Anyone up for a trip to the Jacuzzi?
The Bachelor Winter Games has concluded, and for the most part, ABC's attempt at turning its biggest franchise into Olympic counter-programming was pretty successful.
It was a fun new take on the Bachelor in Paradise formula, swapping out the sand for snow and the lounging around on the beach, drinking and talking to animals for competitive winter sports, with the added bonus of international franchise stars.
Most of it worked, and it worked well, to the point where we are already craving another non-Olympic season next year. Buuut some elements could definitely use some improvement if this show is to return, so let's talk highs and lows of The Bachelor Winter Games.
High: The International Stars
How no one thought to do this before we have no idea, but bringing in stars from all over Bachelor world was positively genius and it added exactly the right spice we needed here in America to help us forget about last summer's slightly dismal Bachelor in Paradise. Contestants fell in love, and we fell in love with some new foreign faves. (Yuki!!)
With a show this short and a cast list this interesting, every elimination just felt mean. That first night was especially brutal, with contestants voting each other out Survivor-style just based on who they didn't like, taking out some of the foreigners before we even got to know them and before they got a chance to even see if there was anyone to fall in love with. Add more people to the house, make the games mean something more than a date card, do something to either make the eliminations based on something more concrete or don't eliminate people at all.
High: That Success Rate
The Bachelor Winter Games went into its tell-all special with three incredibly solid couples and left with four and a proposal, which might just be a record for this franchise. Plus, all the couples who are still together are easy to root for and they feel perhaps even more solid than couples usually feel post-Paradise. We're gonna be sad when the first one inevitably falls.
Low: The Intense Focus on Love
Like, we get it. This franchise is technically about falling in love, but over the years it has also become about the characters it produces, and it sucks when someone is ignored just because they don't happen to match up with anybody else in the house. Isn't there something the singles, like fan faves Yuki or Ben Higgins, could have still contributed to the show? We would have loved to see that pair try to ice dance together as friends and we feel that was a serious missed opportunity.
High: The Sports
Watching Olympians compete in sports they're good at is fun, but it's also very fun to watch a bunch of beautiful people compete in sports they are mediocre to disastrous at. It also added a much needed competition element to Bachelor in Paradise's general attractive laziness, and it was just a lot of fun.
Low: Not Enough Sports
Give us more! Make them curl, or invent new Bachelor-y events like dancing to an awkward private concert on ice, or turn a private ice dancing lesson into a date. There was a bit of a disconnect when it came to the sports and the dating and even the friendly relationships formed, so maybe some more team or pair sports could make things flow a little more smoothly. Is there a sport that can be played in a jacuzzi?
High: The Length
It was refreshing to have a spinoff of this franchise that was so short and to the point, even if we sometimes wish that point had broadened a bit.
Low: The Length
That said, we could have used like one more week to see the things that are always so great about Bachelor in Paradise, like the moments that have nothing to do with anything but are delightful and give everyone some personality other than their attempts to find a date. Four episodes felt just the tiniest bit rushed.
But again, overall the season was a lot of fun, and we'll gladly return to that house in Vermont for another round of Winter Games even without the accompaniment of the actual Winter Games.
The Bachelor Winter Games aired on ABC.