‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Is Officially Coming Back—But There May Be Issues With Casting

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"Bachelor in Paradise"
Photo: ABC/John Fleenor.

Hello, summer. Bachelor in Paradise 2021 will happen, according to Reality Steve, and at least one contestant has already been cast.

Bachelor in Paradise, a spinoff of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, premiered on ABC in August 2014. The show, which has aired six seasons, sees former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants come together for a summer in Mexico as they look for love and hope to end their time on the beach with an engagement. Due to the current health crisis, viewers missed Bachelor in Paradise in 2020. However, according to Reality Steve, the show will return in 2021 and will air between Katie and Michelle’s season’s of The Bachelorette.

Katie Thurston and Michelle Young, two contestants from season 25 of The Bachelor with Matt James, were announced as the season 17 and season 18 Bachelorettes at Matt’s “After the Final Rose” special in March 2021. According to Reality Steve, Michelle was ABC’s first choice to be the Bachelorette but because of her job as a teacher, the network decided to postpone the premiere of her season until later this year, so she wouldn’t have to take time away from her students and can film in the summer when school is out.

In an interview with StyleCaster in October 2020, host Chris Harrison revealed that there had been talks to film Bachelor in Paradise in 2020, but those plans were put on hold to focus on The Bachelorette season 16, which aired months behind schedule.

“Early on, we thought, ‘Hey. If this only lasts a couple weeks, we could still cram The Bachelorette in all in and make it all work and push Bachelor in Paradise,’” Harrison said at the time. “Quickly, we realized this is a much bigger problem and everything was going to have to take a back seat. We thought we might be lucky to just get The Bachelorette done. We realized Bachelor in Paradise was just going to go away for the summer. Unfortunately. It was just a casualty of this pandemic. Now we’re going to get into Matt James doing The Bachelor. That will put us back on schedule and hopefully, knock on wood, next summer, things will open. We’ll have the vaccine and we can get back to our regular calendar.”

Ahead is what we know about Bachelor in Paradise 2021 and which Bachelor Nation favorites have been cast. Summer can’t come soon enough because we’re more than ready for Bachelor in Paradise season 7.

When will Bachelor in Paradise 2021 premiere?

ABC announced that Bachelor in Paradise 2021 will premiere on August 16. According to Reality Steve, Bachelor in Paradise 2021 will premiere in the late summer after Katie’s Bachelorette finale but before Michelle’s Bachelorette premiere. The blogger reported that Katie’s season started filming in March 2021 and will air in the summer. Michelle’s season will start filming in the summer and air in the fall. In between Katie and Michelle’s Bachelorette seasons will be Bachelor in Paradise season 7. This means that it’s possible that some men from Katie’s Bachelorette season could be on Bachelor in Paradise.

Who is in the Bachelor in Paradise 2021 cast?

The official Bachelor in Paradise 2021 contestants haven’t been announced. But in January 2021, ABC executive Robert Mills confirmed that Dr. Joe Park, a contestant from Tayshia and Clare’s season of The Bachelorette, was one of the first Bachelor Nation members cast for Bachelor in Paradise 2021. “We’ve got ourselves a vaccinated Paradisian!!” Mills wrote as he retweeted a post about Joe receiving his vaccination. Joe, an anesthesiologist, was eliminated in the top 16 of The Bachelorette but was a fan favorite among viewers for his one-liners.

In February 2020, a source posted on Reddit that Alayah and Mykenna, contestants from Peter’s season of The Bachelor, were “99.9 percent confirmed” for Bachelor in Paradise season 7. Alayah, a former Miss Texas, was one of the villains of Peter’s season and feuded with Victoria P., another pageant queen. She was eliminated in 16th place. Mykenna, a fashion blogger, was cast as the “clingy” contestant on Peter’s season and was sent home in the top 8.

A source told E! News in March 2021 that many Bachelor and Bachelorette alums are “apprehensive” to be on season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise because of the franchise’s recent racism scandal involving The Bachelor season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and host Chris Harrison. “Casting has begun and some members of Bachelor Nation are apprehensive to sign up,” the source said. “Some are wondering what direction the season will take and are curious if it will strictly focus on contestants falling in love.”

Another source told E! News, “They have put out several asks to Bachelor veterans. Many people are declining due to the current state of Bachelor Nation. A lot of people are removing themselves from the franchise.” The insider also told the site that ABC is “hoping to get Blake Horstmann, Tia Booth, and Becca Kufrin” for season 7. However, the source notes that fans shouldn’t expect contestants from Matt’s Bachelor season. “Producers are not considering most of the women from Matt’s season,” the source said.

Where will Bachelor in Paradise 2021 film?

Season 1 of Bachelor in Paradise filmed in Tulum, Mexico. Starting in season 2, the spinoff was filmed at the Playa Escondida hotel in Sayulita, Mexico. Due to the current health crisis, it’s unclear where Bachelor in Paradise season 7 will film. According to Reality Steve, the location hasn’t been decided yet.

Bachelor in Paradise is available to stream on Hulu.

"Bachelor Nation" by Amy Kaufman

Image: Courtesy of Penguin Books.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.

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