Bachelor in Paradise: Onion Whisperers and Mould Survivors – Introducing 2015’s Greatest Reality Show

Alex Casey introduces the strong line-up for TVNZ’s Bachelor in Paradise, and argues why you should watch this deplorable, fantastic experiment in trash television. 

With the latest rollercoaster season of The Bachelorette wrapping up, and the finale of the exquisite behind-the-reality-curtain drama UnREAL – there’s a void of jaw-dropping reality television that needs to urgently be filled. It’s stressful. And you know what the best thing to do is when you are stressed? Take a holiday – to paradise, perhaps.

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Bachelor in Paradise is the latest reality franchise to hit TVNZ Ondemand. And it does exactly what it says on the tin. Taking the most notable ex-contestants from The Bachelor hall of fame, Paradise puts them all together on a tropical island and watches the sparks fly. It’s sort of a stupid, sexy version of Lord of the Flies.

Where Bachelor in Paradise excels is in basking in its unabashed ridiculousness, letting the production team completely go to town in constructing the drama of this horny group holiday. Lizards become contestants, turtles become advice shaman, crazy crash zooms and slow motion are used with reckless abandon.

Oh, and people get married sometimes in a beachfront ceremony officiated by Chris Harrison.

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Here are the paradise-dwellers you will get to know very intimately this season. When put together, their island escapades that are sure to get more confusing than anything you will see on Lost.

Ashley Salter

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The highlight of Chris Soules’ season, Ashley S stole the show with her erratic musings on the nature of onions, conspiracies about the alleged Bachelor gambling ring, and her weird take on a zombie paintball group date. Ashely was responsible for the biggest moment in Bachelor, nay, television history in The Women Tell All. After getting asked an inane question by Chris Harrison, Ashley stared down the barrel of the camera. “Isn’t it weird… that we’re on TV?”. Goodbye fourth wall, hello Bachelor in Paradise.

Dan Cox

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Dan was in Desiree’s season of The Bachelorette, and is fondly remembered for ripping his pants and nothing else.

Ashleigh Iaconetti

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Self-proclaimed Princess ‘Virgin’ Jasmine, Ashleigh was biffed during Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor. I’m not a huge Ashleigh fan, I struggle with her flaunting her virginal status around like an archaic trophy. I’m sure she’s got a bit more to offer than that. At the very least, she can also provide a very terrible, very readily-available cry face that you can look forward to seeing every three minutes. Oh, and she brought a family member…

Lauren Iaconetti

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Lauren literally came with Ashleigh in her luggage, and is the self-proclaimed “slut sister”. Oh God, what am I watching? This pairing by producers seems to exist purely to please every sick sexual sister fantasy, namely Jonathan who repeatedly describes their situation as “delicious”. I think one of my eyes just fell out.

Kirk Dewindt

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The flannel-wearing bumpkin nearly won over the heart of Ali with his touching tale of nearly dying from a mould infection, but blew it on hometowns when his Dad lured her into his terrifying taxidermy basement. I’m really hoping the Dad makes an appearance again, he could maybe pair up with Ashley S to catch all the luscious birds that Paradise has on offer. Fingers crossed there’s no mould in paradise, yikes.

Jillian Anderson

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Like the one X-Files, but with a perpetual black mystery box attached to her ass. Jillian was defined in Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor by her oft-flaunted rear, puzzlingly censored by editors throughout the season. The tradition continues in Bachelor in Paradise, and I’m beginning to think she actually just has a swear word tattooed on there. How bad can a butt be? The truth is out there.

Mikey Tenerelli

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Classic old school Bachelor meathead, and world’s sweatiest person.

Clare Crawley


This is Clare’s THIRD bite at The Bachelor cherry. First time around, she got owned by Latino sleazebag Juan Pablo at the final hurdle. Second time around, she had a mental breakdown and spilled her guts to a local racoon in the first Paradise. Who knows what will happen this time? One to watch for sure.

Jonathan Holloway

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Jonathan is a single Dad, who got booted from Kaitlyn’s season due to his clear, unashamed, horn for Britt. He filed for bankruptcy after The Bachelorette, and now here we are. Some (none) could argue that Bachelor in Paradise is actually a sort of backwards charity. Makes you think.

Jade Roper

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In a controversial twist, this girl-next-door revealed to Chris Soules that she had posed for Playboy. They then looked at her photos together, and it was horrifically uncomfortable to watch. Chris Soules went very, very red.

Tanner Tolbert

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Tanner made it all the way to the top ten in Ireland on Kaitlyn’s season, but he might as well have been a potato in a fitted blazer. He was the first to speak out about Nick, which sent ripples through the rippled abs of the Bachelor mansion. But honestly, when he walked onto the island I felt like I had never seen him before in my life. A warm welcome to the world’s most non-descript guy. Live long and prosper, may you constantly rely on dressing in drag to get people to remember you.

Tenley Mozhan

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Like Clare, this is Tenley’s third time in Bachelor land. From getting dumped at top two by Jake, and having her poor already-broken heart broken again on Bachelor Pad, I’m genuinely concerned about the state of Tenley’s coronary health.

Jared Haibon

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The modelesque nice-guy of Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season had his poor heart broken, making the world weep as he offered Kaitlyn his coat after being dumped on national television. He’s the kind of guy you want to take home to your Mum, and then drop off at a nearest Hallenstein’s shoot.

Juelia Kinney

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Chris Soules’ season featured two Bachelorettes with dead husbands. One milked it and went pretty deep in the competition, and one didn’t. Juelia was the one who didn’t, and I sincerely wish her the best on her quest for true love in this magnificent island of opportunity.

Carly Waddell

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The loveable cruise ship singer who never found love in a hopeless place, but acted as our eyes and ears in The Bachelor world. She’s relatable, goofy and a hell of a good narrator. And you’ll find yourself in urgent need of some normalcy in this cesspool of sexy sisters.

JJ Lane

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The biggest jaw-bone and bone-head of Kaitlyn Brisowe’s season, JJ’s weirdly-fitting pink pants tell you almost everything you need to know about this Bachelor villain. In one of the most surprising subplots imaginable, he formed a very close relationship with Clint, a fellow bachelor – even admitting to being in love with him. We’ll never know if it was real feelings or just a ratings grab, but it made for exceptionally confusing television. When things got tense in the house, JJ threw his bro Clint under the bus and then stood in a gazebo slapping himself in the face like our own remorseful Len Brown.

Click here to watch Bachelor in Paradise on TVNZ Ondemand

Want a darker look behind the bead curtain of reality fantasy? Click here to watch UnREAL on Lightbox

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