Bachelor Nation will be pleased to know that they're getting a double dose of Bachelor content this winter. In addition to the return of The Bachelor starring surprise veteran Arie Luyendyk Jr., an all-new series from creator Mike Fleiss is joining the Bachelor franchise: The Bachelor Winter Games. It premieres this February, about a month after The Bachelor, and, as you can see, it has a pretty convenient Olympics tie-in. So who is hosting The Bachelor Winter Games? It'll be a primetime ratings showdown between the newly minted Winter Olympics host Mike Tirico on NBC and Chris Harrison at ABC.
Yes, the franchise's tried and true host of 16 years will be overseeing the festivities in Vermont where Bachelor/Bachelorette alums will compete against contestants from international versions of the show in a variety of winter sports. Said ABC's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series Robert Mills in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
At the end of the day, it’s going to be about finding love again. It will have some of the Bachelor Pad DNA, in that there is going to be a competition element. And the other thing we're excited about is having contestants form the international formats of The Bachelor. So you have somebody from Bachelor Japan, Bachelor Australia, Bachelor Canada and Bachelor UK. We’re really excited to see if we can have some international romances as well as the competition in U.S. versus the world.
As for Harrison, he does have some dream casting in mind for the series, saying in an interview with THR, "The twins have to be there. I love the twins. They’re like, ‘This might be the last time you see us!’ and I’m like, 'Never. I’ll always have you in my life.'" He also named former NFL player Ryan Sutter, who married the very first Bachelorette Trista Sutter, as a hoped-for contestant. But according to casting rumors, it looks like the series is focusing on casting single contestants only in the hopes of amping up the post-sports toasty lodge romance factor.
Reality Steve reports that confirmed U.S. cast members include Eric Bigger, Clare Crawley, Ben Higgins, Michael Garofola, Josiah Graham, Lauren Griffin, Ashley Iaconetti, Bibiana Julian, Lesley Murphy, Luke Pell, and Dean Unglert. Meanwhile, local Vermont publication Seven Days picked up the flyer for The Bachelor Winter Games' Arrival Celebration Parade, which was looking for audience members to line the parade route. They noted that since the check-in location was listed in Manchester, Vermont, the Winter Games were likely shooting at the nearby Stratton Mountain Resort.
No word yet on whether The Bachelor Winter Games will have a designated lodge bartender, but in case you're wondering, yes, Wells Adams is prepared to take over the gig should it be offered. He told THR:
The bartender is a cushy gig. I’m not a very good snowboarder or skier or anything, so I’m not sure if I’d want to be a competitor. But if they want me to make hot chocolates on the sidelines, then I’m totally game. The weight that gets taken off your shoulders in terms of being worried about getting roses every week is replaced with the weight of trying to give your friends good advice in their life and in how they’re being perceived on television, which is kind of a freaky thing.
Personally, I wouldn't mind some sort of search and rescue designation in which they strap a little barrel of brandy to Wells' neck like a St. Bernard and send him out after someone who's wiped out on their skis. Stay tuned to The Bachelor Winter Games starting February 2018 to see if Wells shows up in his coziest beanie.
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