Welcome to The Bachelor Winter Games! Or should we say willkommen? or maybe huānyíng?
Though The Bachelor franchise has aired in over 37 countries since it made its debut on US airwaves in 2002, only 11 are represented in the inaugural Winter Games. But it wasn't for a lack of interest or effort that a few countries do not have participants. "We would've loved to have broadened the scope even more, but in some cases, it really was impossible," executive producer Bennett Graebner told E! News.
It turns out, even juggernaut reality TV franchises can run into visa issues.
"We ended up having a representative from Germany, that was Christian [Editor's note: He also competed on The Bachelorette Switzerland], but Germany turned out to be a really difficult country to work with," Graebner said. "We had a number of individuals who couldn't make it due to visa issues. That was really sad. And I'm not quite sure why Germany was so difficult, but we had some great people from Germany that we couldn't use."
Another country that ultimately didn't end up with any contestants on the show? "I remember a couple of women we quite liked from the Bachelor in Thailand but that ended up falling through at some point for a variety of reasons," Graebner said.
Aside from visa issues, another complication was that some countries have only aired one season of the show, with some debuting almost a decade ago. The sole Brazilian Bachelor is approaching 50, while the Italian Bachelor's season aired in 2003.
"There just aren't a lot of people available, those people are older now and they're also married and in serious relationships," Graebner said. "Finding people who were available from those particular franchises proved to be problematic."
Still, thanks to recommendations from foreign showrunners, watching tape from the international versions and flying contestants of interest to Los Angeles to meet with producers, The Bachelor Winter Games was able to assemble a cast of 26 men and women.
Graebner gave E! News insight into the casting process for a few of the standout U.S. and international contestants, including the ones the show almost passed on, a former fan-favorite who hasn't appeared on-screen in over five years, and the former Bachelor they really wanted...all because he flipped a coin to decide who to give his final rose to. (Yes, really.)
The Bachelor Winter Games premieres Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. on ABC.