Cassie Randolph is a fan favorite on this season of The Bachelor, and she's a personal favorite of Colton Underwood as well, based on last episode's one-on-one date (so much smooching!). Plot twist: This isn't her first time on a reality TV show. Per Popsugar, Randolph also starred on Young Once, (opens in new tab) an ongoing documentary series about Christian teens who live in Southern California. Also, it's still airing—you can watch the whole thing on YouTube, so I know what I'm doing with the rest of my week.
In light of this news, I did some investigating into exactly what Young Once is, how Cassie appears on it, and the situation with her ex (in the most recent season that aired, Cassie was still with then-boyfriend Caelan Tiongson). Here's what I dug up...
The series (opens in new tab), which first debuted in 2016, is about a group of teens from Southern California living out their Christian faith as they attend Biola University—a conservative school that has abstinence-only rules, as well as a strict ban on drinking and drugs. No joke: One of the cast members calls the campus a "marriage hunting ground" on the show.
When Randolph spoke on The Bachelor about her family and community being disappointed in her for not being a virgin, and her potentially receiving judgment when the season aired, this is probably what she meant.
Michelle Randolph has appeared in nine episodes with Cassie thus far. Michelle, who has lately also starred in scripted productions of A Snow White Christmas and House of the Witch, has Young Once listed as her first credited role on iMDB.
In fact, Caelan Tiongson apparently had the opportunity to play basketball overseas, but passed it up to continue his relationship with Randolph. (The first season was recorded about four years ago (opens in new tab), apparently—also, that link has spoilers, if you're hoping to avoid them.) Fun fact? The entire first season is up on YouTube, if you want to binge it.
Aaand...Cassie is in it a lot. Season 2 is apparently what the group is now doing post-college, as a group of friends dealing with temptations and stresses in the real world, and was filmed over the summer in 2018—just before Randolph started filming The Bachelor. It's not totally clear based on the trailer where she stands on her onscreen romance (more on that below), but it appears that Randolph and Tiongson are broken up but trying to remain friends. DRAMA.
Also, now Randolph is technically starring in two series at once!
In a very long post, Caelan Tiongson wrote, "My ex girlfriend is currently a contestant on the tv show The Bachelor." He went on, "[Young Once] happened to catch the closing of mine and Cassie’s on and off relationship during the recording of this show." According to Tiongson, the two were broken up well before The Bachelor, even though Young Once is being aired at the same time.
He added that he thought Randolph was a great person, and that she'd been getting negative press for seemingly leading Underwood on while dating Tiongson. "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 said, adding, "I wish her nothing but success and happiness moving forward."
So, now the question remains: Will Cassie address this on the show? In the episodes that have aired so far, we haven't seen too much of her, and it's unclear whether her appearance on Young Once is the reason why. But it could make for some interesting drama—besides, the longer she advances, the more Underwood will want to know about her. Go for it, Cassie!
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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
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