Episode 1 of “Winter Games” was released to the media this week, and as I do for the first episode of “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette,” I have my way of watching it and thus spoiling it. Do they want me to? Of course not. This episode is shown just like the others in that it shows everything up to the rose ceremony, because they don’t want media possibly giving away eliminations. Well, you’ll get those from me today. And the first “rose ceremony,” isn’t really a rose ceremony. They mix it up a bit for the first elimination, which you’ll see later. I’ve not been entirely on board with this show if you’ve read any of my thoughts the last few months. After watching it, I can actually say it was better than I thought. Not terrible, but by no means not television that’s re-inventing the wheel or something either. It’s definitely different than BIP in the sense that every episode has a challenge, and the winners get date cards to ask someone on a date. BIP the date cards go to incoming people, and whoever they decide to give it to so they can further a storyline. So that’s where “Winter Games” is like “Bachelor Pad,” is you actually have to earn your date card. Before I break down the episodes, lets get to the particulars you need to know.
-This show will air on Tuesday AND Thursday for the next 2 weeks for 2 hours each episode. There will be a 1 hour “Winter Games Tell All” show to be shown after the finale episode on Thursday, the 22nd. So 8 hours of “Winter Games” coverage, then we get a 1 hour show where they bring everyone back to talk about the experience. They are filming that “Tell All” show next Friday, the 16th in LA.
-Here are the contestants (12 from the US, 14 International):
Ben, 29, “The Bachelor” Season 20
Dean, 26, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Eric, 29, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Jamey, 33, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Josiah, 29, “The Bachelorette” Season 13 (Rachel Lindsay)
Luke, 33, “The Bachelorette” Season 12 (JoJo Fletcher)
Michael, 37, “The Bachelorette” Season 9 (Desiree Hartsock Siegfried)
Ashley I., 29, “The Bachelor” Season 19 (Chris Soules)
Clare, 36, “The Bachelor” Season 18 (Juan Pablo Galavis)
Lesley, 30, “The Bachelor” Season 17 (Sean Lowe)
Bibiana, 30, “The Bachelor, Season 22 (Arie Luyendyk Jr.)
Lauren G., 27, “The Bachelor, Season 22 (Arie Luyendyk Jr.)
Benoit, 31, “The Bachelorette” Season 1 – Canada
Christian, 34, “The Bachelorette” Season 1 – Switzerland and Germany
Courtney, 31, “The Bachelorette” Season 2 – Australia
Jordan, 34, “The Bachelor” Season 2 – New Zealand
Kevin, 33, “The Bachelorette” Season 1 – Canada
Ally, 24, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – New Zealand
Jenny, 34, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – Finland
Laura, 29, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – United Kingdom
Lily, 21, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – New Zealand
Nastassia, 26, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – Sweden
Rebecca, 26, “The Bachelor” Season 3 – Sweden
Tiffany, 31, “The Bachelor” Season 4 – Australia
Yuki, 21, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – Japan
Zoe, 25, “The Bachelor” Season 1 – China
-In each challenge, the men compete against the men, and the women compete against the women. So there’s one male winner and one female winner of each challenge.
-When the show starts off, they show about 3 minutes of a season preview that really gives a ton away of who ends up with who. They don’t do quick shots either. You clearly see who hooks up and who doesn’t. Will get to that in a bit.
-They do use intro videos for the US contestants to re-introduce them to us. The ones who get intro videos are: Ben, Josiah, Dean, Clare, Bibiana, Lesley, and Ashley I.
-The first 45 min of the show is basically from the opening ceremonies where we are introduced to all the international contestants. The US team was introduced and walked down the street together, where the international team (since there were so many different countries represented) just arrived by their country, so if it was only one person from their country, they were walking by themselves holding mini flags of their country.
-Chris Harrison and Hannah Storm are the hosts, while Ashley Brewer (a sports anchor in Los Angeles) handles the play-by-play and does “live” interviews with the contestants while the challenges are going on.
-For most of the international contestants, we get them in ITM’s telling us what season they were on, and some we even see clips of them in their season. Either when they were eliminated, or when they “won.” It’s bizarre seeing the “Bachelor/ette” in other countries.
-The international contestant who steals the show and will probably be everyone’s favorite is Yuki from Japan. Why? Because she knows about 5 words of English, yet is ridiculously happy to be here, and all they do all episode (and all season) is play up the fact she doesn’t speak English. It’s actually pretty funny. No translator, she sits in on all the conversations even though she has no idea what anyone is saying. Even does a few ITM’s and basically just says the only English words she knows.
-Once in the house, we see who’s interested in who. The first couple to hit it off is Josiah and Ally from New Zealand. They’re off on the couch, she’s very curvy, Josiah lets her know he likes her curve, and these two start sucking each other’s face off. Major tongue action.
-In the beginning, we also see Lesley and Dean flirting. Lesley is shown in ITM’s gushing over how cute Dean is and Dean makes it known he’s into Lesley as well. They also show Rebecca from Sweden talking to Luke on the couch.
-Of course, this wouldn’t be a season without all attention focused on Ashley I, the fact that she’s a virgin, and she’s immediately attracted to Kevin from Canada. Bibiana is also attracted to Kevin as well, and Kevin is seen talking to her, which immediately starts making Ashley I. insecure.
-And oh yeah, Christian from Germany and Benoit from Canada both seem to take an interest in Clare. This will play out later on.
-The first competition is the biathlon. There will be two heats for each sex, and the top 3 finishers in each heat moves on to the finals. They have to ski a lap, shoot a paint gun hitting a target 3 times, ski another lap, shoot the paint gun while laying down hitting the target 3 times, then ski to the finish line.
-Before it starts, they give everyone a chance to practice skiing, and Ally falls on her ass. Or bum as she calls it. It’s bruised and she can’t compete, but Josiah goes in to check on her and says he needs to win for her. Josiah is terrible on skis and never comes close.
First Heat (Men): Benoit, Ben, Luke, Josiah, Michael G. This is the only one of the heats that they basically show from start to finish. Benoit finishes first, Luke is 2nd, and Ben is 3rd, so they move on to the finals.
Second Heat (Men): Kevin, Eric, Dean, Christian. There might’ve been others in this, but they basically only show highlights of it. Eric finished dead last way behind everyone else and Chris Harrison was on the course with the microphone telling him the competition ended 20 minutes ago and Eric still was just finishing up. Dean finished 1st, Kevin was 2nd, and Christian was 3rd moving on to the finals.
First Heat (Women): Clare, Zoe, Jenny, Stassi, Lily, and Yuki. Again, we just see the highlights, but Stassi finished 1st, Jenny was 2nd, and Lily was 3rd.
Second Heat (Women): Lauren G., Rebecca, Lesley, Bibiana, and some others. Only the highlights, but Lauren G got injured. Rebecca was 1st, Lesley was 2nd, and Bibi was 3rd.
Women’s Final (showed first): Lily, Stassi, Jenny, Lesley, Bibi, and Rebecca. Rebecca from Sweden ends up winning pretty easily. She even skated through the finish line backwards to kinda rub it in.
Men’s Final: Luke, Christian, Kevin, Benoit, Ben, and Dean. This was basically a battle between Kevin and Dean. And of course, we’re getting Bibi and Ashley’s reactions during the race because both are interested in Kevin. Kevin ends up winning.
-Back at the house, we see Kevin pull both Bibiana aside and Ashley aside to talk to them. Bibiana tells him she would’ve picked him if she would’ve won, and Ashley flirts with him during his time. Ashley says she thought Kevin would pick Bibiana, but after talking to him, she thinks she has a chance. Kevin ends up asking Bibiana and Ashley loses it. Basically the crying Ashley you’ve seen in all the commercials is from the first episode when he chose Bibiana over her. She’s in an ITM bawling her eyes out saying, “Literally this has been the pattern for me the last 2 years…friend zone central…why does this always happen?” Kevin and Bibiana’s date is barely shown. They go to some restaurant and they just make out.
-We don’t even see Rebecca ask Luke on their date. We just see them sitting together already on their date, and they go outside, and there’s a firework show. The two of them start making out.
-Back at the house, Dean & Lesley’s flirting heats up as she talks about her boobs a lot because of her double mastectomy she had 9 months ago, and no guy has seen them since, so her and Dean start giggling over that. We see them start making out on the couch.
-We also see more of Josiah and Ally making out and also our first all international couple – Courtney and Lily start making out at the top of the stairs out of nowhere.
-The only other “coupling” we see in the first episode is Clare and Benoit, with Christian on the side. Christian says in ITM’s he’s attracted to Clare, but I don’t think we ever see him saying that to her. Benoit and Clare are in the kitchen, Benoit is cooking eggs, then they have a short kiss. Then later on, they’re by the fire and share another kiss that really looked like it was played on a loop. Christian makes a comment about Clare kissing Benoit, and they basically foreshadow that love triangle.
-The first “rose ceremony” is more in the “Bachelor Pad” model because no roses are given out. The contestants are told to write down the name of someone that they don’t want to be there and put it in a box. 5 people are being sent home, bringing the total to 21. Well, technically 20 because Jordan from New Zealand hasn’t arrived yet. He had Visa issues but I believe shows up in episode 2.
Rose Ceremony Eliminations: Eric Bigger, Jamey Kocan, Lauren Griffin (US shows), Zoe from China, and Laura from the UK. Since the rose ceremony wasn’t shown in the first episode released to the media, I don’t know who voted for who. Just know that’s who was eliminated.
I will have the remaining 3 episode spoilers for you in Tuesday’s column, since the show starts that night. However, right now I will give you the final competition, what it was, who wins, and what the main storyline is. Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know.
(SPOILER) The final competition is ice skating. The four couples that make the finals are:
Courtney & Lily
Luke & Stassi (they went on a date in episode 2)
Kevin & Ashley I. (they go on a pottery date, a la “Ghost”, I believe in episode 3)
Dean & Lesley (their first date is episode 2 as well)
Kevin & Ashley I. are the “winners” of Winter Games. There is no prize, there are no engagements, they are just declared the first winner of the “Bachelor Winter Games.” So yes, Ashley I. will be all up in our grills for all 4 episodes. She finally gets the guy, she ends up being the winner, and her relationship with Kevin from Canada takes front and center. Here’s the main storyline once this season concludes:
Ashley loses her virginity to Kevin.
They are a “couple” now. Well, as much as someone in this franchise can define “couple.” She’s been to Toronto, he’s spent time with her post-show in CA and other places and I hear he’s going to be spending a good month in CA with her once this show kicks off, or maybe after it’s done airing. Whatever the case may be, they are an item now. But as I said, they go back to film the “Bachelor Winter Games Tell All” next Friday, and I’m hearing the focal point of that show is them getting Kevin to admit he’s in love with her or commit to her. And from what I’ve heard, he’s not.
It’s been reported to me that Kevin’s sole intention of doing this show was to be the next “Bachelor: Canada.” And if not that, he just wants fame, he wants notoriety, and he was strictly looking to hook up with whatever girl in the house would garner him the most attention. Well, Lesley was already linked with Dean from the word go. Clare wasn’t available. And Bibi and Lauren G. aren’t big enough names in the franchise yet. Enter Ashley I. Some say it might be a showmance, but there’s no doubt Ashley is goo-goo ga-ga over him (shocker), and I’m hearing he’s not as into her as she’s into him (gee, where have we heard that before?).
That’s what the after show will most surely focus on. I’m being told this guy was strictly out to get more famous, and he knew by hooking up with Ashley, that’d get people talking about him. The virginity thing is gonna get a ton of run now, and it’s almost like if this guy doesn’t commit to her at the “Tell All” taping next Friday, he’s gonna come across as a complete douche. And even if he does, another guy to keep your eye on because I’ve heard his intentions have way more to do with extending his brand than actually finding a girlfriend. Basically, this the worst guy someone like Ashley I. should’ve ever gotten involved with since we know how she reacts when she likes a boy. I mean, we’ve seen how Ashley reacts to boys she HASN’T had sex with. Now this? Oh boy. Don’t buy this relationship at all, regardless of what this guy ends up doing. This is gonna be a sh** show.
“Reader Emails” begin on page 2…
February 8, 2018 at 8:18 AM
For the last emailer: I work in content marketing for a major credit card company, so I have somewhat of an idea how companies go about reaching influencers on social media and selecting how much to pay them.
Companies bucket social media personalities and celebrities into buckets based on their following. 10K-100K is a micro-influencer, 100K-1M is typically considered middle of the road, and anyone with a 1M+ followers is considered celebrity status. Companies will offer certain pay grades based on how many legit followers certain influencers have. Most of the bachelor contestants fall under the micro-influencer category, so they could make a small sum from paid partnerships, but Steve is right in that you can’t really quit your job or not work elsewhere in that bracket. Once people hit 100K followers, they typically get offered enough per post to actually make a living. The Bachelor nation people who can actually make a living off of this are people like Amanda Stanton, JoJo, Lauren Bushnell, Raven…people who have managed to build their following to a million people.
Typically, these people sign with agencies that help promote their brand and set up these paid partnerships for them. They are not typically setting these up themselves, but instead have representation. Think of it like a talent agency booking jobs for their actors or models, with these influencers being told what products they are supposed to promote from their agencies. The agencies ensure the products being promoted are aligned with their brand.
Hope that sheds some light on it. Most of these girls have to work at this for at least a year after their season airs to build the following to be an influencer. 🙂
February 10, 2018 at 12:20 PM
Yes, the Paris rose ceremony was at the Musée des Arts Forains, one of the four areas at the Pavillons de Bercy (at the start of the ceremony segment you see the women walking around the grounds and eventually entering the Musée des Arts Forains. As confirmation, here’s a picture of one exhibit that got shown in the episode: