Here’s How ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Works & Whether Contestants Can ‘Win’ the Show

"Bachelor in Paradise" 2021
Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin.

If you’re new to Bachelor in Paradise, first—welcome to the best show in Bachelor Nation. Second—you may have questions, like how does Bachelor in Paradise work and how do contestants “win”?

Bachelor in Paradise premiered in August 2014 as a spinoff of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The show, which replaced Bachelor Pad, invites dozens of contestants from past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to Mexico to meet and date each other, with the hopes of falling in love and getting engaged.

Season 1 was filmed at the Casa Palapa resort in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Since season 2, Bachelor in Paradise has been filmed at the Playa Escondida Resort in Sayulita, a town in Vallarta-Nayarit, Mexico. Seasons 1 through 6 were hosted by Chris Harrison, who also hosted The Bachelor and The Bachelorette from 2002 to 2021 before he exited the franchise. Bachelor in Paradise season 7 was hosted by a rotating roster of celebrities including Lance Bass, David Spade and Lil Jon.

So that’s a short history on Bachelor in Paradise. But how does Bachelor in Paradise work? Read on for the format of the show and how each season of Bachelor in Paradise ends.

How does Bachelor in Paradise work?

So…how does Bachelor in Paradise work? The show starts with an uneven number of women and men from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Each week, there’s a rose ceremony where either the men or women give roses to the contestants they feel the strongest connection to. The contestants who don’t receive a rose are sent home.

The next week, the roles are reversed, and the gender that didn’t give out roses the previous week now has the job of choosing who to give a rose to and who to send home. Each week, more contestants from past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are also join the show to create an uneven number between the women and men and force the contestants already there to either couple up with someone new or stay in their current relationship. Contestants are also given date cards by random to choose contestants they want to spend alone time with. Many new contestants join the show with a date card.

At the end of the season, the contestants are offered a chance to have an overnight date with no cameras or microphones (much like Fantasy Suites on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.) After the overnight dates is the finale, where contestants either choose to break up or get engaged. Like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise also has an “After the Final Rose” special, where contestants reunite to hash out drama and update viewers on their relationship.

Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC. Here’s how to watch it for free.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

"Bachelor Nation" by Amy Kaufman

Image: Courtesy of Penguin Books.


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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