Despite what viewers saw on Monday night's episode of The Bachelor, it's not all roses and walks on the beach for Cassie Randolph.
Cassie is clear a front-runner on Colton Underwood's current season of the dating show. It turns out, however, that the 23-year-old happens to be on another reality TV program called Young Once. The show "follows a diverse group of recent graduates from Christian college who are now navigating dating, marriage, debts, and career decisions against the backdrop of life in Southern California."
There seem to be five main people in the show and they attended Biola University. The school's name is an acronym for Bible Institute Of Los Angeles.
Young Once centers around Cassie and her ex-boyfriend Caelan Tiongson, who is now coming out of the woodwork to defend her decision to appear on The Bachelor. Caelan posted a photo on Instagram of himself and Cassie alongside two of their friends and sought to give his own perspective on the situation "so no words can be misconstrued."
He wrote a long description and clarified that Young Once was filmed prior to Cassie's butterfly-filled entrance at Bachelor Mansion.
"As many know, my ex girlfriend is currently a contestant on the tv show The Bachelor. The both of us have also appeared on a documentary series called Young Once," he began. "The show catches you up on our lives as the first season was shot at Biola University while we were still going to school there."
Cassie graduated from Biola in 2016 and from the looks of his Instagram, Caelan is a basketball player in the Philippines.
Caelan explained that filming "happened to catch the closing of mine and Cassie's on and off relationship during the recording of this show."
Young Once's second season just began, and Cassie's ex addressed the rather blatant timing. "Make no mistake that Young Once was filmed before The Bachelor, and the fact that they are airing at the same time is a strategy to attract viewers," he continued. "Both Cassie and I made mistakes in our relationship, but I think we'd both agree it dragged out much too long anyways. This is because I persistently pursued a reunion and she knowingly kept the door open at times because of indecisiveness, neither of which matters because it has been over for good since before she went on The Bachelor."
Caelan admitted "without a doubt" he and Cassie "were not a great fit for each other" but he still praised her.
"The reality of the situation is that Cassie is a great girl. Her decision to go on The Bachelor was a decisive moment in my life to move forward so why couldn't it serve as that for her as well?" he wrote. "Nobody has the right to tell her whether or not she has good intentions. So although the full truth may not be out...not everybody's business needs to be on reality tv."
He said towards the end of his statement, "Cassie will eventually explain her side and I endorse whatever she says because there is no reason for her to hide the truth. I wish her nothing but success and happiness moving forward."
Caelan then disclosed, "I post this because of the outlets who reached out to hear 'my side' and because I heard Cassie was receiving a lot of negativity for our past relationship. I thought this would be the best way to preserve the truth and encourage the trolls to check themselves before tearing down a good human being."
On Wednesday afternoon, Cassie issued a response on Instagram about their relationship and her role on Young Once. "Caelan and I dated all through college and in 2015 we filmed Young Once. A while after our breakup we put our past behind us and became friends again," she wrote. "We share a lot of mutual friends and he is close to my family. We both dated other people and had moved on."
Cassie then explained that she and Caelan "considered getting back together" last spring, but it "didn't work out."
"Just because we didn't work out doesn't mean we now hate each other and don't care about the other," she typed out.
"We were on and off for so long that turning it off for good was a difficult decision as I truly didn't want to regret giving up if we were meant to be. But certain things were unhealthy and it became clear we were supposed to move on," Cassie clarified.
She then provided some background into the second season of Young Once, which happened "unexpectedly and out of the blue." The show apparently reached out to her and discussed Season 2, which is "a follow up on some of the original cast. This again put Caelan and I directly back in each other's lives."
"One of the storylines highlighted is our drawn out/complex relationship and the challenges of us staying friends post breakup and whether it is possible or not," Cassie explained.
Young Once's filming occurred "several weeks" before Caelan returned to the Philippines for his basketball career and her casting on The Bachelor.
She concluded, "The timing of everything was completely chance. I care very much about Caelan and I want nothing but the best for him and his life."