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Does combining winter sports, drama and a group of young contestants equal love in ‘The Bachelor Winter Games’?


In honor of the Winter Olympics, “The Bachelor” franchise decided to introduce a new spinoff. Contestants from this show’s foreign counterparts joined the hometown favorites to compete in winter sports while trying to find love. “The Bachelor Winter Games,” like any show, hit the bullseye with their cinematic decisions, but they often missed the target big time.

Location: HIT

The beautiful Manchester, Vermont served as the perfect backdrop for “The Bachelor Winter Games.” Something about staying in a small town makes the Bachelor and Bachelorettes more relaxed and willing to make connections.

On top of this, viewers also got to see what the cast’s off-camera lives might look like. At one point in the show, viewers saw them playing the game of our generation, Cards Against Humanity, which has never been seen on any other “Bachelor” program.

Contestants: HIT

The success of a reality show relies heavily on whether or not the audience wants to watch the stars of the program. Luckily for “The Bachelor Winter Games,” they chose the right contestants to make up the first cast of this new show.

For the Americans, the producers chose to pick the Bachelor and the Bachelorettes that the audience have desperately wanted to find love.

Ashley I. has appeared on TV four times through the Bachelor, and almost every time, viewers have watched her meltdown over losing “the right guy for her.” Knowing she would be appearing on this spinoff, audiences immediately knew they would tune in.

Another big American favorite is Ben H. After finding love as “The Bachelor,” he, unfortunately, got his heart broken and audiences felt like theirs did too. Coming onto “The Bachelor Winter Games” was symbolic of Ben moving on; viewers were excited to possibly see him be happy again.

Choosing the international contestants was a struggle due to the majority of the audience having no connection to them; their personalities needed to stand out. One of the best choices was Yuki, a “Bachelor Japan” contestant. Though she spoke very little English, Yuki stole the hearts of viewers and the other participants in “The Bachelor Winter Games.”

As well as bringing a fun energy to the group, she also gave the audience an opportunity to see Chris Harrison, the host of all the shows in “The Bachelor” franchise, speak Japanese, which was incredible.

Opening Ceremony: MISS

The producers wanted to use common Olympic traditions and put the Bachelor spin on them. Unfortunately, the desired effect was not produced, making viewers feel extremely uncomfortable.

The opening ceremony for “The Bachelor Winter Games” very quickly became boring and seemed to serve no real purpose for the show as a whole. As the contestants walked in with their countries, characterized versions of things that are usually associated with that culture joined them.

Instead of making it more fun, some of the costumes they chose seemed to go into stereotyping, making the audience slightly uneasy.

After all the Bachelor and Bachelorettes were introduced, the crowd joined them in front of a stage and that’s when everything truly went downhill. Since there were 11 countries represented, they couldn’t play every national anthem. So, the producers made the decision to create a Bachelor national anthem instead.

As the Vermont-local girl sang the song, the cameras panned to the crowd as they shared the same confused look as the audience watching through a TV. The song was a major flop, even though it was clear they had the best intentions. During the final event, it also made the unfortunate reappearance.

Winter Games: HIT and MISS

Watching the trailers for “The Bachelor Winter Games” gives the impression that the sports competitions would be a major part of the show. Yet, when it aired, the editing seems to brush right past the winter games. Part of the reason the audience tuned in was to see who would make a fool out of themselves and who the best catch really is. Cutting out heats and rushing through the events takes out the fun that could’ve been created.

This being said, the last competition, couple’s figure skating, provided the most entertainment. Nothing can beat seeing the Australian and New Zealand duo bunny hop on ice. Also, who can forget Ashely I. skating like a newborn deer?

After the first episode, viewers had the impression that the results of all the games would come into play when deciding who would be crowned “The Couple of Bachelor World.” Chris Harrison later announced that this title would be given to the couple who wins the couple skating competition.

Though this is a small detail, viewers were confused and frankly felt bad for the contestants that were killing all the events, because they wouldn’t get the recognition they deserve.

Rose Ceremonies: HIT and MISS

Some of the most dramatic parts of any Bachelor show usually happens during the rose ceremonies. In the most recent spinoff, “The Bachelor in Paradise,” the only way to secure a rose was to become a “couple.” Going into “The Bachelor Winter Games,” many expected the same setup. Production, however, decided to shake things up.

The first rose ceremony of the show was the most cutthroat and the most exciting to watch. All the Bachelor and Bachelorettes had to individually vote off the people they believed to be there for the wrong reasons. Everyone quickly turned on each other, and it was beautiful. What made it so fun to watch was how different the setup was from the other Bachelor shows.

After expecting the new fresh rose ceremony ideas, the second one of this new addition to the franchise underwhelmed the audience. Ultimately, the setup reverted back to the original way of doing things.

The last ceremony of the season, though inventive, came off as a little uncomfortable. All the couples had to participate in a kissing contest to stay in Vermont, and the judges were some past leads of the American version.

Some people became nervous when they were judged, it seemed unfair to evaluate the couples by only that one moment. Also, imagine making out with a potential significant other in front of your ex. Everyone watching was glad they weren’t the contestants that night.

The Tell-All: HIT

All seasons of the Bachelor shows end with all the cast getting together and discussing everything that was shown on TV.  Every “tell-all” is filled with drama and “The Bachelor Winter Games” was no exception.

Not only was there a surprise engagement, but also it was revealed a strong couple on the show fell apart after the cameras went down. On top of all this, the unlovable Ashley I. finally found love in the Canadian Kevin.

If ABC is deciding whether or not to add this new show to the regular rotation, they should keep in mind how much it resembles the beloved “The Bachelor in Paradise,” which also brings in past contestants to find love. Audiences could possibly feel overwhelmed by the same content, so the best plan of action could be keeping it attached to the Olympics.

Looking back on the four episodes, “The Bachelor Winter Games” definitely didn’t disappoint. The drama, the love, the tears, and the laughs came together to make what a “Bachelor” show is all about!

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Ana Greening

Texas State University

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