- I have no idea what Benoit said in his toast in French, but that was incredibly sexy.
- Chris Harrison shows up and we FINALLY learn how this show is going to work: in each challenge, the men compete against the men, and the women compete against the women. So there’s one male winner and one female winner of each challenge. The male and female winner each get to pick someone of their choosing to go on a date with at the end of the day.
- People are already pairing off, because of course they are.
- Ally and Josiah are getting the Bachelor version of “Let’s Get It On” played behind their conversation.
- And now Ally and Josiah are “snogging,” as she puts it. First kiss of the show in the books.
- I really appreciate the fact that they show Josiah and Eric in their du-rags. We didn’t see this during Rachel’s season and we really should have, seeing as it’s a big part of black culture and that was the blackest season of the show we will likely ever get.
- Kevin is helping Bibianna practice for this week’s challenge. That was a “couple” I never expected.
- We’re about halfway through the first episode and we’ve already got our first injury. I’m betting we’ll have at least one each episode, if not more.
- Luke’s “nickname” for this is Sgt. Smolder? I’M DEAD.
- I love that Eric never gave up and finished the race. Did I mention he’s my favorite?
- I kind of hate that they cut out most of the preliminary races. This is why we didn’t need to see most of the opening ceremony.
- Rebecca and Kevin won the first challenge. Of course it wasn’t an American. I’d be really surprised if any of the Americans win anything.
- “All really subtle stuff, but I really think he’s into me.” Oh, Ashley. Don’t think like this. Please don’t think like this. You’re better than this.
- HE PICKED BIBIANNA. I KNEW THIS WAS COMING.
- Ben and Ashley I. are the epitome of #friendshipgoals.
- So Rebecca picked Luke. Definitely didn’t see this coming, but I’m not mad at this pairing.
- All we got is a 3 minute montage of BOTH dates? That’s it? I’m gonna need more of the dates in the next three episodes. Otherwise, every relationship is going to seem to come out of nowhere.
- Clare and Benoit making out in the kitchen? I AM SO HERE FOR THIS PARIING.
- Courtney and Lily also share a kiss, for what it’s worth. But we don’t see the lead up to it so I don’t know how much it will be a “storyline.”
- This Christian-Clare-Benoit love triangle intrigues me. Who knew I would like Clare this much, seeing as I hated her in both of her last two franchise appearances.
The cocktail party/rose ceremony wasn’t shown in the first episode that was released to the media. So I haven’t seen anything past Christian talking about Claire after she and Benoit were making out by the fire. But overall, I really enjoyed the first episode of The Bachelor Winter Games, more than I thought I would. It takes me back to my beloved Bachelor Pad days where you actually have to earn your date card and the drama isn’t completely meaningless. I also really like having the international contestants be a part of show. I think it adds an interesting dynamic and I’m excited to learn more about them as the show quickly unfolds. Is it too early to say I want them to have international contestants be a part of Bachelor in Paradise? Time will tell, but I’m on board with that idea so far.
The Bachelor Winter Games airs Tuesdays AND Thursdays for the next 2 weeks while the Olympics are on at 8pm EST on ABC.