The last couple of days have been full of good news for fans of Bachelor in Paradise. Following a production hiatus in June, ABC confirmed Wednesday morning that the hit reality TV show will be back for its fourth season this summer with a two-day premiere on August 14th and 15th. Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, the stars at the epicenter of the filming shutdown, will also be returning, at least for the Bachelor in Paradise reunion special.
For those unfamiliar with the show or the news it’s been making, the actions of Olympios and Jackson on the first night of filming led to serious misconduct allegations being filed against the show’s production company. The two allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual encounters with one another — in plain view of other contestants, the production team, and cameras — after a day of heavy drinking.
Production was halted after a producer filed a complaint with Warner Bros., leading to an internal investigation into the allegations of misconduct. The pith of the complaint is that one or both parties were unable to offer consent due to their extreme level of intoxication, and no one stepped in to stop things from going any further.
We all have a pretty decent idea how shows like this usually go: 16 contestants, eager for a second chance at love (or a TV appearance), live in a house together for several weeks, being filmed as they receive unadulterated access to pools, beaches, alcohol, and one another.
Even if you have never seen an episode, you probably know the arc. Yet, this is the first time a scenario like this has occurred.
While a certain level of — let’s call it “sensuality” — is expected on Bachelor in Paradise, the allegations bring some serious questions to the fore, questions surrounding consent, safety, and responsibility.
Filming was resumed late in June after the investigation concluded no misconduct took place on set.
Olympios, who in an earlier statement said she does not remember any of the events and assembled her own legal team to address the situation, has affirmed she is, in fact, “happy” to return for the reunion special. News of her return came in a new statement, which assured fans that her legal team concluded its own investigation “to her satisfaction.”
Jackson’s announcement that he would return came right on the heels of Olympios’, causing newsfeeds the internet over to blow up Thursday morning.
Now, with the two-day premiere confirmed and Corinne and DeMario set to appear for the reunion special, the forecast for paradise is looking bright again.
You can definitely expect the upcoming season to answer some of your lingering questions, but don’t expect it to feel as care-free as the past three. The decision to create a two-day premiere hints at where the producers are taking the focus of the show. While we know that people are still going to indulge themselves (it is the Bachelor in Paradise, guys) everyone on board is going to tread a little more gently this time around.
Here are some odds for how we think this season is going to go.
Odds that the misconduct allegations increase ratings for Bachelor in Paradise: 1/9
You know what they say: The people want answers. (They also want good-looking people on beaches saying crazy things.)
Odds that producers imposed a cut-off limit on Corrine and DeMario: 1/9
They’ll be covering their bases.
Odds host Chris Harrison becomes a proper third wheel: 1/3
He’s not going to become an unofficial cast member or anything, but there will be a lot more pop-ins by the Bachelor franchise’s beloved host thanks to recent events. Don’t expect him to be too far away from any one-on-one time going down. It shouldn’t be that awkward. The man has been hosting wildly romantic dates for over 15 years.
Odds that this will be the last season of Bachelor in Paradise: 50/1
The longevity of BiP looked tenuous when everything broke last month. Prior to the investigation being concluded and filming restarting, odds were shorter that we were nearing the end. However, with nothing really coming of the allegations and the statement from Olympios stating she is satisfied with her own team’s investigation, chances are slim that ABC will pull one of their hit reality programs.
Odds that the reunion special will feature footage of Corrine and DeMario’s “drunken encounter”: 1/4
We are definitely going to see footage leading up to and very likely including some of the encounter in question. Seeing is believing, and this is reality TV, after all.
Odds that the reunion special will discuss the results of the internal investigation: 3/1
It is more likely that the previous statement ABC released after the investigation ended will be reiterated, rather than delved into.
Odds that Corinne and DeMario get into an argument during the reunion special: 10/1
This is going to be a moderated special, and both parties have legal teams who are bound to be advising them on every interaction they have related to the Bachelor franchise. Expect the reunion between the two to be uncomfortable, but not angry.
Odds that the producer who filed the complaint will appear on the reunion special: 100/1
Wherever they are, they are not going to be invited back to set. Nor would they want to return.
Odds of contestants hooking up still: 0/1
The drinks may be more closely monitored, and the atmosphere may feel a bit strange as contestants arrive, then leave, then arrive again at their beautiful, beachy second home. But love and pheromones are persistent in Paradise. Hookups are inevitable.
Odds that BiP returns for a fifth season: 1/50
Whether you like it or not, there are a lot of people who really like it.
Odds that the Evan Bass/Carly Waddell wedding gets an entire episode: 1/3
Who? Oh, that’s just the couple from Season 3 whose wedding was initially expected to be a major part of Season 4. Despite the terrible timing, ABC followed through with filming their nuptials just days after the Corrine/DeMario scandal. It will still air as part of this season, but consider their thunder stolen.
Odds any couples from this season stay together for at least a year after the show: 50/1
We’ve been wrong before. We won’t be here.
Featured image: public domain (www.publicdomainpictures.net)
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